Kim Adams: Why I’m in Florida tracking Hurricane Ian

Local 4 meteorologist to report live from Florida this week

Kim Adams: Why this Detroit meteorologist is in Florida tracking Hurricane Ian (WDIV)

So, what’s a meteorologist from Detroit doing tracking a hurricane in Florida?

Well, that discussion began several days ago when I started getting emails, calls and social media messages from dozens of Local 4 viewers who were concerned about family, friends and even their own second homes in Florida as Hurricane Ian approached.  

When I came back to WDIV, I made a promise to 4Warn the Detroit community of weather events that may impact their lives, good or bad. So, here I am, on the 5th floor of a hotel in Tampa Bay.

My photographer Norm and I flew into Orlando early Tuesday morning and drove to the barrier island community of St. Pete. We arrived shortly after noon with the hurricane still around 250-300 miles away. But it was desolate and, quite honestly, creepy.

Meteorologist Kim Adams in Florida amid Hurricane Ian (WDIV)

A mandatory evacuation was in effect with a deadline of noon Tuesday, about an hour before we arrived. We found a few lifelong locals determined to stay since “every hurricane always goes south,” missing the Tampa Bay area. Apparently, legend has it St. Pete was built on an old Indian burial ground, so it will never be hit by a storm.  

As a meteorologist, I didn’t buy into it.  

However, I must say, a few hours after hearing this story, the new model data shifted the storm south. Another bullet potentially dodged for Tampa Bay.

More: Ian powers up to a Category 4 hurricane as it nears Florida

As of Tuesday night, Hurricane Ian is a monster storm. Tropical storm force winds were just starting and by Wednesday morning, they’ll be hurricane force winds.

We are headed down to Fort Myers for live reports at 4 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. I’m nervous, I won’t lie. Even far away from the eye of the storm there are dangers: Flooding, storm surge, tornadoes are all possible, in addition to 100+ mph winds.

We will stay close enough to the storm to bring you the information you need, but safety is our priority. I hope you’ll be watching our reports at 4 p.m., 5 .m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.!

Local 4 meteorologist Kim Adams in Florida amid Hurricane Ian (WDIV)

Related: Full list of mandatory evacuations in Florida for Hurricane Ian: Check it here, find your zone

About the Author:

Emmy-award winning Meteorologist Kim Adams rejoined the 4Warn Weather Team in August 2022. You can watch her on the 4, 5, 6, 10 & 11 p.m. newscasts. You can also find her on your cell phone, tablet, computer (by downloading the 4Warn Weather app), Click on Detroit, and Local 4+.