Ida Forms in Gulf Coast, Watches Issued to Arrive as Category 3 Hurricane

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Tropical storm Ida has formed and is rapidly strengthening and expected to arrive in the Gulf Coast on late Sunday or Monday as a Category 3 hurricane, watches have been issued for Louisiana and Mississippi.

Ida barreling toward US as potential category 3 hurricane

Tropical storm Ida has formed with sustained winds of 60 mph. as of 7 AM Monday, the storm was located roughly 75 miles northwest of Grand Cayman, moving northwest at 15 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), NOLA reported.

Ida is expected to arrive on late Sunday or early Monday as a category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph before landfall. A category 3 hurricane has winds between 111-129 mph.

In a terrible twist of fate, Sunday is the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Hurricane watch issued for Gulf Coast, expected to upgrade to a warning on Friday

The NHC has issued hurricane watches for Mississippi and Louisiana, including metro New Orleans, as well as to the Alabama border, while a tropical storm watch extends to the Florida border.

A watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the next 48 hours and a warning means conditions are expected within the next 36 hours. Forecasters expect to upgrade the watch into a warning later on Friday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward 80 miles from the center.

Ida is forecast to pass over western Cuba on Friday.

Damaging winds could occur by Saturday

Hurricane-force winds likely to impact US hurricane watch areas as early as Saturday night, continuing into Sunday, The Weather Company reports. Hurricane-force winds are capable of downing trees, creating widespread power outages, as well as some structural damage in hurricane watch areas.

Rainfall predictions

Louisiana and Mississippi could see up to 20 inches of rain. Forecasters say that up to 20 inches of rain are possible through Monday morning for Louisiana and Mississippi.

Gulf storm surge warnings and predictions

The National Weather Service (NHC) has issued storm surge warnings across the Gulf Coast from the eastern edge of Texas across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the entire western Florida coast.

A tropical peak storm surge forecast by the NHC shows 2-4 foot surges from the eastern Texas border to western Louisiana. Across central Louisiana, surges between 4-7 feet are possible. Eastern Louisiana coastline could see between 7-11 feet surges all the way to the Mississippi border. Surges across the Mississippi coast could range from 7-11 to the west and between 4-7 feet for the east. The Alabama coastline could see surges between 3-5 feet.

Millions could lose power through Wednesday

Damaging hurricane-force winds could cause millions to lose power as the storm arrives and begins impacting the Gulf region on Saturday, moving across Louisiana on Sunday. On Monday, the storm is currently forecast to move into Mississippi with its winds impacting Arkansas, Alabama, and Georgia, then into Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky, and Indiana on Tuesday into Wednesday, according to forecasts by CNN.

Don’t lose your data to power outages or flood damage

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