Orlando weather: Tropics creating rip current risk at local beaches

Today's high: 94 degrees | Tonight's low: 78 degrees

Main weather concerns: The FOX 35 Storm Team continues tracking Tropical Storm Idalia, which is forecast to soon strengthen into a hurricane. 

The storm is forecast to enter the southern Gulf of Mexico later Monday evening, becoming a hurricane at that time. Impacts from Idalia will be felt locally Tuesday-Wednesday. 

The eventual landfall looks to be in the Big Bend region of the State, along the Gulf coast as a powerful Cat. 2 with winds in excess of 100 mph. Strong winds, heavy bands of rain and tornadoes will be possible across much of Central Florida during the day on Tuesday and into Wednesday morning. 

Winds will ease Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday night as Idalia moves Northeast of Central Florida. Storm preps should be complete by Tuesday morning in anticipation of rising winds and severe weather risks.

Rip currents are also problematic along the Atlantic beaches for the rest of the week as ocean swell from Hurricane Franklin moves in. We are advising all to remain out of the water during this time. Tropical storm watches are currently in effect for Lake and Polk counties. Hurricane watches are in effect from Sumter County and all along the Gulf Coastal Counties from Dixie County South through Sarasota.

BEACHES: The beaches will present some major hazards in the rip current department today -late week with ocean swell from Hurricane Franklin moving in. Surf will be breaking in the 3-5' range. Beach temps today will move into the upper 80s with a gusty Southeast seabreeze developing from the Southeast by the afternoon hours.

THEME PARKS: Another hot and humid afternoon with temps climbing well into the 90s this afternoon. Showers and storms are in the cards after 2pm, coverage stands at 50%. Heavy rain and lightning strikes will be of issue in any stronger storms.

OUTLOOK: Idalia brings impacts to the region on Tuesday and Wednesday. Most, if not all the viewing area, will experience very gusty winds, heavy rain and a tornado threat during this time. Idalia will make landfall on the Big Bend Region (Florida's Gulf Coast) early Wednesday morning. Once this occurs and Idalia moves Northeast of Florida, winds and rain will decrease by Wednesday night into Thursday. Late week brings lower rain chances and more sunshine.

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TRACKING THE TROPICS: Idalia is expected to turn north by later today and intensify further as it heads into the Gulf of Mexico. The official forecast from the NHC has Idalia becoming a strong CAT 2-almost CAT 3 hurricane before making landfall early Wednesday.  

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As for now, it appears tropical storm force winds are possible over much of Central Florida, especially areas closest to the Gulf (Lake, Marion, Sumter County). This will be a quick-hitting system and likely in and out of Florida by late Wednesday. Rainfall won't be as big of an issue for most areas, but some closer to Gulf could see 3+" of rain with localized flooding possible. 

We will also monitor for potential quick tornadoes as the storms Tuesday night through Wednesday within rain bands. Hurricane Franklin remains in the Western Atlantic and is expected to develop into a strong hurricane this week, but remain out at sea. 

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A couple of other tropical waves are deep in the Atlantic, but are currently no concern to us. We will have more updates to come throughout the weekend so keep with the FOX 35 Storm Team.