Floridians brace for the arrival of Tropical Storm Ian, which is forecast to rapidly intensify on Sunday
, 2022-09-25 06:39:00,
The hurricane center’s forecast splits the difference, showing landfall across the Big Bend of Florida on Thursday night as a weakening hurricane.
“Regardless of Ian’s exact track and intensity, there is a risk of dangerous storm surge, hurricane-force winds, and heavy rainfall along the west coast of Florida and the Florida Panhandle by the middle of next week,” the hurricane center said.
Across the state, local officials are urging residents to be prepared in the event of flash flooding and damaging winds.
“This is the calm before the storm,” Naples Mayor Teresa Heitmann told CNN on Saturday. “We experience this kind of adrenaline before a storm and the path could change at any time, but we want our citizens to be ready.”
Ian is approximately 345 miles south-southeast of Grand Cayman and moving west-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph), according to the hurricane center’s update Sunday morning, with maximum sustained winds reaching 50 mph (85 kph).
A hurricane warning is in effect for Grand Cayman, and forecasters are becoming increasingly confident residents in western Cuba will face “life-threatening” storm surge and hurricane-force winds Monday, the hurricane center said. Hurricane and tropical storm watches have been issued for parts of western Cuba.
Tropical storm conditions are possible across Cuba on Monday afternoon, and hurricane conditions will likely follow late Monday into Tuesday. Ian is forecast to bring 4 to 8 inches of rain with isolated totals up to 12 inches possible in western Cuba. Storm surge of 9 to 14 feet is also forecast along the coast of western Cuba in areas of onshore winds Monday night into Tuesday.
As the storm approaches Florida, authorities are…
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