Tropical Storm Idalia – 8/28/23 – Update #4


Tropical Storm Idalia's probable path.

University of Florida officials are actively monitoring Tropical Storm Idalia. While much remains unknown about the storm’s exact path, here is what we know:

A Hurricane Watch remains in effect for Alachua County, which includes Gainesville. Additionally, the Hurricane Watch for the Middle of Longboat Key northward to the Ochlockonee River, including Tampa Bay, was upgraded to a Hurricane Warning. Florida’s Gulf Coast, from Chokoloskee to the middle of Longboat Key, is now under a Tropical Storm Warning.

While Idalia remains a tropical storm, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center still expect the system to strengthen into a hurricane within the next 12 to 18 hours. Additionally, they expect the storm to rapidly intensify on Tuesday, as it makes its way over warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Hurricane Center expects the system will become a major hurricane before it reaches Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday. Forecasters consider storms that are Category 3 and above major hurricanes.

While the track of the storm has remained consistent, forecasters stressed that “only a small deviation in the track could cause a significant change in Idalia’s landfall location in Florida.” As a result, they are urging the west coast of Florida and the Florida panhandle to expect hurricane conditions “within portions of the Hurricane Warning area along the Florida Gulf Coast, with the potential for destructive winds where the core of Idalia moves onshore.”

The National Weather Service Center in Jacksonville said the Gainesville area should prepare for hurricane-force winds ranging between 74 and 110 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. 

UF leadership and emergency personnel have met multiple times this morning to discuss plans and preparations for Tropical Storm Idalia. Leadership will continue to gather information today regarding the storm’s track and timing, and an announcement about campus operations and class schedules will likely be announced around 4 p.m. through official UF channels.

Regularly check for updates.

For additional information, please visit National Hurricane Center.

Additional information:
Here’s how to prepare for hurricane season
Pre-storm preparation for students in UF housing
UF/IFAS Disaster Preparation & Recovery

This story was posted at 12 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 28.

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Published: August 28th, 2023

Category: 2023 Weather Alerts