Hurricane Ida strengthens overnight; storm chances on the rise locally

Weather

Hurricane Ida has quickly strengthened this morning as it continues to travel over the warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Ida is now a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds at 150 MPH within the eye wall. The storm is going to make landfall this midday. Today also marks the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall in the same location. Katrina was a Category 5 storm while it traveled over the Gulf of Mexico, but it made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 3 hurricane.

Southern Louisiana is in Ida’s direct path and New Orleans will be impacted once again. The National Weather Service issued an Extreme Wind Warning in southeast Louisiana in preparation of the hurricane force winds. The statement emphasizes to treat this type of warning as a tornado warning.

Hurricane Warnings, Tropical Storm Warnings and Tornado Watches are now in effect in Louisiana, Mississippi, and southern Alabama. The eye of Ida will likely hold its strength as a Category 4 hurricane as it makes landfall later today. There is also a threat for tornadoes within the outer bands of the system, flash flooding and life-threatening storm surge along the Gulf Coast. Stay tuned for more updates from the FOX59 Weather Authority.

Locally, the weather is calm this morning. It is muggy and warm outside with temperatures in the lower 70s across central Indiana. Highs will rise into the upper 80s and lower 90s this afternoon. The heat index may even climb near 100° like it did on Saturday. There is going to be another chance for spotty showers and storms this afternoon and evening.

A frontal system is going to approach the area early in the week, which will bring us a chance for showers and thunderstorms through Tuesday. The remnants from Ida may bring some moisture to southern Indiana Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. However, Kentucky and Tennessee will receive most of the rainfall from the weakened tropical cyclone.

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