Ida continues to move through the Gulf of Mexico. It still appears that it could become a Category 4 hurricane before landfall and eventually will move east of the ArkLaTex. Our biggest concern will be wind over the extreme E & SE edges of the area. Scattered storms are expected in our area this weekend ahead of Ida. Hot and dry weather returns next week.
Conditions appear favorable for the strengthening of Ida to continue as the storm continues to move towards the northwest. It is possible that Ida could become a dangerous Category 4 hurricane as it approaches the southeast Louisiana late Sunday. Maximum sustained winds are forecast to be near 140 mph. It will then make a turn towards the north and eventually northeast staying well east of our area. Since that will probably leave the ArkLaTex on the so-called dry side of the storm, that means that we will not have to worry too much the way it looks right now about the heavy rain threat accompanying this storm. The biggest wind threat from Ida will also stay to our east. However, a few gusts of over 50 mph cannot be ruled out for the southeast and eastern edges of our area. This could result in a few power outages where the gusts will be strongest. The loop below illustrates the various impacts from Ida expected across the region. It is continuously updated once every hour as new information becomes available. Almost every model is on board with the current predicted scenario. We will keep an eye on the latest information, but it is looking promising that the worst of Ida’s impacts will occur well east of the ArkLaTex.
As Ida churns in the Gulf, as disturbance ahead of it moving westward will increase the threat of scattered showers and thunderstorms around the ArkLaTex Saturday. Thanks to more clouds, it will not be as hot. Highs Saturday will probably be in the lower 90s. The rain that develops Saturday will end Saturday evening. Rain chances will likely decrease Sunday as anything that develops will probably be rather isolated. As Ida moves to our east Sunday night and Monday, the threat of rain will increase over the eastern half of the area, but totals should remain below one inch for most of the area. We could see a few locations over the eastern edge of the area surpass 1″.
Once Ida moves away from our region, it will be replaced by another area of upper-level high pressure next week. This will pretty much end any rain threat and bring plenty of heat. Highs will return to the middle 90s as soon as Tuesday. We could see a slight cool down by the Labor Day weekend. As of right now, the holiday weekend is looking hot and dry. Highs will be in the low to middle 90s. Overnight lows will be in the low to middle 70s.
Above is a stream of updated radar and forecast information. It is also available within the ArkLaTex Weather Authority App on the Severe Weather page.