We are on track to have a major hurricane make landfall somewhere in the Big Bend region of Florida tonight into tomorrow morning. Idalia continues to rapidly intensify and organize as it moves northwards towards the coast today.

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The track of Idalia has it making landfall somewhere in the Big Bend region of Florida. This area is pretty susceptible to coastal flooding but, thankfully, isn’t nearly as densely populated as other portions of the Florida coast.

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Peak surge forecast remains 8-12 feet in this region, which will be enough to inundate many communities along and near the coast during the peak of the storm. 

The bottom line for Idalia remains the same as it did last night. Forecast persistence is preferred here, as a major category 3 or 4 hurricane will almost certainly be making landfall tonight into tomorrow morning in Florida.

Zooming Out

We haven’t written about the pattern over the middle part of the country in quite awhile, mainly because there hasn’t been that much to write about. So let’s try to break down how things are looking over the coming week or two.

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By this weekend, some troughing will exist over the western U.S., with upper air energy spreading into the Northern Plains. There will certainly be some severe weather chances by this weekend up north, but I’m not seeing that threat stretching much below I-80, if at all.

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By the middle of next week, some of that latent energy from the western U.S. trough could sneak as far south as New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle. This could lead to a couple of severe storms again down in this region — but nothing looks that remarkable. 

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Models are in generally good agreement that we won’t see much energy dipping south and out onto the Plains through the first third of September. The ridging type of pattern that’s set in pretty firmly over the last several weeks should persist and keep summer vibes going well into the month.

It is certainly possible that we see a more gradual shift towards a cooler/stormier pattern more akin to fall by the back half of the month though, as that is showing up some in model data. We’ll be keeping an eye on it.