November 5, 2009

Central America Not Ida`s Grave

Hurricane Ida will continue to push farther into Nicaragua today, but that will not lead to the storm's demise. Ida could re-strengthen this weekend as it moves back over water.

The higher terrain of eastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras will force Ida to weaken to a tropical storm, then a depression by the start of Friday. Despite its weakened status, Ida will drop life-threatening flooding rain across portions of Nicaragua, northern Costa Rica and eastern Honduras.

Ida is expected to emerge back over water this weekend. The combination of very warm water and little wind shear should allow Ida to regain tropical storm status. Looking farther into the future, it is possible that Ida will enter the Gulf of Mexico early next week.

Even if this solution pans out, there are some indications that strong wind shear may weaken Ida prior to the storm reaching the United States.

Since uncertainty still exists regarding Ida's future track and strength, all interests in the Gulf of Mexico should closely monitor the progress of Ida during the next several days.

Story by Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski

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