(NEW YORK) — Tropical Storm Idalia is expected to strengthen to a hurricane on Monday as it bears down on Florida.
Idalia could become a major Category 3 hurricane by Tuesday night.
Landfall is currently forecast for Wednesday morning in Florida’s Big Bend area, north of Tampa.
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Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern.
Aug 28, 11:53 AM EDT
Tampa International Airport to close
Tampa International Airport will close at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday as Idalia nears.
A hurricane warning has been issued from the Tampa Bay area up to the Apalachicola area.
Aug 28, 11:49 AM EDT
Idalia could become hurricane on Monday, major hurricane by Tuesday night
Idalia is forecast to strengthen to a hurricane on Monday and may become a major hurricane by Tuesday night.
Landfall is currently forecast for 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Wednesday in Florida’s Big Bend region.
Storm surge is expected to be a major threat and could reach as high as 11 feet in the Big Bend area.
Up to 1 foot of rain could drench the Florida Panhandle and tornadoes are possible in Tampa and Orlando.
Idalia will move north Wednesday afternoon and evening, bringing heavy rain and potential flash flooding to Georgia and the Carolinas. Idalia will head out to sea on Thursday.
ABC News’ Max Golembo
Aug 28, 11:36 AM EDT
Idalia could be strongest hurricane for Big Bend since 1950
Idalia is currently forecast to make landfall along Florida’s Big Bend region between Apalachicola and Tampa as a Category 3 hurricane. If this happens, it will mark the strongest landfall for the Big Bend region since 1950, when Category 3 Hurricane Easy made landfall in Cedar Key.
Idalia’s potential landfall in Florida.
No hurricanes have ever made landfall in the Big Bend region stronger than Category 3.
It has been more than half a century since a hurricane of category 2 strength or stronger…
If Idalia makes landfall as a Category 2, it will be the first in the region since Gladys in 1968.
ABC News’ Kenton Gewecke
Aug 28, 11:04 AM EDT
Pasco County, Hillsborough County schools to close
As Idalia approaches, the Pasco County School District, north of Tampa, said its schools will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Schools in Hillsborough County, which encompasses Tampa, will also be closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
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