Ida takes aim at the U.S. Gulf Coast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:17 PM GMT on November 08, 2009

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Hurricane Ida burst into the Gulf of Mexico as a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds this afternoon, and is poised to deliver a solid blow to the U.S. Gulf Coast between Southeast Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle on Tuesday morning. Radar imagery out of Cancun reveals that Ida has retained its tight inner core this afternoon, with only limited rain bands affecting Mexico and western Cuba. Top winds at Cancun, Mexico today were only 15 mph, despite the fact that Ida passed just 60 miles east of the city. Infrared and visible satellite loops show little change in the intensity of Ida's heavy thunderstorms this afternoon, but the cloud pattern is beginning to become distorted due to strong upper-level winds from the southwest that are creating 20 - 25 knots of wind shear over the hurricane. Water vapor satellite imagery reveals a large area of dry air to the southwest of Ida, but this dry air has not yet intruded into Ida's core. The latest 5:30 pm EST vortex report from the Hurricane Hunters showed that the central pressure had risen 1 mb, to 977 mb, but that the surface winds were still near 100 mph. They noted that the eyewall was open to the east, a sign that Ida's inner core may be in trouble.


Figure 1. MODIS satellite image from NASA's Terra spacecraft, taken at 1:35 pm EST 11/08/09. Image credit: NASA.

The intensity forecast for Ida
The high wind shear of 20 - 25 knots currently affecting Ida is forecast to persist at that level until Monday night. With the storm now beginning to show a distortion of the cloud pattern due to this shear, it would not be a surprise of the shear managed to inject some dry air into Ida's core Monday morning, significantly weakening the storm. Aiding this process will be cooler waters. Early Monday morning, Ida will be crossing over waters of 26°C, which is barely enough to support a hurricane. By Monday night, wind shear is expected to increase to 40 knots, which ordinarily would begin to tear the storm apart. This wind shear is due to an extratropical low pressure system over the western Gulf of Mexico, and this low will begin dumping cold, stable air into Ida Monday night through Tuesday. This will cause Ida to begin transitioning to an extratropical storm, and it is possible that during the transition Ida's winds will die down relatively slowly, despite the wind shear. The intensity forecast has a high amount of uncertainty, and I wouldn't be surprised at a landfall strength anywhere in the range of 45 mph - 80 mph. My personal best guess is a 50 - 60 mph tropical storm at landfall. Regardless of Ida's strength at landfall, the storm will be able to dump 4 - 8 inches of rain along the Gulf Coast, from New Orleans to Panama City. Isolated tornadoes will also be possible, primarily to the right side of Ida's track.


Figure 2. Maximum storm surge (depth of water above ground) for a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds moving north-northeast at 15 mph. Ida is expected to be moving at this speed and direction at landfall, but will probably be weaker, so surges will not be this high. Image credit: NOAA SLOSH model run for Mobile Bay, 2008 version. Heights are given relative to the NAVD88 datum.

The storm surge forecast for Ida
Storm surge is the other major concern for Ida. With a strong high pressure system anchored over the U.S. today, the pressure difference between this high and Ida is creating a strong pressure gradient that will drive tides 3 - 5 feet above normal from New Orleans to the Florida Panhandle tonight. As Ida approaches on Monday, an additional rise in water will occur, and a large stretch of coast will be subject to very high water levels for an extended period of time. With battering waves building Monday afternoon into Tuesday morning, a significant coastal erosion event is shaping up. A particular concern is the western end of Alabama's Dauphin Island, where storm surges from four hurricanes over the past fifteen years have caused heavy damage to the low-lying heavily developed island. If Ida makes a direct hit on Mobile Bay as a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds, a storm surge of up to six feet is possible there, assuming the storm hits at mean tide. The tidal range along the Gulf Coast varies by about 1.5 feet between low and high tide (Figure 3). High tide is near 2 am EST on Tuesday, but the official NHC forecast currently has the storm hitting between 6 am - 9 am, when the tide will be going out, so the storm may indeed be hitting at about mean tide.


Figure 3. The tide forecast for the Gulf Coast calls for high tide to occur around 2 am EST Tuesday morning. Ida is expected to hit later that morning, while the tide is going out.

I'll have an update Monday morning.

Links to follow:

U.S. Severe Weather Page
Cancun radar

Jeff Masters

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Quoting SouthALWX:

driving in 70+mph winds is crazy and so are you for thinking it's not =P
70mph winds are not going to be here during school Monday! Whats up with the crazy insult? I love my kids and would not send them in harms way!! Do you really think 70mph winds will be here from 7am until 3pm on Monday?LMAO
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Trust me, a Category 1 landfall is nothing to sneeze at. Look at Katrina when it hit SFLA..


agreed...been through two and while it isnt that bad it is bad enough, flooding, trees down, some roof damage. You dont need people driving ont he roads during a cat 1 hence the school closures.
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Quoting mossyhead:
Heavy rains and winds even if it is not a hurricane. I live 14 miles west of Ike.
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Quoting IKE:


On the course it's on it looks headed right for the mouth of the Mississippi.


Yep.
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Link

National Hurricane Survival Initiative
********************************************************
Before the Hurricane Begins
Develop a plan. Know your homes vulnerability to the threats above - surge, wind, and flooding. Check your supplies - water, batteries, food. For information on developing a Hurricane Supply kit, see our page on that topic. Know where you can evacuate to - friends, relatives, a hotel?

Know when to take action - Watch vs Warning
WATCH: Hurricane conditions are possible in the specified area of the WATCH, usually within 36 hours.
WARNING: Hurricane conditions are expected in the specified area of the WARNING, usually within 24 hours. Remember that there is no such thing as a "minor hurricane." Category 1 and 2 hurricanes still can do significant damage.

Prepare before a Watch or Warning is issued and be ready to evacuate when the Watch comes or earlier if so instructed.

An Approaching Storm
As a storm approaches, you should prepare your house and your yard. Some things to consider:

Turn down the temperature on your freezer and refrigerator as low as possible. This will buy you more time in the event of a power loss. 24 to 48 hours before will cool the food. Avoid opening them whenever possible. If you are evacuating.
Before you evacuate, call at least one person out of state to let them know your plans.
Ensure that your Hurricane Emergency Kit is fully stocked.
Charge electronic devices, for example, computers, cell phones, rechargeable batteries, razors, and the like.
Make extra ice, bag it - this will be useful to use and to keep the freezer cold.
If you have a generator, do NOT run it inside or near the house. But make sure you have fuel to run it.
Make sure your car has fuel.
Pick up yard debris - furniture, tools, decorative items, branches - anything loose that could become a missile. We have placed furniture in the pool upon occasion.
Secure boats, trailers, campers, RVs, and the like in the safest place you can find. Tie them down, anchor them, or however you can best secure them. But, take into account that there may be a storm surge.
Secure all doors and windows with locks, and shutters if available. Plywood, properly secured, can be effective. Don't forget your garage doors.
Move items that may be damaged by water to higher areas of your home if you can not take them with you if evacuating. Move them away from windows in case they are broken.
Huge items must even be secured in big storms. An engine block was found 40 or 50 feet up in a pine tree in the Homestead (actually Redlands) area after Andrew. Don't think that something is too big to be moved by the wind.
Re-check tie-downs.
Bring cars, bikes, scooters and anything like that into your garage if possible.
Bring in grills or other cooking items.
Bring in hoses, trash cans, hot tub covers, wind-chimes, plants.
Caulk and fill bathtubs - extra water comes in handy for toilets and more..
It may sound strange, but do your laundry, dishes, and take a shower. Why? Because if you lose power, having as much clean as possible will make a big difference.
Check if your pool pump should be on or off.
Close and fasten gates so they don't swing.
Close chimney flues.
Close/latch inside doors and cabinets.


If you have time, help your neighbors. Debris in their yards can easily impact your home and yard.

During a storm.


Stay inside, away from windows
Be alert for tornadoes
Stay away from flood waters and storm surge. It can be deceptively strong.
Be aware of the eye. It may be calm, but winds can and will pick up quickly and could catch you outside.
Un-plug electronic devices that are not in use to avoid surge damage.

After a Storm

Know power safety - avoid downed lines
Know food safety - what is good and for how long.
Chain saw safety is critical
Generator safety is important too
Water treatment - whether water needs to be boiled or not.
Listen to local officials
Use flashlights instead of candles
Inspect your home for damage.
Stay off roads as much as possible
You may need to super-chlorinate your pool

********************************************************
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Ida is always weakening then gaining strength its rather annoying.
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675. rinkrat61 2:34 AM GMT on November 09, 2009
Quoting stormsurge39:
Mobile county is hardcore! Ive got kids in school here and i dont see any reason to close Monday anywhere on the Gulf Coast.

WOW!!!!!!yer kidding,,right



yeah hardcore that's why 1/2 of Mobile floods during a regular rain storm.....you go with your hardcore self....at least i know my kids will be safe...
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Quoting ALCoastGambler:
I'm at the Isle
I would defintiely move up a couple of floors before you take that seat at the poker table...
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Quoting stormhank:
IKE u on? just wandering latest wind / rain affects here in panhandle ( north of panama city near alabama border are)??
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Quoting reedzone:
Looking at the IR, a small eye appears with Ida, weakening? I think not..

Definitely do not see an eye ... could be wrong ..
Also keep in mind this is a sheared system and seeing its eye may or may not be indicative of strengthening. I'm sure under lighter shear conditions we'd have seen an eye but given the circumstances highclouds have blown over it frequently and if it's sheared to the point that the eye is visible it may be bad for Ida .. just a thought .. To me, Ida looks weaker. I could be wrong and only time will tell. I'm curious to see if the jet streak ventilates Ida as some have suggested tomorrow ...would be an interesting setup
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680. IKE
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


LATEST ENHANCED WV ANMIN. IMAGE UP TO 926 PM EST FROM WEATHER TAP


On the course it's on it looks headed right for the mouth of the Mississippi.
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PcolaDoug and CycloneOz would love to hear from ya!
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


LATEST ENHANCED WV ANMIN. IMAGE UP TO 926 PM EST FROM WEATHER TAP


It looks like ida got a pulse.
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Quoting KATRINABILOXIGIRL:
which one?
I'm at the Isle
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Quoting stormsurge39:
Mobile county is hardcore! Ive got kids in school here and i dont see any reason to close Monday anywhere on the Gulf Coast.

WOW!!!!!!yer kidding,,right
Member Since: November 6, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 41
ESL by LSU IDA GOES-12 WV loop



Note: The -24 degree C line (blue) of the GOES-12 water vapor channel (Ch3) is discussed in the Ph.D. Dissertation by Melvin F. Martin, Jr. available from the LSU Library.

Ongoing research performed by LSU Professor S.A. Hsu has further substantiated that this line also follows closely the K-index number of 28, indicating that thunderstorms are not likely within the drier (shaded) areas.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting stormsurge39:
Mobile county is hardcore! Ive got kids in school here and i dont see any reason to close Monday anywhere on the Gulf Coast.


Trust me, a Category 1 landfall is nothing to sneeze at. Look at Katrina when it hit SFLA..
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Any word on UWF closng?
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Here is a slightly Zoomed in Version maybe we can makeout some more details.
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Quoting ALCoastGambler:
Well now that I see Mobile Bay is on the West side I am off to the poker table.ya'll play nice and pray that the waves do not wash my car away. I am parked under the casino
which one?
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668. IKE
Buoy 262 miles south of Panama City....

Wind Direction (WDIR): E ( 80 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 29.1 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 36.9 kts
5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 13.8 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 10 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 6.7 sec
5-day plot - Mean Wave Direction Mean Wave Direction (MWD): ESE ( 110 deg true )
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.87 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): +0.00 in ( Steady )
5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 80.6 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 80.2 °F
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LATEST ENHANCED WV ANMIN. IMAGE UP TO 926 PM EST FROM WEATHER TAP
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Quoting catastropheadjuster:


Hey Alan, My son works at the yellowhammer Shell there @ DI. I imagine there gonna closed the bridge down. That's a high one. I go fishing over there off the pier during the summer sometimes. Nice to meet you. So what is your thoughts about Ida you think she's aiming for Mobile?

Sheri
I'm not an expert but they are saying we will get the West side wich is the good side. I live about 1 1/2 miles from the Shell plant. My fire chief is the operator at the Williams Plant
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Quoting stormsurge39:
Mobile county is hardcore! Ive got kids in school here and i dont see any reason to close Monday anywhere on the Gulf Coast.

driving in 70+mph winds is crazy and so are you for thinking it's not =P
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
someone explain to me why hancock county is going to a half day tomorrow for school but the four counties east of them are open all day. I beat it is more than 4 counties east of them as well. Intersting decision.


I've have plenty of Hurricane days in my life, never had a half a day off from school. W/e interesting though.
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Looking at the IR, a small eye appears with Ida, weakening? I think not..
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Quoting MisipiGrl:
"oh man if schools close in Mississippi that is not going to be good."

Keep in mind, Hancock County has many low-lying areas that are prone to flooding from rain as well as even slight water rise from surge. Hubby and I were just down at the Long Beach harbor and the water rise is already evident. Very close to topping the piers at the marina.
My hubby works at the Hard Rock in Biloxi and they are watching this closely since they got a flooded first floor the last few times the tide rose like this.....a wait and see situation as to what will happen...all I know is that the Biloxi River is gonna rise and I may not be able to deliver alot of mail because of it.....good luck and prayers to all to be safe....
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Quoting MobileTaz:
Mobile County Public schools will be open on Monday
Mobile county is hardcore! Ive got kids in school here and i dont see any reason to close Monday anywhere on the Gulf Coast.
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659. IKE
Quoting stormhank:
IKE u on? just wandering latest wind / rain affects here in panhandle ( north of panama city near alabama border are)??


Tropical storm conditions likely.


Quoting PcolaDan:


You near water or surrounded by pines?


Trees....house up on blocks...shakes with 50+ mph winds...
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IDA Steering Layer 300-850mb - West Atlantic - Latest Available
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
someone explain to me why hancock county is going to a half day tomorrow for school but the four counties east of them are open all day. I beat it is more than 4 counties east of them as well. Intersting decision.
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Quoting P451:


She has pulsed up and down all day long. Not sure if she's starting to pulse back down quite yet. She looks good to me. I see her CDO expanding and being eroded on the edges as it does. I think it's misleading.

She has resembled someone breathing in and out all day though. Quite interesting.


Could be when the eye pokes out it may strengthen one more time.
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People saying "it's moving more north", "it's already east of the NHC points". More yesterday than today but i love that everyone pays such close attn to this. So storm what's your guess?
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Well now that I see Mobile Bay is on the West side I am off to the poker table.ya'll play nice and pray that the waves do not wash my car away. I am parked under the casino
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Quoting ALCoastGambler:
Hello Sheri..Alan Down in Fowl River by Dauphin Island


Hey Alan, My son works at the yellowhammer Shell there @ DI. I imagine there gonna closed the bridge down. That's a high one. I go fishing over there off the pier during the summer sometimes. Nice to meet you. So what is your thoughts about Ida you think she's aiming for Mobile?

Sheri
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lil early to say but what would be approximate time of lanfall and strength of IDA anyone??
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Floater - Funktop Color Infrared Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536


011L/H/I/C1
MARK
24.1N/86.4W
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Quoting bjdsrq:


1) It's a weekend. Media didn't staff for it.
2) People shooting each other all over the country since Thursday. Bigger story (sad one.)
3) Obama-nation health care bill passed house. Bigger story (sad one.)
4) TWC tunnel visioned on pumping "Wake up with Al".


nice coy political plug

way off topic
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cloud tops seem to be warming for now.
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644. skook
TBO.com

Published: November 8, 2009

Updated: 06:20 pm

CLEARWATER -
Hurricane Ida is shaking up the conditions for boaters in the Gulf of Mexico and the Coast Guard is urging the public to monitor the weather before setting out on the water.

A Hudson man and his dog were rescued by helicopter about 12:50 p.m. from his 43-foot fishing boat today as seas reached 7 to 10 feet about 50 miles west of Clearwater in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gregory Lansier, 46, contacted the Coast Guard in St. Petersburg at 9:19 a.m. to report he was unable to return to port due to the weather, when winds reached 35 knots.

A small-craft advisory is expected to remain in effect for much of West Central Florida throughout the week.

Boaters are urged to use caution and monitor forecasts closely. The Coast Guard reminds residents that the adverse effects generated by a depression, storm, or hurricane can cover an area hundreds of miles wide.

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2009/nov/08/081820/boater-dog-rescued-rough-waters/news-breaking/
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FunkTop Still Image

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting IKE:


That would put the center coming right over me.

I'm going to wait until tomorrow and if it looks like the western Florida panhandle is in a bulls-eye w/a cat one, I'll seek somewhere safer to ride it out.


You near water or surrounded by pines?
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
IKE u on? just wandering latest wind / rain affects here in panhandle ( north of panama city near alabama border are)??
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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