Updated Tuesday: Hurricane Idalia will Form and Hit the Southeast

Tuesday Update – Idalia is rapidly intensifying and will become a major hurricane at cat 3 prior to landfall. Key changes.

  1. Intensification is increased to Cat 3 at landfall.
  2. Peak wind gust 130 mph.
  3. Storm surge will be damaging.
  4. Landfall expect around 10am Et Wednesday morning.
  5. Idalia may stay at hurricane status all the way to eastern South Carolina.
  6. Idalia track may turn back to the southwest this weekend and could mean another hit on Florida next week as a tropical storm.

Monday Update – The biggest change the last 24 hours is the intensity forecast which now indicates that Idalia will have enough time to spin-up over the hot waters of the Gulf of Mexico and become a Cat 2 hurricane. Landfall is still expected to be Wednesday morning north of Tampa now. The path has shifted to the right and it may shift more to the right with time. Impacts will be the same with a moderate storms surge, winds over 60 mph with peak gust to 100 mph and flooding rains.

Idalia is just a tropical storm this morning but will become a tropical storm today and eventually a Cat 1 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday. I don’t think Idalia has enough time to become a Cat 2 or 3 hurricane because once the system gets moving, landfall will occur by Wednesday morning. The Gulf coast of the Florida Panhandle will take the brunt of the storm with hurricane force winds and storm surge. Flooding rains will spread through the Southeast into the Carolina’s.

Idalia will bring winds along the Gulf Coast of 60+mph when landfall occurs which will be south of Tallahassee Wednesday morning. Idalia will weaken quickly but heavy rains and flash flooding will spread through Georgia through the Carolinas into Friday. Some areas will see up to 8 inches of rain. Severe storms and tornadoes will occur east of the track of Idalia and impact eastern Georgia and the eastern Carolina’s.

Idalia should move off the coast Friday morning.