Hurricane season is not over yet… and Ida’s here to prove it!
November 30th is the official end to the Atlantic Hurricane Season. It’s been pretty quiet… until now. Good ole Ida tapped into all of her resources while in the western Caribbean and rapidly intensified into a Category 2 hurricane. At this point, it doesn’t matter how you put it, the Gulf Coast WILL get heavy rain and tropical storm force winds (at least). Ida’s future in the Gulf of Mexico was a big question mark. The Gulf waters weren’t impressively warm nor was the upper level wind set up ideal for further development. For now, it looks like she’ll have just enough strength from her trip to the western Caribbean to last until her Gulf Coast landfall. She will gradually weaken on Monday. A cold front from the central U.S. will confine her to the Southeast and a blocking area of high pressure in the mid Atlantic will box her right in. Targets include Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. A hurricane watch is in effect in Southern Alabama (Mobile area) and the Florida panhandle which means that hurricane conditions could occur within the next 24 hours.
By Tuesday, Ida will begin to lose her tropical characteristics as she interacts with an upper level disturbance. This doesn’t mean much as far as the effects of this storm. Windy, wet weather is imminent. Coastal flooding is a given–models are pointing at rain totals between 3″ and 10″ from Lousiana to Florida. Note that as this system progresses, it will bring all that moisture into the deep south (like the Carolinas).