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**Hurricane Ida update and I'm going with Cat 4**

- Invest 99L will likely become a Tropical Depression today with a forecast cone and official map from the NHC. It's possible they give it a Potential Tropical Cyclone designation so they can put out maps before it's a Tropical Depression since landfall is coming this Sunday night! - I'm going with a Cat 4 with landfall in the eastern half of coastal Louisiana, but always pay attention to official forecasts from the NHC. They will likely be conservative with their wind speed estimate. However, with all of the ingredients (warm ocean temps, low wind shear, and no dry air) for steady to rapid strengthening, I see nothing preventing it from becoming a Cat 4. The stronger it becomes, the better chance it has of making landfall farther east along the Gulf coast.

From the NHC just now: Showers and thunderstorms continue to show signs of organization in association with a broad area of low pressure located over the west-central Caribbean Sea about 150 miles south-southwest of Jamaica. Environmental conditions remain conducive for additional development, and a tropical depression or tropical storm is expected to form later today or tonight while the system moves northwestward over the northwestern Caribbean Sea, reaching the Cayman Islands tonight and western Cuba and the Yucatan Channel Friday and Friday night. Given the recent developmental trends, Tropical Storm Warnings for the Cayman Islands and western Cuba could be required later this morning, and an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system this afternoon. Regardless of development, locally heavy rainfall and flooding are possible over portions of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands today and tonight, and will likely spread across Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula on Friday.

The system is expected to enter into the Gulf of Mexico Friday night and continue moving northwestward toward the central or northwestern U.S. Gulf coast, potentially bringing dangerous impacts from storm surge, wind, and heavy rainfall to portions of the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle by Sunday and Monday. However, uncertainty in the system's exact track and intensity remains large since the low is just beginning to form. Interests in these areas should closely monitor the progress of this system and ensure they have their hurricane plans in place. Additional information on this system, including gale warnings, can be found in High Seas Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service. * Formation chance through 48 hours...high...90 percent. * Formation chance through 5 days...high...90 percent.






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