Hurricane Ida now forecast to be a Category 4 storm when it makes landfall

FIRST ALERT Weather Day on Monday and Tuesday
Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 5:08 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 27, 2021 at 10:35 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Hurricane Ida will move back over the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico tonight and start to rapidly intensify as it tracks towards Louisiana this weekend. Ida is forecast to be a major hurricane and make landfall Sunday late afternoon/early evening in Louisiana. Prior to landfall, it looks very wet across southeast Louisiana and Mississippi where flooding may occur over the next 48 hours. That’s not good when you’ll have Ida produce a lot more rainfall once it arrives. The Alabama Gulf Coast could see tropical storm conditions, dangerous rip currents, dangerous surf, coastal flooding, flash flooding, and tornadoes on Sunday into Tuesday. Central Alabama could see strong wind gusts, heavy rainfall which could lead to flash flooding, and isolated tornadoes on Monday into Tuesday. The greatest impact locally would occur between Monday evening and Tuesday morning, but that window could change so keep checking back for updates. Track Ida on the WBRC First Alert Weather App. too for the latest track and strength info. If you are curious about weather for another city, you can always type it in the search portion of the app and get that info quickly.

As Ida nears the coast this weekend, we will see a low-end rain and storm chance tomorrow, especially south of I-20. Expected scattered activity in South Alabama and the Panhandle. Sunday evening, we will see more storms in central Alabama, especially the southwestern portion of the WBRC First Alert viewing area. The brunt of the weather moves in with wind gusts over 40 mph on Monday afternoon through Tuesday midday. Spin up tornadoes will be a threat along with flash flooding. Start thinking of your safety plan now, have multiple ways of getting warning info and stay alert on Monday and Tuesday which we have declared First Alert Weather Days.

As of 7PM, Hurricane Ida has winds of 80 mph, and it is moving northwest at 15 mph. It is impacting western Cuba and then it will move into the southern Gulf of Mexico, where conditions are favorable for intensification. It is very likely it could rapidly develop as it encounters low wind shear and very warm waters. The official forecast from the National Hurricane Center has Ida strengthening to a Category 4 hurricane with winds up to 140 mph as it makes landfall in Central Louisiana. It will then curve to the north-northeast into Mississippi by Monday into Tuesday. Ida will then likely curve eastward into northwest Alabama Tuesday into Wednesday. I think most of the moisture from Ida will move out of our area Wednesday morning with just lingering showers and storms possible. Models hint that drier air could move in behind Ida by the end of the week. Plan for mostly dry weather September 3rd-5th. Highs in the mid to upper 80s with lows in the mid 60s with some sunshine. Not bad as we kickoff the first full weekend of college football.

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