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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — What once was a tropical depression is now Tropical Storm Idalia and is likely to hit the Big Bend of Florida later this week.
As of 10 AM CDT Sunday the National Hurricane Center issued a tropical advisory stating that Tropical Depression 10 is now named Idalia. The storm is currently between the Yucatán peninsula and Cuba, has sustained winds of 40 miles per hour, and is moving towards the northeast at 3 miles per hour. An upper-level low continues to keep Idalia in the Caribbean, but once that lifts it will start to move rather quickly in the Gulf.
The cone of uncertainty right now has shifted off a little to the east. That is good news for most of us here in the Panhandle. Coastal Franklin, Gulf, and Liberty counties right now need to be watching this cautiously. A current Hurricane Watch and Storm Surge Watch has been issued for Coastal Franklin. Earlier this week the GFS was showing a more westerly track towards Panama City, but now is on board with the Euro that this storm should continue to push towards the Northeast. The GFS was not picking up on the trough that is expected to move in Tuesday, but the latest runs have picked up on it. Right now Perry Florida seems to be where the models have the eye wall making landfall. Concerns for most of us in the Panhandle is some showers and winds of around 20 to 30 miles per hour. Rainfall amounts for us in Panama City around 1-4 inches are expected. The closer you get to the Big Bend heavier amounts are expected. However, if you live in Gulf, Franklin, or Liberty counties you should prepare for direct impact as this cone is subject to change. The latest runs are continuing to say this storm moves more east which puts Tampa in the mix.
Landfall is expected around early Wednesday Morning suggesting this storm will be a little slower moving than forecasted earlier. A Category two hurricane is expected around Perry and the North West Coast of Florida, but if this storm was to shift west at all then areas such as Apalachicola could be impacted. As the storm moves into the Gulf of Mexico it could rapidly intensify. So if the cone says Category two you should prepare for a Three.
With all that being said it is important to make sure you are staying weather alert. You can either download the Storm Track 13 App or continue to follow the latest information here on this website.