Tropical Storm Ian track remains uncertain in the Gulf of Mexico
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Tropical Storm Ian remains in the southern Caribbean Sunday, nearly 1000 miles south of the Suncoast, with very little change to the storm so far. Ian should become better organized Monday over very warm water temperatures. This will lead to quick development into a Category 3 hurricane before it hits western Cuba Monday night.
Ian will push into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday, likely to intensify to a Category 4 storm with winds at the center from 130 mph to 156 mph. The storm will mainly move north Tuesday.
Computer models continue to offer a wide range of possibilities for storm tracks toward Florida. The Euro continues to favor the storm moving into southwest Florida Wednesday. The American GFS and other models take the storm farther north toward the Florida Panhandle. The morning briefing from the National Hurricane Center stated because of this difference “uncertainty in the long-term track and intensity forecast is higher than usual”. The cone of uncertainty is still nearly 300 miles across by Wednesday.
Even if the more westerly track of the American model is correct, we still could experience rough seas, periods of heavy rain and some flooding, and tropical force winds of 40 to 73 mph. The best course into Monday is to prepare for the worst and hope for the best-case scenario on Wednesday. Here are steps to prepare for the storm:
- 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
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