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“Extremely dangerous” Category 4 Hurricane Ida makes landfall

Maximum sustained wind of 150mph reported at landfall
Published: Aug. 29, 2021 at 12:10 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2021 at 5:13 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Hurricane Ida strengthened to a Category 4 Hurricane early Sunday morning. Sustained wind speeds increased from 105 mph at 10pm Saturday to 150 mph by 7am Sunday. As of landfall at midday Sunday, those wind speeds remained steady, holding the storm to a high-end category 4 hurricane.

4am Update

We now, finally, have Tropical Storm Ida, centered in southwest Mississippi. Flash flood watches and tornado watches envelop the area to the east of the center of circulation. As the storm moves north and east, flooding remains the greatest threat in the next couple days.

7pm Update

Hurricane Ida has weakened to a Category 3 Hurricane, with wind speeds down to 120mph. The eye of the system is starting to close, showing signs that rapid weakening may be about to begin, as forecast. Wind could drop as low as 75mph by or just after midnight Monday.

Tornadoes, destructive wind, and flooding rainfall is expected to continue for several more hours across parts of East and Southeast Louisiana. That flooding rain and high wind threat will continue to move into Mississippi ahead of sunrise Monday.

4pm Update

As of the late afternoon update, Ida continues to slowly move inland as Category 4 hurricane. Since making landfall four hours ago, wind speed has dropped 20 mph from 150 to 130 mph. The second, inner eyewall is starting to impacts portions of Houma, Louisiana. Power outages have been reported from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, to the coast. Upwards of 6 feet of water has moved out of the Gulf of Mexico over portions of Coastal Louisiana.

Ida made a second landfall southwest of Galliano, Louisiana Sunday afternoon. Now that the hurricane is moving over more land than coastal areas, marsh, and swamps, it is starting to steadily weaken. According to the National Hurricane Center, “As Ida’s circulation moves farther inland this evening and overnight a faster rate of weakening is expected, and Ida is forecast to become a tropical depression over Mississippi by late Monday.”

As the remnant of Ida move through the US this week, it is expected to merge with a front over the eastern part of the country. This system could become a tropical or sub-tropical storm once again as it moves over open water near Atlantic Canada by the end of the week.

11:55am Update

According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Ida has officially made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana. At landfall, the center was approximately 15 miles from Grand Isle, Louisiana and 45 miles southeast of Houma, Louisiana.

NOAA Doppler radar imagery indicates that the eye of Ida made landfall along the southeastern coast of Louisiana near Port Fourchon around 1155 AM CDT (1655 UTC). Data from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft and Doppler radar data indicate that Ida’s maximum sustained winds at landfall were estimated to be 150 mph (240 km/h). The latest minimum central pressure estimated from reconnaissance aircraft data is 930 mb (27.46 in).

National Hurricane Center | 12pm Special Update

In the 11 am hour, Lakefront Airport in New Orleans reported a wind gust of 67mph. The NOAA tide gauge in Shell Beach, Louisiana reported a water level of 6.4 feet above ground level. Preliminary reports would tie Ida as the strongest hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana, per the maximum sustained wind

As of the Sunday 10am update from the National Hurricane Center:

LocationMaximum Sustained WindMovementMinimum Pressure
60 miles SW of the Mouth of the Mississippi River | 85 miles S of New Orleans, Louisiana150 mphNW at 13 mph933 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.

National Hurricane Center | 10am Forecast Discussion

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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