As it approaches Florida, the storm is predicted to intensify even more, with a strong Category 4 hurricane becoming a distinct possibility.
Currently a Category 3 storm with sustained winds of 120 mph, Hurricane Idalia.
The National Hurricane Centre issued an early Wednesday morning statement that “additional strengthening is forecast” and that “Idalia is forecast to become a category 4 hurricane before it reaches the Big Ben coast of Florida this morning.” It’s possible that Idalia will still be a hurricane when it approaches the coasts of Georgia or southern South Carolina later today when it moves across southern Georgia.
As of right now, Hurricane Idalia is expected to make landfall on Wednesday at 8 a.m. ET as a Category 4 hurricane. The strongest gusts are predicted to pass just southeast of Tallahassee and will exceed 130 mph.
Idalia is predicted to become a Category 1 hurricane by Wednesday night at around 8 p.m. ET and pass close to Savannah, Georgia. Idalia will probably immediately pass over Charleston, South Carolina, late on Wednesday night, either as a Category 1 or a tropical storm.
The National Hurricane Centre predicted that Idalia, which is currently strengthening, will be at “extremely dangerous Category 4 intensity” when it reaches landfall.
Idalia was still a Category 2 storm with sustained winds of 110 mph as of 11 p.m. ET.
Its landfall track is for an area near Perry and St. Marks at around 8 a.m. The northern part of the eye wall may move very close to Tallahassee.
A tornado watch has been issued until 6 a.m. ET for 3.7 million people in the western peninsula of Florida.