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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

Oct 15, 2021 - Science

Americans perceive a rise in extreme weather, Pew finds

Americans are taking notice of extreme weather events, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Details: Two-thirds of Americans say extreme weather events in the U.S. have been occurring more frequently than in the past, while only 28% said they've been taking place about as often, and just 4% perceiving a dropoff in frequency.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly bombing in southern Afghanistan

The mosque after the explosion in southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15. Photo: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a massive blast that tore through a crowded Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens more, AP reports.

Why it matters: Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region and is the second major attack on a Shiite mosque in a week, underscoring the Taliban's growing security threat from other militant groups.

New wave of strikes will test worker power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thousands of John Deere workers hit the picket line this week after the union smacked down a new worker contract from the farm and equipment maker.

Why it matters: There’s a wave of worker angst spreading across the country. They wield new power that’s come with a historic worker shortage.