UPDATE: Tropical Depression Nine now Tropical Storm Ida

Tracking the Tropics

On Thursday morning, Tropical Depression Nine formed in the west-central Caribbean Sea. By Thursday afternoon, the tropical depression had strengthened and is now Tropical Storm Ida.

Late Thursday afternoon, hurricane hunter aircraft found the depression had strengthened to Tropical Storm Ida, the 9th named storm of the season.

The National Hurricane Center’s latest track shows Ida passing near or over the Cayman Islands tonight, then moving over the southeastern and central Gulf of Mexico Friday night and Saturday. Ida will then approach the northern Gulf Coast on Sunday.

Right now, winds are around 40 mph, with strengthening expected in the coming days. The tropical storm is forecast to become a hurricane when it is near Cuba or over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.

The latest from the National Hurricane Center says it could be near major hurricane strength (Category 3 or higher) as it approaches the northern Gulf Coast.

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