Ida Upgraded to Category 2 Hurricane, Moving Into Southern Gulf of Mexico – November 9th, 200921.7N 87.1W
As of 3:00 PM CST (2100 UTC), the center of Hurricane Ida was located near latitude 22.2 north, longitude 86.3 west, or about 95 miles (155 km) west-northwest of the western tip of Cuba and about 510 miles (815 km) south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Ida is a category two hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, although the system is forecast to gradually weaken on Monday. Here, the hurricane is visible near the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, with part of the shoreline of Florida visible to the north.
Ida is moving toward the north-northwest near 10 mph (17 km/hr). A gradual turn toward the north and an increase in forward speed are expected during the next 24 to 36 hours. On the forecast track, Ida is expected to cross the Gulf of Mexico Sunday evening and Monday and be near the northern Gulf coast on Tuesday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 100 mph (160 km/hr) with higher gusts. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km). The minimum central pressure is 976 mb (28.82 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. Rains will be increasing well in advance of Ida across the central and eastern Gulf coast, but will become steadier and heavier by Monday into Tuesday. Total storm accumulations of 3 to 5 inches with isolated maximum storm totals of 8 inches will be possible through Tuesday from the central and eastern Gulf coast northward into the eastern portions of the Tennessee Valley and the southern Appalachians.
A storm surge could raise water levels by as much as 3 to 4 feet above ground level along the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.
A hurricane watch remains in effect for the northern Gulf coast from Grand Isle, Louisiana to Mexico Beach, Florida, and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico from Tulum to Playa del Carmen. This watch does not include the city of New Orleans. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 36 hours.
A hurricane warning remains in effect for the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico from Playa del Carmen to Cabo Catoche, meaning that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 24 hours. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion in the warning area.
A tropical storm warning remains in effect for the Yucatan Peninsula Punta Allen northward to Playa del Carmen and from Cabo Catoche westward to San Felipe, as well as for the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio. A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area within 24 hours. Finally, a tropical storm watch remains in effect for the Isle of Youth.