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Laura weakens to a depression after making landfall as Category 4 storm

Laura was the most powerful hurricane to strike Louisiana since 1856.

LOUISIANA, USA — Hurricane Laura made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, as a strong Category 4 storm around 2 a.m. EDT Thursday. Thursday afternoon, the storm weakened to a tropical storm before weakening into a depression Thursday evening.

Laura brought sustained winds of 150 mph ashore near the small, 400-person town that lies about 30 miles east of the Texas border. 

As of the 11 p.m. Thursday advisory from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the storm is producing 35 mph winds, moving north-northeast at 15 mph toward Arkansas

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

According to the NHC, Laura is expected to become a remnant low pressure system on Saturday before becoming an extratropical low later this weekend.

Laura became the first major hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season when it strengthened to a Category 3 Wednesday morning. Later that day, it continued to strengthen to a Category 4 storm and maintained its strength when it made landfall early Thursday morning. 

A storm is considered "major" at Category 3 or higher, with maximum sustained winds of 111 mph or greater.

Credit: 10 Weather

The NHC says, swells produced by laura continue to affect the U.S. Gulf coast from the Florida Panhandle to Texas and are likely to cause "life-threatening" surf and rip current conditions. 

This year, the tropics have been especially active. There already have been 13 total named storms in 2020.

Hurricane Laura is the earliest "L" name on record, beating Hurricane Luis, which formed on Aug. 29, 1995.

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