IDA EXPECTED TO RAPIDLY INTENSIFY AS IT MOVES OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN AND CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO THROUGH TONIGHT... PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION TODAY IN THE WARNING AREA ALONG THE NORTHERN GULF COAST...At 700 AM CDT (1200 UTC), the center of Hurricane Ida was located near latitude 24.4 North, longitude 85.7 West. Ida is moving toward the northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h) and this general motion should continue through late Sunday or early Monday, followed by a slower northward motion on Monday. On the forecast track, the center of Ida will move over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico today and move over the central Gulf of Mexico tonight and early Sunday. Ida is then expected to make landfall along the U.S. northern Gulf coast within the hurricane warning area on Sunday, and then move inland over portions of Louisiana or western Mississippi later on Monday. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 mph (140 km/h) with higher gusts. Rapid strengthening is forecast during the next 24 to 36 hours and Ida is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it approaches the northern Gulf coast on Sunday. Weakening is expected after Ida makes landfall. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km). The latest minimum central pressure estimated from NOAA reconnaissance aircraft data is 985 mb (29.09 inches).