Idalia intensification could hit Florida as a major hurricane within 24 hours: live updates


Vero Beach, Florida – Tropical Storm Idalia Monday intensified and threatened to strike across Florida’s Gulf Coast sometime Wednesday Big hurricane With a threat to life storms dangerous winds.” The National Hurricane Center said.

The storm is expected to reach hurricane strength later Monday, Hurricane Center meteorologist Eric Blake wrote in a morning warning.

Hurricane watches were in effect along nearly 400 miles of Florida’s coast, from Indian Pass, near Panama City in Florida’s Panhandle, to Englewood, 50 miles north of Fort Myers. A major hurricane is a category 3, 4, 5 or higher storm Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Speed ​​Scale. A storm becomes a Category 3 hurricane when maximum winds reach at least 111 mph.

“A tornado is expected somewhere within the warning area… within the next 12 to 24 hours,” Blake said. He added, “We must expedite the completion of preparations to protect lives and property.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis, who declared a state of emergency for half of the state’s counties, warned of fallen trees and power outages “will happen.” He added that the state has mobilized 1,100 National Guard personnel, 2,400 high water vehicles and 12 aircraft to prepare for rescue operations. The state’s Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee switched to 24-hour operations Monday morning.

“These things can swing, so Floridians along the Gulf Coast need to be vigilant, even if you are out of the storm’s potential path,” he said.

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This image obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows Tropical Storm Idalia off the coast of Mexico on August 27, 2023.

Idalia has “hellish potential”: A forecaster warns that the storm is targeting Florida


∎ Early Monday, the center of the storm was located 90 miles south of the western tip of Cuba.

∎ Idalia was moving to the north at 7 mph with sustained winds of 65 mph.

∎ The center of the storm was expected to collide over or near western Cuba Monday night and into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by early Tuesday. Idalia is expected to accelerate to the north-northeast as it heads toward Florida.

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Follow the track of Hurricane Adalia

Damaging winds, up to 18 inches of rain

“Massive, life-threatening flooding” was possible, with 4 to 8 inches of rain likely from north Florida to the southeast – and some areas could see up to 18 inches of rain. AccuWeather said. Damaging winds of 40 to 60 mph are expected across Florida and parts of the Southeast in the coming days, AccuWeather meteorologist Brandon Buckingham said.

“Near where the tropical system makes landfall, winds of 120 to 140 miles per hour can occur,” he said.

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Polluted gas complicates preparations for the storm

Drivers along Florida’s Gulf Coast were told they could Buy polluted gas diesel fuel during the weekend as the residents of the area prepare for it Idalia to make landfall. Florida officials warned Sunday that any fuel purchased after 10 a.m. Saturday at Citgo-provided stations Port of Tampa Has a strong possibility of contamination with diesel fuel.

the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services It has been stated that contaminated gasoline and diesel can cause engine damage or affect its operability.

Sarasota Herald-Tribune staff

Idalia will also target Georgia, Carolina and Virginia

Forecasters say Georgia, South and North Carolina and Virginia will be the next targets as Adalia sweeps through Florida. Wind gusts up to 8 inches and gusts greater than 40 mph are likely across eastern Georgia, North Carolina and possibly Virginia later in the week as Labor Day weekend approaches.

“By late in the week, the storm could turn east and reappear over the Atlantic,” Buckingham said. “At this point, little re-intensification can be expected, and the system will move away from the east coast toward Bermuda.”

Hurricane Franklin is the first “major” hurricane of the season

Hurricane Franklin rapidly intensified early Monday and reached Category 4 strength with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph. The first “major” hurricane of the season, the storm was centered more than 400 miles north of Grand Turk Island and moving northwest at 8 mph. later this week Franklin AccuWeather said the hurricane will hit Bermuda. Franklin is also expected to have an impact on the east coast of the United States, where “violent waves and floods” are expected. rip currents AccuWeather warned that this could endanger swimmers as the summer winds end.

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This article originally appeared in the USA TODAY: Idalia live updates: The storm is approaching hurricane status as it approaches Florida

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