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Hurricane Idalia Makes Landfall; New England Warmth Returns: Weather Wednesday

Major hurricane Idalia made landfall in northwest Florida this morning. This has led to impressive storm surge, extreme winds and flooding rains. Full summer heat is also poised to return to New England after much of August remained cooler or average.


Prefer to read? There's a written version of what I said below the video.


Idalia makes landfall


Hurricane Idalia has made landfall as of 7:50am. The hurricane briefly made it to a category four hurricane before weakening a bit before landfall, which is very fortunate. When hurricanes enter the gulf, they typically strengthen, and strengthen fast right up to landfall, this one did begin to weaken slightly before landfall. Of course, the weakening wasn’t much, but at least it wasn’t climbing right up to landfall.


The storm, likely a category three at landfall, made a direct hit in a rather rural area, officially occurring in Keaton Beach. This is the first major hurricane, which is category three plus, to enter Apalachee Bay in recorded history. Storm surge in excess of 15 feet possible across the big bend region of Florida, which, again, has a lower population density than the rest of the state. Still, there are communities in this area that are getting hammered as I record this that will be forever changed. At least one record surge has been set, again, as of recording, this is all happening as this is recorded. Cedar Key, Florida had a surge of 6.2 feet, a new record for the town.


This area is not the only area in the state to be affected by the storm. The Clearwater-St. Petersburg-Tampa area is seeing surge of 4-8 feet. This densely populated area is over 150 miles from where the center made landfall. This is, of course, causing serious flooding in the area.


An extreme wind warning has been in effect for much of the big bend area throughout this morning. These alerts are issued exclusively for the 100+mph winds that are found in the eyewall of a landfalling major hurricane. These alerts are not confined to the immediate coast. Extreme wind warnings extended up to 70 miles from the coast, to near Lake City.


Nearly 170,000 have lost power as of recording, this will be going up, and going up a lot as the day wears on. This storm will pass through the southeast, then enter back into the open ocean. At one point, some models had the storm wrapping back around and potentially hitting Florida again. Models have shied away from this and are now taking the storm out to sea.


New England's 2nd summer coming?


After a generally cool last couple weeks in New England, at least around average, it is looking increasingly likely that full on summer weather will be returning to New England next week. I realise saying second summer may be a little much for the very beginning of September, but, again, models are indicating a return to full summer heat, not seen since late July in places of the region.


August has been very average, low 80s, upper 70s, or cooler, for much of the region. This heat looks to persist through the middle of next week, with widespread upper 80s to low 90 a possibility, the exact temperatures remain an uncertainty, naturally, this far out. Humidity will increase as well, so if you wanted one more bout of summer heat before fall takes over, here you go.

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