Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker

A single source reference on tropical weather predictions. With a traditional focus on the upper Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast we've maintained links to track all Atlantic Basin, Caribbean and eastern Pacific storm systems. We are now expanding our view to tropical storms throughout the world intending to be a comprehensive global storm tracking resource.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

IDA back to tropical storm; headed for Gulf

Tropical storm Ida has emerged from Honduras and is again strengthening as it moves over water. The water temperature of the western Caribbean Sea is very hot right now after an entire summer with minimal tropical storm activity. My understanding is that the warm temperatures extend fairly far below the surface. As the storm passes over the water, any cooling effect that usually occurs is less likely resulting in plenty of fuel for Ida to continue to strengthen.

All of the computer models seem to be fairly well convergent over the next 3 days as the storm passes over the eastern tip of the Yucatan peninsula and enters the Gulf of Mexico (See previous post below

As Ida moves into the gulf, the projections for the path of this storm completely scatter. The general consensus is that the storm will slow in forward motion and turn back towards the Florida peninsula and possibly back to the eastern Caribbean. Additionally, high shear is expected across the gulf that combined with slightly cooler sea surface temperatures in the gulf will limit and possibly diminish the wind intensity of the storm around the middle of the week.

Ida Could Strengthen More Before Becoming a Threat in the Gulf of Mexico (AccuWeather)

Ida has strengthened into a tropical storm. It is churning over warm waters of the northwest Caribbean Sea. There is also weak wind shear in the area. Both of these factors favor strengthening, so Ida is expected to continue to strengthen, perhaps briefly into a hurricane by the end of the weekend or early in the week.


By Sunday, Ida will be brushing just east of Cancun, Mexico, a major tourist destination located along the eastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. Flooding rain and at least tropical storm-force winds could impact Cancun and surrounding areas as well as western portions of Cuba.

The storm will emerge into the southern Gulf of Mexico by early next week. By Tuesday or Wednesday, Ida will be running into stronger wind shear farther north in the Gulf of Mexico and could weaken again.The most likely scenario with Ida's track is that it will be steered northward through Tuesday and then northeast or eastward by Wednesday. This puts residents of the eastern Gulf coast and Florida at risk.

Graphics courtesy of AccuWeather

2010 Atlantic Hurricanes (courtesy of

NOAA Gulf of Mexico Radar (courtesy of

NOAA West Atlantic & Caribbean Radar (courtesy of

NOAA East Atlantic Radar (courtesy of