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Ida tracking toward Louisiana, expected to move inland on Sunday

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 8:16 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Tropical Storm Ida formed in the Caribbean on Thursday and is likely to intensify into a hurricane as it moves through the Gulf of Mexico this weekend toward coastal areas of Louisiana.

Ida is a minimal tropical storm in the Caribbean
Ida is a minimal tropical storm in the Caribbean(Source: KSLA)

The latest track from the National Hurricane Center as of 4pm shows steady strengthening as it moves from the Caribbean into the Gulf. By Saturday afternoon it is forecast to be a Category 1 hurricane.

Ida is forecast to track from the Caribbean into the Gulf through Saturday
Ida is forecast to track from the Caribbean into the Gulf through Saturday(Source: KSLA)

A favorable environment for intensification is likely and Ida is forecast to strengthen up until landfall on Sunday. The latest forecast has it a high end Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph prior to hitting the coast. The track remains somewhat uncertain this far out, with the storm potentially tracking as far west as the TX/LA border or as far east as the MS/LA border, but a strike along the Louisiana coast is looking probable at this time. As the storm moves inland, it’s path appears to stay east of the ArkLaTex, although the margin of error does include portions of north Louisiana and southern Arkansas.

Ida is forecast to make landfall as a CAT 2 hurricane on Sunday
Ida is forecast to make landfall as a CAT 2 hurricane on Sunday(Source: KSLA)

The final track will be the main factor regarding impacts in the ArkLaTex. Typically the worst of the rain, wind and severe weather potential occurs along and to the east where the center tracks.

Primary threats from as they move inland
Primary threats from as they move inland(Source: KSLA)

Most of the main computer guidance is tightly clustered east of the ArkLaTex raising confidence that the worst part of the storm will pass us by.

Computer model forecasts of where Ida will track
Computer model forecasts of where Ida will track(Source: KSLA)

Based on that projection wind gusts are likely to only be near or a little below tropical storm force, primarily from Natchitoches to Ruston.

Futuretrack peak wind gusts through Monday
Futuretrack peak wind gusts through Monday(Source: KSLA)

Rain is also expected to be low impact with only as much as 2-3″ across the eastern part of the ArkLaTex with lower totals elsewhere.

Futuretrack rainfall predictions from Ida in the ArkLaTex
Futuretrack rainfall predictions from Ida in the ArkLaTex(Source: KSLA)

The forecast track should become more certain over the next few days so keep checking back with the KSLA First Alert Weather Team. Here’s how you can stay First Alert to any changes in the expected impacts:

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