The risk continues to increase for life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds along portions of the west coast of Florida and the Florida Panhandle beginning as early as late Tuesday.The National Weather Service in an update on Tropical Storm Idalia.
Big Picture: The tropical storm is forecast to turn into a Category 3 hurricane (category 3 = a major hurricane, with 111-129 mph winds) before making landfall in Florida on Wednesday. Authorities in Florida are preparing, with officials calling for evacuations, closing schools, and mobilizing 1,100 National Guardsmen who are prepared for rescue and recovery efforts.
What is "storm surge"? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explains that storm surge is "an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomical tides," also noting that it "is often the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane."
by Jenna Lee,