Hurricane Ida slammed into Louisiana and then didn’t really weaken. Why?

Enlarge / Hurricane Ida had a distinct eye as it approached the Louisiana coast on Sunday morning. (credit: NOAA)

Hurricane Ida roared into the southern US state of Louisiana on Sunday at 11:55 am local time (16:55 UTC) with sustained winds of 150 mph. The storm’s distinct eye moved into the state’s southernmost seaport, Port Fourchon, setting about destroying buildings and scattering boats moored nearby.

But Ida did not stop there. Instead of weakening as it marched northward toward the larger cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Ida appeared to maintain its organization with a distinct eye and even small vortices rotating around the center of the storm.

I count 4 mesovortices rotating around the outer portion of #Ida‘s eye, evident in the low cloud field. And the eye is now *completely over land*! I don’t think I’ve seen this before with a storm over land. #GOES16

— Dan Lindsey (@DanLindsey77) August 29, 2021

Ida brought many forms of devastation to Louisiana. Its storm surge swamped coastal areas and pushed water levels to flooding levels in Lake Pontchartrain near New Orleans. Heavy rains flooded low-lying areas of the state.

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