Eye on the Tropics

TIMELINE: Hurricane Ida brings damaging winds and powerful storm surges to Gulf Coast

ORLANDO, Fla. — Hurricane Ida brought “catastrophic” storm surges and damaging hurricane-force winds to the Louisiana coast on Sunday. Read updates below:


11 p.m. Sunday update:

Storm surges, hurricane-force winds and flash flooding continued to lash portions of Louisiana Sunday night.

Ida finally began showing signs of weakening after more than nine hours over land.

The National Hurricane Center said Ida’s maximum sustained winds decreased to 110 mph, downgrading it to a strong Category 2.

The storm is currently located about 30 miles west-northwest of New Orleans and moving to the northwest at 9 mph.

8 p.m. Sunday update:

Ida was downgraded late Sunday evening to a Category 3 hurricane but continued to pack devastating sustained winds of 125 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The NHC said Ida was located about 5 miles east of Houma and about 30 miles southwest of New Orleans at 7 p.m., moving northwest at 10 mph.

6 p.m. Sunday update:

Ida is still a powerful Category 4 hurricane as it continues to move about 45 miles southwest of New Orleans.

The storm is bringing powerful storm surges along with maximum winds around 130 mph.

Ida’s winds have lowered which indicates onshore weakening has begun.

It’s still a very strong system with extreme wind and flash flooding threats unfolding.

12 p.m. Sunday update:

The northern eyewall of Hurricane Ida has moved on shore in Southeastern Louisiana, according to a noon update from the National Hurricane Center.

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration station at Southwest Pass Louisiana measured sustained winds of 89 miles per hour with gusts over 100 miles per hour.

Hurricane Ida continues to move to the northeast at about 13 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds measured at 150 miles per hour.

11 a.m. Sunday update:

The Eye of Hurricane Ida is approaching the Southeastern Coast of Louisiana as a Category 4 storm with sustained winds still being measured at or above 150 mph.

According to the National Hurricane Center’s 11 a.m. update,, a “catastrophic” storm surge and hurricane-force winds have begun to move ashore.

In the last hour, the NHC also issued an alert that Tropical Storm Julian had formed over the Central Subtropical Atlantic Ocean. TS Julian is xpected to become post-tropical On Monday.

8 a.m. Sunday update:

Hurricane Ida has continued to strengthen into a high-end Category 4 storm with sustained winds at 150 mph.

According to the latest report from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Ida is expected to make landfall in Southeastern Louisiana within a few hours as an “extremely dangerous” with a life-threatening storm surge.

7:30 a.m. Sunday update:

Hurricane Ida rapidly intensified overnight Saturday and early Sunday morning, becoming a dangerous Category 4 hurricane on track for a potentially devastating landfall on the Louisiana coast.

Ida quickly gained strength as it moved into the northern Gulf, going from top winds of 115 mph (185 kph) in a 1 a.m. update to 145 mph (230 kph) a few hours later.

The system was expected to make landfall Sunday afternoon, set to arrive on the exact date Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi 16 years ago.

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5:15 p.m. Saturday update:

Hurricane Ida remains a Category 2 storm, but winds have increased slightly since the National Hurricane Center’s 2 p.m. update.

As of 5 p.m. EDT, Ida’s maximum sustained winds were at 105 mph.

Meteorologist George Waldenberger reports that hurricane hunters are about to take flight to further investigate Ida’s wind speeds.

Waldenberger says the highly-organized storm will continue to strengthen.

By Saturday evening, Ida is expected to become a Category 3 storm; by Sunday morning, it should strengthen into Category 4 status before making landfall late in the day Sunday.

2:15 p.m. Saturday update:

Hurricane Ida has strengthened to a Category 2 storm, its maximum sustained winds now at 100 mph.

Officials with the National Weather Service based in the New Orleans area stressed the importance of heeding evacuation orders.

They said “devastating conditions” are imminent and expect Ida to make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane.

The City of New Orleans has been working to keep residents informed about the approaching storm, including through social media.

11:45 a.m. Saturday update:

As of 11 a.m. EDT Saturday, Hurricane Ida’s maximum sustained winds remained at 85 mph, according the the National Hurricane Center.

Ida is, however, expected to rapidly intensify into a major hurricane over the next 24 hours.

At this time, Hurricane Ida is projected to be a Category 4 storm before making landfall on Sunday somewhere along the Louisiana coast.

Meantime, other states, including Florida, are preparing resources to assist with the impacts expected from Hurricane Ida.

9 a.m. Saturday update:

Ida is showing better organization Saturday morning.

Winds have increased to 85 mph and for now, Ida remains a Category 1 hurricane.

Meteorologist Brian Shields says Hurricane Ida has trended very slightly to the east and is expected to rapidly intensify throughout the day.

It’s roughly 370 miles away from the southeastern coastline of Louisiana. The storm’s pressure is also expected to drop throughout the day, another sign of strengthening.

11 p.m. Friday update:

Ida remains a major threat for the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coasts, potentially bringing flooding for many in the region, Channel 9 Certified Chief Meteorologist Tom Terry said.

The National Hurricane Center said Ida is forecast to “rapidly intensify” before reaching the Northern Gulf Coast.

5:50 p.m. Friday update:

Some of the warmest waters near a await Hurricane Ida moving off of western Cuba tonight and will likely rapidly strengthen the hurricane to a Category 4 storm, Channel 9 Chief Meteorologist Tom Terry said.

Landfall is still scheduled late Sunday afternoon in southeastern Louisiana, 16 years after Hurricane Katrina hit nearby.

“Since the storm is farther west than Katrina was in 2005, we’re hoping the storm surge and lake surge issues won’t be as much of a problem for the city, but up to a foot of rain is expected,” Terry said.

1:30 p.m. Friday update:

The National Hurricane Center confirmed Friday afternoon that Ida has strengthened into a hurricane.

According to data from the Air Force’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft Ida now has maximum winds around 75 mph.

The storm is approaching the Isle of Youth in Cuba and is forecast to continue its move into the Gulf of Mexico.

11 a.m. Friday update:

Tropical Storm Ida is strengthening as it moves near Cuba. The storm’s winds have increased to 65 mph, with higher gusts.

A hurricane warning was issued for the Isle of Youth and western Cuba.

Forecasters said Ida is expected to continue to strengthen on Friday. It is expected to become a hurricane when it nears western Cuba late Friday.

The National Hurricane Center said Ida is forecast to move over the southeastern and central Gulf of Mexico over the weekend.

It is forecast to be a major hurricane when it approaches the Gulf Coast.

8 a.m. Friday update:

Tropical Storm Ida’s winds have increased to 60 mph.

Forecasters believe Ida will rapidly strengthen over the next few days. The storm is expected to become a hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico.

It could reach major hurricane status as it approaches the Gulf coast this weekend.

5 a.m. Friday update:

Ida continues to strengthen as it passes through the Cayman Islands.

The National Hurricane Center said hurricane hunters are enroute to investigate the storm.

READ: Atlantic hurricane season shows no signs of slowing down, NOAA says in mid-season update

Ida is forecast to move away from the Cayman Islands on Friday morning, pass near or over the Isle of Youth and western Cuba late Friday, and over the southeastern and central Gulf of Mexico tonight and Saturday, the NHC said.

Forecasters said the system is expected to approach the U.S. northern Gulf coast on Sunday.

Ida is expected to become a hurricane over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico this weekend. It could be at or near major hurricane strength when it approaches the northern Gulf Coast.

See: Tropical system terms explained

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