SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Recon flights have been finding lower pressure each time they measure the center of Laura. The drop in pressure has been tremendous all day long. As of 11 p.m. Wednesday the pressure has fallen to 939 mb. Eariler NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft just found surface wind speed of 158 mph.
Top winds remain at 150 mph with gusts up to 185 and it could even get stronger at landfall. That chance is slowly running out as landfall is anticipated around 2 a.m.
The life threatening storm surge could be as high as 20 feet near the center and just to the right of Laura.
Winds up to 150 mph will rip off roofs and snap power lines. People may be without power for weeks if not months with a storm like this. Wind gusts are now up to 185 mph.
The storm surge will wipe homes right off their foundations and leave nothing but the slabs behind.
The storm surge is expected to go inland some 30 miles into TX and LA.
We will continue to see wave action work its way toward the west coast of Florida on Thursday. A rip current statement remains in effect for the Suncoast beaches until 8 p.m. on Thursday.
We will see generally sunny conditions to start the day on Thursday with partly cloudy skies later in the afternoon. There is a 50% chance for late day storms moving from inland areas and building toward the coast later in the afternoon.
On Friday Laura will be moving through TN and it will bump the high pressure to south Florida which brings us a west wind which will favor morning coastal storms with the main focus of storms inland east of I-75 pushing to the east coast of Florida later in the day.