Florida is bracing for a “major” hurricane as now Tropical Storm Idalia strengthens. It is expected to make landfall on the west coast of the state this week, according to the latest projections from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), as Gov. Ron DeSantis warns those in the path of the storm to “expect power outages.”
On Sunday, NHC projected that Tropical Storm Idalia would develop into a hurricane and approach the Sunshine State on Tuesday and Wednesday. One interesting factor at play is the reality of a supermoon and the affect that will already have on tide levels. Monday morning’s update has Idalia forecast to “become a major hurricane before it reaches the Gulf coast of Florida,” as the NHC warns of ”life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds all portions of the west coast of Florida and the Florid Panhandle beginning as early as late Tuesday.”
Major hurricanes are any storm Category 3 and up, with winds at at least 111 mph.
Current projections show the storm still as a Category 1 hurricane as it makes its way across the Sunshine State into Georgia.
Over the weekend, DeSantis, who is refraining from campaigning out of state on Monday in order to assist in hurricane preparations, declared a state of emergency for 33 counties to help them prepare.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management has continued to provide updates, releasing a list of hurricane watches and storm surge watches for several Florida counties.