UPDATE: Hurricane Ida explodes into a Cat 4 with winds of 145 mph; Landfall imminent

Hurricane Ida has strengthened into a Category 4 as it heads toward landfall on the northern Gulf Coast today, where it will bring life-threatening storm surge, dangerous rainfall flooding and potentially catastrophic winds.

Ida had winds of 145 mph as of 5 a.m. CDT on Sunday, making it a strong Category 4 hurricane. Maximum sustained winds in Ida increased by 65 mph in 24 hours, which easily meets the criteria for the rapid intensification of a tropical cyclone.

Ida is centered about 75 miles south of the southeastern tip of Louisiana and is moving to the northwest at 15 mph. Landfall in southeast Louisiana should occur this afternoon.

Source: The Weather Channel