Idalia Expected To Make Landfall In Florida As ‘Extremely Dangerous’ Category 4 Hurricane


Hurricane Idalia continued to gain intensity over the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to make landfall in Florida’s Gulf Coast as a category 4 storm on Wednesday morning, raising fears of a repeat of the destruction caused by Hurricane Ian last September.

Key Facts

According to the National Hurricane Center’s Tuesday night advisory, Idalia is now forecast to become “an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane” that is expected to bring strong winds and a “catastrophic storm surge” to Florida’s Big Bend region.

At the time of the advisory, sustained wind speeds of nearly 110 mph were reported from the hurricane as it continued to gather pace over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane and storm surge warnings remain in effect across a large portion of Florida’s Gulf Coast.

The increased intensity of the hurricane means that Idalia is likely to remain a hurricane as it moves from Florida to the coast of Georgia or southern South Carolina later on Wednesday, the advisory added.

The NHC warned that the dangerous storm surge caused by the hurricane—which is forecast to be as high as 16 feet in some locations—will cause flooding in normally dry areas along the coast.

The hurricane is also expected to bring between 4 to 8 inches of rainfall, with isolated instances of up to 12 inches of downpour, which may lead to flash flooding in parts of Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina.

Big Number

130 mph. That is the minimum sustained wind speed for a hurricane classified as Category 4 under the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. According to the NHC, a category 4 storm can cause “severe damage” to even well-built frame homes along with power outages that can last from weeks to months.

Crucial Quote

In a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis once again urged people to heed evacuation warnings saying: “You really gotta go now. Now is the time…If you do choose to stay in one of the evacuation zones, first responders will not be able to get to you until after the storm has passed.”

Further Reading

Idalia strengthens over Gulf of Mexico and is now predicted to hit Florida as Category 4 hurricane (Associated Press)

Hurricane Idalia Continues To Intensify—Set To Make Florida Landfall As Category 3 Storm (Forbes)

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