The system was forecast to intensify as it moves over the northeaster Gulf of Mexico by early Wednesday (August 30), the agency said. Storms that register as a Category 3 system or stronger on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale are considered to be major hurricanes.
Idalia is expected to bring "life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds and scattered flash and urban flooding" to areas located along the west coast of Florida and the Florida Panhandle as early as Tuesday (August 29), the National Weather Service said in its update on Monday. Parts of the west coast of Florida, the Florida Panhandle, southeast Georgia and the eastern Carolinas may get between 4 to 8 inches of rain between Tuesday and Thursday (August 31), while isolated totals could reach up to 12 inches.
“Areas of flash and urban flooding, some of which may be locally significant, are expected across portions of the west coast of Florida, the Florida Panhandle, and southern Georgia Tuesday into Wednesday, spreading into portions of the eastern Carolinas Wednesday into Thursday,” the National Weather Service said.