Hurricane Ida Strengthens- Tropical Depression Ten Forms

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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). 



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