The National Hurricane Center's latest advisory predicts Hurricane Idalia to potentially produce elevated winds and rain across our area starting around 1:00 pm today.
Hurricane Idalia has begun to move northward into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico this morning and is expected to strengthen today as it moves northward.
The following are the primary hazards of concern with Idalia:
* Coastal Flooding/Surge - Higher than usual tides due to the
combination of surge from Idalia and the upcoming full moon could lead to coastal flooding of 2 to 4 feet in coastal Collier County and 1 to 3 feet along the coast of mainland Monroe County. Other vulnerable
coastal areas of southern Florida could also experience minor coastal flooding, especially around the times of high tide.
* Rainfall - The majority of the rainfall associated with the system is forecast to fall through Wednesday. The greatest risk for flash flooding will be near the Gulf Coast. Storm total rain amounts of 2 to 3 inches with localized higher amounts. The highest amounts are anticipated along the Gulf coast.
* Wind - Increasingly gusty winds are forecast today and Wednesday, particularly along the Gulf Coast and adjacent coastal waters. A reasonable worst-case scenario would have tropical storm force winds across Collier County between this morning and Wednesday. The remainder of South Florida could see wind gusts up to 35mph, with the highest gusts likely during the day on Wednesday.
* Tornadoes - A low-end tornado threat is possible through Wednesday as banding from the system moves ashore. The best chance for a tornado would be across the western half of South Florida.