Forecasters expect Tropical Storm Ian to strengthen in the central Caribbean over the weekend, and the storm could become the first Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in the US this season with a hurricane Strike is expected on Florida next week.
Ian was named a tropical storm late friday in the eastern Caribbean Sea and could become a major storm within days, forecasts said.
“Given the very warm waters and the forecast of minimal wind disruption, the system is likely to intensify rapidly at any time,” said Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok, AccuWeather Long Range Meteorologist Team Leader. from this weekend to midweek.
What are these National Hurricane Center Expected in the next few days:
- The storm will pass southwest of Jamaica on Sunday.
- It is forecast to become a hurricane around Sunday night.
- Ian’s track will be near the Cayman Islands and Cuba on Monday.
- Early next week, the Florida Keys and South Florida could see heavy rains. Some flash floods and urban flooding are possible.
Florida weathers a big storm
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has declare a state of emergency for 24 counties and Warning on Twitter that while the path of the storm is uncertain, “flood dwellers should stay alert and ensure their households prepare for a potential impact.”
“While there’s a chance the track will move through this weekend and into next week, people in Florida should prepare for a major hurricane strike Tuesday through Thursday.” AccuWeather forecasters said.
NASA also decided to halt a launch attempt on Tuesday due to the impact of the storm.
The Ian Road: The Caribbean Islands Will Be Attacked First
The Cayman Islands are currently under hurricane monitoring, and Jamaica is under tropical storm monitoring, according to the National Hurricane Center.
AccuWeather said Jamaica will see “increasingly heavy downpours and increasingly strong winds” on Saturday and Sunday, AccuWeather said. The storm is then forecast to hit the Cayman Islands and Cuba directly from Sunday to Monday.
AccuWeather forecasters say the storm is likely to make landfall in western Cuba as a Category 2 or stronger hurricane. The National Hurricane Center forecast possible 6 to 10 inches of rain with a local maximum of up to 14 inches.
Heavy rains could cause flash floods and mudslides in Jamaica and Cuba, according to the National Hurricane Center. According to AccuWeather, as Ian crosses the western Caribbean islands, there is also the risk of widespread power outages and torrential rain.
Contributing: Emre Kelly, Florida Today