Evening Update on Hurricane Ian

It is now likely that Ian is going to make landfall tomorrow afternoon/evening near Cape Coral/Port Charlotte as a category 3 or 4 hurricane. Model guidance has continued to shift south. As such the hurricane warning has been extended south to Chokoloskee, FL.

As of the 5 PM EDT advisory, Ian was a category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph. The NHC notes that an eyewall replacement cycle appears to be starting. This could halt farther intensification but cause the wind field to expand.

While Ian is now likely to make landfall south of Tampa, heavy rain, wind, and surge will still impact the Tampa area. This is because the center will pass just to the east tomorrow night/early Thursday as Ian moves inland.

Since Ian will be passing to the east surge will be limited as wind will be from the northeast/east as Ian passes by, but the NHC is still forecasting peak storm surge inundation values of 4-6’ for the Tampa area.

Storm surge forecast for Ian as of 5 PM EDT September 27, 2022. (NHC/NWS/NOAA)

Peak inundation values of 8-12’ are now forecast from Bonita Beach north to the Middle of Longboat Key.

The NHC now states that “devastating wind damage is expected near the core of Ian” as it makes landfall. Core means center. Hurricanes conditions are expected to arrive along the west coast of Florida in the hurricane warning area, which extends from Chokoloskee to the Anclote River, by tomorrow morning.

Any preparations should be rushed to completion.

Rainfall forecast for Ian as of 2 PM EDT September 27, 2022. (WPC/NWS/NOAA)

A decrease in forward speed is still expected as Ian makes landfall and moves inland, but a complete stall is now unlikely. Ian is also still expected to produce 10 to 20” of rain across central and parts of north Florida. This will lead to flash, urban, small stream, and river flooding.

Ian is also now expected to possibly emerge back into the Atlantic Friday/Saturday with a second landfall, albeit as a much weaker cyclone, in Georgia or South Carolina.

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Caleb Carmichael
Caleb Carmichael

Caleb is the owner of Gulf Coast Storm Center. He is currently an undergraduate student at Mississippi State University majoring in geoscience with a concentration in broadcast and operational meteorology. While not yet a meteorologist, Caleb has been providing weather updates, news, and analysis for the Gulf Coast since 2014.

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