Topical Storm Ian is expected to strengthen rapidly this weekend and approach Florida at or near major hurricane strength early next week, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Ian is moving toward the west near 15 mph and this general motion is expected to continue through tonight. The forecast shows Ian becoming a hurricane by late Sunday and approaching western Cuba at or near major hurricane strength by Monday night. Due to limited land interaction, Ian is expected to be a major hurricane over the eastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday and Wednesday as it approaches the west coast of Florida.
Ian is moving over very warm waters and it should not take long for the system to develop an inner core. Once that happens, rapid intensification is expected while Ian crosses the northwestern Caribbean Sea.
Gov. DeSantis declared a preemptive state of emergency on Friday for 24 Florida counties.
Weather Tiger forecast: With a likely Ian incoming, Florida may see its most serious hurricane threat in years
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What we know: Is a hurricane going to hit Florida? What we know about Tropical Depression Nine
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 45 mph with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and Ian is expected to become a hurricane late Sunday or Sunday night.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center.
Cone of uncertainty: See the latest graphic from the NHC
Satellite images: See latest satellite image from NOAA, for a clearer picture of the storm’s size
Where is Ian now?
Here is the latest data on Tropical Storm Ian pulled from the National Hurricane Center’s 11 am advisory.
Location: 270 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica of
Maximum sustained winds: 45 mph
Movement: west at 15 mph
Pressure: 1003 MB (millibars)
When next advisory will be released: 2 pm
Spaghetti models: Track Ian here
Helpful hurricane resources and links
Get your home ready: Here’s how to prepare your home for a hurricane, from well in advance to just before a storm’s arrival
Need to prepare for a hurricane? Here’s what you should have in a disaster supply kit
Hurricane preparedness list: If a storm is coming, here is what you need to do now
Videos: Helpful tips for a hurricane survival kit
Hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones: What’s an invest and why do they keep saying tropical cyclone?
Officials encourage residents to assemble a hurricane kit early, storing enough supplies to last at least three days. Doing so ensures there are adequate supplies available on store shelves and prevents a rush — and shortages — that regularly occur when a storm is imminent.
This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: Ian: Track the tropical storm and its impacts on Naples