USA-Florida: Idalia becomes a Category 3 hurricane

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After crossing Cuba and the states of Quintana Roo and Yucatán, MexicoTropical Storm Idalia is continuing toward Florida where it is expected to arrive as a Category 3 hurricane. For this reason, a state of emergency has been declared in 33 counties in Florida, USA.

Central Florida and the Orlando area are under a state of emergency from Tuesday through next Thursday, so delayed and canceled flights could increase.

Airport closures: Tampa International Airport will suspend all commercial operations starting today and remain closed until it can assess the damage later in the week, airport officials said. The terminal building at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport will close Tuesday afternoon.

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Idalia has developed into a hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 120 km/h with higher gusts, according to the 5 a.m. update on Tuesday from the US National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Idalia is located 136 km north of the western tip of Cuba, is moving north at 22 km/h and is expected to intensify significantly before making landfall in Florida on Wednesday as a powerful Category 3 hurricane.

Idalia could deal a devastating blow to parts of Florida’s Gulf Coast, with life-threatening storm surges and damaging winds. The storm is expected to make landfall well north of Tampa in Florida’s Big Bend area, but a slight change in track could pose more risk to the vulnerable population center.

An intense hurricane season in 2023…
In an update released Aug. 10, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted an “above normal” Atlantic hurricane season (June 1 through Nov. 30). ), with the formation of 14 to 21 tropical storms, of which between 6 and 11 would be hurricanes.

In the current hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin, nine named systems have already formed: Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don (which became a hurricane) Gert, Emily, Franklin (which remained a hurricane, now heading towards Bermuda ), Harold and Idalia.

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