TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — As Florida officials monitor every wobble Hurricane Idalia makes off its current track, Nexstar’s WFLA is activating an advanced tool to help track shifts in the storm’s movements.
The WFLA Wobble Tracker will be live-streamed as Idalia continues its trek.
As the storm approaches the Florida coast, even the slightest wobbles could change Idalia’s effect on neighborhoods in the impact area.
How to read the wobble tracker
The blue line represents Idalia’s past track, while the red line shows Idalia’s future track, according to the National Hurricane Center. To determine if there is a wobble, look at the center of Idalia’s eye on the satellite.
Do not be confused by the hurricane symbol on the map. A wobble occurs when the center of Idalia’s eye moves off of the blue and red lines.
As Hurricane Ian was closing in on Florida in 2022, the Max Defender 8 weather team developed the WFLA Wobble Tracker to assist with the real-time tracking phase. The tracker allowed the team to see minute-by-minute if the eye of Hurricane Ian was deviating from the forecast track issued by the NHC. Any time they noticed a deviation, they were able to alert viewers.
“The real-time wobble tracker was a huge asset as Ian moved across Florida,” WFLA Chief Meteorologist Jeff Berardelli said. “It showed each wobble and, more importantly, when the storm was deviating away from the forecast. For example, Wednesday night, the wobble tracker allowed us to warn our audience in Polk County that the storm was moving further south, which meant hurricane force winds would miss northern cities, but the stronger gusts would make a direct hit on southern parts of the county.”