Jacksonville, Tampa, Cayman Islands, Cuba prepare for Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian is expected to form as a Category 4 storm in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico as early as Tuesday night.

Tim Deegan, Robert Spetta, Amelia Henderson, Lewis Turner

Sep 26, 2022 10:30AM EST

September 26, 2022 7:42pm EST

Jacksonville, Florida — Hurricane Ian: For now, the biggest impact appears to be in the Tampa area, as the storm’s right front is expected to cross the metro area Wednesday, bringing surges of 5 to 10 feet or more and winds that could exceed 100 mph. Ahead of the storm, there will be prolonged rains on the First Coast and throughout Florida, creating a threat of major flooding, gusty winds, and the potential for tornadoes.

For First Coast: Forecasts are getting better attention. For the First Coast, we believe the storm will interact with the front, starting Wednesday and ending Friday, producing steady onshore wind and rain.

It will start raining in the south on Wednesday.

If coastal winds build up, it will bring gusty conditions along the coast and the risk of beach erosion, rip currents and high waves before and during the storm. Winds of magnitude 25 to 40, with gusts to 65, are planned from the northeast late Thursday through early Friday.

The worst weather will be from 1am Thursday to 7am Friday, with heavy rain, onshore winds and high water. Hence the threat of flooding of the rivers along the St. Johns River. Johns and its tributaries are possible.

>>> Spanish: Tropical: Ian subió a huracan de category 1 cerca de las Islas Caimán

Floods from this threat would be our highest risk. Only from swells flooding the beach. This means that for inland areas away from the coast, as well as in cities and areas with poor drainage, we could see standing water and flooding due to heavy rainfall. Especially in those areas where we might see banded setups that create the “training effect” of showers.

The models will focus for 72 hours, but are struggling with the 5-day outlook as the storm begins to interact with the front through the southeast.

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Meteorologist Robert Speta explains what spaghetti plots mean and how they should be used when making forecasts.

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