Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hurricane Ida: Night Update

Latest update on Hurricane Ida:
Category 2 Hurricane
Max Sustained Winds: 105mph
Minimum Pressure: 979mb
Movement: NNW 14mph

Ida is sustaining similar characteristics as previously discussed. I'm only noticing minor changes in pressure, wind, and movement. The minimum pressure dipped to 976mb but has since risen 3 mb to 979mb. This might signify the first glimpse of the forecast downgrade, but more has to be distinguished before making big mention of this. I still think Ida will downgrade to a strong Tropical Storm at landfall. Also, Ida has increased in speed from 10-14 mph within today's statistics. The overall schematics show the storm is moving a little quicker than anticipated, which means landfall near Fort Walton Beach, FL, could occur just after midnight Tuesday morning.

In the previous discussion we talked about the weak Low moving across the NW Gulf from Mexico. This system is now in a foot race with Ida to the Northern Gulf, but I'm seeing the weak Low converging with Ida late Monday night. Texas and Louisiana have already seen rain from this extended shortwave (weak Low) moving northeast in the NW Gulf. We could also see some showers from this overnight. Alabama and Georgia are forecast to see plenty of rainfall after these two system join together. We, however, will be on the "drier" side of the whole system. One model output has South Mississippi in the "open window" for the least amount of rain in our region. I've been leaning towards this all day, but the greater influence of the systems joining together inclines me to still see a likely chance of moderate to heavy rainfall. If I was drawing a line I'd use I-59 to say heavier rain amounts will be to the east of this boundary.

What should you prepare for?

The Pine Belt will begin to experience an increase in winds throughout the day on Monday, but sustained winds are not expected to surpass Tropical Storm criteria. Late Monday night winds could range from 20-30 mph. So you might want to check any loose items around your house that could blow around.
Our second concern mentioned in the previous discussion is the plausible situation of flooding conditions, but my thoughts think our rain will not accumulate into major flooding conditions. Yes, a moderate amount "total event" (Monday and Tuesday) of rainfall is expected, but major flooding conditions are unlikely given our position around the systems.

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