Hurricane Idalia Causes Flooding and Strong Winds in Florida

On Wednesday, Hurricane Idalia made landfall in the US state of Florida’s west coast. According to officials, the hazardous storm caused flooding and storm surges that could have been fatal. Strong winds brought down trees and electrical wires, reportedly leaving over 200,000 people without energy by early Wednesday morning. Some of the residences along the coast were submerged, while the storm surge smashed other buildings. Emergency personnel on Cedar Key issued a warning, saying, “Do not come. There are multiple trees down and debris in the roads.” The majority of the streets surrounding the downtown area, they claimed, were submerged.

 

At 11:45 UTC, Idalia touched down close to Keaton Beach in a sparsely populated area. Up to 205 kilometers per hour of sustained wind force was experienced during the Category 3 hurricane. Depending on wind speed, the National Weather Service categorizes hurricanes into five classes. A Category 5 hurricane, the strongest type, has sustained wind speeds of at least 252 km/h. Before Idalia arrived, residents of the northwest coast of Florida had been told to evacuate the area. Governor Ron DeSantis advised people who haven’t already evacuated to stay inside until the storm passes on Wednesday morning. “Don’t endanger your life,” he said.

 

A supermoon, an uncommon full moon, may result in higher-than-normal tides along Florida’s coast as the hurricane lingers. The sun and moon pull in the same direction when the moon is full. According to Kerry Emanuel, this has the effect of raising tides above average. He works at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an atmospheric scientist. The tides may be greater because the moon’s gravitational pull is stronger the closer it is to Earth. This year’s closest supermoon to Earth is scheduled for Wednesday. The chief of the National Weather Service office located in Charleston, South Carolina, is Brian Haines. “I would say this one’s timing is pretty bad,” he remarked.

 

When a cyclone makes landfall, the storm surge frequently poses the greatest threat. On Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center predicted that sea levels in some areas of Florida’s west coast may rise by 4.6 meters. A storm surge of up to 2.1 meters is anticipated in the Tampa Bay region, which is further south. Warm water is the source of hurricane energy. Warm water near Florida is the food source for idalia. Phil Klotzbach, a hurricane expert at Colorado State University, referred to the water’s temperature of 31 to 32 degrees as “rocket fuel for the storm.” “Basically all systems go for the storm to intensify,” he continued.

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