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Idalia is expected to make landfall in Florida as a Category 3 hurricane with dangerous rain, winds and storm surge

(Qnnflash) – Tropical Storm Idalia is anticipated to undergo intensification, potentially reaching the status of a powerful Category 3 hurricane on Monday. The storm’s progression raises concerns about the potential for severe winds, heavy rainfall, and flooding along Florida’s Gulf Coast in the coming days. As a result, precautionary measures such as evacuations and school closures have been put into effect across certain regions of the state.

As of Monday night, Idalia had advanced close to becoming a hurricane and was drawing closer to the United States. The National Hurricane Center noted an increasing likelihood of life-threatening storm surges impacting parts of Florida. The projected trajectory indicates that Idalia is likely to make landfall on Wednesday, primarily along Florida’s Big Bend – an area with historical vulnerability to storm surges extending from Tampa to just south of Tallahassee. Projections indicate the potential for storm surges of up to 12 feet in that region.

In response to the impending threat, mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders have been implemented across a minimum of 10 counties. Notably, Hillsborough County, which encompasses Tampa, enacted a mandatory evacuation for specific coastal zones. The situation prompted the activation of more than 5,000 National Guard members to assist in addressing the storm’s impact.

As of Monday night, Idalia boasted winds of 70 mph and was positioned approximately 10 miles northwest of Cuba’s western tip. Preceding the storm’s arrival, over 8,000 individuals were evacuated from coastal areas in western Cuba, according to reports from state-run TV broadcasters.

Forecast predictions indicate that Idalia is anticipated to experience rapid strengthening up until its landfall in Florida, with a transformation into a “major hurricane” expected by late Tuesday, according to the National Hurricane Center’s advisory.

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