You can see any of the 29 (yes 29!) possible forecast tracks of Ida above. As of this writing the storm has been downgraded to a tropical storm, and so it shall be for the rest of its life, if even. The storm will likely become extra-tropical by later this evening if not sooner.
I liked this description so well I decided to copy/paste this : "THE STORM WILL BE INTERACTING WITH AN UPPER TROUGH/FRONTAL SYSTEM APPROACHING FROM THE WEST. THIS INTERACTION WILL BEGIN WHAT IS REFERRED TO AS EXTRA-TROPICAL TRANSITION. ESSENTIALLY THIS MEANS THAT THE STORM WILL BEGIN LOSING ITS TROPICAL CHARACTERISTICS AND START RESEMBLING A MORE TYPICAL WINTER-TYPE STORM. THE BIG QUESTION IS JUST HOW RAPIDLY THIS TRANSITION WILL OCCUR. THIS PROCESS APPEARS NOW THAT IT WILL BE A BIT SLOWER TO OCCUR AND IDA MAY APPROACH THE NORTH-CENTRAL GULF COAST WITH AT LEAST SOME TROPICAL CHARACTERISTICS"
Now, that was written last night, but still appears to be most like what is now occurring.
So far this morning, not one recent model is depicting the precipitation field that is now occurring right along the Gulf shores of Florida (also shown above). The reality is that there is more rain there than what the models forecast, even as recently as morning model runs. The closest model was the NAM and what I'm heavily leaning toward at this time.
In the short term (today), expect more of the same yet even breezier to flat out windy, especially along the immediate coast. The chances of rain will again be low as hard as it is to believe. Yet even as I type a spritz just came down...that given there's always a chance of more of the same today, but anything to collect in the bucket is very unlikely until...(read on_.
It's worth noting that we did have a one minute shower in Canaveral last night around 8pm, and accompanying that shower were very hearty wind gusts. Strong enough to blow lawn furniture into the pool! Those rain showers transport the winds that are just over our heads down to the surface and what you get is pretty darned good wind gusts as a result. Overall, though..the chance of rain today is minimal again, but that changes as we head toward the midnight hours. I expect to see more clouds today overall though with the overall coverage being the partly cloudy to broken sky type and not yet totally overcast.
Tomorrow , especially late in the day is where things become more complex as ever! By late in the day the wind may start to die down and shift to a much more southerly direction, but in hand with that the chance of rain begins to increase markedly. In fact, as things look now Wednesday may be an near washout (on the worst end of the spectrum).
I feel a tad bad for the broadcasters (like The Weather Channel) who sent a crew to the panhandle to cover the impending doom and destruction because they ain't gonna see it. Also, some storm chasing friends were seriously considering deployment to the Panhandle to catch video footage and sample the storm, but it looks like that would be mostly a washout. Perhaps they've since changed their minds.
Now, if one solely relies on the NAM model as I alluded to, Ida will not even make a landfall!How's that for a fly-in-the-ointment?!. Instead, the storm merges with a yet to be seen (developing) frontal boundary , with the center of circulation actually drifting back to the south as the front approaches peninsular Florida. I'm going to go back a moment to reflect on what I suppositioned several days ago now, that being the potential for low-end tornadoes. It's not out of the question that there could be a few, mainly around the big bend later today, with a transition to an area as far south as Tampa on the west coast by early Wednesday. It seems that a sort of pseudo warm front will precede the 'cool front', accompanied by a wind shift to the Southwest (FINALLY). It's along this warm front that the chance of those nasty little rotating storms will be manifested on Wednesday so just keep your ears perked a tad in the future just in case the possibility becomes public.
Further down the road into Thursday also becomes problematic. Namely, just how soon will Ida be out of the picture all together? There is talk on The Weather Channel of the system moving up the U.S. east coast and being a big weather maker for the mid-Atlantic region (per the GFS model mostly), but I'm not yet sold on this idea. Strong high pressure still bridges the gap between here and there, and I don't see it going anywhere anytime soon. Ida could well linger in the Gulf..and even drift SSW away from us...or completely washout over the state as a big slosh of moisture laden gunk..making Thursday yet another washout.
Isn't weather fun?! Full of ifs, ands, AND buts. Not so cut and dry as it may seem when hearing about it through the media. In closure, as has been the case, don't be sold entirely on anything you hear. These storms don't know math and definitely don't know the physics equations that go into computing their future paths...in fact, they don't 'know' anything nor seemingly have a vendetta against us. They just are and will be.
It's either hurry up and wait...or catch up before it's too late.