Devastating Damage Expected from Idalia

By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency

CLANTON – Tuesday, 8:00 a.m. August 29, 2023

Idalia is forecast to make landfall in the Big Bend region of Florida as a strong Category 3 hurricane on Wednesday morning with sustained winds of 120 mph.  The NWS states that areas may be uninhabitable for several weeks or months due to storm surges and/or wind damage.

In Alabama, south of I-85 and east of I-65 from 5 a.m. through 7 p.m. Wednesday, sustained winds will be 10-20 mph with gusts from 15-40 mph, especially for the counties near the Georgia and Florida state lines.  There is currently less than a 10% chance of sustained winds of at least 39 mph.

1-2 inches of rain is forecast with the system.  Along the Alabama coast, dangerous rip currents are expected tonight through Thursday night with high surf tonight through Wednesday night.

As you can see in the graphic above Idalia’s cone of uncertainty track, once it moves into the Atlantic on Thursday will curve eastward and potentially southeastward.  Beyond Sunday there is high uncertainty of the track including whether or not the system remains in the southwestern or western Atlantic.

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