11:20am Tuesday: Hurricane Idalia -- DEADLY SURGE

Key West radar at 10:37am
E = Eye of Idalia
An eye has formed in Idalia this morning and the storm became a minimal hurricane overnight. The stage is set for rapid intensification (RI) but that has not begun as yet as the storm is still "feeling" some wind shear. Satellite indications the last few minutes indicates RI may be starting. [Quick note at 11:33am. Lightning near the center indicates that RI may be starting.]

The storm should be a 125-130 mph (strong Cat 3 speed) hurricane at landfall in the Florida Big Bend. 

The National Hurricane Center's forecast has pretty much focused on the Florida Big Band and I agree.

[UPDATED] The storm surge will be deadly along and to the east of the point of landfall as it will reach to a depth of 15 feet. Imagine yourself at the bottom of a 15' deep swimming pool with the water flowing rapidly. Do you think you would survive?
Tampa Bay is expecting a surge of 4 to 7 feet, which is a major problem.

Please note that, back of 1851, a strong hurricane has never struck this area. So, we don't have a lot of history but all of the models indicate this will be very serious. If you are told to evacuate you should should do so. 

Tornadoes will be quite possible in the brown area, especially tonight. 

Rains will be heavy enough to cause flooding, but recent dry conditions will mitigate that a bit. 

I'll have an update this afternoon. 

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