4:14PM August 26, 2021

TD9 LIKELY TO STRENGTHEN INTO HURRICANE; GULF LANDFALL LIKELY SUNDAY… Tropical Depression 9 is expected to strengthen shortly into a tropical storm, likely taking the name “Ida.” TD9/Ida is likely to be a major hurricane on approach to the northern Gulf Coast on Sunday. Many of the intensity models suggest strengthening, perhaps even rapid strengthening, will happen over the central Gulf of Mexico prior to this hurricane making landfall. As of 5PM Thursday, the cone of uncertainty for where the center of TD9/Ida is likely to move extends from Cameron, Louisiana on the west side to Pascagoula, Mississippi on the east side with a most likely landfall point near Grand Isle, Louisiana as a formidable hurricane. More forecast changes are possible, especially over the next 24 hours, as models begin to get a better handle for where the center of TD9/Ida is forming.

LOCAL IMPACTS DISCUSSION – TD9/IDA… Local impacts in south Alabama and northwest Florida are likely to happen Sunday, Sunday night, Monday, potentially into Monday night. This timeframe is a bit sooner than previous forecasts. Local impacts in our region will largely depend on exactly where the center of TD9/Ida makes landfall. Based on the current forecast from NHC, specific hazards locally will include the potential for tornadoes across our entire region, gusty winds near the immediate coast of Alabama and northwest Florida, storm surge and coastal flooding (particularly along the Alabama coast), high surf, rip currents, and the potential for heavy rain and isolated instances of flash flooding. The greater hurricane impacts will likely happen to our west across parts of Louisiana and southern Mississippi, based on the current forecast. IF the projected path for TD9/Ida shifts a bit to the right/east, our area would have more significant impacts.

BETTER TO BE PREPARED THAN NOT… While it does appear, at the moment, that the core impacts of TD9/Ida will pass a bit to our west, the timetable on this situation has me very concerned. Why? Because if forecast changes happen in the next day or so, that would leave almost no time to prepare for a landfalling hurricane in our area. NOW is the time (TODAY!) to brush up on your hurricane preparedness plan. If you’re in a flood prone area, know where you would go and what you would do if an evacuation order is issued for your area. Please check back in for updates over the next few days!

TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR CAYMAN ISLANDS & CUBA… A Tropical Storm Warning is now in effect for the Cayman Islands and for the Cuban provinces of Matanzas, Mayabeque, Havana, Artemisa, Pinar del Rio, and the Isle of Youth. I expect a Hurricane Watch will be needed for part of the Louisiana coast as soon as tomorrow evening with a Tropical Storm Watch likely for parts of the Mississippi and Alabama coast.

SET UP APP ALERTS… We send quite a bit of Low-Level Alerts in our RedZone Weather app. The app is totally free for you! redzoneweather.com/app is the link where you see the download links to your respective app store for iOS and for Android devices. Once you have the app downloaded to your smartphone or tablet device, be sure to visit the Alerts tab to customize the alerts you would like to receive straight from me.

I will have more updates posted in our RedZone Weather app over the next few hours. Have a nice Thursday evening!

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