Hurricane Ian continued to strengthen Monday night, continuing as a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds at 105 mph.
Ian is expected to continue to strengthen rapidly overnight, bringing significant wind and storm surge to Cuba before entering the Gulf of Mexico and heading toward Florida.
The Hurricane Watch from Englewood to the Anclote River, including Tampa Bay, has been upgraded to a Hurricane Warning. A Hurricane Watch has been issued from the Anclote River to the Suwannee River.
Cone of uncertainty: See the latest graphic from the NHC
Portions of Florida's West Coast and the Florida Keys also are under a storm surge watch and tropical storm watch.
Ian has maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, making it a Category 2 storm, according to an advisory issued at 11 p.m. from the National Hurricane Center.
The storm is forecast to strengthen rapidly overnight.
#Ian is the 4th Atlantic #hurricane formation since September 2. 6 other years since 1990 have had 4+ Atlantic hurricane formations between September 2-26: 1998, 2001, 2005, 2010, 2017, 2020. pic.twitter.com/dKER5Lap25
— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) September 26, 2022
Winds are forecast to reach 140 mph within 36 hours.
Ian is growing larger. Hurricane-force winds currently extend 35 miles from center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend 115 miles from the center.
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On the forecast track, the center of Ian is expected to move near or over western Cuba overnight and early Tuesday. Ian will then emerge over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, pass west of the Florida Keys late Tuesday, and approach the west coast of Florida on Wednesday into Thursday.
Ian has made an expected turn toward the north-northwest. The hurricane will move north-northwestward to northward over the next day or so as it is steered by a mid-level ridge to the east.
Where will Ian make landfall in Florida?
Ian is expected to take a turn toward the north-northwest, and then a turn toward the north during the next day or so. Then, an upper-level trough over the eastern U.S. should cause Ian to turn more north-northeast through Thursday.
This track brings the center of Ian close to the west-central coast of Florida during the middle of the week.
The slower forward motion is likely to prolong the storm surge, wind, and rainfall impacts, especially along the west coast of Florida. The latest track guidance has come into better agreement on this scenario, although it is noted that small deviations to the shore-parallel track could have large implications on the impacts at particular locations along the west coast of Florida.
Rapid strengthening is expected during the next day or so, and Ian is forecast to become a major hurricane tonight when it is near western Cuba. A major hurricane is one in which maximum sustained winds are at least 111 mph, making it a Category 3 storm.
There is the danger of life-threatening storm surge along much of the Florida west coast where a storm surge warning has been issued, with the highest risk from Fort Myers to the Tampa Bay region.
Hurricane-force winds are expected in the hurricane warning area in west-central Florida beginning Wednesday morning with tropical storm conditions expected by late Tuesday.
Heavy rainfall will increase across the Florida Keys and south Florida Tuesday, spreading to central and northern Florida Wednesday and Thursday, potentially causing flash, urban and small stream flooding. Significant prolonged river flooding is likely across central Florida.
Where is Hurricane Ian now?
Here is the latest data on Hurricane Ian pulled from the National Hurricane Center's 11 p.m. advisory.
Location: 105 miles east-southeast of the western tip of Cuba; 358 miles south of Naples
Maximum sustained winds: 105 mph
Movement: north-northwest at 13 mph
Pressure: 972 MB (millibars)
When next advisory will be released: 2 a.m.
Spaghetti models: Track Hurricane Ian
Watches and warnings issued for Naples
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Helpful hurricane resources and links
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Officials encourage residents to assemble a hurricane kit early, storing enough supplies to last at least three days. Doing so ensures there are adequate supplies available on store shelves and prevents a rush — and shortages — that regularly occur when a storm is imminent.
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This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: Hurricane Ian: Track the storm and its impact on Naples, Florida