ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME HURRICANE: HURRICANE IDALIA: Tempest undergoing ‘EXPLOSIVE’ strengthening to 125mph Category 3 storm with 15 FOOT surges; Fort Myers Beach Floods Again; Tempest Sparks Tornado Warning
- Hurricane Idalia is expected to intensify into a Category 3 storm with 125mph winds
- The hurricane is speeding up and is now expected to make landfall in the early hours of Wednesday morning
- Governor Ron DeSantis urged residents to abandon their homes as at least 22 counties are hit with evacuation orders
Hurricane Idalia has undergone ‘explosive’ strengthening and is on track to intensify to a Category 3 storm with up to 125mph winds.
The tempest has maximum sustained winds of up to 85mph with even stronger wind gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center.
— Chandler Morgan (@Chandler_TV) August 29, 2023
Currently, the hurricane is a Category 1 storm, but forecasters are expecting it to become an extremely dangerous Category 3 by landfall in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The intensity is expected to reach 125mph by landfall – which is only 5mph below Category Four strength – and hurricane-force winds will extend 15 miles outwards from the center.
Tropical storm-force winds will extend outwards up to 160 miles, with landfall expected in the Big Bend area of Florida near Steinhatchee.
Disney World confirmed that they were still operating under normal conditions as of Tuesday, but added that they were ‘monitoring the path’ of the storm.
The National Hurricane Center has warned that there will be a ‘life-threatening storm surge’ of 10 to 12 feet across Tampa Bay and the Big Bend region of Florida.
Peak levels of the surge are expected to hit between Chassahowitzka and Aucilla River, with residents advised to follow advice from local officials.
Idalia is located 275 miles south-southwest of Tampa, Florida, and is moving northward at 14mph, with the NHC warning that storm surges will be higher than anticipated.
If Tampa Bay is hit with anything above four feet of storm surge and if Cedar Key is battered by more than six feet, then it would set a new record.
Florida residents have left shelves empty as panic buying sweeps the state after Governor Ron DeSantis warned them to flee their homes.
But Key West’s southernmost point in Florida has become a hotspot for people to take selfies despite the rising water levels.
Images show couples posing for pictures while others took selfies as they were battered by waves at the monument – regardless of the major warnings.
The director of the National Weather Service, Ken Graham, said: ‘Time is running out’ to prepare for Idalia,’ and warned that the storm could be ‘especially destructive.’
Source: Daily Mail Online
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