(CMR) Hurricane Ida is treading towards the North Gulf Coast as a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds as to the 4:00 pm advisory. The expected landfall will be Sunday morning with a life-threatening storm surge along the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama at a catastrophic Category 4 storm. Predictions include 9 feet surges or greater somewhere within the area of Morgan City, Louisiana.
Ida is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it reaches the coast of Louisiana beginning Sunday morning. Hurricane warning areas include the Louisiana coasts and metropolitan New Orleans with potentially catastrophic wind damage when the eye moves onshore. Residents are being encouraged to take all necessary measures to protect life and property.
NHC Director Ken Graham with the 4 p.m. CDT Saturday advisory on Hurricane Ida
At 4 p.m. CDT, the center of Hurricane Ida was located over the Gulf of Mexico about 240 miles (385 km) south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and about 325 miles (525 km) southeast of Houma, Louisiana.
A northeastward turn is forecast by Monday night. 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 (165 km/h) with higher gusts – a category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km).
NOAA buoy 42003, located about 90 miles (145 km) east of the eye, reported peak one-minute sustained winds of 54 mph (83 km/h) with a gust to 58 mph (94 km/h) within the past hour or so. The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.