Hurricane Idalia, currently a Category 2 storm, is expected to make landfall on the western coast of Florida on Wednesday, August 30th.
Airports in the affected region have cancelled or suspended flight operations ahead of Idalia’s expected approach and landfall.
Hurricane Idalia Approach
On the forecast track, the center of Idalia is forecast to move over the eastern Gulf of Mexico today, reach the Gulf coast of Florida within the Hurricane Warning area on Wednesday, and move close to the Carolina coastline on Thursday.
Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 80 mph (130 km/h) with higher gusts.
Rapid intensification is likely through landfall, and Idalia is forecast to become an extremely dangerous major hurricane before landfall on Wednesday.
Idalia is predicted to be upgraded to a major Category 3 hurricane before it crosses the northwest coast of Florida on Wednesday morning. In anticipation of its impending landfall, several airports in the region have now canceled flights.
The cancellations are affecting thousands of travelers, who are now scrambling to find alternate transportation. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has advised travelers to check the status of their flights before heading to the airport.
Hurricane Idalia is expected to bring heavy rain, strong winds, and flooding to the western coast of Florida. Residents in the area have been urged to take precautions and to stay safe.
Airport Operations Affected
As of Tuesday morning, just over 450 flights in and out of the United States have been canceled. The following airports have had flight operations affected as follows, from Tuesday, August 29th, 2023, at 12:01 AM EST.
This situation remains fluid, and travellers should check with the airport in question for updated flight scheduling advice.
Tampa International Airport (TPA)
TPA suspended flight operations just after midnight Tuesday 29, and currently planning to re-open on Thursday 31 subject to damage assessments.
Punta Gorda Airport (PGD)
Over 80% of inbound and outbound scheduled services have been cancelled.
Thunderstorms and strong winds
According to FAA advice, several airports are expected to be affected by thunderstorm activity and strong winds, including Naples Municipal Airport (APF) and Fort Myers International Airport (RSW).
Orlando International Airport (ORD) and Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV) are likely to be similarly affected.
Airports both inside and outside Florida are likely to experience flight delays or disruptions as a result.
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