Tropical Storm Idalia is now slowly moving north near Cozumel, Mexico in the Yucatan Channel. It is forecast to continue to move north into the Southeast Gulf of Mexico Tonight and strengthen into a hurricane.
Forecast models are in pretty good agreement with Idalia tracking north-northeast across the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and into Northern Florida.
Landfall is still forecast on Wednesday morning, but now as a Category 3 hurricane on the Big Bend of Florida. The cold front will move across Alabama on Wednesday, and this will deflect Idalia to the east into Florida.
Rapid intensification is possible due to the relatively low wind shear and very warm Gulf Waters. Idalia could become a much stronger hurricane at landfall. Right now, Idalia is expected to be a Category 2, but a few models are showing it could be a Category 3, major hurricane. If the cold front moves faster, then that could cause more wind shear for Idalia and cause it to possibly weaken. We will be watching closely for this starting tonight.
Alabama Threats: On this track, bands of heavy rain and some gusty winds are possible across Southeast Alabama on Wednesday. It will be breezy with winds of 10-20 mph, and higher amounts over Southeast Alabama. Overall, the threats remain low at this time.
Hurricane Franklin will continue to strengthen as it turns north today, and it is now a Category 4 Major Hurricane. The hurricane will turn northeast on Tuesday and continue to strengthen to a very strong Category 4 hurricane to nearly a Category 5. It will track just north of Bermuda on Wednesday, and then pick up speed as it continues northeast into the Central Atlantic.