Hurricane Laura was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. state of Louisiana, as measured by maximum sustained winds. The storm caused the deaths of at least 42 people and inflicted an estimated USD 16 billion in damages. Laura is also the earliest hurricane to form in the Atlantic Ocean since 1851 and the fourth storm to form as a hurricane in the season’s first half.
About Hurricane Laura in brief
Hurricane Laura was a deadly and destructive Category 4 hurricane. It was the strongest hurricane on record to make landfall in the U.S. state of Louisiana, as measured by maximum sustained winds. The storm caused the deaths of at least 42 people and inflicted an estimated USD 16 billion in damages. Laura originated from a large tropical wave that moved off the West African coast on August 16 and became a tropical depression on August 20. It became a major hurricane on August 26, becoming the earliest twelfth named storm on record in the North Atlantic basin. Laura caused more than USD 16.1 billion in damage and 77 deaths. Laura degenerated into a remnant low over Kentucky, before being absorbed into another extratropical storm near the East Coast of the U S. shortly afterward. Laura was the fourth hurricane and first major hurricane of the record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, as well as the first named storm of the season. It is the earliest storm to be named in North Atlantic since records began in 1851, surpassing the previous record set by Hurricane Luis on August 28, 1995, by eight days earlier than 1995’s Hurricane Luis. Laura is also the earliest hurricane to form in the Atlantic Ocean since 1851 and the fourth storm to form as a hurricane in the season’s first half of the year. It has been named after a fictional character, Laura, from the film The Book of Laura, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, who died in a plane crash in the Dominican Republic on August 21, 2020. Laura has also been called the “most destructive hurricane in history” and the “greatest hurricane of all time” by the National Hurricane Center.
Laura made landfall near peak intensity on Cameron, Louisiana on August 27, making it the tenth-strongest U. S. hurricane landfall by windspeed on record. It then moved across the Gulf of Mexico, strengthening slowly at first, before a period of rapid intensification. Laura weakened as it moved inland, becoming a tropical storm later that day, and weakening further to a tropical Depression over Arkansas the next day. Laura’s structure briefly degraded on August 24, before it reorganized and traversed Pinar Río Province in western Cuba. Laura subsequently traversed Haiti and emerged over the Windward Passage, before emerging over the Caribbean Sea along Cuba’s southern coast. After moving out out to sea, Laura weakened again and weakened into a tropical cyclone on August 25. Laura then weakened further as it approached the Lesser Antilles and sideswiped Puerto Rico to the south before making landfall in southeastern Dominican Republic with maximum sustainedwinds of 50 mph early on August 23. Laura eventually weakened to a Tropical Storm on August 29, before degenerating into a Tropical Depression. Laura became the earliest named storm in the history of the Atlantic basin on August 20, and the first major storm on August 22. It also became the first hurricane to become a major storm in two years, as it made landfall on the Gulf coast of Mexico.