The now-former Hurricane Ida was downgraded to a tropical depression around 5 p.m. Monday, one day after making landfall in Louisiana ahead of what state Governor John Bel Edwards would call a "really catastrophic" amount of storm-related flooding and damage.
Before weakening and crossing into Mississippi, Ida left over one million homes and businesses without power in Louisiana, a total that includes the entire city of New Orleans.
Meteorologist John Weatherbee, appearing as a guest on the Monday edition of WDUN's Newsroom, said he and his colleagues are now looking ahead to what path the storm may take in the coming days, and what level of impact it will have on the various areas in its path.
"A lot of rain. In fact, there's a flash flood watch that's in effect tomorrow afternoon across all of the north Georgia mountain counties, and several counties down through west-central Georgia," Weatherbee said. "It does not include Hall County, but everybody around us, from the north to the northwest, all are under a flash flood watch."
Ida had slowed to a crawl by the time its was downgraded to a tropical depression, moving at just 9 m.p.h.. At that point the storm was located roughly twenty-five miles northwest of Jackson, Mississippi, with sustained winds of roughly 35 m.p.h.
Weatherbee said the storm system was continuing on a northeast trajectory.
"Here's the concern though: as storms weaken, they sometimes 'wobble,' so we spend a lot of time as meteorologists trying to track where the remnants of Ida will go," he said. "Now, at this point, we think is somewhere over Huntsville, Alabama, first thing tomorrow; Knoxville, Tennessee, tomorrow afternoon; perhaps portions of Kentucky and Virginia by the time we get into Thursday; and Friday probably back into the Atlantic."
While Georgia isn't expected to be directly under the system as it moves towards the New England area, Weatherbee said local residents will still be feeling its effects.
"What we're expecting is rainfall amounts probably of a two to three inch total, with isolated areas up to five inches of rain, and in Hall County proper, we're probably in the one to two inch window, probably closer to an inch."
If Ida continues northeast and out into the Atlantic Ocean, Weatherbee said there's a chance the system could reform as a tropical storm, but that it would likely move further out into the ocean, away from the United States.