Ida is expected to hit southeastern Louisiana as a Category 4 storm later Sunday.
"Life-threatening storm surge, potentially catastrophic wind damage, and flooding" from its heavy rains "will impact" parts of the northern Gulf Coast, starting Sunday morning, the NHC said.
Ida was 75 miles south-southeast of Grand Isle, Louisiana, and 60 miles south-southwest of the Mississippi River's mouth at 7:00 am Sunday, exactly 16 years on from Hurricane Katrina devastating Louisiana and Mississippi.
After hitting Cuba Friday night, the hurricane paused its intensification for a time, but resumed its alarming trends Saturday morning.
Motorists sit in traffic on I-10 West while evacuating ahead of Hurricane Ida in Metairie, Louisiana, on Saturday.