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Jeremy Kappell

Strengthening Ida Expected to Become Major Hurricane

Hurricane Ida Targets Central Louisiana Coast

A STORM SURGE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* EAST OF ROCKEFELLER WILDLIFE REFUGE LOUISIANA TO THE ALABAMA/FLORIDA BORDER
* VERMILION BAY...LAKE BORGNE...LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN...LAKE MAUREPAS...AND MOBILE BAY
A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* INTRACOASTAL CITY LOUISIANA TO THE MOUTH OF THE PEARL RIVER
* LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN...LAKE MAUREPAS...AND METROPOLITAN NEW ORLEANS

At 700 PM CDT (0000 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Ida was located near latitude 26.6 North, longitude 87.5 West. Ida is moving toward the northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general motion should continue through late Sunday or early Monday, followed by a slower northward motion on Monday.  A northeastward turn is forecast by Monday night.  On the forecast track, the center of Ida will  continue moving across the central and northern Gulf of Mexico  tonight and early Sunday, and make landfall along the coast of Louisiana within the hurricane warning area Sunday afternoon or evening. Ida is then forecast to move well inland over portions of Louisiana and western Mississippi on Monday and Monday night.


Data from the NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 105 mph (165 km/h) with higher gusts.  Rapid strengthening is forecast during the next 12 to 24 hours and Ida is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it makes landfall along the Louisiana coast on Sunday.  Rapid weakening is expected after landfall.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropicalstorm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure based on data from the NOAA Hurricane Hunters is 969 mb (28.61 inches).

STORM SURGE:  The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.  The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide...

Morgan City, LA to Mouth of the Mississippi River...10-15 ft
Mouth of the Mississippi River to Ocean Springs, MS including Lake
Borgne...7-11 ft
Intracoastal City, LA to Morgan City, LA including Vermilion
Bay...6-9 ft
Ocean Springs, MS to MS/AL border...4-7 ft
Lake Pontchartrain...5-8 ft
Lake Maurepas...4-6 ft
Pecan Island, LA to Intracoastal City, LA...3-5 ft
MS/AL border to AL/FL border including Mobile Bay...2-4 ft
Sabine Pass to Pecan Island, LA...1-3 ft

The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the east of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves.  Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances.  For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.

RAINFALL:  Heavy rainfall from Ida will begin to impact the Louisiana coast Sunday morning, spreading northeast into the Lower Mississippi Valley later Sunday into Monday.  Total rainfall accumulations of 8 to 16 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches are possible across southeast Louisiana into southern Mississippi through Monday. This rainfall is likely to result in life-threatening flash and urban flooding and significant riverine flooding impacts.
 

Elsewhere across eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, far southwestern Alabama and the Middle Tennessee Valley -- considerable flash and riverine flooding impacts are likely on Monday and Tuesday, with rainfall totals of 4 to 8 inches possible. Rainfall from Ida will begin to affect the Ohio Valley by mid-week, resulting in flash and riverine flooding impacts.

Ida is expected to gradually strengthen into a Major Hurricane (Cat-3/4) over the  next 24 hours before making landfall by late on Monday.  Stay tuned.

-Jeremy Kappell

Meteorologist, Speaker, Talk Show Host, Blogger and American Patriot

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