TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — As Florida officials monitored every wobble Hurricane Idalia made off its track, WFLA.com activated its advanced tool to help track shifts in the storm’s movements.
The WFLA.com Wobble Tracker livestreamed continuously on our website through our coverage of Hurricane Idalia.
As the storm approached the Florida coast, even the slightest wobbles could change Idalia’s impact 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 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.com 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.”
The Wobble Tracker will be featured in WFLA Now’s interactive coverage of Hurricane Idalia on Tracking the Tropics with J.B. Biunno, meteorologist Eric Stone, Berardelli, and the Max Defender 8 weather team.