U.S.: All eyes on Hurricane Ian
Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life- threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours.
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area.
A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
Interests in central Cuba, the remainder of the Florida Keys, and the Florida peninsula should monitor the progress of Ian.
Additional watches and warnings may be needed later today.
For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by your national meteorological service.
At 200 PM EDT (1800 UTC), the center of Hurricane Ian was located near latitude 19.7 North, longitude 83.0 West.
Ian is moving toward the north-northwest near 13 mph (20 km/h).
A turn toward the north with a slightly slower forward speed is expected on Tuesday.
A turn toward the north-northeast with a further reduction in forward speed is forecast on Wednesday.
On the forecast track, the center of Ian is expected to move near or over western Cuba tonight and early Tuesday.
Ian will then emerge over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, pass west of the Florida Keys late Tuesday, and approach the west coast of Florida on Wednesday into Thursday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 mph (135 km/h) with higher gusts.
Rapid strengthening is expected during the next day or so, and Ian is forecast to become a major hurricane tonight or early Tuesday when it is near western Cuba and remain a major hurricane over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km).
The minimum central pressure based on Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft data is 976 mb (28.82 inches).
Key messages for Ian can be found in the Tropical Cyclone Discussion under AWIPS header MIATCDAT4 and WMO header WTNT44 KNHC and on the web at hurricanes.gov/text/MIATCDAT4.shtml.
STORM SURGE: The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.
The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide
Anclote River to Middle of Longboat Key, FL including Tampa Bay 5-10 ft Middle of Longboat Key, FL to Englewood, FL 5-8 ft Englewood, FL to Bonita Beach, FL including Charlotte Harbor
4-7 ft Bonita Beach, FL to East Cape Sable, FL 3-5 ft East Cape Sable, FL to Card Sound Bridge, FL including Florida Bay 2-4 ft Florida Keys including the Dry Tortugas 2-4 ft The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the right of the center, where the surge will be accompanied by large waves.
Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances.
For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.
Storm surge could raise water levels by as much as 9 to 14 feet above normal tide levels along the coast of western Cuba in areas of onshore winds in the hurricane warning area tonight and early Tuesday.
Storm surge could raise water levels by as much as 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds in the Cayman Islands today.
WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected on Grand Cayman during the next few hours.
Hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area in Cuba tonight, with tropical storm conditions expected by this evening.
Destructive winds are possible where the core of Ian moves across western Cuba.
Tropical storm conditions are expected within the tropical storm warning area in Cuba tonight and Tuesday.
Tropical storm conditions are possible on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac during the next few hours.
Hurricane conditions are possible along the west coast of Florida within the Hurricane Watch area on Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions possibly beginning by Tuesday night.
Tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning area in the lower Florida Keys and are possible in the watch area in the middle Florida Keys on Tuesday.
Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area along the Florida west coast by Tuesday evening.
RAINFALL: Ian is expected to produce the following rainfall through Thursday: Jamaica: An additional 1 to 3 inches, with local maximum of 5 inches, especially along the south coastal region.
Cayman Islands: 3 to 6 inches, with local maxima up to 8 inches.
Western Cuba: 6 to 10 inches, with local maxima up to 16 inches.
These rains may produce flash flooding and mudslides in areas of higher terrain over western Cuba.
Florida Keys: 4 to 6 inches.
Central West Florida: 8 to 10 inches, with local maxima up to 15 inches.
Remainder of the Florida Peninsula: 3 to 8 inches.
Heavy rainfall is expected to affect North Florida, eastern portions of the Florida Panhandle, and portions of the Southeastern U.S.
Friday and Saturday.
Widespread considerable flash and urban flooding and prolonged significant river flooding impacts are likely mid-to-late week in central Florida given already saturated conditions.
Flash and urban flooding impacts are also possible with rainfall across the Florida Keys and the Florida peninsula through mid-week.
Limited flooding impacts and rises on area streams and rivers are also possible over northern Florida and portions of the Southeast mid-to-late week.
TORNADOES: A few tornadoes are possible late tonight and Tuesday across the Florida Keys and the southern and central Florida Peninsula.
SURF: Swells generated by Ian are affecting Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.
Swells will spread northwestward to the southwestern coast of Cuba and the coasts of Honduras, Belize, and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico tonight.
Swells are expected to begin affecting the Florida Keys Tuesday and spread northward along the west coast of Florida through Wednesday.
These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Please consult products from your local weather office. ■