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National Weather Service, Mobile-Pensacola

 

Hurricane Ida
November 10, 2009

Ida formed into a tropical depression in the southwestern Caribbean Sea on November 4, 2009. It achieved hurricane intensity twice and Category 2 intensity once prior to moving through the Yucatan Straights and into the southern Gulf of Mexico on the 8th of November. Hurricane Ida reached a peak intensity of 105mph on Sunday evening (November 8) while over the southern half of the Gulf of Mexico. After that time, Hurricane Ida encountered very strong vertical wind shear north of 25.0N latitude and much cooler sea surface temperatures, which prevented further intensification. Ida responded by gradually weakening and filling in before approaching the northern Gulf Coast on the 10th of November.

During the early morning hours of November 10th, 2009, Tropical Storm Ida made its first landfall near Dauphin Island in Mobile County, AL at approximately 540am. Maximum sustained winds were approximately 45mph with locally higher gusts during this first landfall. The full track of Hurricane Ida can be seen in the image to the right (courtesy of NOAA, Office for Coastal Management, DigitalCoast).

Ida made yet another landfall around 6am near Bon Secour, AL (Baldwin County) after slowly crossing over the southern part of Mobile Bay. Radar imagery from both the first and second landfall can be seen in side-by-side images below. Wind and storm surge effects were relatively minimal along both the Alabama and northwest Florida coastlines. It should be noted that surface winds became quite gusty after Tropical Storm Ida moved well away from the region and a high pressure system began to move in from the west during the evening after landfall.
 

     Mobile Radar Second Landfall
Radar Imagery from Ida's 1st landfall (left) and 2nd landfall (right) on the Alabama coast.


Making landfall as a minimal tropical storm will NOT be what Hurricane Ida is remembered for. Ida has the distinct honor of being the 2nd latest hurricane to form on record so late in the hurricane season and make landfall along the northern Gulf Coast (until this record is eclipsed in the future). In 1985, Hurricane Kate made landfall as a Category 1 Hurricane near Mexico Beach, FL on the 21st November.  
 


The majority of this document will focus on the impacts from Tropical Storm Ida. Below are some of the regional impacts...
Jump to - Rainfall, Wind, Storm Surge, or Additional Information sections.

 

RAINFALL 

Since Ida was weakening and filling in as it approached the region and even while it made landfall across the area, rainfall amounts were not extraordinarily high for this tropical system (in comparison to past tropical cyclones that made landfall across the region). In general, rainfall totals across the area were in the 3-6 inch range based on radar estimates. The CoCoRaHS observer near Foley, AL (Baldwin County) measured 6.61 inches of rain in the 2-day period ending on November 11th, which was the highest amount observed across the area. The highest amounts were observed further north of the region as the cyclone further decayed.

Widespread street flooding was noted in all coastal counties due to the heavy rainfall in Ida. The table below shows the storm total rainfall reports that were greater than 3.99 inches (otherwise the list would be too long). CoCoRaHS data are a 2-day total ending 6am on November 11th, 2009. The remainder of the data are for a 24-hour period ending at the same time, which still captures the event rainfall due to the timing and cessation around the region. The data are categorized by the source of the data report (e.g. CoCoRaHS, DCP, ASOS, COOP reports).
 

 Location Amount (inches)
CoCoRaHS Reports
Foley, AL 0.5 ESE 6.61
Summerdale, AL  2.5 ESE 6.13
Elberta, AL - 3.1 SSW 5.84
Foley, AL - 2 SW 5.62
Elberta, AL  8.2 ESE 5.12
Orange Beach, AL  3.0 ENE 5.04
Orange Beach, AL  1.3 E 5.00
Theodore, AL  3.0 S 5.00
Foley, AL  6.2 SW 4.98
Theodore, AL  2.6 WNW 4.98
Summerdale, AL  4.2 WSW 4.82
Orange Beach, AL  4.9 E 4.58
Orange Beach, AL  2.1 NE 4.54
Mobile, AL  5.7 WSW 4.49
Mobile, AL  4.4 WNW 4.47
Mobile, AL  0.2 N 4.43
Orange Beach, AL  2.5 ENE 4.35
Mobile, AL  4.7W W 4.34
Mobile, AL  1.8W 4.20
Foley, AL 7.4 SW 4.16
Tillman's Corner, AL 3.4 WNW 4.14
Mobile, AL  6.1 WNW 4.09
Mobile, AL  1.2 WSW 4.01
ASOS Reports
Crestview, FL 4.39
DCP Reports
Pensacola-11 Mi. Creek 4.88
Magnolia River, AL 4.22
Milton, FL 4.15
Brewton-Murder Creek, AL 4.14
NWS COOP Reports
Atmore, AL 5.41
Wallace, AL 4.15
Waynesboro, MS 4.05
Bay Minette, AL 4.00

 


WIND

Again, since Ida was weakening and filling in as it made landfall across the area, wind speeds were not very high in comparison to past storms that impacted the region. The table below shows the peak and sustained wind speed data ending 7am on November 11, 2009. The data are presented in descending order based on the day of the observation. "N/A" indicates the data was not available.

 

Location - Source Maximum
Sustained Wind (kt)
Peak Wind Gust (kt) Peak Wind Gust Time (CST)
November 9th
Dauphin Island, AL Bridge - Skywarn N/A 54 1040 PM
Petit Bois Island, AL - NOAA Ports 40 51 1018 PM
Buoy 42012 (12 S Orange Beach) - NWS 38 - 10 min 49 656 PM
Dauphin Island, AL - NOAA Ports 35 44 542 PM
Dauphin Island, AL C-MAN (DPIA1) - NWS 30 - 10 min 42 723 PM
Destin, FL (DTS) - ASOS 28 - 2 min 39 1129 PM
Gulf Shores, AL (JKA) - AWOS 24 - 2 min 38 700 PM
Pensacola, FL (PNS) - ASOS 27 - 2 min 38 1150 PM
Brookley Field, AL  (BFM) - ASOS 27 - 2 min 34 1104 PM
Valparaiso, FL (VPS) - ASOS 21 - 2 min 34 859 PM
Fairhope, AL (K4R4)- AWOS 20 33 7 PM
Evergreen, AL (GZH) - ASOS 20 - 2 min 27 1102 PM
November 10th
Fort Morgan, AL - NOAA Ports 40 46 730 AM
West Mobile, AL Bates Field (MOB) - ASOS 30 - 2min 41 105 AM
NAS Pensacola, FL (NPA) - ASOS 29 - 2 min 37 132 AM
Middle Bay Lighthouse  - USA Mesonet N/A 36 8 AM
Mary Esther, FL (HRT) - ASOS 21 - 2 min 35 118 AM
USCG on Mobile Bay - NOAA Ports 24 32 1 AM

 


STORM SURGE

Coastal flooding and beach erosion due to storm surge were widespread across the Alabama and northwest Florida coastline. Even though Ida was weakening as it made landfall along the Alabama coast, storm surge was 3-6 feet across the area. The highest total tide height across our coastline was in Bayou La Batre, AL (near the second landfall) with a height of 4.83 feet. Storm surge caused minor beach erosion across the beaches in Alabama and northwest Florida. The image to the right shows storm surge damage in the Fairhope, AL area (courtesy of the Press-Register, John Davide Mercer).

The table below shows the total tide height in feet and the estimated storm surge effects on November 10, 2009. FYI - Total Tide Height is composed of the astronomical prediction plus Tropical Storm Ida's surge effects in feet. All values are referenced to Mean Low Low Water (MLLW).  "E" means estimated from closest station with a tidal prediction for that hour. The data are presented in descending order with respect to total tide height (MLLW).

 

Tide Gage - Station ID Time
(UTC)
Astronomical Prediction (ft) Surge (ft) Total Tide Height (MLLW, ft)
Bayou La Batre - BYOA1 849 1.3 E 3.53 4.83
USCG Mobile, AL - 8737048 1130 1.35 3.15 4.5
Alabama State Docks, Mobile, AL - 8737048 1200 1.3 2.95 4.25
Weeks Bay, AL - 8732828 1030 1.45 2.75 4.20
Gulf Shores, AL ICCW - 8731439 1415 0.7 3.35 4.05
Pensacola, FL - 8729840 1000 1.35 2.65 4.00
Gulf Breeze, FL - GFBF1 1552 1.35 E 2.63 3.98
Dauphin Island, AL - 8735180 1021 1.3 2.63 3.93
Fort Morgan, AL - FMRA1 0951 1.3 E 2.54 3.84
Destin, FL - East Pass - EPSF1 1049 0.4 3.3 3.70
Pensacola, FL - Blue Angel Park - 8729941 1215 0.5 3.05 3.55
Fort Walton Beach, FL - FWLF1 1030 0.4 2.91 3.31
 
                    

Additional Information

NHC Advisory Archive

WPC Archive


NHC Tropical Cyclone Report - Hurricane Isaac

NWS Local Write-Ups and Webpages:
     NWS Birmingham

 


Acknowledgements: Page created by Jeff Medlin (Meteorologist In Charge), Ray Ball (Information Technology Officer), Jeff Garmon (previous Warning Coordination Meteorologist) and Kirk Caceres (former forecaster). Page updated by Morgan Barry (forecaster).

LAST UPDATED: November 2016