Hurricane Idelia Expected to Have Some Impacts on Lake Wales Ridge Area
Residents Should Rush Preparations to Completion Today Before Squalls Arrive Tomorrow
Last updated 8/28/2023 at 12:14pm
The rapid intensification of Tropical Storm Idalia into a major Hurricane just off the west coast of Florida has Lake Wales area residents on edge. Three times in the last 19 years similar forecast tracks led to storms that turned east ahead of forecast, causing direct strikes on the city.
Now forecast to become a Hurricane today (Monday) before entering the Gulf of Mexico, Idalia is expected to reach Major storm status with a high likelihood of rapid intensification due to the extremely-warm water temperatures that have marked the Gulf this year.
Idalia formed from an area of disturbed weather that had hovered over the western Caribbean for a week, and was presaged by models as long ago as August 14, when LakeWalesNews.net published a story warning that a normally-reliable model was showing the formation of the storm in what was then a cloud-free region.
As the storm approaches on Tuesday, residents can expect increasing east and southeast winds which will become very gusty by Tuesday evening. Preparations should be rushed to completion today.
As always, Lake Wales News will continue to provide updates specifically adjusted to reflect local impacts.