Hurricane Idalia Set to Make Landfall in Florida with Potential for Devastating Storm Surges and Intense Winds

Hurricane Idalia is set to make landfall along Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday, bringing with it the potential for high storm surges, hurricane-force winds, heavy rain, and the possibility of tornadoes. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a Hurricane Warning for several areas, including the Aucilla River to Chassahowitzka, where storm surges of 8 to 12 feet are forecasted, and Chassahowitzka to the Anclote River, where surges of 6 to 9 feet are expected.[0] The Tampa Bay area could see surges of 4 to 7 feet.[1]

Idalia is currently projected to approach the Gulf coast late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. The NHC warns residents to prepare for hurricane-force winds, heavy rain, and coastal flooding of up to 11 feet.[2] The storm is expected to intensify rapidly before making landfall, becoming an extremely dangerous major hurricane.[3]

Ahead of Idalia’s arrival, mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for non-mission essential individuals and dependents in several coastal areas, including Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Pasco, and Hernando counties.[4] Schools in the affected areas will also be closed on Wednesday.[5]

Tampa International Airport and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport have announced closures starting Tuesday, and the Sunrail commuter rail service in Orlando has been suspended.[6] The airports expect to reopen on Thursday after damage assessments are conducted.[7]

Residents are being advised to take precautions and prepare for the storm. Sandbags are being made available in several locations, and residents are urged to bring shovels and identification.[8] Additionally, the National Weather Service warns of the potential for significant rainfall, with 4 to 8 inches expected in some areas and isolated amounts up to 12 inches near the point of landfall.

South Florida, although not currently included in the state of emergency, could still experience gusty winds, heavy rainfall, and hazardous marine conditions, which could be exacerbated by king tides.[0] Idalia is also expected to impact parts of Georgia and the Carolinas.[9]

The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season has been predicted to have 14 to 21 named storms, including six to 11 hurricanes and two to five major hurricanes.[10] Idalia is currently a Category 1 hurricane, and it is forecasted to intensify to at least Category 3 status before reaching Florida.[1]

As the storm approaches, it is crucial for residents to stay updated on the latest developments and follow the guidance of local officials.

0. “Hurricane Idalia to ‘rapidly intensify’ with direct hit expected for Florida coast” South Florida Sun Sentinel, 29 Aug. 2023,

1. “Airlines Are Canceling Hundreds Of Flights As Hurricane Idalia Heads For Florida” Forbes, 29 Aug. 2023,

2. “Idalia Live Blog: Idalia has become a hurricane” WCJB, 27 Aug. 2023,

3. “Timeline: Hurricane Idalia’s potential South Carolina impacts”, 29 Aug. 2023,

4. “Mandatory and voluntary evacuations issued for parts of the Tampa Bay area” ABC Action News Tampa Bay, 28 Aug. 2023,

5. “Lowcountry school districts monitoring potential impacts of Hurricane Idalia” Live 5 News WCSC, 29 Aug. 2023,

6. “Tracking Idalia: Idalia strengthens to a hurricane, dangerous storm surges are forecast for Florida’s Gulf Coast” WLS-TV, 29 Aug. 2023,

7. “COUNTY-BY-COUNTY: Central Florida closures as Idalia approaches” WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando, 29 Aug. 2023,

8. “Hurricane Idalia Live Updates: Volusia, Flagler prepare for hurricane” Daytona Beach News-Journal, 29 Aug. 2023,

9. “Hurricane Idalia Intensifying, Heading To Florida |” The Weather Channel, 29 Aug. 2023,

10. “Hurricane Idalia Tracker: Map and Arrival Times” The New York Times, 29 Aug. 2023,

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