Ominous signs for Florida as Tropical Storm Idalia continues to strengthen ahead of schedule spending much more time over the hot waters of the Caribbean than initially anticipated.
NHC Atlantic is currently forecasting landfall as a low Category 3 hurricane near Cedar Key, but hurricane models continue to suggest a major hurricane could be possible at landfall.
The Tampa Bay region needs to pay close attention to this storm as a shift east in the forecast could put the area under a much greater risk of dangerous storm surge. 3-5 feet of storm surge is already forecast, which would inundate many coastal areas near Tampa. Tampa is one of if not the most vulnerable cities in the US to storm surge, which is the deadliest part of hurricanes.
Here are your Monday am Key Messages for Tropical Storm Idalia. The system is forecast to become a dangerous major hurricane over the NE Gulf of Mexico by early Wednesday. Hurricane warnings could be issued for portions of Florida later today. More: https://t.co/tW4KeGe9uJ pic.twitter.com/Xi0lTsrcZL— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 28, 2023
Tropical Storm #Idalia Advisory 8A: Idalia Strengthening as it Nears the Western Tip of Cuba. Life-Threatening Storm Surge and Dangerous Winds Becoming Increasingly Likely For Portions of Florida. https://t.co/tW4KeGe9uJ— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 28, 2023
Ocean heat content is highest in the central Gulf of Mexico along the forecast track of Idalia.— Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) August 28, 2023
The ocean surface is warm > 30°C and plenty of fuel ⛽️ to intensify and sustain any Category of hurricane 🌀
The thermodynamics are not a constraint and rarely would be at end of… pic.twitter.com/XXGrnk3sqa
Complicated forecasts involving big risks such as strong hurricanes require oversized areas of preparation. Here’s why this forecast is complex.— Craig Setzer (@CraigSetzer) August 28, 2023
Idalia will be guided north for a day or so thanks to high pressure building in from the east. A jet stream dip will try to turn the… pic.twitter.com/XDpqZA7Mqh
- Hurricane and storm surge watches have been issued for parts of the Florida coast, and warnings may be issued later Monday.
- “The bottom line is that rapid intensification is becoming increasingly likely before landfall,” Hurricane Center forecasters stated in a forecast discussion Monday morning.
- “Interests within the storm surge and hurricane watch areas are urged to prepare for possible significant impacts and monitor future updates to the forecast for this increasingly dangerous situation,” NHC stated.
Zoom in: In its latest advisory, the NHC forecasts the storm will become a hurricane on Monday and will likely be “near or at major hurricane intensity” when it reaches the Gulf coast of Florida on Wednesday.
- The official forecast calls for a low-end Category 3 storm, with 115 mile-per-hour sustained winds, at landfall on Wednesday.
- It’s expected to make landfall somewhere between Tampa and Tallahassee on Wednesday morning, but high winds and storm surge flooding are likely to begin to affect these areas, as well as surrounding regions, late Tuesday.
- The storm’s ultimate intensity will depend on how quickly it can organize before emerging in the southern Gulf of Mexico on Monday, and the evolution of weather systems surrounding Idalia when it moves closer to the U.S. coast.
We are already starting to see effects of the rising tide in St. Petersburg:
Hurricane Franklin over on the Atlantic has reached Category 4 status, this poses a threat to the Carolinas for the storm surge and winds from both Idalia and Franklin.
Hurricane #Franklin has intensified rapidly this morning and is now a category 4 hurricane with winds of 145 mph. This is what we fear will happen with #Idalia on approach to Florida. Swells from Franklin will reach the Carolina coast tomorrow so expect a high risk of… pic.twitter.com/2mqKdeH5YD— Ed Piotrowski (@EdPiotrowski) August 28, 2023
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