Tag Archives: National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Idalia landing in Florida, more Georgia counties on Hurricane Watch 2023-08-30

Cedar Key is getting high winds from Hurricane Idalia, and Steinhatchee’s weather camera is offline, while the National Weather Service has added more Georgia counties to its Hurricane Watch; all Florida Suwannee River Basin Counties were already in Hurricane Watch.

If you’re in Florida, hunker down. If you’re in Georgia, you may have time for some last-minute preparations. Either way, most schools and businesses are closed today in the Hurricane Watch counties, so there’s not much need to go out in the rain and wind.

Also, don’t buy water in plastic bottles. Fill pots, jugs, buckets, and bathtubs with tap or well water.

Watch your local county or city Emergency Management Agency. Have your power utility outage number handy.

Dear central and south Florida urban sophisticates: we know you’re used to this. In the rural Suwannee River Basin a Category 3 hurricane is unusual, especially one making landfall where it is, and likely to stay a hurricane so far inland.

Also, many of us remember Hurricane Michael, which only five years ago devastated the Florida Big Bend and trashed Albany, Georgia, on a path only a bit farther west than Hurricane Idalia. So this is not a joke to those of us who live here.

Better safe than sorry.

[Hurricane Watch in more Georgia Counties, High winds at Cedar Key, Hurricane Idalia, 2023-08-30 06:00]
Hurricane Watch in more Georgia Counties, High winds at Cedar Key, Hurricane Idalia, 2023-08-30 06:00

Since our last post, NWS JAX has added to the Hurricane Watch Suwannee River Basin Georgia counties Thomas, Cook, Berrien, Atkinson, and Coffee, along with more counties northeastward, Jeff Davis, Bacon, Pierce, Brantley, Apppling, Appling, Wayne, Tatnall, Long, Evans, and along the coast McIntosh, Liberty, Bryan, and Chatham Counties. All the Florida Suwannee River Basin Counties were already on Hurricane Watch.

All the nearby Georgia and Florida counties are on Tropical Storm Warning, as far west as Albany in Dougherty County. Continue reading

Hurricane Idalia heading for Suwannee River Basin 2023-08-29

Update 2023-08-29: Georgia declares State of Emergency for Hurricane Idalia 2023-08-29.

Hurricane Idalia is now Category 1 and is headed a bit farther west, taking it straight up the Suwannee River Basin.

[Hurricane Idalia probable path cone and collapsed road]
Hurricane Idalia probable path cone and collapsed road

Cat 1 means sustained winds of at least 74 mph, up to 95 mph. Inland it will probably rapidly degrade to a Tropical Storm. That still means 39-73 mph winds.

Before landfall, Hurricane Idalia may strengthen to cat 2 (96-110 mph with extensive damage) or cat 3 (111-129 mph with devastating damage).

I’m going out and securing anything that might turn into a projectile, even though I’m about a hundred miles from the Gulf Coast.

For those who are tired of being warned: this is a hurricane. It’s much better to be prepared than sorry.

I drove up from Gainesville yesterday, and there were already rain gusts strong enough to buffet my car and to cause everyone on I-75 to slow to 45 MPH. When the wind gets up to 50 MPH, you don’t want to be driving, even if you don’t run into flooding or bridges out. At 74 MPH, you want to be inside something solid. Continue reading

Elsa again Tropical Storm, but hurricane warnings persist, landfall soon 2021-07-07

Update 2021-07-08: Sewage Spills: Valdosta, GA, Starke, FL 2021-07-08.

Elsa has downgraded to Tropical Storm again, and is late for landfall.

As of 8 AM this morning Elsa is 35 miles west of Cedar Key, according to the National Hurricane Center. Pretty much everything in Cedar Key is closed today.

The storm track has moved slightly west. “On the forecast track, Elsa will make landfall along the north Florida Gulf coast by late this morning or this afternoon.” Late morning would be high tide, making storm surge worse.

Elsa is still predicted to move north up the Suwannee River Valley, where county offices are closed today all the way up into Georgia. Then over the Okefenokee Swamp Thursday, on up the Georgia coast, but now somewhat inland, with tropical storm warnings most of the way, and storm surge warnings for the Georgia coast through Charleston, S.C. And on up the eastern seaboard, inland until Virginia, onwards to the Canadian Maritimes by Saturday.

[5-day Cone No Line And Wind]
5-day Cone No Line And Wind

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…

  • West coast of Florida from the Middle of Longboat Key to the Aucilla River, including Tampa Bay

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…

  • West coast of Florida from Chassahowitzka to the Steinhatchee River

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…

  • West coast of Florida from south of Chassahowitzka to the Middle of Longboat Key
  • West coast of Florida north of the Steinhatchee River to Ochlockonee River
  • Mouth of St. Marys River, Georgia to Little River Inlet, South Carolina

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…

  • North of Little River Inlet, South Carolina to Chincoteague, Virginia
  • Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds

Interests elsewhere in the Carolinas, the mid-Atlantic coast, southeastern New England, and the Canadian Maritimes should monitor the progress of Elsa.

Tornadoes are possible along the coast and inland. Continue reading

Tropical Storm Elsa headed up Suwannee River Basin 2021-07-06

Update 9 AM 2021-07-07: Elsa again Tropical Storm, but hurricane warnings persist, landfall soon 2021-07-07

Recent heavy rains were just the start. Expect 4 to 6 inches more today or tomorrow from Tropical Storm Elsa, along with winds from hurricane force in Dixie County plus possible storm surge, dropping to maybe 30 mph in south Georgia, with marginal risk of flash flooding throughout.

[Rainfall]
Rainfall

Where I am near the GA-FL line, we already got 6.25 inches in the past two days. That’s six weeks of rain by the annual average. Also near the state line, western Brooks County, GA got almost an inch and a half, Skipper Bridge on the Withlacoochee River got almost an inch and US 84 more than half an inch, while Statenville on the Alapaha got almost an inch, and Fargo on the Suwannee got almost two inches.

According to the National Hurricane Center at 8AM this morning, Tropical Storm Elsa is west of Key West, heading up the Florida Gulf Coast past Tampa, expected to make landfall around 2AM Wednesday (tomorrow), probably in Dixie County, for which county a hurricane warning has been issued. Continue reading