As of 4 pm today, tropical depression nine strengthened to Tropical Storm Ida. Ida will remain a tropical storm as it heads for the northern coast of Cuba tonight. Landfall is likely Friday afternoon near Dayaniguas, Cuba. By Saturday afternoon Ida will be in the central Gulf and strengthen to a category 1 hurricane. With favorable conditions, sea surface temperatures in the mid to upper 80s, Ida will quickly strengthen and likely become a strong category 2 Hurricane before making its final landfall along Louisiana’s southeast coast.
Impacts for Alabama will include heavy rainfall and spin-up tornadoes. This will be an important system to watch. The key right now is to get familiar with the center of circulation of Ida. If your home, your community, your city, your state is to the right of the center of circulation, you will be in the “threat zone.” The right side of the system means enhanced threats, whereas the left side of the storm is drier and much calmer.