Tropical Storm Ian forms in Caribbean; forecast to become Category 3 hurricane

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 5:40 AM EDT
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WFLX First Alert Weather meteorologists are closely monitoring Tropical Storm Ian, which formed Friday evening over the central Caribbean Sea.

The latest models continue to push the system into the northern Caribbean Sea during the weekend and then toward Cuba and the west coast of Florida early next week potentially as a Category 3 hurricane.

At this point, everyone in South Florida is under the cone of error for Wednesday.

According to the 11 p.m. Friday forecast from the National Hurricane Center, Ian currently has winds of 40 mph, moving west, northwest near 12 mph.

“The computer models have shifted a little farther to the west, which is obviously good for us, but it will fluctuate back and forth,” WFLX First Alert Chief Weather Meteorologist Steve Weagle said.

The latest models show a hurricane could come ashore on the west coast of Florida just north of Fort Myers on Wednesday at 2 p.m. with winds of 115 mph.

“The cone is 200 miles wide, so it could easily shift off to the west or to the east,” WFLX First Alert Weather Meteorologist Steve Villanueva said. “If it takes a more southern track, our winds would be considerably stronger. If it takes the northern track, our winds will be weaker.”

At 11 p.m. Friday, a hurricane watch was issued for the Cayman Islands and a tropical storm watch was issued for Jamaica.

NHC said hurricane conditions are possible in the Cayman Islands early Monday.

Tropical Depression 10

Tropical Depression 10 formed at 11 a.m. Friday off the coast of Africa. The system should be short-lived and is no threat to land, Villanueva said.

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