11pm September 24 Tropics Update: Ian strengthens a little, hurricane watch in effect for Cuba

11pm September 24 Tropics Update: Ian strengthens a little, hurricane watch in effect for Cuba

All eyes are on Ian now as the tropical storm eyes the Gulf of Mexico.

As of 11 pm Saturday, Ian is still a tropical storm but now has sustained winds of 50 mph. This newest update doesn’t show any major changes to the forecast cone.

The National Hurricane Center does say that Ian is about to begin rapid intensification soon. This means that the storm will quickly strengthen over the warm Caribbean waters.

In light of that, hurricane and tropical storm watches have been issued for portions of Cuba.

The GFS and European models still disagree when it comes to where Ian will make landfall.

If Ian follows the GFS model (yellow), it will trend a little more west and have more time over the warm Gulf waters. With this solution, Ian would a strong hurricane as it makes landfall. This would put Central Georgia on the “dirty” side of the storm. There would be less rain in the area, but we could see the potential for brief, spin-up tornadoes.

If Ian follows the European model (red), Ian would track closer to Florida’s west coast and have much less water to cover. In the newest update, the European model agrees with the GFS in terms of maintaining or gaining strength before landfall. This solution would still put Central Georgia on the clean side of the storm though but would bring our rain chances up significantly.

The full impacts to Central Georgia will remain muddy for now. We will know a lot more about Ian’s strength and track by Monday.
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