WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN #23-03 – 2100 EDT – 8/28/23
TROPICAL STORM IDALIA – 2100 EST – 8/28/23
Tropical Storm Idalia (pronounced ee-DAL-ya) began its northward track last night. Currently Tropical Storm Idalia is just off the west tip of Cuba and headed in a northerly direction at about 8 miles per hour. Tropical Storm Idalia is expected to continue to strengthen as it moves north in the southern Gulf of Mexico caught between high pressure to the east and low pressure to the west. Idalia is expected to strengthen into a Category 3 hurricane before making landfall in the big bend area of Florida now on late Wednesday morning. Landfall is predicted to be slightly sooner than originally forecast.
COASTAL WATCHES/WARNINGS AND FORECAST CONE FOR STORM CENTER
SUMMARY OF 2000 EST…0000 UTC…INFORMATION
ABOUT 20 MI…30 KM SW OF THE WESTERN TIP OF CUBA
ABOUT 250 MI…400 KM SW OF THE DRY TORTUGAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…70 MPH…110 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…N OR 360 DEGREES AT 8 MPH…13 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…983 MB…29.03 INCHES
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
* Englewood northward to Indian Pass, including Tampa Bay
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Cuban province of Pinar del Rio
* Middle of Longboat Key northward to Indian Pass, including Tampa Bay
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Yucatan Peninsula from Tulum to Rio Lagartos, including Cozumel
* Isle of Youth Cuba
* Dry Tortugas Florida
* Chokoloskee northward to the Middle of Longboat Key
* West of Indian Pass to Mexico Beach
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
* Chokoloskee northward to Englewood, including Charlotte Harbour
* Mouth of the St. Mary’s River to South Santee River South Carolina
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Englewood to the Middle of Longboat Key
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* Lower Florida Keys west of the west end of the Seven Mile Bridge
* Sebastian Inlet Florida northward to South Santee River South Carolina
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A warning is typically issued 36
hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, during the next 36 hours in the indicated locations. For a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at https://hurricanes.gov. This is a life-threatening situation. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow vacation and other instructions from local officials.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.
A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours. For a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at https://hurricanes.gov.
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
The following excerpt is from the Forecast Discussion issued at 1700 EDT today:
“The satellite presentation of Idalia has continued to improve this afternoon. The center of the storm is embedded within an area of deep convection with cloud tops colder than -75C. Although the early reconnaissance aircraft and radar data from Cuba have not yet indicated the presence of an eyewall, the aircraft data did indicate that the pressure had fallen to around 987 mb on the final pass through the center earlier this afternoon. Believable SFMR winds of 60 kt were reported to the east of the center, and Idalia’s intensity was raised to that value on the 1800 UTC intermediate advisory and it remains at that value for this advisory. NOAA and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft are scheduled to be in the storm environment again this evening and should provide additional information on the structure and intensity of the tropical cyclone. Another NOAA G-IV synoptic surveillance mission is underway and that data should be assimilated into the dynamical model runs this evening.
Idalia is moving northward or 360/7 kt. The storm should continue to be steered northward between a mid-level trough over the central Gulf of Mexico and a ridge near the Greater Antilles through tonight. On Tuesday, a faster north-northeastward motion should begin as a trough moves into the east-central United States. This motion should bring the center of Idalia to the Gulf coast of Florida on Wednesday. The dynamical models continue to have some spread after 36 hours, with the GFS and HAFS guidance along the western side of the envelope and the ECMWF along the eastern side. The consensus aids were slightly west of the previous cycle, and the NHC forecast has been nudged in that direction. The NHC track forecast is in best agreement with the HFIP corrected consensus model. It is still worth stressing that only a small deviation in the track could cause a significant change in Idalia’s landfall location in Florida due to the paralleling track to the west coast of the state. When Idalia nears the Atlantic coast of the southeastern United States the guidance suggests the cyclone will turn more eastward as the aforementioned trough passes to the north of the storm.
The upper-level wind pattern is forecast to become more conducive for significant strengthening when Idalia moves over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico tonight and Tuesday. At the same time, the storm is forecast to move over an area of high ocean heat content. These conditions are likely to allow for a period of rapid strengthening which is explicitly shown in the official forecast through 36 hours. Idalia is likely to become a hurricane this evening, and is predicted to become major hurricane over the eastern Gulf within 36 hours. The NHC intensity forecast is just a little above the latest HFIP corrected consensus guidance.
Idalia is forecast to move into an area very susceptible to storm surge, and regardless of the cyclone’s landfall intensity, there is increasing confidence of a significant storm surge event.”
SITUATION AND ACTIONS:
As of 1700 EDT, the following warnings are in effect for the ARRL West Central Florida Section:
- Tropical Storm Warning: Charlotte, Desoto, Hardee, and Polk Counties.
- Hurricane Warning: Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties.
- Storm Surge Warning: Coastal portions of Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte Counties.
Paul Toth NB9X, Assistant Section Manager, has been disseminating the National Hurricane Center advisories on the NI4CE Analog and NXDN repeater systems. Starting tomorrow evening, SKYWARN Regional Nets will commence on both NI4CE Analog and NXDN Repeater Systems. On the NXDN system, the SKWARN Net will be on the new SKYWARN talkgroup of 1299. This talkgroup became the official SKYWARN talkgroup for SKYWARN Regional Nets just last week. For more information on frequencies and coverages of go to:
- NI4CE Analog System: https://ni4ce.org/ni4ce-repeater-map-frequencies/
- NI4CE NXDN (Digital) System: https://ni4ce.org/nxdn-digital-communications/.
Due to the anticipated SKYWARN Regional Net tomorrow evening, Sanford Wyatt KM4WXX, Net Manager of the Eagle Net that normally runs daily at 2030 hours, announced the Eagle Net will be cancelled for tomorrow evening, Tuesday August 29, and possibly Wednesday August 30, if necessary. The Eagle Net will resume normal operation after Tropical Storm Idalia is no longer a threat.
The following ARES Groups have reported that they are currently activated either partially or fully, as of press time:
- Hillsborough County ARES/RACES.
The following ARES groups are reporting that they are scheduled to begin operations tomorrow, as of press time:
- Pasco County ARES.
- Pinellas County ARES/ACS.
- Polk County ARES.
- Desoto County ARES.
- Hardee County ARES.
- Charlotte County FLARES.
All other ARES groups in the ARRL West Central Florida Section not currently activated, are monitoring their situations carefully in case they are requested to activate. Several counties have already brought their emergency operations centers up to a partial or full activation status, nearly all counties are planning full activation levels tomorrow morning at the latest.
All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel are encouraged to rush to completion any preparation activities by tomorrow morning, as tropical storm force winds are expected to onset by early tomorrow evening. All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel are encouraged to continue to check each advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center in Miami on Tropical Depression Ten and the Tropical Weather Outlook issued four times daily by the National Hurricane Center.
LATEST NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER INFORMATION:
Public Advisories: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPAT2+shtml/072333.shtml?
Forecast Advisory: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCMAT2+shtml/072100.shtml?
Forecast Discussion: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT2+shtml/072057.shtml?
Latest GOES Satellite Floater Images and Loop: https://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/GOES/floater.php?stormid=AL172022#navLink.
The next WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN will be issued tomorrow following the 1700 EDT advisory on Tropical Storm Idalia, unless conditions warrant a sooner bulletin release.