Monday 4 AM Tropics Update: Ian becomes a hurricane
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Monday 4 AM Tropics Update: Ian becomes a hurricane

Ian is now a hurricane and expected to continue its rapid intensification for the next couple of days. It’ll move past the western side of Cuba Monday night as a major hurricane.

It will move into the southeast Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday likely as a major hurricane. The National Hurricane Center’s latest forecast calls for it to be a Category 4 storm by that point.

A curve to the north and northeast is expected on Wednesday and Thursday as it steers toward a trough of low pressure over the eastern US and rounds a high-pressure area to its east. This would put it on track to reach the western coast of Florida by late Thursday.

Southwest shear should weaken the system some before landfall, but there will likely still be significant impacts for parts of Florida including heavy rain, hurricane-force winds, and storm surge. Models shifted slightly eastward on Sunday after a more westward trend noted on Saturday. The cone of uncertainty indicates a landfall anywhere from Miramar Beach to Fort Myers, Florida.

Right now there are no tropical impacts expected for Louisiana and Mississippi aside from swells off the coast next week and a north wind Wednesday through Friday. We’ll continue tracking it closely, but even if the path shifts a little farther west, our local area would still be on the drier and less intense side of the storm’s center.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, Gaston is now a post-tropical cyclone in the northern part of the ocean.

One other wave in the Atlantic has a low chance of development, but it is drifting northward and is on track to stay out at sea.

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