The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center [NHC] is forecasting Laura to become a hurricane by tomorrow morning. There, warm waters look likely to fuel a fair bit of strengthening, such that Laura may reach Category 2 strength before making landfall either in Texas of Louisiana sometime Thursday morning.
As of Tuesday morning, Laura was 585 miles (940 kilometres) southeast of Lake Charles, Louisiana, travelling northwest at 16 mph (26 kmh).
While the westward shift may help with winds in eastern Acadiana, there will still likely be power lines and trees down with loose limbs blown around, the wind damage will steadily increase to the west.
Laura is expected to soak parts of the Gulf Coast with 4 to 8 inches of rain, with isolated totals of up to a foot, from Wednesday to Saturday, forecasters said.
As Laura reaches the northern USA states about midday on Saturday, it's expected to ride along a cold front and bring moisture to most, if not all of New Jersey, according to Trenton Davis, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.
"(Laura) has a long way to go and will lose a lot of punch on the way up here", Davis said.
"If you find yourself east of the track of the storm, the right front quadrant of the storm, you're going to be in that spot where there is a risk of tornadoes", Cornish said.
Laura has maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (120 km/h) with higher gusts.
FMCSA says that the storms are expected to bring heavy rains, high surf, flooding and high winds that could be a threat to public welfare and human life.
Cooler, breezy temperatures are expected on Sunday as New Jersey dries out, forecasters said.
A tropical storm warning for the Lower Keys was discontinued early Tuesday as Laura moved further into the Gulf of Mexico.
That will be important to watch, as a stronger Laura would head more west toward Houston, whereas a weaker storm would be steered more toward the Texas-Louisiana border.
The threat of wildfires in the West on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. Tropical Storm Laura battered the Dominican Republic and Haiti and heading for a possible hit on the Louisiana coast as a hurricane, along with Tropical Storm Marco.