Tropical Storm Ida is looking a little ragged this morning.
The satellite presentation is nowhere nearly as impressive as it was yesterday as Ida moved into the southern Gulf. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is an increase in the upper level winds that are shearing the tops of the storms near the core of Ida. The second reason is cooler waters in the mid-70's.
The increase in the upper level winds is the result of a cold front approaching from the northwest. That cold front will help to steer Hurricane Ida toward the Florida Panhandle and keep the worst of Ida away from us.
Locally, the farther east you are, the more likely you are to see heavy rain and gusty winds. The farther west you are, the less likely you are to see any major impacts from Ida.
Local impacts will mainly be limited to the heavy rain and the gusty winds. We've seen so much rain lately, the ground is saturated and trees may come down without much effort from the wind.
Inland Tropical Storm Wind Warnings are in effect for Wayne County in Mississippi and for Choctaw and Clarke counties in Alabama. A Tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch are in effect along the Mississippi and Louisiana coast west of Pascagoula to Grand Isle. This includes New Orleans, Pass Christian, Bay St. Louis, Gulfport, and Biloxi. A Hurricane Warning is in effect from Pascagoula to Indian Pass, Florida. This includes Mobile, Orange Beach, Pensacola, Navarre, Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Seaside, Panama City, and Port St. Joe. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect east of Indian Pass, Florida to the Aucilla River in the Florida Big Bend.
In the impact zone along the western Florida Panhandle, the impacts will be the heavy, wind-driven rain. Some localized flooding is possible, and some coastal flooding is also possible as the strong winds drive the storm surge into the coastline. A storm surge of up to 4 feet is possible from about Pensacola eastward to near Destin. Spotty tornadoes are also a possibility on the eastern side of the center of the storm.
For the latest on Tropical Storm Ida, stay with the Newscenter 11 Weather Team, WTOK.com, and our online hurricane channel wtok.com/hurricane.