Hurricane Ian Heads into Gulf, Targets Florida as Major Hurricane
September 27, 2022
Source: Orlando Sentinel
Hurricane Ian plowed into Cuba early Tuesday growing in strength to a Category 3 major hurricane with 125 mph sustained winds with a projected path that sees the storm growing further before making landfall on Florida likely near Tampa Bay late Wednesday or early Thursday.
As of 8 a.m., the National Hurricane Center puts the center of Ian in the Gulf of Mexico about 10 miles north-northeast of Pinar Del Rio, Cuba and 130 miles south-southwest of the Dry Tortugas. It made landfall at 4:30 a.m. on the western side of Cuba and is moving north at 12 mph. Hurricane-force winds extend out 35 miles with tropical-force-storm winds out 115 miles.
“On the forecast track, the center of Ian is expected to emerge over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico in a couple of hours, pass west of the Florida Keys later today, and approach the west coast of Florida within the hurricane warning area on Wednesday and Wednesday night,” NHC forecasters said.
The system is expected to grow by Tuesday afternoon into a Category 4 hurricane with 140 mph winds and 165 mph gusts in the Gulf of Mexico before turning, slowing down its forward speed and making a beeline to Florida’s Gulf Coast.
“We were here 48 hours ago and most of the solutions had it going up the coast — the west coast of Florida,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis during a Tuesday morning press conference from the state Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee. “Now most of them have it ramming into the state of Florida and cutting across and so just be be prepared for that and understand that that’s something that could be happening.”
DeSantis and Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said the 11 a.m. forecast is expected to forecast a shift even farther south with potential landfall near Venice or Sarasota just south of Tampa Bay.
Impacts will be felt far broader than where the hurricane ultimately makes landfall, DeSantis said, urging people along the Gulf coast to heed warnings and evacuation orders from their local officials. Also, he said, remember you don’t have to evacuate hundreds of miles, just seek higher, dryer ground.
”Mother nature is a fierce adversary,” he said.
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