At 600 am CST...1200 UTC...the center of Hurricane Ida was located near latitude 25.8 north...longitude 88.2 west or about 235 miles...south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and about 330 miles...south-southwest of Pensacola Florida.
Ida is moving toward the north-northwest near 16 mph. A turn toward the north with an increase in forward speed is expected during the next 24 hours...followed by a turn toward the northeast on Tuesday. On the forecast track...Ida is expected to move across the Gulf of Mexico today...and make landfall along the northern Gulf Coast overnight.
Data from an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 80 mph...with higher gusts. Ida is a category one hurricane on the
Saffir-Simpson scale. Additional weakening is forecast during the next 24 hours. However...Ida could still be a hurricane when it approaches the Gulf Coast tonight.
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 35 miles..from the center...and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 200 miles.
Rains will be increasing well in advance of Ida across the central and eastern Gulf Coast...but will become steadier and heavier later today into Tuesday. Total storm accumulations of 3 to 6
inches...with isolated maximum storm totals of 8 inches...are possible through Tuesday from the central and eastern Gulf Coast northward into the eastern portions of the Tennessee Valley and the southern Appalachians.
A dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 4 to 6 feet above ground level along the coast near and to the east of where the center makes landfall. Near the coast...the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.