Hurricane Ian Update: Storm Strengthening to ‘Dangerous’ Category 4 Heading for Florida

Florida prepares for Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian is gathering strength and closing in on Florida as the state scrambles to finalize storm preparations and evacuate those most at risk ahead of Wednesday’s expected landfall.

The massive Category 3 storm was already making impacts in Key West on Tuesday after it battered Cuba with heavy rain and wind overnight and threatened storm surge, flash flooding and mudslides.

Governor Ron DeSantis urged Floridians to heed warnings to evacuate to higher ground due to the possibility of “catastrophic flooding and life-threatening storm surge.” As of Tuesday, 2.5 million people in Florida were under evacuation orders.

The most recent weather models project that the hurricane will make landfall south of Tampa Bay, where storm surge could reach up to 12 feet (3.7 meters). Up to 24 inches (61 cm) of rain is expected in some areas and wind speeds of 130 miles per hour (209 km/h).

Emergency officials warned that life-threatening conditions would limit the chance of rescues once the storm hits.

“You will be alone,” warned the mayor of St. Petersburg, Ken Welch.


People prepare to evacuate to shelters in Florida

Hurricane Ian Shelters in Central Florida


Biden speaks with mayors of Tampa Bay

President Joe Biden called the mayors of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, Florida, all in the Tampa Bay area, to discuss hurricane preparations.

Biden approved an emergency declaration in anticipation of Hurricane Ian’s impact on Florida and urged residents to heed evacuation warnings.

“This could be a very severe hurricane, life-threatening and devastating in its impact,” the president said at the White House on Tuesday.


‘Extremely dangerous large hurricane’: National Hurricane Center issues update at 2pm

The US National Hurricane Center issued its latest update at 2 pm ET Tuesday with the main finding that Ian was becoming stronger in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane Ian is moving north at about 10 mph (17 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue today, forecasters said.

A turn to the north-northeast with a reduction in forward speed is forecast overnight Tuesday through Wednesday. On the forecast track, the center of Ian is expected to move over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico today, pass west of the Florida Keys later tonight, and approach the west coast of Florida within the Florida Warning Area. hurricane Wednesday and Wednesday night.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 120 mph (195 km/h) with higher gusts. Ian is a Category 3 hurricane and is expected to strengthen later today through Wednesday. Ian is forecast to approach the west coast of Florida as an extremely dangerous large hurricane.

The full report can be found here.


Photos emerge of the impacts of Hurricane Ian in Cuba

Hurricane Ian has slammed into Cuba like a major storm.

Ian made landfall at 4:30 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday in the Cuban province of Pinar del Río, where authorities set up 55 shelters, evacuated 50,000 people, dispatched emergency personnel and took steps to protect crops in the main region. tobacco producer in the country.

The US National Hurricane Center said “significant wind and storm surge impacts” occurred Tuesday morning in western Cuba. Ian hit with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph (205 km/h). Up to 14 feet (4.3 meters) of storm surge was forecast along the coast of Cuba.

Ian was predicted to become even stronger during warm waters of the Gulf of Mexicoreaching maximum winds of 140 mph (225 km/h) as it approaches the southwest coast of Florida.

Fallen utility poles line a street after Hurricane Ian hit Pinar del Rio, Cuba on Tuesday

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Downed power poles line a street after Hurricane Ian hit Pinar del Rio, Cuba, on Tuesday.


Debris hang on the street as Hurricane Ian passes through Pinar del Rio, Cuba on Tuesday

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Debris hangs in the street as Hurricane Ian passes through Pinar del Río, Cuba, on Tuesday.



Key West begins to feel the impacts of Hurricane Ian

Waves were already breaking at the famed southernmost point of the United States early Tuesday afternoon when bands from Hurricane Ian began to impact Florida.

Social media videos of waves crashing against the boardwalk were shared.

As of noon Tuesday (EST), the storm was moving at 10 mph over Havana in the direction of key West with maximum sustained winds around 115 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.


Hurricane hunters film the eye of the storm

Images from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) show a plane flying into the eye of Hurricane Ian as it approaches Florida over the Caribbean.

Hurricane hunters are pilots who fly into tropical storm systems to collect data and monitor the weather.


Fire at the Kennedy Space Center

NASA has reported a small fire in the Vehicle Assembly Building at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday morning, but says the Artemis I rocket was “not at risk.”

The agency had to move the rocket indoors over the weekend as Hurricane Ian moves toward the state. The planned liftoff earlier this month was canceled after mechanical problems.

The Kennedy Space Center is on Florida’s Atlantic coast and strong winds and rain are forecast after the hurricane hits the other side of the state and moves east.


Orlando airport to close

Orlando International Airport announced that commercial service will stop at 10:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday as Hurricane Ian moves inland.

The airport asked passengers to refer to their individual airlines for flight status.

The Orlando area will not face the worst of the storm, but will still see significant potential for wind, rain and flooding as it moves from the coast beginning Wednesday morning.


Satellite Images Reveal Monster Category 3 Hurricane Ian From Space

The center of Hurricane Ian is currently over Cuba, but the storm is already starting to bring rain to parts of Florida before making landfall later Tuesday into Wednesday morning.

The storm is hundreds of miles wide, and satellite images have captured some of the shocking size as it swallows the Gulf of Mexico in wind and rain clouds.


FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell says she’s concerned about the complacency of people who may have survived a storm before or haven’t had a serious impact before, and urges residents to heed the orders for evacuation and listen to local officials.

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