Idalia, a Category 3 hurricane, is expected to make landfall in Florida on Wednesday morning. The hurricane is currently located about 350 miles south of Miami and is moving north at 15 mph. Idalia is packing maximum sustained winds of 115 mph.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a hurricane warning for the Florida Keys, the west coast of Florida from Englewood to Tampa Bay, and the east coast of Florida from Fort Pierce to the Flagler County Line. A hurricane watch is in effect for the rest of the Florida peninsula.
Idalia is expected to bring heavy rains, storm surge, and strong winds to Florida. The NHC is forecasting up to 12 inches of rain in some areas, with isolated areas receiving up to 18 inches. Storm surge could reach up to 10 feet in some areas. Strong winds could cause widespread power outages and damage to structures.
Residents in the path of Idalia are urged to take precautions now. This includes:
- Evacuate if you are in an evacuation zone.
- Secure your home and belongings.
- Have a plan for where you will go if you need to evacuate.
- Stay informed about the latest forecasts and updates.
The NHC will continue to monitor Idalia and issue updates as needed.
The governor of Florida has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of Idalia’s arrival. The state has activated the National Guard and is preparing to deploy resources to help with the storm response.
This is the first major hurricane to threaten Florida since Hurricane Michael in 2018. Michael was a Category 5 hurricane that made landfall in the Florida Panhandle, causing widespread damage.
Idalia is the seventh named storm of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. The season is expected to be active, with an above-average number of storms.