Ian strengthens to Category 4 hurricane

Ian 9 a.m. advisory (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4JAX - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hurricane Ian continues to move toward the Florida mainland now as a Category 4 hurricane. Ian is expected to cause catastrophic storm surge, winds and flooding in the Florida Peninsula Wednesday.

In the NHC’s 5 a.m. advisory Wednesday, the track shifted east.

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A Storm Surge Warning remains in effect for the St. Johns River and the Flagler/Volusia county line to the mouth of the St. Marys River, and a Tropical Storm Warning continues from Flamingo to South Santee River.

Stay with The Weather Authority and News4JAX.com for updates throughout the next several days.

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Latest advisory

At 8 a.m., the eye of Hurricane Ian was located by Air Force and NOAA Hurricane Hunter data plus Key West radar near latitude 26.0 North, longitude 82.7 West. Ian is moving toward the north-northeast near 10 mph (17 km/h). This general motion with a reduction in forward speed is forecast Wednesday, followed by a turn toward the north on Thursday. On the forecast track, the center of Ian is expected to move onshore within the hurricane warning area later Wednesday morning or early Wednesday afternoon. The center of Ian is forecast to move over central Florida Wednesday night and Thursday morning and emerge over the western Atlantic by late Thursday.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 155 mph (250 km/h) with higher gusts. Ian is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Ian is forecast to make landfall on the west coast of Florida as a catastrophic hurricane. Weakening is expected after landfall.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles (65 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km).

The minimum central pressure is 937 mb (27.67 inches) based on Air Force Hurricane Hunter dropsonde data.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

  • Chokoloskee to Anclotte River, including Tampa Bay
  • Dry Tortugas

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:

  • Suwanee River southward to Flamingo
  • Tampa Bay
  • Lower Florida Keys from Big Pine Key westward to Key West
  • Dry Tortugas
  • Flagler/Volusia line to the mouth of the St. Mary’s River
  • St. Johns River

A Tropical Storm Warning in effect for:

  • Cuban provinces of La Habana, Mayabeque, and Matanzas
  • Indian Pass to the Anclote River
  • All of the Florida Keys
  • Flamingo to South Santee River
  • Flamingo to Chokoloskee
  • Lake Okeechobee
  • Florida Bay
  • Bimini and Grand Bahama Islands

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for:

  • Florida Keys from the Card Sound Bridge westward to east of Big Pine Key
  • Florida Bay
  • Mouth of St. Mary’s River to South Santee River
  • South of Marineland to the Volusia-Flagler county line

About the Authors:

Our chief meteorologist lives and breathes the weather on the First Coast.

David Heckard is The Weather Authority's Assistant Chief Meteorologist.