Tropical Storm Ida intensifies and is predicted to hit the Gulf Coast as a serious hurricane | The Climate Channel – Article by The Climate Channel

  • Tropical storm Ida intensifies in the Caribbean.
  • This system is predicted to grow into a major hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico this weekend.
  • Interests along the northern and western US Gulf Coast should closely monitor this system.

Tropical storm Ida is intensifying in the Caribbean Sea and is expected to threaten the northern US Gulf coast as a major hurricane this weekend.

A hurricane watch extends from Cameron, Louisiana to the Mississippi-Alabama state line, including the New Orleans metropolitan area. Hurricane watches are typically issued 48 hours in advance if winds of tropical gale force are expected, as these conditions make it difficult to prepare for a hurricane once it starts.

A storm surge clock has also been issued from the Texas-Louisiana state line to the Alabama-Florida state line, including Vermilion Bay, Lake Borgne, Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Mobile Bay. This means that dangerous flooding from storm surges is possible within the next 48 hours.

Finally, a tropical storm watch was issued along the Alabama coast, where tropical storms are possible within 48 hours.


The warnings of tropical storms for the Cayman Islands and western Cuba remain in place. Tropical storm winds (39+ mph) could occur in these areas by Friday.

Interests near the coast from Louisiana to Alabama should closely monitor Ida’s progress and begin hurricane preparations. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says there is an increasing risk of hurricane-force winds, flood rains and life-threatening storm surges on Sunday and Monday, especially in Louisiana.

Current status

Tropical Storm Ida is located in the western Caribbean near Grand Cayman and is moving northwest.

Ida became the ninth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season between Grand Cayman and Jamaica late Thursday afternoon, based on measurements from a US Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter mission.

(OTHER MAPS: Spaghetti models, rain prospects, etc.)


Forecast intensity, track

The NHC expects Ida to turn into a hurricane over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Saturday.

A high pressure area over the southeastern US will be the large-scale steering wheel for the system, with its clockwise circulation, sending it northwest on Sunday to landfall somewhere along the Louisiana or Mississippi coast.

Ida could rapidly intensify as a hurricane this weekend as it sweeps through the Gulf of Mexico. This is because the water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are very warm, the wind in the upper level should be favorable and there is a lot of humid air available.

As a result, Ida is currently expected to reach the strength of a major hurricane near the northern Gulf coast.

Ida could be on 16.


Current information and planned path

(The red shaded area indicates the potential path of the center of the tropical cyclone. It is important to note that impacts (especially heavy rain, high surf, coastal flooding, winds) with each tropical cyclone usually spread beyond its predicted path.)

Predict the impact

Keep in mind that the effects will arrive before any landfall and that the effects can extend outside of the prediction path shaded in red in the map above.

Storm surge

The NHC predicts water levels will rise 2 to 4 feet above normal tides when Ida flows through western Cuba in areas with land winds.

The following storm surge floods are possible along the Gulf Coast when the peak tide occurs at high tide.

-Morgan City, Louisiana, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, including Lake Borgne: 7 to 11 feet

– Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana to Morgan City, including Vermilion Bay: 4 to 7 feet

-Ocean Springs, Mississippi, to the Mississippi-Alabama border: 4 to 7 feet

– Alabama coast including Mobile Bay: 3 to 5 feet

– Lake Pontchartrain: 3 to 5 feet

-Lake Maurepas: 2 to 4 feet

– Sabine Pass to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana: 2 to 4 feet

This spike will occur within an hour or two of Ida’s landfall. However, coastal flooding in areas with onshore runoff could also occur on Saturday night, which could cut off coastal escape routes.



Tropical storm conditions could occur on parts of the northern Gulf coast as early as Saturday night, making preparations for hurricane more difficult.

Noxious hurricane-force winds that can tear down trees, widespread power outages, and some structural damage may be possible as early as Saturday night and Sunday through Sunday, including metropolitan New Orleans.

At least tropical storm winds are expected to penetrate inland Louisiana and Mississippi by Monday.

(PERSPECTIVE: Beware of the ‘I’ storm)



Heavy rains of up to 20 inches could also trigger dangerous floods and landslides in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and western Cuba by Friday.

Along the northern Gulf Coast, the NHC is forecasting 20 to 16 inches of rain with isolated 20-inch totals Sunday through Monday that could trigger flash floods and river floods that could last for several days after the storm.

This flood hazard is also likely to penetrate inland to the deep south and the Tennessee Valley on Monday and Tuesday. The NHC expects rainfall levels of 4 to 8 inches in southern and central Mississippi.

image(The heaviest rainfall is expected in the yellow, orange, and red outlines. The white outline shows the current forecast cone of central Ida from the National Hurricane Center.)

High surf, raging currents

From Saturday night or early Sunday, high surf and rip currents will affect the northern Gulf coast.

Forecast changes are likely in the next few days, so visit us at for important weather forecast updates.

Now is a good time to make sure you have a hurricane plan in place in case that system becomes a growing threat in your area.

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