Idalia to become a Category 4 storm before landfall

Idalia 2 a.m. update
Idalia 2 a.m. update(WWSB)
Published: Aug. 30, 2023 at 2:09 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2023 at 2:49 AM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Idalia continues to strengthen as it moves north through the Gulf of Mexico. At 2 AM, the storm is about 100 miles west of Tampa and 175 miles south of Tallahassee. Peak sustained winds are 120 mph. Idalia is expected to reach Category 4 status before making landfall in the Big Bend this morning.

A sustained wind of 37 mph, with a wind gust of 61 mph was reported at SRQ with the southerly winds.

High tides in Sarasota Bay will occur near Noon on Wednesday. With strong winds blowing onshore, storm surges of 3 to 6 feet will be common. Storm Surge Warnings and Hurricane Warnings remain in effect.

A Tornado Watch is in effect this morning with the potential for brief, spin-up tornadoes. A Flood Watch is in effect for most of the Suncoast with the potential for flooding with 3 to 6 inch rainfalls.

As the storm moves toward the Big Bend, we will still experience gusty winds and bands of thunderstorms from time to time. This activity will continue for much of the day Wednesday. Storm surge levels after our Noon high tides.