Category 4 Ida nearing the Louisiana Coast
Life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force wind already moving inland
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Hurricane Ida strengthened to a Category 4 Hurricane early Sunday morning. Hurricane-force wind is already lashing parts of Louisiana as the storm steadily moves inland around by or around midday Sunday. Sustained wind speeds increased from 105 mph at 10pm Saturday to 150 mph by 7am Sunday.
As of the Sunday 10am update from the National Hurricane Center:
|Location||Maximum Sustained Wind||Movement||Minimum Pressure|
|60 miles SW of the Mouth of the Mississippi River | 85 miles S of New Orleans, Louisiana||150 mph||NW at 13 mph||933 mb|
At 10am, the eye of Hurricane Ida was close to making landfall in Southeast Louisiana. Reports from Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicated the maximum wind of 150 mph. Some additional strengthening remains possible in the few hours before the center of the storm moves out of the Gulf. Rapid weakening is expected after landfall as it drifts up the Mississippi Delta.
Ida’s rapid strengthening appears to have leveled off within the past hour or so...Ida’s satellite andradar presentation is very impressive, as the 15-nm-wide eye is very well-defined and surrounded by a ring of intense convection. Within the past hour or so, there is evidence in radar imagery of a secondary eyewall, and this has likely caused Ida’s intensity to level off for now. Although Ida’s extreme winds are confined to the inner eyewall, the aircraft data indicate that hurricane-force winds extend outward about 45 n mi to the northeast of the center, and based on buoy data the tropical-storm-force wind field extends outward about 130 n mi northeast of the center.
The official forecast for Ida is for winds to increase to 155 mph before landfall. The strongest wind on record to hit Louisiana are 150 mph from the Last Island Hurricane of 1856 and Hurricane Laura in 2020. This is expected to be the strongest (by wind speed) hurricane to reach the state since records were started in 1851. Sunday is also the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 50 miles from the center of Ida and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles.
Dangerous storm surge up to 10-15′ in certain areas will be possible as Ida nears the Gulf Coast. Overtopping of local levees outside of the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction system has been noted as possible in Louisiana. The deepest water is expected to occur along the immediate coast near and to the east of the landfall location. The storm surge is likely to be accompanied by large and dangerous waves.
Rainfall amounts of 8″ to 16″, with localized 20″+ are expected to fall over portions of Southern Louisiana, including the New Orleans metro area.
A few tornadoes will also be a possibility Sunday and Monday across eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.
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