Idalia Update, 11am Wed 30 August

Idalia made landfall on the coast of Florida this morning, and likely caused significant damage in the immediate area of landfall. However, it wasn’t as strong as forecast (NHC says an eye replacement cycle happened around the time of landfall that was disrupted). In any event, the radar and satellite presentations really degraded. For the record, here are Key Messages regarding Hurricane Idalia (en Español: Mensajes Claves), and here is the new impact swath based on the revised forecast …

Click to enlarge.

So … what does it mean? For Coastal Georgia it means things are looking like they won’t be so bad as even my conservative estimates were forecasting. NHC itself suggests the winds are not as high as indicated in the forecast, so the above forecast swath shouldn’t be as bad either. Don’t freak out over the hurricane symbol – they are just being careful, it’s doubtful the actual winds at that point will be much over 50 mph.

The right hand (east) side seems to have entrained some dry air, and coastal GA/SC may not get as much rain as forecast. The rain bands on this side are pretty skimpy:

Still potential for some sharp thunderstorms and gusty winds, but winds should be be nowhere near hurricane force. While still a messy afternoon, and there will likely be power outages, limbs down, that sort of thing, it shouldn’t be so bad. The key thing is to listen out for tornado warnings. In the Savannah area we’ve already had several. As noted in the earlier post, these tend to be weaker (EF0, EF1) and if in a normal house will “only” cause roof or porch damage, but still scary, and mobile homes are vulnerable.

There have been reports of problems with the internet app and cell phone warning systems. A lot of people are reporting late or missing notifications. As I have said many times, the best way to get warnings is with a NOAA weather radio. Second best is commercial radio – most (all?) stations will interrupt automatically with the Emergency Alert system. NPR stations do (if you can stomach “arts” programming 😮 ), as do most news-talk stations (if you can stomach them 😛 ) or even country music (hurl). Aren’t there any metal stations around here? Either way, Don’t rely on cell/internet – in my office, the cell and internet alerts were coming in, but 3-4 minutes after the radio alerts, and in a tornado, 3-4 minutes can literally be a lifetime …

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