Friday, August 27, 2021

12:30pm CDT Friday: Strengthening Hurricane Ida

-- I Have Posted An Update Here -- 

-- original posting --

Hurricane Ida now has winds of 75 mph. The pressure, which was 991 at 10:20am is now down to 987, which is a rapid drop for that period of time. 

Here is the 10am cone forecast from the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
The amber at the bottom is the width of the tropical storm (≥40 mph) winds. Red is a hurricane warning. Pink is a hurricane watch. Yellow is a tropical storm watch. Ida is forecast to have 120 mph -- Category 3 -- winds at just before landfall. 

While it could shift a little to the east or west, I'm showing the global ECMWF model's forecast to give you an idea of the size of the damaging wind field. While NHC forecasts 120 mph just before landfall, this model shows some additional strengthening right to landfall with gusts to 137 mph. My point is that this will be a dangerous, major hurricane.
It would take only a very slight wobble to the east to put New Orleans in the worst of the winds. 

Ida will have a terrible storm surge (below).
The surge forecast does not include tides or waves.

The map below maps out the expected storm surge. Click to enlarge.

Here is the time by which you should have your preparations completed.
If it were me, I'd be out of there by sundown Saturday.

Inland Flooding
Torrential rains will fall inland. Because of the already wet conditions, severe flooding is likely to result. 

What I Recommend If You Are in the Path
  • Evacuate if you are told to do so. 
  • Before you leave, turn off water at the main valve and turn off electricity at the master switch. 
  • Contact infirm friends or family in the region. Come up with a plan to protect them should they be placed in a hurricane warning (~24-30 hr before landfall). This especially applies if an evacuation is ordered. Don't wait until the last minute when rooms may all be reserved! Insure they have appropriate transportation in an evacuation. 
  • Get prescriptions refilled NOW! Don't wait for the weekend. 
  • Make a hotel reservation well inland. However, make sure you can cancel it at no charge. If it turns out you don't need the room, be courteous the cancel the reservation. This way, you'll have a nice place to stay, if needed. It also frees up the shelters for people who cannot afford hotels. Because of the flooding threat, I might recommend Sheveport or even Dallas. 
  • Figure out what you can fit in your car in the way of irreplaceable items like scrapbooks and family heirlooms. 
  • Make sure you have at least three ways of receiving vital warning information. 
  • Prepare for power failures. If you have a generator, fill it with fuel. Do the same for your car. If you want a generator, have a professional install it.  
  • Get extra cash at the ATM. Credit cards don't work if the power fails. 
  • If you have a chain saw, fill it with fuel. 
  • Clean out gutters. 
  • Install your hurricane shutters or board up windows.
Please make your friends aware of my these postings along along with my Twitter account @usweatherexpert.  

My next update will be this afternoon. Please make your friends and family aware of my blog as I will be providing coverage until the storm is well inland. 

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