Hurricane Ian will make landfall in Southwestern Florida tomorrow
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Hurricane Ian has moved north of Cuba and intensified to a category 3 storm. As of 5:00pm CDT, Ian boasts sustained winds of 120mph with gusts up to 150mph, along with a minimum central pressure of 952mb. The storm is expected to be a category 4 storm with sustained wind speeds greater than 130mph shortly.
We’re roughly a day away from landfall, and the potential impacts of this storm have become clear. The current forecast from the National Hurricane Center has Hurricane Ian make landfall as a Category 4.
Life-threatening storm surge, hurricane-force winds, and heavy rainfall will batter the Florida Peninsula. The National Hurricane Center says storm surge could exceed 8-12′ in the Charlotte Harbor near Ft. Meyers and Cape Coral. Elsewhere, 4-6′ surge is forecast for Tampa Bay and Jacksonville on the eastern coast of Florida once Ian crosses the Peninsula.
Ian also has the potential to be a major rainfall event. The European Model shows rainfall totals over 18″ in pockets of central Florida, with widespread accumulations between 8-12″. Models are starting to move Ian through the state more quickly, a positive sign for a region that simply cannot handle the rainfall totals possible with a slow-moving storm.
Minimal impacts are expected in the Panhandle from Hurricane Ian. The eastern trend of the storm’s track over the last few days, along with a recently-passed front, will keep us dry through the weekend. Breezy conditions will persist through the remainder of the week. Franklin Co. is under a tropical storm warning due to the threat of 1-3″ surge and tropical storm-force winds.
Stay with NewsChannel 7 for updates.
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