Laura has now entered the Gulf of Mexico and strengthened to Category 1 status, after travelling the length of the Greater Antilles and bringing torrential rain and strong winds from Puerto Rico and the Bahamas through Hispaniola to Cuba.
Now once more over the open ocean, Laura is tapping into the warm Gulf waters, and is set to strengthen dramatically over the next 24 hours, reaching potentially major hurricane status before making landfall near the Louisiana-Texas border late Wednesday.
If Laura does become a major hurricane -- defined as Category 3 or higher -- it will be the first of what has so far been an above-average Atlantic hurricane season.
As of Tuesday evening, it looks like Laura will become a major hurricane by Wednesday night.
Laura looks to bring 100-200 mm or rainfall to parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast, with local amounts as high as 300 mm for some, and all falling on areas already somewhat waterlogged from Marco's impact. Just as dangerous will be storm surge, which will be significant.
The National Weather Service warns that there could be "life-threatening storm surge with large and dangerous waves producing potentially catastrophic damage from San Luis Pass, Texas to the Mouth of the Mississippi River, including areas in the Port Arthur Hurricane Flood Protection System."
Even after landfall, the storms' remnants are forecast to move deep into North America along the Mississippi Valley -- such that once it passes south of the Great Lakes, its moisture will likely fuel weekend showers in southern Ontario.
Though the longer-range forecast is a little bit less certain, there is a slight chance the storm's remnants may still be coherent enough to reform once it exits back out to sea off the U.S. northeastern coast, potentially impacting Atlantic Canada.
Keep an eye on the forecast as we continue to monitor this storm.