Forecasters expect Tropical Storm Ida to develop into a major hurricane in the coming days. As of Friday morning, the Hurricane Watch stretched from the Mississippi-Alabama state line to Cameron, Louisiana — just south of Lake Charles in a region still recovering from the three hurricanes that hit the area last year. Exceptionally warm sea surface temperatures will enable the storm to intensify rapidly all the way up to when it makes landfall on the Gulf Coast late Sunday or early Monday with heavy rain and significant storm surge. And forebodingly, ocean temperatures are highest in exactly the area hit hardest by last year’s Hurricanes Laura, Delta, and Zeta.
The storm also threatens to hit New Orleans on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall. (Washington Post $, CNN, AP, NPR, ABC, New York Times $, Weather Channel, USA Today; New Orleans: AP; Climate Signals background: Hurricanes, 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Sea surface temperature increase)