Florida Faces Dangerous Storm Threat as Ian Becomes a Powerful Hurricane Overnight

According to the National Hurricane Center Tropical Storm Ian became a hurricane Monday morning. It is now a more serious threat to Florida, the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and other states.

The storm is expected to intensify in the warm Gulf of Mexico waters, but it appears that Florida is the storm’s target. Spaghetti models are still moving the storm eastward, but they say that the uncertainty over the storm’s strength was higher than usual as it closed in on Florida Monday morning.

NHC warned of flooding effects in central Florida next week, citing already saturated antecedent conditions. Rain across the Florida Keys and Florida peninsula can also cause flash flooding and urban flooding.

All Floridians were asked to not worry about where they are and to be ready for anything. Intense thunderstorm activity, severe flooding, and tornadoes will be common in large areas of Florida as Hurricane Ian moves toward the U.S. mainland.

Floridians prepared for a hurricane by packing their grocery stores and hardware stores.

John Cangialosi, a senior hurricane specialist at NHC Miami, stated that it was too soon to know if the storm would affect all of Florida.

CNN added:

Ian will pass Cuba and follow the eastern Gulf of Mexico, bringing impacts to Florida on Tuesday.

Heavy rain, hurricane-force winds, and storm surge are all likely to hit the Keys this week. West-central Florida will get 4 to 6 inches. The Florida Keys should get 8-10 inches. Some areas of the Florida Peninsula could see 3-8 inches.

A hurricane watch has been issued to the west coast of Florida, north of Englewood and near the Anclote River. This includes Tampa Bay.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican from Florida, gave an update about Sunday’s state preparations for a severe storm. The tracks of the storm are still unclear but the governor stated that Floridians should be ready for anything.

According to AP DeSantis said that “This storm could strengthen into a major hurricane” and advised Floridians to make preparations.”

Initially, only a handful of counties were declared in a state of emergency by the governor. Due to the storm’s expected trajectory, DeSantis expanded the state of emergency coverage throughout the state. President Joe Biden has also declared a federal state emergency in Florida. Biden canceled his Tuesday trip to Florida because of the hurricane.

DeSantis also activated Sunday’s Florida National Guard. DeSantis would be the first governor to respond if Ian made landfall in Florida on Wednesday morning.