By Ben Warwick

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Crews from Colorado will have a direct hand in relief efforts as a major hurricane takes aim at the Louisiana coast. Colorado Task Force 1 has been officially activated and will leave early Saturday morning.

(credit: CBS)

Most of the Louisiana coast is under a Hurricane Warning. Ida is projected to make landfall Sunday evening as a major Category 4 hurricane. Nearly 15 inches of rain is expected to fall from Louisiana to Mississippi into Monday morning.

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(credit: NWS National Hurricane Center)

CBS4 Meteorologist Dave Aguilera says that rapid intensification has been expected due to a lack of wind shear and warm water. CBS News meteorologist Jeff Berardelli tweeted a model that shows the expected organization coming.

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CBS News reports that Ida will move across extremely high ocean heat content, which is hot water that extends to a great depth. Then, when the system reaches the central Gulf of Mexico, it will move over the infamous Loop Current: a curved current of some of the most energy-intensive water in the Gulf. Lastly, as it nears the northern Gulf Coast, it will move over surface waters that are like bath water — 88 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit — some of the hottest surface waters available.

Ben Warwick