Eye on the Tropics

Tropical Storm Ian expected to get stronger, Cuba under hurricane watch

ORLANDO, Fla. — Tropical Storm Ian has formed and could impact Florida by next week.



11 p.m. Update:

Tropical Storm Ian is expected to rapidly intensify in the next few days as it passes the western tip of Cuba and then moves into the Gulf.

Winds are now up to 50 mph and western Cuba has been put under a hurricane watch.

By Wednesday and Thursday, the center of the cone has again shifted west of Central Florida, but it is still close enough that we need to prepare for possible impacts and watch for further track adjustments.

Right now, residents should be ready for heavy rain and flooding threats with a chance for tornadoes Wednesday night through Thursday night.

The wind speed will depend on how close Ian tracks to individual counties.

5 p.m. Update:

Tropical Storm Ian’s track has shifted to the west.

The new track pushes the center of the cone farther away from Orlando, but all of Central Florida is still in the cone.

We still have to watch for impacts caused by heavy rain and strong winds by next Thursday

A tornado risk will also develop and we will have to be prepared for more track shifts in future updates.

As Ian continues to organize, it is expected to rapidly intensify into a Category 4 hurricane over the Eastern Gulf of Mexico by the middle of next week.

The next track update will be at 11 p.m.

11 a.m. Update:

Ian is still fighting shear with winds holding at 45mph.

The track has again been adjusted slightly westward, especially on days four and five as Ian would approach Florida.

Track adjustments are expected. Slightly stronger and a more prolonged period of Category 3 strength, possibly as early as near Cuba.

Based on the track from the NHC, impacts to Central Florida would be felt beginning Wednesday

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TS Ian continues to slowly gather strength as it moves through the Caribbean.

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More rapid intensification is likely over the weekend and Ian may become a hurricane by late Sunday.

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As of 8 a.m. on Saturday the forecast track has not changed overall, showing a powerful category 3 hurricane approaching southwest Florida on Wednesday.

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The next full advisory with any track change will be at 11a.m.


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Rusty McCranie

Rusty McCranie, WFTV.com

Coming to Eyewitness News is coming back home for me.