Update: Ida Weakens to a Tropical Depression - Heads East

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Forecasters say Ida has weakened to a tropical depression and is heading east toward the Florida Panhandle with winds near 35 mph (55 kph).

Ida was a tropical storm with winds near 45 mph (75 kph) when it came ashore near Mobile Bay in southern Alabama on Tuesday morning.

The tropical depression is moving northeast about 9 mph (15 kph) and is expected to continue in that direction until being absorbed by a front on Wednesday.

Forecasters say most of the heavy rain is over and tropical storm warnings have been discontinued.

The storm had shut down nearly a third of oil and natural gas production in Gulf as oil companies evacuated workers ahead of Ida. But demand for energy is so low due to the economic downturn, energy prices have barely budged.

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Updated: 8:20 AM Nov 10, 2009

Tropical Storm Ida has reached shore, but it's already spread most of its heavy rain along the Gulf Coast.

The storm hit coastal Alabama this morning with rain and gusty winds, but those winds are getting weaker. Top sustain winds from Ida are clocked at 45 miles an hour.

From the Alabama mainland, Ida is expected to turn eastward and follow the Florida Panhandle.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

On Alabama's Dauphin (DAH'-fin) Island, the storm has left some debris and standing water in the streets. But aside from power outages, residents say the storm hasn't had much of an impact.

A hotel desk clerk near the Florida state line says Ida was more like a thunderstorm than a hurricane as it came ashore.

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Updated: 6:49 AM Nov 10, 2009

Tropical Storm Ida has come ashore near Mobile Bay in southern Alabama with top sustained winds weakened to about 45 mph (75 kph).

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Ida's center first touched land on Dauphin Island and was headed for the Alabama mainland later Tuesday morning.

Ida was moving northeast about 9 mph (15 kph).

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Updated: 4:32 AM Nov 10, 2009

Weather-hardened Gulf Coast residents are staying put as Tropical Storm Ida eases toward shore.

Early this morning, Ida's winds had dissipated to about 50 mph and the center of the storm was about 60 miles south-southwest of Mobile, Ala.

Tropical storm warnings are out across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, where governors have declared states of emergency.

Ida is expected to make landfall later in the morning. Rain and some flooding seem to be the biggest threats. Forecasters say up to 8 inches could fall in some areas, with most of the coast getting between 3 and 6 inches.

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Updated: 10:25 AM Nov 9, 2009

Ida is no longer a hurricane as it loses strength over the water on its way to a landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast sometime early Tuesday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami downgraded Ida to a tropical storm Monday morning after its top sustained winds dropped to near 70 mph.

Hurricane warnings were dropped along the Gulf Coast and replaced with tropical storm warnings that stretch from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.

The center of Ida was located about 185 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and moving north-northwest near 17 mph.

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Updated: 7:22 AM Nov 9, 2009

Hurricane Ida was weakening as it headed for the Gulf Coast but could still pack hurricane winds and storm surges when it hits the shore Monday night or early Tuesday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said that top sustained winds from the Category 1 hurricane had decreased to near 80 mph early Monday.

Hurricane warnings remain from Pascagoula, Miss., east to Indian Pass, Fla. Tropical storm warnings and hurricane watches are in effect across neighboring areas including New Orleans.

Early Monday, Ida was located about 235 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and moving north-northwest near 16 mph.

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Updated: 4:28 AM Nov 9, 2009

Ida has weakened to a Category 1 hurricane, but warnings remain along 200 miles of the Gulf Coast from Mississippi to Florida.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center reports that the hurricane weakened early Monday from a Category 2 storm and now has 90 mph winds.

It could make landfall as early as Tuesday morning, although it was forecast to weaken further. There were no immediate plans Sunday night for mandatory evacuations.

A hurricane warning extended from Pascagoula, Miss., east to Indian Pass, Fla. Tropical storm warnings and hurricane watches are in effect across neighboring areas including New Orleans.

Early Monday, Ida was located 285 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and moving north-northwest near 16 mph.

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Updated: 9:09 PM Nov 8, 2009

Forecasters have issued a hurricane warning for the Gulf Coast from Mississippi to Florida as Hurricane Ida with winds around 105 mph approaches.

A warning means hurricane conditions are expected within the day. The National Hurricane Center on Sunday night issued it for Pascagoula, Miss., east to Indian Pass, Fla.

Tropical storm warnings and hurricane watches are in effect along much of the coastline. That included New Orleans.

As of 10 p.m. EST, the Category 2 storm was about 400 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Forecasters say the first Atlantic hurricane to target the U.S. is expected to weaken as it approaches land likely early on Tuesday.

Rainfall totals are expected to be from 3 to 5 inches with some areas getting up to 8 inches.

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Updated: 10:13 AM Nov 08, 2009

A hurricane watch has been issued for coastal Louisiana and Mississippi as Hurricane Ida begins making its way through the Gulf of Mexico toward the U.S.

Ida could reach the northern Gulf Coast by Tuesday.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Sunday morning that the watch does not include New Orleans and stretches from Grand Isle, La., to the Mississippi-Alabama state line. The watch means hurricane conditions are possible within 36 hours.

A hurricane warning remained in effect for parts of the Yucatan Peninsula meaning hurricane conditions are expected within 24 hours.

Ida's winds remained at 90 mph (150 kph), making it a Category 1 storm. It was moving toward the northwest at 10 mph (17 kph) and was centered about 75 miles (120 km) northeast of Cozumel, Mexico.

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Updated: 6:26 AM Nov 8, 2009

Hurricane Ida could grow into a Category 2 storm later today on its path into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Category 1 storm is expected to slip between Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba before charging toward the southern U.S.

Cancun's beaches have emptied out and tour operators and fishermen along Mexico's Caribbean coast have pulled their boats out of the water ahead of the storm, which is already pelting Cancun with rain.

Hurricane and tropical-storm warnings have been issued for parts of the Yucatan Peninsula. Officials say dozens of storm shelters are being readied as Ida draws closer.

Forecasters predict Ida will weaken over the Gulf of Mexico to tropical storm strength and possibly brush the U.S. Gulf Coast next week. Forecasters say people there should be prepared for lots of wind and heavy rain.

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Updated: 1:32 AM Nov 8, 2009

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Mexico has issued a hurricane warning for parts of the Yucatan Peninsula as Ida nears the popular resort town of Cancun.

The Miami-based center says the warning is in effect from Playa del Carmen to Cabo Catoche, including Cancun and Cozumel.

It says winds have picked up to 90 mph (150 kph) and that Ida is centered about 110 miles (175 kilometers) east-southeast of Cozumel early Sunday.

The Category 1 storm is expected to pass between Mexico and Cuba on Sunday, with its center remaining offshore. Forecasters predict Ida will eventually weaken to tropical storm strength and brush the U.S. Gulf Coast next week.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect in Western Cuba and Grand Cayman Island.

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Updated: 11:02 PM Nov 7, 2009

Ida has strengthened to a hurricane over the Caribbean as it nears Cancun, Mexico.

Forecaster Todd Kimberlain with the the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Ida's winds have picked up to 75 mph (120 kph).

The storm is expected to pass between Mexico and Cuba on Sunday, with its center remaining offshore. Forecasters predict Ida will enter the Gulf of Mexico, eventually weaken again to tropical storm strength and possibly brush the U.S. Gulf Coast next week.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect for parts of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, as well as Western Cuba and Grand Cayman Island. A hurricane watch is also in effect for part of the Yucatan.

Late Saturday, Ida was centered about 120 miles (193 kilometers) east-southeast of Cozumel and moving northwest at about 12 mph (19 kph).

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Updated: 10:28 AM Nov 7, 2009

Tropical storm warnings have been issued for parts of Mexico and Cuba as Ida rapidly gains strength over Caribbean waters.

A hurricane watch was also issued for part of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

The warnings were issued for parts of the Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba. A tropical storm warning was also in effect for Grand Cayman Island.

A tentative forecast track from the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami shows the storm could hit the U.S. Gulf Coast next week.

Tropical Storm Ida, which was packing winds of 60 mph (95 kmh), was expected to approach the Yucatan Channel on Sunday.

Ida was moving toward the north at about 9 mph (15 kmh). It was centered about 255 miles (410 km) southwest of Cozumel, Mexico.

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Updated: 8:55 AM Nov 7, 2009

A tropical storm warning has been issued for Grand Cayman Island as Ida gains strength over Caribbean waters.

A tentative forecast track from the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami shows the storm could hit the U.S. Gulf Coast next week.

The warning means tropical storm conditions are expected on Grand Cayman in 24 hours or less.

Tropical Storm Ida, which was packing winds of 45 mph (75 kmh), was expected to approach the Yucatan Channel on Sunday. A tropical storm watch was in effect for the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico from Punta Allen north to San Felipe, and for the Cuban province of Pinar Del Rio.

Ida was moving toward the north at about 8 mph (13 kmh). It was centered about 220 miles southwest of Grand Cayman Island.

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Updated: 3:38 AM Nov 7, 2009

Ida has become a tropical storm again, with top winds of 45 mph (72 kph), as it swirls in the Caribbean on a track that could bring it to the U.S. Gulf Coast next week.

Ida came ashore in Nicaragua as a hurricane Thursday before weakening and dumping rain on Central America. Thousands were evacuated but no deaths were reported.

The storm edged back over the Caribbean the next day, where nourishing waters are helping it build its muscle back up.

The still tentative forecast track showed Ida grazing the Cancun region of Mexico early next week, then taking aim at the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Early Saturday, the storm was centered about 135 miles (215 kilometers) northeast of Limon Hondurus, and it was moving north at near 8 mph (13 kph).

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Updated: 6:28 AM Nov 6, 2009

Ida has weakened to a tropical depression with 35 mph top winds as it sweeps over Nicaragua.

The storm rumbled ashore Thursday at hurricane strength, but began losing muscle as it moved over land, dumping rain.

By Thursday night, Nicaragua's government had discontinued tropical storm warnings along the country's east coast. To the north, tropical storm watches were in effect for parts of Honduras.

The depression's center is located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west-southwest of Puerto Cabezas. The depresssion is moving west-northwest near 5 mph.

The storm should get weaker over the next two days. It's expected to be back over the Caribbean seas Saturday and could regain some strength at that point.

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Posted: 4:34 PM Nov 5, 2009

Ida has been downgraded to a tropical storm, weakening as it dumps heavy rains over Nicaragua.

The storm was at hurricane strength when it hit the country's Atlantic coast around sunrise Thursday, destroying several dozen homes and forcing the evacuation of more than 3,000 people.

Thursday afternoon, Ida was clocking winds of 65 mph winds. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami say it was centered about 75 miles north of Bluefields, Nicaragua, and had moved little since making landfall.

No deaths or injuries have been reported because of the storm, which has forced the evacuation of more than 3,000 people. Ida was expected to weaken more as it moves across the mainland.


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