FIRST ALERT: Ida rapidly intensifying, life-threatening storm surge expected
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Ida is rapidly strengthening in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of landfall on Sunday.
At 5:00 PM, the eye of Hurricane Ida was located near latitude 26.2 North, longitude 87.0 West. Ida is moving toward the northwest near 16 mph, and this general motion should continue through late Sunday or early Monday, followed by a slower northward motion on Monday.
On the forecast track, the center of Ida will move over the central Gulf of Mexico through tonight. Ida is then expected to make landfall along the coast of Louisiana within the hurricane warning area on Sunday, and then move inland over portions of Louisiana and western Mississippi later on Monday and Monday night.
Satellite imagery indicates that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 105 mph with higher gusts. Additional 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.
Weakening is expected after landfall. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles.
Hurricane conditions are expected in the hurricane warning area along the Louisiana coast beginning Sunday with tropical storm conditions expected to begin by late tonight or early Sunday morning. These conditions will spread inland over portions of Louisiana and Mississippi Sunday night and Monday. Catastrophic wind damage is likely near where Ida makes landfall. Areas around metropolitan New Orleans will likely see wind gusts of 70 to 90 mph.
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 flooding and river flooding.
Tornadoes will be possible Sunday into Monday across the northern Gulf coast states including parts of eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, central and southern Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.
TROPICAL DEPRESSION 10
At 5:00 PM, the center of Tropical Depression Ten was located near latitude 15.6 North, longitude 50.0 West. The depression is moving toward the north near 8 mph and this general motion is forecast to continue during the next several days. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts. Some slight strengthening is forecast, and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm by Sunday. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1007 mb (29.74 inches).
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