Tropical Storm Idalia August 28 UPDATE No. 3
A Hurricane Watch has been issued for Alachua County, which includes Gainesville. Additionally, a Hurricane Watch remains in effect for the Gulf coast of Florida, from Englewood to Indian Pass, including Tampa Bay. The Tropical Storm Watch issued for the Gulf coast of Florida, south of Englewood to Chokoloskee, remains in effect as well.
Tropical Storm Idalia strengthened overnight and is forecast to become a hurricane later today. The National Hurricane Center now expects the system will become a major hurricane before it reaches the Gulf coast of Florida on Wednesday. Forecasters considers storms that are Category 3 and above major hurricanes.
Forecasters said it’s still is too early to specify what parts of Florida the storm will impact. However, they urged portions of the west coast of Florida and the Florida panhandle “to prepare for possible significant impacts and monitor future updates to the forecast for this increasingly dangerous situation.” This includes dangerous hurricane-force winds, heavy rainfall that may lead to urban and flash flooding, and life-threatening storm surge.
The National Weather Service Center in Jacksonville said the Gainesville area should prepare for hurricane-force winds equivalent to a Category 1 storm, which ranges between 65 and 85 mph with gusts of up to 105 mph. The system is expected to make landfall along the coast as a Category 3 early Wednesday morning.
UF interests statewide should closely monitor forecasts and be prepared to follow guidance from local officials. We will continue to monitor and update all on expected impacts or schedule changes as information becomes available through official UF channels.
Regularly check https://www.ufl.edu/ for updates.
For additional information, please visit National Hurricane Center.
This story was posted at 6:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 28.