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November 9, 2009

Ida limps toward land; could become nor'easter

An increasingly disorganized Ida weakened to tropical storm force overnight, but continues to pose a significant threat to the Gulf Coast and inland regions of the Southeastern U.S.

After landfall, the storm could reform off Cape Hatteras as an Atlantic coastal storm, bringing rain, wind, heavy surf, beach erosion and coastal flooding to shore communities from the NOAACarolinas to New Jersey, forecasters say.

The biggest immediate worry is probably heavy rain and flooding in an area of the Deep South that has already seen more than enough rain this fall.

As Ida's center moves toward land Monday, wind shear is sending the heavy precipitation onshore well ahead of the surface low. Rainfall along the Gulf Coast today will likely total 3 to 6 inches, with some locations receiving as much as 8, forecasters said.

Once the storm's center finally reaches shore, high winds will bring water levels 3 to 5 feet above normal along the Gulf near and to the east of landfall, all compounded by large and destructive waves. 

Winds, meanwhile, have diminished. The storm's top sustained winds were "just" 70 mph at last check. All hurricane watches and warnings have been dropped. Tropical Storm Warnings remain in place from Grande Isle, La. to the Aucilla River, Fla. New Orleans and Lake Ponchartrain are included in the warning area.

Here is the latest advisory for Ida. Here is the forecast discussion. Here is the forecast storm track. And here is the view from space. Ida may already have played a role in the heavy rains and mudslides that killed more than 120 people in El Salvador over the weekend.

AccuWeather.com's Alex Sosnowski, meanwhile, is looking ahead a few days. He says Ida's energy could reorganize off the Atlantic coast after mid-week, taking on the proportions of a strong nor'easter. That would mean gusty onshore winds, large swells, rough surf and coastal flooding for interests from Hatteras to the Jersey Shore, including Maryland and Delaware beaches.

"The angry sea will lead to strong and frequent rip currents," Sosnowski said. "Bathers are advised to avoid the water from Wednesday into the weekend." Likewise, small craft operators should stay in port from Florida to Long Island, at least until Friday.

Baltimore's forecast calls for a chance of showers Tuesday through Thursday.

As they depart, Ida's remnants are expected to draw cold air into the region, dropping daytime highs from the low 70s, which are expected to go today, to the 50s by the latter half of the week. "The threat of heavy snow with this event has diminished," he adds, "since the storm will quickly migrate to the coast."

Mr. Foot, take note.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:12 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Hurricanes
        

Comments

Note well taken Frank, well taken!

I think it is worthwhile to point out we have ourselves quite a coastal storm on our hands, when Sterling insisted for days we would be in the clear. I think you can agree we have slightly more than a chance of showers.

I recall someone mentioning some 10 days back about a big storm right about this time? I even think they said a piece or two about "snow at the onset" of the storm. I guess if it snows a tad in the highlands of Virginia, does that qualify as a shred of accuracy for an event outlined nearly 2 weeks prior - smackdown or not.

Or maybe that is just dumb luck!

FR: You get high marks from me, Mr. Foot. And these repeated coastal storms (as predicted with El Nino winters) may begin to have a real impact as the weather gets colder.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff
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