Tropical Storm Ida track LIVE – Massive storm on path to hit New Orleans as a 'major hurricane' as Nora heads for Mexico

TROPICAL Storm Ida intensified as it swirled toward a strike on Cuba on Friday, showing hallmarks of a rare, rapidly intensifying storm that could hammer Louisiana as a major hurricane.

“The forecast track has it headed straight towards New Orleans. Not good,” said NOAA’s Jim Kossin, a climate and hurricane scientist.

Tropical Storm Ida poses a relatively low threat to tobacco-rich western Cuba, where forecasters predicted a glancing blow on Friday.

The real danger begins over the Gulf, where forecasts were aligned in predicting Ida will strengthen very quickly into a major hurricane before landfall in the area of the Mississippi River delta late Sunday or early Monday, experts said.

“Ida certainly has the potential to be very bad,” said Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami.

“It will be moving quickly, so the trek across the Gulf from Cuba to Louisiana will only take 1.5 days.”

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Nora is also gaining strength and could hit the southwest coast of Mexico early next week.

Read our Tropical Storm Ida live blog for the latest news and updates…

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    WORST EXPECTED ON SUNDAY

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    HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS

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    SIGNIFIGANT INTENSIFICATION

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    POTENTIALLY VERY BAD

    “Ida certainly has the potential to be very bad,” said Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami.

    “It will be moving quickly, so the trek across the Gulf from Cuba to Louisiana will only take 1.5 days.”

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    STRAIGHT TOWARDS NEW ORLEANS

    “The forecast track has it headed straight towards New Orleans. Not good,” said NOAA’s Jim Kossin, a climate and hurricane scientist.

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    PAST LOUISIANA HURRICANES

    Almost a year ago on August 27 Louisiana was blasted by the Category 4 Hurricane Laura which whipped up 150mph winds.

    Hurricane Katrina hit the state 16 years ago Sunday.

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    STATES THAT MAY BE AFFECTED

    The Gulf Coast has been hit by six hurricanes in five years.

    According to the system’s projected path – its “cone of uncertainty” – the area affected stretches from eastern Texas to the Alabama coastline, with Louisiana taking a direct hit.

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    RAINFALL ESTIMATES

    Ida is forecast to bring storm surges of 2 to 4 feet and between 10 to 15 inches of rainfall to parts of western Cuba, the Cayman Islands and the Yucatan Peninsula, before hitting the Gulf Coast.

    Once it has passed the Yucatan Peninsula, tropical storm conditions could begin as early as late Saturday or early Sunday with the Gulf Coast states being affected.

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    40MPH WINDS

    Ida was about 115 miles southeast of Grand Cayman on Thursday night, federal forecasters said.

    It was moving in a northwest direction at 13mph, with maximum sustained winds of 40mph.

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    MAJOR HURRICANE STRENGTH

    It is expected to be “near major hurricane strength” by the time it hits the northern Gulf Coast, the center said.

    There is a strong likelihood it will rapidly intensify as it approaches land, and is likely to be a major hurricane in strength – Category 3 or higher – by the time it reaches land, meteorologists have predicted.

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    INTENSIFY IN GULF OF MEXICO

    The cyclone is expected to become a hurricane by Saturday afternoon and continue to intensify in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center has warned.

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    2021 HURRICANE SEASON

    The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.

    As Tropical Depression Nine continues to form over the Caribbean Sea, many are wondering if it will become the fourth hurricane this season.

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    HOW TO PREPARE FOR TROPICAL DEPRESSION OR HURRICANE

    The NHC cautions residents in the potential areas so that they can best prepare in the event the weather system worsens and causes life-threatening conditions.

    The National Weather Service recommends that things people should do before a Tropical Storm or Hurricane include:

    • Know your cities hurricane evacuation area
    • Put together an emergency kit
    • Review insurance policies
    • Strengthen your home and remove loose outdoor items that could potentially become debris along with putting cars inside garages

    WHAT IS A TROPICAL DEPRESSION?

    According to the National Weather Service, a tropical depression is defined as, "a tropical cyclone that has maximum sustained surface winds (one-minute average) of 38 mph (33 knots) or less."

    A tropical depression then becomes a tropical storm once the maximum sustained surface winds ranges from 39-73 mph.

    COULD BECOME CATEGORY 3 HURRICANE

    It has been reported that Tropical Depression Nine could become a Category 3 hurricane once it makes landfall.

    NHC cautions Texas, Louisiana to Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle to monitor the situation.

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      POTENTIAL FOR HURRICANE FORCE CONDITIONS

      While it is still too early to know specifics, The National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that there is the potential for hurricane-force winds, flooding rainfall and life-threatening storm surges in parts of the United States by Sunday and Monday.

      "The sooner the system strengthens, the more likely it is to take a northwesterly track into the central Gulf of Mexico, rather than a westward track across Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and into the southwestern Gulf," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller said.

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      TROPICAL DEPRESSION 9

      As of August 27, 2021, Tropical Depression Nine is located in the western Caribbean Sea, about 75 miles northwest of Grand Cayman.

      Weather.com reports that while it is still forming, it is likely to strengthen and become a tropical storm before moving towards the northern U.S. Gulf Coast "at near major hurricane strength by late this weekend."

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