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Tropical Storm Ian still on track to be a major hurricane and impact Florida

Tropical Storm Ian continues to organize this evening and rapid intensification is expected overnight that will likely turn the system into a hurricane early Monday.

Ian is forecast to pass through far west Cuba on Tuesday then hit the southeast Gulf of Mexico by Wednesday morning as a major hurricane. Landfall is possible from the Florida Gulf Coast to the Panhandle on Thursday or Friday. Regardless of the exact track, impacts from the storm will be felt over 100 miles away from the center of circulation to include dangerous storm surge and high rip currents. Significant flooding and isolated tornadoes are possible along the coast and far inland into north-central Florida, the east coast, and southern parts of the state.

As of the latest model guidance, here are the best estimates for time of arrival of tropical storm force winds. Also consider these the times when your preparations need to be completed:

The Florida Keys: Monday night-Tuesday morning

South Florida: Tuesday afternoon

West-Central Florida: Tuesday evening

Central Florida: Tuesday night-Wednesday morning

North Florida and the Panhandle: Wednesday afternoon

** This forecast is for onset of tropical storm force winds, ahead of the center of the storm**

There is still some uncertainty in the track and intensity from model guidance and that will continue over the next several days. Details such as potential landfall location as well as the timing of the impacts will become clearer early this week as the storm organizes. Although uncertainty persists, residents along Florida’s entire Gulf Coast and Panhandle should prepare for potential impacts from Ian. Preparation guidelines and tips can be found at floridadisaster.org and and ready.gov.