In August 2020, Laura became the strongest hurricane in history to hit the southwestern coast of Louisiana. Laura made landfall as a Category 4 tropical system and caused unprecedented damage. According to the National Weather Service, Laura produced a record-breaking storm surge of 17.2 feet in Lake Charles, LA.
CERA provided storm surge guidance for stakeholders in both Texas and Louisiana due to the hurricane’s path and direction traveling along the border of the two states. More than 10,000 users sought guidance on CERA with over 4,000 registered users.
Laura challenged real-time storm surge forecasting because hurricane Marco affected the northern Gulf coast at the same time. The ASGS and CERA teams successfully coordinated with the Governor of Louisiana, Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), and the Louisiana National Guard among others to handle the situation of two storms affecting the coast concurrently.