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Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

National Weather Service meteorologists and others expressed fear and alarm Sunday at the "monster" Hurricane Ida became overnight as it churned toward Louisiana.

What they're saying: "As meteorologists at the National Weather Service Slidell office, we can't bear to see this on satellite," the NWS New Orleans tweeted Sunday morning. "We have hard times ahead, but we will all persevere. Take all messages we, public officials and broadcast media are saying SERIOUSLY. "

  • “I feel ill watching this hurricane," Kim Wood, a meteorology professor at Mississippi State University, said on Twitter.
  • “Sunrise reveals an absolute monster. The rapid intensification to the point of landfall is what meteorologists fear most with tropical cyclones," Steve Bowen, a meteorologist for reinsurer Aon, tweeted.

The big picture via Axios' Andrew Freedman: Ida intensified at an astonishing rate early Sunday, leaping from a 105 mph Category 2 storm at 11 p.m. ET Saturday to the cusp of Category 5 intensity as it spun closer to the southeastern coast of Louisiana.

  • The rapid intensification, which exceeded forecasts, was due to extremely warm ocean waters and ideal conditions in the atmosphere as well. The Gulf of Mexico served as gasoline thrown onto the fire of the storm.
  • Human-caused climate change, by warming air and ocean temperatures, is leading to both stronger and wetter hurricanes, and also more storms that rapidly intensify.

Go deeper: Hurricane Ida at near-Category 5 intensity as Louisiana braces for landfall

Go deeper

Storms pummel flood-hit Pacific Northwest as border river overflows

An image of the water-logged Sumas Prairie area taken Friday. Photo: British Columbia Ministry of Transportation/Twitter

The latest ferocious storm system to hit the Pacific Northwest triggered fresh evacuation orders and at least one mudslide in flood-ravaged British Columbia, Canada, late Sunday.

Threat level: Flood sirens sounded in Washington state as the Nooksack River overflowed. Henry Braun, mayor of Abbotsford, B.C., told reporters the water flow was headed toward the Canadian border city later Sunday. "There's nothing to stop it," he said.

58 mins ago - World

Soldiers seize power in Burkina Faso as global coup surge continues

Mutinous soldiers in Burkina Faso declared on state television Monday that they had deposed the government, closed the borders, and taken control of the country. President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré has reportedly been arrested.

The big picture: This would be the third successful military coup in west Africa in eight months, after juntas took power last year in Guinea and in neighboring Mali.

2 hours ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.