Ida takes aim at the U.S. Gulf Coast

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

Share this Blog
1
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 391 - 341

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38Blog Index

I believe the turn is coming early from everything i have looked at.....Just My Opinion!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CycloneOz:


Once I commit to punching the core, (I did this once with TS Erin that came ashore near Corpus Christi)...if I abort...the danger level spiked on me.


I hope yas got a CO-2 Fired BC for that event if it happens again then.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
I will be checking back in. If anyone locates Cantore please send me a message .
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm starting to wonder.. what in Gods name did Louisiana do to mother nature!?!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey OZ where u at and are you going to stay there ?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
ESL has IDA in a long IR loop available.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting Patrap:


Okay I copy Oz. Good Luck and never be too proud to Abort if needed.


Once I commit to punching the core, (I did this once with TS Erin that came ashore near Corpus Christi)...if I abort...the danger level spiked on me.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sarahjola:
WHERE IS THIS THING GOING?

new is reporting mobile bay...i dont totally disagree but i dont think it will go any where west of that.
Member Since: May 20, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1640
Quoting Lafreniere16:
TampaSpin what site do you get that loop from?


Its a Washington Univerisity site
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CycloneOz:


Yes sir. I'll be as careful as I can...but I'm going to attempt something I'd never try in a Cat III or above storm. There will be a strong danger element.

Doug and I discussed at great length as Miami got their butz beat in NE...risky...high risk...but great reward if I'm successful.

Good Luck and be safe!

Quoting StormW:
Good evening!


Evening Storm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
WHERE IS THIS THING GOING?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CycloneOz:


Yes sir. I'll be as careful as I can...but I'm going to attempt something I'd never try in a Cat III or above storm. There will be a strong danger element.

Doug and I discussed at great length as Miami got their butz beat in NE...risky...high risk...but great reward if I'm successful.


Okay I copy Oz. Good Luck and never be too proud to Abort if needed.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting StormW:
Good evening!

Good Evening Storm cant wait to hear what u gotta say
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
evening StormW....would love to hear your input....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ameister12:
Hey reedzone!
Do you have any thoughts about the possible "Perfect Storm II" or do you not think that's going to happen?


Depends, right now, the low in the GOM is moving NNE while Ida is moving NNW.. It's all about timing, it's still possible.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:



Get some rest Oz,..enjoy your stay too.
Be safe and contact me if ya need anything ,We got plenty of wuba's around your position ready to help.
If your ground zero in a BAd area,You can take point


Yes sir. I'll be as careful as I can...but I'm going to attempt something I'd never try in a Cat III or above storm. There will be a strong danger element.

Doug and I discussed at great length as Miami got their butz beat in NE...risky...high risk...but great reward if I'm successful.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ameister12:

I think it's going to be a weak category 3.


No such thing as a weak Category 3.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
TampaSpin what site do you get that loop from?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
can someone please post the link to the model for Ida?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
what could possible rain / wind affects be for fla / ala / ga border areas??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CycloneOz:


Dude...I can't wait. Doug is going to help me punch the core.

What does that mean. Tune in to find out when we go-live!


Bring your lights.... it's gonna be dark.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CycloneOz:


Very impressive. I'm off too. Been having dinner with Mom and Dad here in P'cola. Now it's back to P'colaDoug's for some work and rest.



Get some rest Oz,..enjoy your stay too.
Be safe and contact me if ya need anything ,We got plenty of wuba's around your position ready to help.
If your ground zero in a impacted area,You can take point.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting Ameister12:

I think it's going to be a weak category 3.
Tropical or extra tropical storm 50-60 mph winds max, just my opinion, shear and dry air will knock her down or out before reaching the coast, of course i am not official met or Met student info, just a redneck sniffing the dirt..........
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
We dont need no Cantore..we gotz our own "CycloneOz" babe.

DOug and Oz will bring us the show. They pumpred and primed I bet.


Dude...I can't wait. Doug is going to help me punch the core.

What does that mean. Tune in to find out when we go-live!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
Floater - Rainbow Color Infrared Loop



Very impressive. I'm off too. Been having dinner with Mom and Dad here in P'cola. Now it's back to P'colaDoug's for some work and rest.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting P451:
CDO improved remarkably.

*System moved quicker lessening impact of shear.
*Shear slackened some.
*96E Remnant injected into southern part of the storm staving off dry air intrusion.
*Storm leaving the influence of land behind.

very interesting, you post like the experts.:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
We dont need no Cantore..we gotz our own "CycloneOz" babe.

Doug and Oz will bring us the show. They pumped and primed I bet.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Look at WV loop and see the front coming into texas. Its moving fast.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting medicroc:

I've crossed his path once or twice. He's not that jolly in person


He's a jerk. I know.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CycloneOz:
POLL TIME:

How intense will Ida be at her peak?

1) She's strong enough...no mas!!!
2) 110 mph
3) 115 mph
4) Insanely Intense!!!!

I think it's going to be a weak category 3.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kmanislander:
This is my last post then off to bed, 1 am here now.

If you run the GOM WV LOOP you can see the trough entering the frame upper left with the SW flow around it advancing East all the way down and now entering the W GOM. It is marked by the darker shading that is sliding to the East. I believe that Ida is already starting to feel this somewhat and may be close to finished with NNW.

If you check the TFP it looks like Ida will miss the next point to the East as well. Can't wait up to watch for it but will be up before you all to see what is going on LOL.

Good night all.


You read my mind......i was just looking at the same think and posted a loop showing the same.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Floater - Rainbow Color Infrared Loop

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
if Cantore is here in P cola he is likely at Mcguires Irish pub downtown. All the celebs go there. If I find him and make him leave will the hurricane change course and go somewhere else? If so P cola Dan will you help with the operation? I need backup...lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hello Ida. Are you making a run for Cat 3 status?

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting bjdsrq:


That is because NBC bought TWC and controls it now. They are shoving Al Roker down your throat because they think he's 'America's favorite weatherman'. I can't stand the oily embicile. Please tie him to a sinking CMAN buoy prior to LF. NBC is running TWC into the toilet.

I've crossed his path once or twice. He's not that jolly in person
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
"Even with an increased recognition of favorable synoptic-scale TC-tornado environments, many of these tornadoes still occur without official National Weather Service (NWS) warnings or with little (or negative)lead time."

So... If you live in a tornado magnet, pay attention (NOAA weather radio, etc.) & have a planed place of safety nearby. These occurrences could be in a rain band far removed from the center of a TC going subtropical. Not doomcasting, just reminding.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting lizrod43:
Cantore will be in Destin,,I think he likes Amberjack....


Cantore is still jealous of my Hurricane Dolly footage...he did not want to see me in Bermuda.

I'm just another back bencher that got lucky once....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey reedzone!
Do you have any thoughts about the possible "Perfect Storm II" or do you not think that's going to happen?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good eve folks - still "blowin in the wind" here in the Fl Keys - not related -

Everyone probably has this link to the Cancun Radar animation - just giving it to those that might be interested ...

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ida on the NHC Track as per the advisory and seems to be moving on my tracking tab around,well..344 right now at 13mph.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting DestinJeff:
i think the biggest disservice happening now is the talk of a "transition to extra-tropical" ... majority of people equate that to some sort of lessening of impact that the winds may have

although the season does last until end of November, in reality the general public ramps down their interest beginning on Sep 10 (another annual disservice is marketing the "peak of hurricane season")

this just seems like a situation where people's disregard for facts in favor of what they think should be occuring will bite them in the arse


That would be a very serious mistake to thank that a HYBIRD type IDA would be less an impact than IDA....a HYBIRD storm will have higher winds over a greater distance from the center...it could be much worst.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Cantore will be in Destin,,I think he likes Amberjack....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cybergrump:

I saw that to but might be a wobble

A billy wobble? (Where is that Billy dude)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting seflagamma:
Oh My Goodness,

TWC is acutally having a update on the tropics right now.


they have totally disregarded the tropics lately.. they no longer have the Tropical Updates at 50 past the hour like they have for years.


If they have a "movie" or someting like that, they say "To hell with real weather!" we want viewers...????

but who would view them anymore once they quit doing weather???


That is because NBC bought TWC and controls it now. They are shoving Al Roker down your throat because they think he's 'America's favorite weatherman'. I can't stand the oily embicile. Please tie him to a sinking CMAN buoy prior to LF. NBC is running TWC into the toilet.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Man...looking at that time-lapse IR, it looks like Ida did a wiggle right around the Yucatan...like it had coodies or something.

Back to a NW track...what an awesome storm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 391 - 341

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.