All eyes will be on Hurricane Ida
DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - All eyes will be on Ida over the coming days. The system is a strengthening Category 1 hurricane Friday afternoon, crossing Western Cuba. The northwest track will continue this weekend, with landfall likely sometime Sunday evening/early Monday in South-Central Louisiana. The latest NHC forecast has upped the strength to Category 4 status, which is what the computer model guidance and environmental conditions have been advertising. Good call there.
All signs point to a period of rapid intensification from Saturday night into Sunday as Ida crosses deep/warm water in the Central Gulf. The projected track aligns perfectly with the most energy potential in the Gulf. Combined with relaxing of the upper-level wind shear, Ida should become a monster. The track guidance is clustered across South-Central Louisiana, generally centered around the Morgan City/Houma area. This isn’t set in stone and further track fluctuations are possible, or even likely. I still see a track shift farther west more likely than a track shift farther east, if we see changes.
To my Acadiana friends, hopefully you’re preparing by securing loose items, filling up your vehicles and making sure you have enough to sustain yourselves for perhaps several days afterwards with no power. A shift towards Vermilion Parish would make your impacts much worse compared to a track towards Terrebonne Parish. The eyewall track of Ida will be key, featuring the strongest winds. As we know in Southeast Alabama and Southwest Georgia, even the northwestern eyewall of a major hurricane can pack a devastating punch, like Michael in 2018.
In the Wiregrass, we’re likely to see outer rain bands in the form of scattered showers and thundershowers Saturday and Sunday afternoon/evening. Isolated to scattered rain should continue each afternoon and evening into mid-week as the remnants of Ida turn eastward and move across the South and Mid-South. The isolated tornado threat looks to remain west of us. Coastal water conditions will be poor with double-red flags likely for days due to the high rip current risk.
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