Tracking the Tropics: Hurricane Idalia just shy of major hurricane strength (10 p.m. Tuesday)Aug 31, 2023
We're going to turn to meteorologist Natalie Ferrari, uh, for an update on the storm's track, but normally from the National Weather Center you get it at 11, but you need to keep an eye on all of this first. Yes, they are giving us interim updates, so while the main track updates will come up until about 5 o'clock and again at 11: right around 2: and at 8: that's when we get the updates on the location , the speed, the pressure, any slight change and that's what we're going to do. Be monitoring hour by hour, we're an hour away from the 11:00 update, but watch this.
The 10:00 warning
justcame, so they're doing an earlier one. It looks like the wind speed in the last few minutes reached 110 mph, so guys we are looking at a Category 2 storm that is
strengthening, we are within 1 mile an hour of a Category 3
justoff the coast, right on the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico, this is about 120 miles. To our west from the mouth of Tampa Bay, the center of the storm is
strengthening and also gaining some speed. Check this out, it's actually been running at about 16 mph for the last few updates around the eastern parts of the Gulf of Mexico.
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tracking the tropics hurricane idalia just shy of major hurricane strength 10 p m tuesday...
In the latest update, it's now even gaining more forward momentum, so it's moving a little faster now at 18 miles per hour. Look at those rain bands on the right side. This is where we see some of those heavier downpours continuing to rise. Along the coast, I'm also seeing sustained wind speeds starting to increase, as well as those gusts, so those are the ones blowing a little harder from time to time. The sustained ones are a little more consistent with those winds. accelerates to 135 miles west southwest from downtown Tampa from the city of Tampa proper, that's where the center is currently and it's running parallel to the coast tonight, so let's get a better view all the way to St.
Petersburg. is concerned because I have been watching the wind speed very closely for the last few hours here and I will tell you that right in southern Pene County is where I started to see those sustained wind speeds that are already starting to approach 30 gusts of 40 to 45 mph at times we were even seeing top wind gusts of just over 45 mph this afternoon but we are getting another band to move through and some of those heavier downpours already moving in this band along the Gulf . The coast has the potential to produce tornadoes, which is why there is already a tornado watch until 6:00 tomorrow morning.
This will be a concern that will remain during not only this round of rain that is moving inshore along the coast. now, but even as we move through the evening hours, we'll have additional bands pressing on the Shore, which I'll show you when the future airs in a few moments, we'll take you here a little bit closer to Manate and Sarasota counties. At first we were seeing the initial push of the ban on the coast, very strong, sometimes we started to see a bit that we tried to back off and dissipate, but what is happening is that we are going from these heavier downpours to a constant band of rain light to moderate. with a little less lightning involved, some spots still face some of those isolated lightning bolts that get pretty strong at times, but look at this from southern Pelis County toward the mouth of the bay, even approaching downtown Tampa, we're starting to get some of those.
Moderate rain, heavier and consistent, holding on tight across Pasco a little on the lighter side. You just saw that live view with Shannon with her umbrella. She is right. She'll need the waterproof jacket here any minute. I'll tell you. Polo County Hardy doto Highlands concern about tropical storm-force winds has actually decreased. I don't think it will exceed 40 hours per hour as consistently as what we'll see towards the coast, but it will get some of that whiplash of rain headed its way. especially as we go through that over the next 30 to 45 minutes in Lakeland, but it actually comes back towards I75 and especially to the west, that's where we'll see a lot of those winds pick up speed.
Wind speeds in St. Pete are barely over 30 mph, gusts closer to 40 45 and you will notice these sustained wind speeds even further inland, they are gaining some speed, but they are not as significant or at least as heavy as what we're going to be dealing with along the immediate beaches, let me explain your future cast because it's midnight, the band of rain that we're dealing with right now is going to come up along the coast and sort of train, behind her. We'll have some of those downpours to train and really fill up right behind this, there's a chance that around midnight, closer to 12 in the morning, we could have a brief lull, another little break, but I think we'll see additional activity. disperses just after 3:00 in the morning and will be a little more scattered, a little more of a break between some of those heavier showers.
I think we're going to get to the point where we're going to get heavier downpours that will actually reach some of our inland locations for a brief moment, if this storm sticks around it's just going to push all that rain a little bit further inland to As the center of Idalia continues to reach the northeast late tonight into early tomorrow morning and into tomorrow it will go from very windy to gusty, but we will see those winds gradually diminish, which means that yes, we still have that flow on land that goes just before, further ahead. of the storm and behind it, but it won't be as strong as what we're worried about overnight, which will be that 40 50 60 mph wind gust that's going to try to move all that water along the coast, which of course will be more significant the further north you go, the further north you'll be in Citrus County by Thursday, we'll keep things a little on the windy side of course, but we'll see those rain chances become a little more few and far between They will break up and become a little isolated, so what is happening is that we have the strongest storm, instead of the strongest winds.
I should say just inside the center of the storm, it's about 20 to 25 miles from the center of the storm, those are hurricane force winds, wind speeds of 74 mph or more. is not impacting land yet, that will impact land towards the Big Bend region once we make landfall tomorrow morning, but as far as immediate Tampa Bay and I'm even talking about Pasco and Hern Hernando counties , you will see those tropical areas. The tropical storm force winds of 40 m per hour or more persist during the night hours and until tomorrow morning and on the back you can see those arrows that indicate the southwest wind that we will all continue to bring. that water on the coast continues to bring that wind to the coast, but as mentioned, with a weakened system moving away and coming back towards parts of Georgia and the South Carolina area, what will happen for us is that we will see those winds gradually decrease and it becomes a little bit With a little less threat of storm surge, we're starting to move back with a little bit of that water and we're still getting ready to pick up some of the MS that's left because of some of those gusty winds that we'll see from time to time. when, especially tree debris, any of those branches.
We will have gradual clearing conditions to help improve with that, but look what happens overnight. We're going to get another little peak here around midnight to get some of those wind gusts. To really recover, they may drop for a brief moment because as I mentioned, I think we're going to see a little bit of low, especially in the immediate Bay, so talking to you, St Pete, maybe a little bit of low with uh. those winds subsided for a moment, then I think as we get around 4 or 5:00 in the morning we might see another little spike, a little increase with our wind speed, notice how that decreases slightly in Tampa and Esa trend continues as you move inland, we are not dealing with those long sustained wind speeds and those occasional gusts that peak or increase a little more, will separate and decrease from time to time as you go.
It's going inland, but that doesn't mean we still won't have to deal with strong winds from time to time or also those gusty bands of rain that could cause torrential rain in the same areas over and over again, so that's really what we'll be keeping an eye on as we move forward over the next few hours.
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