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Ida Near Hurricane Strength and Still Moving Northward

20.4N 85W

November 8th, 2009 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Ida - November 6th, 2009

Tropical Storm Ida - November 6th, 2009

Track of Ida - November 7th, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of Ida

Enhanced image

Enhanced image

At 4:00 PM EST (2100 UTC) the center of Tropical Storm Ida was located near latitude 18.9 north, longitude 84.3 west, or about 200 miles (325 km) east-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico and about 195 miles (320 km) south of the western tip of Cuba. Here, Ida is visible near the Yucatan Peninsula, with Cuba and Florida, USA to the north.

Ida is moving toward the north near 10 mph (17 km/hr). A turn toward the north-northwest with a gradual increase in forward speed is expected during the next day or so. On the forecast track, Ida is expected to move through the Yucatan Channel on Sunday and into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico Sunday night.

Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 km/hr) with higher gusts. Ida is expected to become a hurricane Saturday or Sunday, but weakening is forecast after it enters the Gulf of Mexico. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km) from the center. Estimated minimum central pressure is 990 mb (29.23 inches).

Ida is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 3 to 5 inches over portions of the Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 10 inches. Rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches are also possible across the Cayman Islands.

A hurricane watch remains in effect for the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche, meaning that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area generally within 36 hours. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the Isle of Youth.

A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Grand Cayman Island and for the Yucatan Peninsula from Punta Allen northward to San Felipe, meaning that tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area generally within 24 hours.

A tropical storm warning is also in effect for the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio. Hurricane force winds could spread across portions of western Cuba on Sunday and a hurricane warning may be required for this area later.

Comparative Look at Yucatan Peninsula over Past Year – February 17th, 2009

February 17th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Yucatan Peninsula - April 24th, 2008

Yucatan Peninsula - April 24th, 2008

Yucatan Peninsula - May 7th, 2008

Yucatan Peninsula - May 7th, 2008

Yucatan Peninsula - June 17th, 2008

Yucatan Peninsula - June 17th, 2008

These images portray the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, at various times over the past year.

The peninsula  separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico, with the northern coastline on the Yucatán Channel.

As a whole, its land is extremely flat with little or no topographic variation. The exception is the Puuc hills, located in the southern portion.

In all of the images, an algal bloom is present along the coastline, particularly the southwestern portion. This bloom appears more intense in the later months.

There is a “jump” from June to November as the area was mostly obscured by clouds or hurricanes in all images taken during that period.

The average percentage of days with rain per month ranges from a monthly low of 7% in April to a high of 25% in October. Reflecting this low, the main image, taken in April, has the least cloud cover.

Like much of the Caribbean, the peninsula lies within the Atlantic Hurricane Belt, and with its almost uniformly flat terrain it is vulnerable to these large storms coming from the East.

In addition, strong storms called nortes can quickly descend on the Yucatan Peninsula any time of year. Although these storms pummel the area with heavy rains and high winds, they tend to be short-lived, clearing after about an hour.

Yucatan Peninsula - November 23rd, 2008

Yucatan Peninsula - November 23rd, 2008

Yucatan Peninsula - December 31st, 2008

Yucatan Peninsula - December 31st, 2008

source Wikipedia

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