Hurricane Idalia is located over the southeast Gulf of Mexico and is quickly getting better organized. Winds are up to 90 mph as of the 1 PM advisory. It is forecast to move north across the Eastern Gulf of Mexico today and tonight. Rapid intensification is expected due to the relatively low wind shear and very warm Gulf Waters.
Right now, Idalia is expected to be a Category 3 major hurricane as landfall Wednesday morning on the Big Bend of Florida or across Apalachee Bay. There is a chance Idalia could become a much stronger hurricane at landfall. According to the NWS in Tallahassee, FL a major hurricane has NEVER made landfall in Apalachee Bay.
Forecast models are in pretty good agreement with Idalia tracking north and northeast into the Northern Florida Big Bend area. A trough of low pressure sends a cold front across the Southeast U.S., and this will deflect Idalia to the east into Florida. The models are also now showing that Idalia could do a loop in the Atlantic Ocean off the Southeast U.S. Coast and track back toward Florida. We will have to watch to see if this new trend continues over the next few days.
Alabama Threats: On this track, bands of heavy rain and some gusty winds are possible across Central and Southeast Alabama on Wednesday. It will be breezy with winds of 10-20 mph, and higher speeds are possible over Southeast Alabama. Overall, the threats remain low at this time.
Hurricane Franklin is now a Category 3 hurricane in the Western Atlantic. The hurricane will turn northeast today and continue to weaken. It will track just north of Bermuda today through Thursday, and then pick up speed as it continues northeast into the Central Atlantic.
We are also watching newly formed Tropical Depression 11 in the Central Atlantic. It is expected to briefly become Tropical Storm Jose by Wednesday and move across the Central Atlantic Waters.