Hurricane warning in effect as AccuWeather warns Idalia will undergo explosive strengthening ahead of Florida landfall
Tropical Storm Idalia is expected to intensify into a major hurricane before it makes landfall along the west coast of Florida, posing significant risks to lives and property in Florida by midweek.
By Bill Deger, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
Published Aug 27, 2023 8:56 AM MST | Updated Aug 28, 2023 6:44 PM MST
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Floridians are bracing for a major hurricane strike on Wednesday as Tropical Storm Idalia has begun to strengthen while churning west of Cuba. AccuWeather hurricane experts say the storm will rapidly intensify into a powerful major hurricane on Tuesday over the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall in the state.
An ‘extreme’ risk for impacts is now in place for a portion of the Sunshine State, centered around the Big Bend region bridging the Gulf coasts of the panhandle and peninsula. This area will be most at risk for life-threatening storm surge flooding, damaging winds and torrential rain as Idalia approaches as a hurricane on Wednesday morning.
AccuWeather meteorologists have rated Idalia as a 3 on the RealImpact™ Scale for Hurricanes in the United States due to the anticipated impacts from flooding rain, destructive winds, life-threatening storm surge and overall damage and economic loss.
A hurricane warning is in effect for the west coast of Florida, extending from the eastern part of the Panhandle, encompassing Tampa Bay and points south of there. Tropical storm watches and warnings are also out for other regions of Florida’s Gulf Coast, including the Florida Keys.