Ian’s track shifts west and could become a Category 4 hurricane before hitting Florida
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Ian continues to push through the Caribbean as a tropical storm Sunday morning. While computer models still do not agree on the track by Wednesday, there are some general trends. The official cone of uncertainty, and the track in the American computer model, have shifted significantly to the west. If this trend holds, the storm would pass by the Suncoast offshore, then make landfall in the Florida Panhandle late Thursday. We would still rough seas, high winds, and potentially heavy rainfall. The European model still has the storm making landfall north of Tampa, which would be worst-case scenario for the Suncoast.
The other change to Ian’s track is the intensity of the storm. As it moves over the very warm waters of the Gulf, Ian is expected to become a Category 4 hurricane. Winds at the center of the storm would range from 130 mph to 156 mph. Confidence in the intensity forecast is high, but confidence in the track by Wednesday and Thursday is still low. We should get a much better idea of the potential track Monday.
Sunday is a fairly quiet day to continue storm preparation, just a few isolated afternoon thunderstorms possible. You can still prepare today by following these steps:
- Get food and water supplies for several days
- Get prescriptions filled and have medications and a first aid kit handy
- Get enough pet food and medication for several days
- Have a radio with batteries and phone charges available
- Keep your gas tank full
- Have cash on hand
- Store important documents in a dry, safe place
- Be prepared to protect your home with hurricane shutters or other protection
Stay with ABC7 First Alert Weather for the latest on the storm!
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