NOAA satellite captures frightening look at eye of Hurricane Ida as it nears Gulf Coast
A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite on Saturday captured footage of lightning swirling around the eye of Hurricane Ida as the dangerous Category 4 storm nears the coast of southeast Louisiana.
Ida is expected to be one of the strongest storms to make landfall not only in Louisiana (which should happen sometime around 1 p.m. CT) but anywhere in the United States since the record began in 1851. Its sustained 150 miles per hour winds have prompted mandatory and voluntary evacuations across the Gulf Coast region, and they may increase in speed by landfall, though likely not enough to push the storm into Category 5 territory, which begins at 157 mph winds.
Another reason Ida is so dangerous is how quickly it has strengthened over the last few days; New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, for instance, said there was simply no time for the city to issue mandatory evacuations because of how fast the storm developed.