Editor’s note: This story may now contain outdated information. For the latest up-to-date information on Idalia, please click here.
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Idalia remained a tropical storm Monday night, but “could become a hurricane at any time,” according to the National Hurricane Center.
Idalia is forecast to bring “life-threatening storm surge” parts of Florida’s Gulf Coast, including Tampa Bay and Big Bend. It is expected to become a major hurricane before landfall, the National Hurricane Center said.
According to an 11 p.m. update, Idalia remained near western Cuba, moving north at 8 mph with 70 mph sustained winds.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- Yucatan Peninsula from Tulum to Rio Lagartos, including Cozumel
- Isle of Youth Cuba
- Dry Tortugas Florida
- Chokoloskee northward to the Middle of Longboat Key
- West of Indian Pass to Mexico Beach
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for:
- Chokoloskee northward to Englewood, including Charlotte Harbour
- Mouth of the St. Mary’s River to South Santee River South
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:
- Englewood to the Middle of Longboat Key
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:
- Lower Florida Keys west of the west end of the Seven Mile Bridge
- Sebastian Inlet Florida northward to South Santee River South
Tropical Storm Idalia is expected to continue its current track north through Monday evening bringing strong winds and heavy rain to Cuba. Currently, Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles out from the center.
Forecasters say conditions remain favorable for T.S. Idalia to strengthen into a category 1 hurricane by Monday evening or night.
By early Tuesday, the center of Idalia is forecast to pass over the extreme southeastern Gulf of Mexico as a category 2 hurricane.
The National Hurricane Center said Idalia is forecast to be a “dangerous major hurricane” when it reaches the Gulf coast of Florida by early Wednesday.
“The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline,” the NHC said.
Portions of the west coast of Florida, the Florida Panhandle, southeast Georgia, and the eastern Carolinas could see between 4 to 8 inches from Tuesday into Thursday. Isolated higher totals of 12 inches are possible near landfall in northern Florida.
On Monday, the National Weather Service issued a Hurricane Warning for portions of the west coast of Florida including Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, and Hernando counties.
Officials said the water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide:
- Aucilla River, FL to Chassahowitzka, FL…8-12 ft
- Chassahowitzka, FL to Anclote River, FL…6-9 ft
- Ochlockonee River, FL to Aucilla River, FL…5-8 ft
- Anclote River, FL to Middle of Longboat Key, FL…4-7 ft
- Tampa Bay…4-7 ft
- Middle of Longboat Key, FL to Englewood, FL…3-5 ft
- Englewood, FL to Chokoloskee, FL…2-4 ft
- Charlotte Harbor…2-4 ft
- Indian Pass, FL to Ochlockonee River, FL…3-5 ft
- Mouth of the St. Mary’s River to South Santee, SC…2-4 ft
- Chokoloskee, FL to East Cape Sable, FL…1-3 ft
- Flagler/Volusia County Line, FL to Mouth of St. Mary’s River…1-3 ft
- Indian Pass to Mexico Beach…1 to 3 ft.
- Florida Keys…1-2 ft
Once the storm moves out of Florida, it could bring scattered flash and urban flooding to southern Georgia and heavy rain in parts of the Carolinas.
WFLA.com will have interactive streaming coverage on Tracking the Tropics starting at 10 a.m.