Idalia touched down as a high-end Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph in Big Bend Florida, and it is the strongest hurricane on record to make landfall in that region. He crossed the coast near Keaton Beach, located about 60 miles southeast of Tallahassee. Forecasters have warned it could bring “catastrophic” storm surge and “damaging” winds to Florida’s northern Gulf Coast.
The hazards could stretch hundreds of miles from where the center crosses the coast, affecting Sarasota, Tampa, Clearwater, Cedar Key and Tallahassee.
The Idalia storm surge is expected to have “devastating, even catastrophic” consequences near the coast, the National Weather Service said in a statement. warning. The gentle slope of the continental shelf off the coast of Florida can greatly exacerbate storm surge risk, with even a minor hurricane capable of causing severe coastal flooding.
The map below shows hurricanes that have made landfall since 1851. The strongest storm to make landfall along the Florida Panhandle was Hurricane Michael in 2018. Hurricane Michael made landfall as as a Category 5 hurricane and caused catastrophic wind and storm surge damage, particularly in the Panama City Beach and Mexico Beach areas. Michael remained at hurricane strength as it moved across the state west of Tallahassee to southwestern Georgia. Currently, Idalia’s projected route would cross the state east of the capital.
Idalia is expected to move northeast, affecting northeast Florida, southeast Georgia and the Carolinas with hazardous weather later in the week.