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Ian is a Category 3 hurricane. Ian grows into a Category 3 hurricane as it targets Florida

Hurricane Ian is predicted to bring a dangerous storm surge with speeds of up to 140 mph as it approaches the Florida’s Gulf Coast in the middle of this week The National Hurricane Center said on Monday.

Ian transformed into a massive Category 3 storm by 5 a.m. ET on Tuesday. It recorded maximum sustained winds of 125 mph when it swam through the western region of Cuba forecasters predicted. Officials from Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province set up shelters for dozens of people and took measures to safeguard the tobacco crops of Cuba’s main region. It was reported that the U.S. National Hurricane Center stated that the west coast of Cuba could be hit with fourteen foot (4.3 metres) in storm surge.

As it approaches Cuba Ian’s surge “could increase water levels up to 9 to 14 feet over normal levels of tide” in some regions according to the hurricane center. The surge is expected to be less than in Florida However, some areas that are located in Tampa Bay could still see waters up to 10 feet higher than average.

Ian was about 5 miles to the west of the town located in Pinar del Rio, Cuba traveling northwest at 12 miles per hour according to the NHC stated within its 5 a.m. warning. “Cuba expects extreme hurricane force winds, as well as severe storm surge that could be life-threatening as well as heavy rainfall” Hurricane center chief expert Daniel Brown told The Associated Press.

Over the next 48 hours it is anticipated that the storm will continue to change direction towards the northeast and northdepending on the timing of those shifts will be a factor in determining where it will land at the U.S. mainland.

A hurricane alert which means that dangerous conditions are likely to occur — is in force for the western part of Cuba. Within the U.S., roughly 100 miles of the Florida coast is in a hurricane watch starting beginning from Englewood north up to the Anclote River — a stretch that encompasses Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg. A hurricane watch is typically issued within 48 hours of when the first stormy weather conditions are observed.

Ian will be the 4th Atlantic storm of 2022, an era that only witnessed its first hurricane earlier in the month. As of now, forecasts of higher than average activity in the 2022 season for hurricanes didn’t materialize — which can be that is explained by the fluctuation of the jet stream as well as heat waves at northern latitudes.

However, Ian’s threatening manner is a reminder of the warning hurricane experts frequently cite: One severe storm could change the course of lives of individuals.

“It just takes one land-falling storm to create an awful time for your business,” Jamie Rhome, the acting director of the NHC, stated to NPR in the beginning of this month.

Both the president Biden as well as Gov. Ron DeSantis have declared emergencies in Florida which makes it easier for state and federal authorities to work together in plans and respond.

Along the eastern shores of the Gulf of Mexico, all focus is on forecasts that forecast Ian’s likely route. However, experts advise everyone in the region put a contingency plan in place regardless of whether the most recent track doesn’t depict Ian making landfall within the area.

Current forecasts suggest that the storm to stay off of Florida’s western coasts while it moves towards the Panhandle. However, it could drop heavy rainfall along the wayup to 15 inches in some local areas and 8-10 inches across central western Florida all-around.

In coastal areas where the waters are the deepest, they are likely to hit the right-hand side of the storm, because of the double-whammy from the surge as well as waves that are whipped by powerful winds.

“Regardless of the exact direction of Ian’s track and intensity, there’s an increased risk of life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force wind, as well as heavy rain across the western coast in Florida along with along the Florida Panhandle by the middle of this week,” the NHC said on Monday.

Shoppers who are in the path of the storm are buying batteries, water, and other items. Some shelves were reported to be empty in the northern part of Florida However, in the Tampa area, people were more relaxed and hoping the storm will stay clear of them.

“It’s going west,” a shopper at an Winn-Dixie shop in Sarasota spoke to member station WUSF the previous Sunday. “We have looked over the models, but only a few appear to be set to affect us, but everything else indicates it’s likely to affect in the Panhandle.”



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