Hurricane Ida Expected To Rapidly Strengthen And Will Reach Category 4 Before Landfall

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Hurricane Ida is set to begin gathering its strength quickly as it moves through the Gulf of Mexico this weekend, according to the National Hurricane Center.

As of the 11 a.m. EDT (10 a.m. CDT) update, the system was moving northwest at 16 miles per hour with max sustained winds of 85 miles per hour. However, it expected to strengthen into a category four hurricane before landfall — making it “an extremely dangerous major hurricane,” the NHC said.

The NHC is now warning that preparations to protect life and property must be completed Saturday in areas under the hurricane warning.

Ida’s structure was briefly disrupted by Cuba Friday night as expected, but it will now rapidly strengthen in the next 24 to 36 hours. Landfall is expected either late Sunday or early Monday.

After landfall, Ida is predicted to weaken. However, the hurricane is likely to bring heavy rainfall that could cause life-threatening flash and urban flooding.

As it moves inland, significant flooding is likely across the lower Mississippi and Tennessee valleys Monday and Tuesday.

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:

  • East of Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border
  • Vermilion Bay, Lake Borgne, Lake Pontchartrain, and Lake Maurepas

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

  • Intracoastal City Louisiana to the Mouth of the Pearl River
  • Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Metropolitan New Orleans

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for:

  • Sabine Pass to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge Louisiana
  • Mobile Bay

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:

  • Cameron Louisiana to west of Intracoastal City Louisiana
  • Mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi/Alabama border

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Cameron Louisiana to west of Intracoastal City Louisiana
  • Mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi/Alabama border

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • Mississippi/Alabama border to the Alabama/Florida border

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