A NOAA report on Friday Hurricane Ida is forecasted to hit the land as a Category 4 hurricane on Sunday.
The storm is rushing toward the country’s southern coast, with winds surpassing 110 mph and “catastrophic” storm surges.
“Once Ida moves past western Cuba and into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, it will be moving through a very favorable oceanic and atmospheric environment consisting of high ocean heat content waters, low vertical wind shear and a moist low- to mid-level atmosphere,” the NOAA reported. “These conditions are likely to result in a period of rapid strengthening during the next 24 to 36 hours. In fact, with the higher initial wind speed, the intensity guidance has significantly increased this cycle, and the bulk of the guidance now brings Ida to Category 4 intensity.”
The weather disturbance is expected to hit the shores of Louisiana in time for Hurricane Katrina’s 16th anniversary.
A state of emergency has already been declared by state officials.
A hurricane watch was also upgraded to a warning that will be effective Saturday evening in southern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.
Mandatory evacuations have already been called by New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Friday.
The same mandate was also released by the St. Charles Parish government located along the Mississippi River.
“Unfortunately, all of Louisiana’s coastline is currently in the forecast cone for Tropical Storm Ida, which is strengthening and could come ashore in Louisiana as a major hurricane as Gulf conditions are conducive for rapid intensification,” said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.
With the winds expected to blow extremely on Saturday evening, residents are urged to put in place their hurricane action plans. Travel will not be advisable as the “catastrophic” storm could topple down trees and power lines, CBS News reported.
“By Saturday evening, everyone should be in the location where they intend to ride out the storm,” Edwards said.