While Florida prepared for a potential hurricane by midweek and forecasters warned of potential flash flooding and landslides over the eastern Yucatan peninsula and western Cuba, a weather system off the coast of Mexico was anticipated to develop into a tropical storm by Sunday, the United States, stated the National Hurricane Center.
The weather system is getting stronger as it moves northward across the Gulf of Mexico, prompting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to proclaim a state of emergency for the majority of the state’s Gulf Coast on Saturday. By midweek, the system may bring severe storm surge, torrential rain, and powerful winds to Florida’s Gulf Coast and Panhandle, the National Hurricane Center warned on Saturday.
The area covered by DeSantis’ statement stretches along the Gulf of Mexico from Fort Myers in the southwest to Panama City in the Panhandle. The proclamation applies to 33 of the state’s 67 counties.
According to the hurricane center, there is a 90% Likelihood overall, that the system will develop into a tropical storm by Monday. If no other tropical storm forms before it, it will be called „Idalia” for the time being.
The storm’s center is not predicted to approach the southwest Florida regions, that were hit by Hurricane Ian last year, which killed many people. In a statement, DeSantis said he made the executive order „out of an abundance of caution to ensure that the Florida Division of Emergency Management can begin staging resources and Floridians have plenty of time to prepare their families for a storm next week.“
He advised Floridians to have a plan and make sure their hurricane supply kit is stocked.
The storm is expected to curve northeast into Florida, land along the Gulf Coast north of Tampa around the Big Bend Region, and then travel diagonally across the state before reemerging in the Atlantic Ocean close to southeast Georgia, according to forecast models.
Dieses Jahr so far, the U.S. Cyclones have stayed away from the East Coast. However, in the west, Tropical Storm Hilary earlier this month produced significant flooding, mudslides, and road closures in Mexico, California, Nevada, and points to the north.
The 2023 hurricane season will be much busier than anticipated, according to latest information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in part due to exceptionally warm ocean temperatures. The peak months of the season are typically August und September, which last until November 30.