Tropical Storm Ian strengthening; Rapid intensification likely Sunday into Monday

The track has shifted west again, which indicated that Ian could be even stronger heading into next week.

Tropical Storm Ian is becoming better organized over portions of the Central Caribbean as we worked throughout our Saturday. As of the 5:00 PM advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Ian has maximum sustained wins a 45 MPH with gust up to 60 MPH, moving to the west at 16 MPH.

As we go through the next 24 hours, Ian is forecast to begin rapidly strengthening, becoming a strong tropical storm by Sunday afternoon, and a hurricane by late Sunday night.

Then, as Ian turns off to the northwest, and then to the north, Ian is expected to be a major hurricane, category three with winds of 110 MPH affecting the western portion of Cuba by Monday afternoon.

Ian is then expected to enter the Gulf of Mexico, and continue to intensify to a category four hurricane with winds of 130 MPH by Tuesday into Wednesday. The latest forecast has shifted the track of Ian off to the west yet again, now Ian may be an issue for central and northern, Florida, including the big bend of Florida.

Ian is forecast to rapidly strengthen into early next week
Ian is forecast to rapidly strengthen into early next week
Ian is forecast to rapidly strengthen into early next week

As of right now, landfall looks to be sometime on Thursday, near the big bend of Florida, as Ian weakens, just a little bit, down to a category two hurricane with winds of 105 MPH, as Ian is going to interact with a trough of low pressure that will work into the southern portions of the United States.

Either way, residents of central, southern, and northern Florida, should have their hurricane plans, ready to go, as Ian is forecasted, rapidly intensify, and grow in size, despite the track being shifted off to the west.

According to the National Hurricane Center, “Ian is expected to remain a major hurricane when it moves, generally northward across the eastern Gulf of Mexico during the middle of next week, but uncertainty in the track forecast is higher than usual. Regardless of Ian’s exact track, there is a risk of dangerous storm surge, hurricane force winds, and heavy rainfall on the West Coast of Florida and the Florida panhandle by the middle of next week, and residents in Florida should ensure they have their hurricane plans in place, any listen to advice given by local officials and monitor the forecast”.

About the Author:

Bryan joined the WDIV 4Warn Weather Team in May 2022 as a meteorologist, and is also an experienced middle & high school teacher.