Ian made landfall in western Cuba around 3:30 am as a strong category 3 hurricane with winds sustained at 125 mph. The storm will move over Cuba this morning and emerge in the Gulf later today. It should continue strengthening in the southeastern Gulf today and tomorrow. A category 4 seems likely, but a strong storm is possible.
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. This will take the storm into the Tampa/Fort Myers area as a slowing hurricane.
Southwest shear should decrease the wind speeds in 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
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, one far-off tropical wave has a high chance of development, but it is drifting northward and is on track to stay out at sea. the next name on the list is Julia.