Hurricane Ida moving into Gulf of Mexico, will rapidly intensify to a major hurricane this weekend

Tropical Track for "Ida" from the National Hurricane Center
Tropical Track for "Ida" from the National Hurricane Center(WMC)
Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 3:26 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 28, 2021 at 9:06 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Ida, which became a Category 1 hurricane Friday afternoon, is forecast to strengthen into a major hurricane before landfall in Louisiana late Sunday.

On Saturday morning Ida crossed over western Cuba and entered the southern Gulf of Mexico, where sea surface temperatures range from the mid 80s to near 90 degrees along the coast. This is an environment that is ideal for rapid hurricane intensification. The latest NHC track shows Ida coming onshore as a Category 4 storm with sustained winds near 140 MPH.

Hurricane Ida sea surface temperatures
Hurricane Ida sea surface temperatures(WMC)

Ida is then expected to make landfall along Louisiana coast Sunday with 140 mph sustained winds.

After landfall, rapid weakening is expected due to land interaction, drier air, and an increase in shear, and Ida is expected to become a post-tropical cyclone as it moves through the Tennessee Valley.

MID-SOUTH IMPACTS: The main impacts from Ida will begin to be felt across the Mid-South on Monday as future remnants begin to move closer to the area. At this time, it looks like the most predominant impact from Ida will be heavy rainfall affecting the Mid-South, especially along and south of I-40.

Rainfall amounts will average between 3 to 5 inches, for most areas east of the Mississippi River, including Memphis and Shelby County with locally higher amounts over North Central and Northeast Mississippi. Flash flooding and river flooding are a big concern.

Hurricane Ida estimated rainfall as of Friday, Aug. 27, 2021
Hurricane Ida estimated rainfall as of Friday, Aug. 27, 2021(WMC)

In addition, higher sustained winds will be possible over Northeast Mississippi as the center of Ida moves across the area. Prepare for wind damage with power outages and the possibility of tornadoes. Have multiple ways to receive warnings.

Hurricane Ida tropical wind tracker
Hurricane Ida tropical wind tracker(WMC)

Being on the west side of the core of the storm would greatly lower our threat for wind damage, major flooding and tornadoes. However, if the storm tracks farther west that could put the Action News 5 coverage area in the path of the more severe aspects of the system.

You can also track the storm and get the latest updates from the National Hurricane Center on the First Alert Weather app. If you don’t have the app then take a moment to download for Apple or Android it to your smartphone or tablet. It’s FREE and will give you instant access to current weather conditions and forecasts for your specific location.

You’ll also have a live, interactive radar and should any advisories or warnings be issued for your location you will get them instantly on your phone or tablet.

How to download the WMC First Alert Weather app
How to download the WMC First Alert Weather app

Watch Action News 5 for the latest updates and information and any changes in the path of this storm and look for updates from the First Alert Weather Team on the air, on the web, and on the First Alert Weather app.

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