Idalia strengthens and is now predicted to hit Florida as a Category 4 hurricane

Hurricane Idalia, currently a Category 2 hurricane, is now anticipated to hit Florida as a Category 4 hurricane, with accompanying storm surge predictions rising.

Storm’s progression: Hurricane Idalia has strengthened since Tuesday, becoming a Category 2 hurricane with winds reaching 110 mph as of the latest advisory.
* The National Hurricane Center (NHC) stated that Idalia is forecasted to hit Florida’s Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane, with winds reaching at least 130 mph.
* The hurricane’s rate of strengthening qualifies as “rapid intensification,” defined by the NHC as an increase in maximum sustained winds of at least 35 mph in a 24-hour period.

Impact predictions: Predictions regarding the impact of Hurricane Idalia on Florida continue to increase, with storm surge potential rising and warnings issued.
* Forecasters predict a storm surge of up to 16 feet from the Wakulla/Jefferson County line to Yankeetown, Florida.
* City leaders in Tampa warned of a potential 4-to-6-foot storm surge occurring on Wednesday, following the storm’s passing.
* Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis advised Floridians to prepare for the impact of Hurricane Idalia, noting that the predicted storm surge was higher than that of last year’s Hurricane Ian, and that such a surge has not been seen in the Big Bend region in living memory.

Projections amidst global warming: The increasingly frequent occurrence of rapid hurricane intensification is associated with climate change.
* Idalia’s intensification aligns with patterns of more frequent hurricane intensification, partly attributed to climate change.
* Warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico are expected to contribute to the further rapid intensification of the hurricane.

View original article on NPR

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