Dangerous Hurricane Laura will likely reach category four strength this afternoon.
The eye-wall is symmetrical and thunderstorm tops are cold (high up, red colors) fairly solid.
The storm surge is now forecast by the National Hurricane Center to be as high as 10-15 feet. From the NHC:
Unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves will cause catastrophic damage from Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, including Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes. This storm surge could penetrate up to 30 miles inland from the immediate coastline in southwestern Louisiana and far southeastern Texas.
For the Ozarks, the more eastern landfall solution and interaction with strong steering winds will take the remnants of Laura deeper into Arkansas. This means much of the Ozarks will avoid an extreme rain situation. However, any bands of rain on the northern edge of this storm track will dump some solid rain totals, especially in areas closer to south central Missouri (say the West Plains area) were 1-2″ might fall.
Hurricane Laura will be a potent storm when it makes landfall in Texas Wednesday evening.
Official National Hurricane Center guidance as of this writing puts landfall near the Texas/Louisiana border. The latest “Euro” model runs place it closer to Galveston Bay at the same time.
Strengthening to a Category 3 hurricane implies sustained winds of around 115 mph.
It looks increasingly likely that what is left from this weakening hurricane once it makes landfall will track over a portion of the Ozarks. This appears to be leaning closer to south-central Missouri.
Rainfall is the main threat. The core of the track of this storm will likely see 5-7″ or more of rain late this week.
The exact track will be better known once the storm makes landfall.