Idalia strengthened into a category 1 hurricane overnight over the southeast Gulf of Mexico. Maximum sustained winds are up to 80 mph and the minimum central pressure is down to 977 millibars.
Data from reconnaissance aircraft also indicates a closed eyewall. Idalia’s satellite presentation is also much improved this morning. Rapid intensification is expected to commence soon.
Landfall will occur in the Big Bend region early Wednesday. However, conditions are already deteriorating along portions of the Florida Gulf Coast and will continue to do so as the day progresses. Preparations to protect life an property should be rushed to completion.
Idalia is forecast to be a major hurricane at landfall, and destructive winds will be likely where the core comes ashore. Life threatening storm surge will occur along portions of the Florida Gulf Coast.