Florida and Georgia Brace For Flooding Disaster from Hurricane Idalia
Hurricane Idalia has quickly gained strength over the unusually hot waters of the Gulf of Mexico, with its maximum wind speeds now reaching 105 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Although the storm currently remains at a Category 2 level, it is fast approaching the Category 3 milestone, which requires wind speeds of 111 mph or higher.
Forecasters predict that Idalia will continue to gain momentum before making landfall in the Big Bend area of Florida on Wednesday morning.
The National Hurricane Center had previously cautioned that this storm was likely to undergo rapid intensification, a phenomenon increasingly observed as sea temperatures rise. To qualify as rapidly intensifying, a hurricane's sustained wind speeds must increase by at least 35 mph within a 24-hour period.
This acceleration in Idalia's strength can be attributed to the exceptionally warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Experts indicate that such warm conditions are making hurricanes increasingly perilous, as they enable storms to intensify more quickly.