Tropical Depression Heads Towards Gulf Of Mexico, Could Become Major Hurricane Before Landfall

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A tropical depression is currently making its way towards the Gulf of Mexico, tracking slightly eastward towards Louisiana Thursday morning.

According to predictions from the National Weather Service in Houston, the depression was expected to become a tropical storm by Thursday night, and could potentially become a category three hurricane when it reaches the northern Gulf Coast on Sunday.

The forecast — which the NWS said was uncertain since the storm is still forming — predicts “life-threatening storm surge, damaging hurricane force winds, and heavy rainfall” along the upper Texas coast to the Florida panhandle by Monday.

After becoming a tropical storm, it would adopt the name Ida — marking the ninth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. Forecasters predicted an especially active season this year, with as many as 21 named storms.

Southeast Texas would likely see less severe impacts, with elevated seas, tides, and rip currents, along with the possibility of minor coastal flooding, according to the forecast.

As of Thursday morning, the storm was headed towards Louisiana, but NWS meteorologist Dan Riley said the Houston area wasn’t in the clear just yet.

“The track could shift again so we need to keep track of the forecast,” he said. “We need to be prepared for a hurricane.”