TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Hurricane Idalia is expected to make landfall in northwest Florida on Wednesday as an “extremely dangerous” severe Category 3 hurricane — but it may not be the last time it will pound the Sunshine State.
Some long-range models suggest Hurricane Idalia could loop south and back along Florida’s Atlantic coast, hitting the state north of West Palm Beach. However, it should be noted that these long-range models are prone to inaccuracy and are subject to change.
For Idalia to return to South Florida, the storm would need to trigger thunderstorms again around its center and start the development process a second time.
Some Florida residents may recall a similar sequence of events when Hurricane Ivan headed southwest in 2004.
Ivan reached Category 5 magnitude three times during its long and destructive path through the Caribbean and the United States. After plowing through Alabama, Ivan made its way into the western Atlantic as an extratropical cyclone.
From there, Ivan turned southwest toward Florida’s southern peninsula before heading back into the Gulf of Mexico.
The cyclone then strengthened again into a tropical storm before reaching Louisiana and dissipating in east Texas.
Ivan eventually brought unwanted rain to already flooded areas of Texas and Florida, killing eight in the western Florida Panhandle.
Watch WFLA Now’s 24/7 coverage to stay up to date on Idalia. Check our Tracking the Tropics page for closures and weather conditions in your area.