Ian becomes a hurricane again

Hurricane Ian advisory - 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29
Hurricane Ian advisory - 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29(WCTV First Alert Weather via NHC/NOAA)
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 12:33 PM EDT|Updated: 6 hours ago
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - 8 P.M. THURSDAY - Hurricane Ian is forecast to make landfall Friday in South Carolina.

The 8 p.m. Thursday advisory from the National Hurricane Center had the storm’s maximum sustained winds at 75 mph as it moved north-northeast at 10 mph. The hurricane is forecast to make more of a northerly turn Thursday night and Friday morning. The official forecast has Ian making landfall in South Carolina Friday afternoon, but the effects of the storm will be felt well before landfall.

Hurricane warnings remains in effect from the Savannah River north to Cape Fear, N.C.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - 5 P.M. THURSDAY - Ian returned to hurricane status Thursday evening as it’s forecast to make landfall in South Carolina on Friday.

The maximum sustained winds increased to 75 mph according to the 5 p.m. Thursday advisory from the National Hurricane Center, which made Ian a hurricane again since after making landfall in Southwest Florida on Wednesday. It was moving north-northeast at 10 mph and was centered 240 miles south of Charleston, S.C. The minimum central pressure was at 986 millibars.

New hurricane warnings were issued for the coast of North Carolina from Little River Inlet to Cape Fear.

Peak surge will range between 4 to 6 feet along the Northeast Florida coast to Edisto Beach, S.C. according to the National Hurricane Center. Maximum storm surge of 4 to 7 feet is also possible along portions of the South Carolina coast.

Dry air continued to entrain Ian’s southern side which left the deep convection mainly in the northern-half of the storm. A minor strength increase with respect to wind is in the forecast, but will become a remnant low after making landfall.

With the storm forecast to stay far enough away from the Big Bend and South Georgia, direct impacts are not anticipated. Only breezy and dry conditions are expected with a mix of clouds and sun through Friday.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - As of the 2:00 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Ian has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and is moving towards the north/northeast at 9 mph. A hurricane warning is in place for the entire coastline of South Carolina.

Several flash flood warnings, and even flash flood emergencies, were in effect earlier this morning for portions of central and northeastern Florida. Here area a few of the estimated rainfall accumulation totals over the past 48 hours.

Estimated rainfall accumulation over the past 48 hours in the state of Florida.
Estimated rainfall accumulation over the past 48 hours in the state of Florida.(WCTV)

We will continue to keep you updated as Ian nears the coast of South Carolina Friday morning.

A hurricane warning has been issued for the entire coast of South Carolina.

As of the 11:00 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Ian has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and is moving towards the north/northeast at 9 mph.

The forecast track brings Ian up through the coast of South Carolina as a category 1 hurricane. Ian is expected to slightly strengthen as it tracks over warm waters and favorable conditions for development of the Atlantic Ocean.

The center of circulation has moved offshore near Cape Canaveral, but central and northeast Florida are still dealing with heavy rainfall and flash flooding. We will update you on those rain totals with the next advisory at 2:00 p.m.

As of the 8:00 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Ian has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and is moving towards the northeast at 8 mph.

Although the wind speeds have significantly weakened over the past 12 hours, the rain as not let up. Several flash flood emergencies were issued for parts of central Florida Thursday morning.

Flash flood emergencies are issued for exceedingly rare situations when a severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage from a flash flood is happening or will happen soon.

Ian was downgraded to a tropical storm as of the 5:00 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center. Tropical Storm Ian has sustained winds of 65 mph and is moving towards the northeast at 8 mph.

Ian is forecast to exit the east coast of Florida near Daytona Beach, before turning back towards the coast of South Carolina this weekend.

For today, the Big Bend and South Georgia can expect mostly cloudy and breezy conditions. A few showers for our eastern-most counties cannot be ruled out.

As of the 2:00 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Ian was barely hanging onto its classification of a hurricane with winds of 75 mph. It’s center of location was located about 55 miles Southeast of Orlando.

Ian is forecasted to be downgraded to a Tropical Storm sometime on Thursday morning before moving out over the Atlantic ocean and make landfall once again somewhere along the South Carolina shoreline.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - As of the 5:00 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Ian has maximum sustained winds of 140 mph and is moving towards the north/northeast at 8 mph.

Ian made landfall near Cayo Costa on the southwestern coast of Florida around 3:05 p.m. on Wednesday as a category 4 major hurricane with sustained winds near 150 mph. Ian ties the record for the 5th strongest landfalling hurricane in the continental United States.

Hurricane Ian makes landfall as the 5th strongest landfalling hurricane in the continental U.S.
Hurricane Ian makes landfall as the 5th strongest landfalling hurricane in the continental U.S.(WCTV)

Ian poses a high risk for flash flooding across the peninsula over the next 24-36 hours. It is forecast to downgrade in strength to a tropical storm by the time it exits the east coast of Florida.

Impacts to our area remain minimal at best. Mostly cloudy and breezy conditions can be expected through Friday. Any rainfall will be confined to our eastern-most counties.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Hurricane Ian has made landfall in southwestern Florida as a Category 4 storm.

About 2.5 million people had been ordered to evacuate the area before the storm hit the coast on Wednesday with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph (241 kph).

The storm was heading inland, where it was expected to weaken, but residents in central Florida could still experience hurricane-force winds.

Before making its way through the Gulf of Mexico to hit Florida, Hurricane Ian tore into western Cuba as a major hurricane Tuesday, killing two people and bringing down the country’s electrical grid.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - As of the 2:00 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Ian has maximum sustained winds of 155 mph and is moving ashore in southwest Florida.

Hurricane Ian moves ashore in southwest Florida
Hurricane Ian moves ashore in southwest Florida(WCTV)

Still no change in respect to impacts for the Big Bend and South Georgia since the 11:00 a.m. advisory. We will continue closely monitoring the track of Ian as it heads inland moving north/northeast into central Florida.

WEDNESDAY 11:00 A.M. - As of the 11:00 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Ian has maximum sustained winds of 155 mph and is nearing the southwest Florida coastline.

The storm surge for parts of the southwest Florida coastline will be catastrophic. Projections range from 12-18 feet from Englewood south to Bonita Beach, including Charlotte Harbor.

The track of Ian takes it towards the northeast through central Florida, where the main threat is excessive rainfall and flash flooding.

Closer to home, impacts will be minimal at best. Dry air in the region will help to steer Ian off to our east. Our eastern-most counties are the ones most likely to see a few inches of rainfall over the next few days. Here is meteorologist Rob Nucatola’s quick glance forecast for our area:

Meteorologist Rob Nucatola's quick glance forecast for our area.
Meteorologist Rob Nucatola's quick glance forecast for our area.(WCTV)

WEDNESDAY 8:00 A.M. - As of the 8:00 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Ian has maximum sustained winds of 155 mph and is moving towards the north/northeast at 10 mph.

Southwest Florida is bracing for catastrophic storm surge. As of the 8:00 a.m. advisory, Ian was only a few mph shy of becoming a category 5 hurricane.

Impacts to the Big Bend and South Georgia will continue to be minor compared to what is expected in the Florida Peninsula. Ian’s more south and eastward forecast path has shifted the highest impacts away, and it’s likely only the eastern-most counties in the viewing area will see gusty winds and periods of heavy rain.

TUESDAY 9:30 P.M. - Hurricane Ian’s max sustained winds remained at 120 mph as of the hourly 9 p.m. update Tuesday.

The direction of movement shifted slightly more easterly from a 10-degree bearing at 5 p.m. to 15 degrees. The minimum central pressure was at 947 millibars, a drop from the 5 p.m. advisory that showed a hurricane that was slowly gaining strength.

Not much has changed since the Tuesday evening advisories with respect to impacts for the Big Bend and South Georgia.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - TUESDAY 5 P.M. - Ian was going through a recycling of its eye wall Tuesday afternoon as it continued to inch closer to the Florida Peninsula’s western coast.

Hurricane Ian’s maximum sustained winds were at 120 as of the 5 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center. The storm’s minimum central pressure 952 millibars as it moved just to the right of north at 10 mph.

The storm may have been going through an eye wall replacement cycle, a common occurrence for a hurricane where the inner eye decays and a new eye wall develops around it.

The hurricane is forecast to make landfall late morning or early afternoon Wednesday based on the National Hurricane Center’s official forecast. The cone of uncertainty along the landfall path ranges from near Tampa Bay south to near Naples.

The cone of uncertainty continued to narrow with the new advisory. Only portions of Hamilton, Lanier, Clinch and Echols counties were in the 5 p.m. cone forecast.

Impacts to the Big Bend and South Georgia will continue to be minor compared to what is expected in the Florida Peninsula. Ian’s more south and eastward forecast path has shifted the highest impacts away, and it’s likely only the eastern counties in the viewing area will see the highest risk of gusty winds, heavy rain and storm surge.

Rainfall amounts will likely range from 2 to 6 inches in the eastern Big Bend and South-Central Georgia areas.

Under half of the Big Bend and South Georgia will be under a marginal or slight risk of...
Under half of the Big Bend and South Georgia will be under a marginal or slight risk of excessive rainfall on Wednesday as Hurricane Ian is projected to make landfall in Florida's peninsula Wednesday.(WCTV First Alert Weather via WPC/NOAA)

There is a slight threat of excessive rainfall in portions of the eastern Big Bend on Wednesday.

Rainfall is anticipated to arrive into the area as soon as late Wednesday, but the higher odds of rain will come Thursday and Friday as the center of Ian is forecast to move northward into Central Florida on Thursday and near either Northeast Florida or Southeast Georgia on Friday.

Wind speeds will likely remain below tropical-storm-force over most of the area as Ian moves northeasterly through the end of the work week, but the eastern-half will see odds of winds at or above 40 mph of 60% or greater. The highest risk (60%+) of feeling those winds include the cities of Valdosta, just east of Monticello, Madison, Perry, Mayo and Live Oak.

Overall, sustained wind speeds will range between 20-30 mph across the area with the potential of higher gusts. But the offshore waters and some on the coast could still see tropical storm conditions. The Tropical Storm Watch that was issued Monday was upgraded to a Warning, according to the National Hurricane Center. The tropical storm warning is in effect for Suwannee River to Indian Pass.

Storm Surge is less of a concern with the 5 p.m. update as the Storm Surge Watch that was in effect for the Taylor County coast has expired. Regardless, the National Hurricane Center says 1 to 3 feet of surge (maximum) is possible along the Big Bend coastline.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Ian continued to strengthen Tuesday afternoon as it moved north in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.

Maximum sustained winds were at 120 mph as of the 2 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center with a minimum central pressure down to 955 millibars. The center of Hurricane Ian was 265 miles south of Sarasota, Fla.

As of early Tuesday afternoon, the impacts to the Big Bend and South Georgia will not be as high as locations to the south.

The next full advisory will be at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - As of the 11:00 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Ian had maximum sustained winds of 115 mph moving towards the north at 10 mph.

The maximum sustained winds decreased by 10 mph since the 8 a.m. advisory. This may have been due to land interaction with Cuba. The forecast still called for a category 4 hurricane by Wednesday morning. Rapid weakening of this system is forecast to begin after initial land interaction with the west coast of the Florida peninsula due to an unfavorable environment for development.

The forecast cone shifted slightly towards the east once again. This may further limit the extent of the impacts that the Big Bend and South Georgia may see from Ian later this week.

As of the 8:00 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Ian has maximum sustained winds of 125 mph and is moving towards the north at 12 mph.

A tropical storm watch is currently in effect for the coastal waters of the Big Bend. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the next 48 hours.

With respect to the current forecast track, our area can expect periods of possibly heavy rainfall and gusty winds later this week. Since Ian is forecast to track to our east, impacts will be felt a bit more for our eastern counties rather than our western counties. Impacts can become greater if the storm shifts a bit further to the west of its current forecast track over the next 48 hours. Dry air and wind shear are forecast to weaken the system significantly by Friday. This also lightens the potential impacts for our area.

In regards to storm surge, the coastline stretching from the Indian Pass to the Aucilla River is forecast between 1-3 ft. The coastline stretching from the Aucilla River to the Suwannee River is forecast between 2-4 ft. These levels are still subject to change depending on the exact track of the Ian.

As of 4:30 a.m., The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Ian has made landfall in western Cuba as a category three hurricane with winds of 125 mph. This windspeed officially classifies Ian as a major hurricane. This occurs when a tropical system reaches category three or higher.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - As of the 2:30 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Ian was upgraded to a category three storm with winds of 115 mph.

Landfall is expected in western Cuba at any time.

Stay tuned for the latest on Hurricane Ian.

This story was updated to add more information about local storm surge potential.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Hurricane Ian continued to show signs of slow strengthening as it moved over some of the warmest water in the Caribbean Sea and neared Cuba Monday afternoon.

Ian was centered 155 miles southeast of the western tip of Cuba according to the 5 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center. Maximum sustained winds increased to 100 mph with a minimum central pressure of 972 millibars.

The National Hurricane Center issued tropical storm watches from Suwannee River to Indian Pass. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area within 48 hours.

It’s forecast to enter the southeastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday and slow down through the rest of the week. The hurricane is projected to be a Category 4 storm when it arrives in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, based on the official forecast. The cone of uncertainty has shifted slightly east based on guidance model trends, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. discussion. Despite the shift, the Big Bend and South Georgia remain the cone of uncertainty.

By time Ian reaches the latitude of Tampa Bay, it will enter a less favorable environment and decrease in wind intensity. High wind shear will likely begin to tear the storm apart while dry air will intrude the storm from the west and eventually wrap around the east. The National Hurricane Center’s forecast has the hurricane decreasing to a Category 3 by early Thursday morning then a Category 1 by the afternoon. Regardless of the wind strength decrease, heavy rain and storm surge will drag on for an extended period of time for West Central Florida.

As Ian is expected to move north during the week, it will enter a less favorable environment...
As Ian is expected to move north during the week, it will enter a less favorable environment for sustaining itself. Factors include increased wind shear, dry air intrusion, and upwelling from storm being anticipated to sit over the eastern Gulf for a longer period of time.(Charles Roop / WCTV First Alert Weather)

The still uncertain specific track along with a storm that’s expected to lose wind strength by time it reaches near the Big Bend does make forecasting specific details harder. What the First Alert Weather Team can say is that heavy rain will be likely in locations near I-75. The Weather Prediction Center has the eastern portions of the Big Bend and South Georgia under a slight threat of excessive rainfall on Wednesday.

Given that a strong low (hurricane) and a strong area high pressure will be centered over the Great Lakes, the setup will already allow for breezy conditions starting Wednesday with wind speeds of at least 20 mph with potentially higher gusts. How much higher the wind speeds get beyond that will depend on the position and strength of Ian as it moves north.

Storm surge along the Big Bend coast is largely to be determined. A shift to the west in track would mean a south-to-north fetch of wind that would pile water along the coast, which makes storm surge prediction dependent on the track. As of this update, there is a potential of 2 to 4 feet of storm surge along the Taylor County coastline, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Overall, there is a risk of downed trees and power outages across the viewing area - especially the farther east one travels. If Ian were to move more westward, the impacts could be greater.

Stay tuned for the latest on Hurricane Ian.

This story was updated to add more information about local storm surge potential.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - As of the 11 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Ian has maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and is moving towards the northwest at 13mph.

Ian continued to show signs of strengthening as of 11 a.m. Monday. Sustained winds increased, and the minimum central pressure decreased. The forecast cone remains generally the same, encompassing a possible landfall from anywhere between southwest Florida northward through the panhandle.

As a reminder, impacts can be felt well outside of the forecast cone. Listen closely to local officials and emergency managers for the latest updates on evacuations.

This story was updated to include a video update as of 1:30 p.m. Monday.

Ian gained enough strength to become a hurricane as of 5 a.m. Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Maximum sustained winds were at 75 mph according to the 8 a.m. intermediate advisory. The minimum central pressure was at 981 millibars.

Ian went through intensification Sunday night with the central pressure dropping by almost 20 millibars compared to earlier Sunday as well as an increase in thunderstorm development near the storm’s center of circulation.

The cone of uncertainty shifted slightly east since earlier advisories. But the early Monday morning ensemble model runs, the European and American GFS models, showed nearly identical scenarios with the European shifting west.

The next full advisory will be released at 11 a.m.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - As of the 5pm update from the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Ian has sustained winds of 45mph and is moving towards the WNW in the Caribbean Sea at 12mph.

Sustained winds slightly weakened since the last advisory. None the less, Ian is still forecast to become a major hurricane as it enters the Gulf of Mexico. Ian is forecast to slightly weaken as it enters the N Gulf of Mexico due to unfavorable conditions for development.

The cone of uncertainty ranged from SW Florida through western portions of the Panhandle as of the 5pm advisory Sunday afternoon. Guidance models continue to differ on the path of the storm, which still leaves uncertainty with the impacts for specific areas. Those in Florida and Georgia within and near the forecast cone should begin making preperations. Know your zones, and listen to local officials and emergency managers in reference to possible evacuations.

As it threatens the eastern Gulf Coast, Tropical Storm Ian struggled to gain thunderstorms around its center of circulation Sunday morning.

The tropical storm’s center was located 570 miles southeast of the western tip of Cuba according to the 11 a.m. Sunday advisory from the National Hurricane Center. It was moving nearly west-northwest at 14 mph with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.

There was little change in strength since it was named a tropical storm Saturday morning. Satellite imagery continued to reflect a lack of thunderstorm activity near the storm’s center, but a northwest to southeast line of deep convection was developing north and east of the center as of mid-morning Sunday (appeared similar to what was seen with Hurricane Matthew in 2016). A meteorologist hinted on social media that the possible reason for such lack of convection is due to surface convergence not being colocated with the storm’s center.

Hurricane Hunters were inspecting the tropical storm Sunday morning with the last two fixes finding a higher minimum central pressure with surface wind speeds around tropical-storm-force. Regardless, the National Hurricane Center maintained the 1001-millibar central pressure for the 11 a.m. update. They also found that the low- and mid-level centers of Ian were finally starting to converge, according to the 11 a.m. discussion. The merging of the centers at different heights show that it is becoming organized after dealing with wind shear days earlier.

Specific impacts are to be determined as the computer guidance models continued to differ with landfall locations. The Euro (ECMWF) continued its right-hand-turn expectation into West Central Florida. The American GFS maintained a more northward motion that would aim Ian for the Panhandle and Big Bend of Florida. The difference was similar in the model’s ensemble members. The forecast cone shifted very little since the 5 a.m. update. If it were to make landfall along Florida’s northern Gulf Coast, the timing would be later Thursday into early Friday based on the official forecast.

Higher rain chances for the Big Bend and South Georgia were added to the First Alert forecast starting Wednesday, but details on how much rain, wind, storm surge or other hazards are to be determined. This storm will continue to be closely monitored.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - As of the 8pm update from the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Ian has sustained winds of 45mph and is moving towards the W in the Caribbean Sea at 14mph.

The cone of uncertainty ranged from SW Florida to Pensacola as of the 8pm advisory Saturday evening. Guidance models continue to differ on the path of the storm, which still leaves uncertainty with the impacts for specific areas. Those in Florida and Georgia need to continue to closely monitor the progress of Ian.

Tropical Storm Nine was upgraded to Tropical Storm Ian early Saturday morning.

Based on satellite imagery, the National Hurricane Center said it had increased in strength with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. The 11 a.m. advisory kept the maximum sustained winds at 45 mph.

Hurricane Hunters found Saturday morning that Ian’s circulation was not stacked, according to their 11 a.m. discussion. The non-stacked nature of the center of circulation indicated that the storm still struggled with the impacts from earlier wind shear. But wind shear is anticipated to decrease as the storm is projected to enter an area of high ocean heat content.

The cone of uncertainty ranged from west of Panama City southeast to the Florida Everglades based on the 11 a.m. Saturday advisory. The cone also shifted west compared to earlier advisories. Guidance models continue to differ on the path of the storm, which still leaves uncertainty with the impacts for specific areas. Those in Florida and Georgia need to continue to monitor the progress of Ian.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - As of the 11am update from the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Depression 9 has sustained winds of 35mph and is moving towards the WNW in the Caribbean Sea at 14mph.

Here is the latest forecast cone:

The latest update on TD 9
The latest update on TD 9(WCTV)

Take this track with a grain of salt. This is a forecast track of a system that is not yet well developed.

Tropical Depression 9 is still facing a northeast wind shear, preventing any significant development or strengthening. As it continues to track towards the west into the western Caribbean, conditions become much more favorable for development.

The tropical models for TD9 up until Sunday morning.
The tropical models for TD9 up until Sunday morning.(WCTV)

We will have a much better picture on the path for TD 9 once it enters this region of the Caribbean over the next 2 days. A landfall in South/Central Florida would come around the middle of the work week, whereas a landfall further north in the Gulf would be a day or two later.

What YOU need to know: This is not the time to panic. This is the time to plan. Have a plan in place for IF and WHEN we can be certain on the track. We’ll keep you updated around the clock with the latest information.

Stay up to date on this system by following this blog online and on-air, as well as dowloading the WCTV First Alert Weather App.