Idalia May Be Category 3 Hurricane When It Hits

Tampa closes its airport in advance
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 29, 2023 6:45 AM CDT
Idalia May Be Category 3 Hurricane When It Hits
Motorists wait in line during sandbag distribution, ahead of Idalia's arrival at MacFarlane Park in Tampa, Fla., Monday, Aug. 28, 2023.   (Ivy Ceballo/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

Idalia became a hurricane on Tuesday as it intensified on a path toward Florida's Gulf coast, with the National Hurricane Center warning of an increasing risk of life-threatening storm surges and winds over the next two days. Idalia is projected to have sustained winds of up to 120mph as it approaches Florida, making it a Category 3 hurricane.

  • Path: The center of Idalia is forecast to move over the eastern Gulf of Mexico later Tuesday, reach the Gulf coast of Florida on Wednesday, and move close to the Carolina coastline on Thursday. See maps and trajectory predictions at

  • "You should be wrapping up your preparation for #TropicalStormIdalia tonight and Tues morning at the latest," the National Weather Service in Tampa Bay said Monday on X, formerly known as Twitter.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in 46 counties, a broad swath that stretches across the northern half of the state from the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic Coast. The state has mobilized 1,100 National Guard members.
  • Tampa International Airport and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport said they would close on Tuesday, and the Sunrail commuter rail service in Orlando was being suspended.
(More Hurricane Idalia stories.)

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