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Hurricane Ian on path to strike Florida as Cat 4, entire state under Flood Watch

Tracking Hurricane Ian
Tracking Hurricane Ian 04:45

MIAMI -  The entire state of Florida is under a Flood Watch as Hurricane Ian, a Category 2 storm, gets closer to the state's Gulf Coast.

The storm is expected to grow to a Category 4 hurricane as it approaches the Tampa Bay area over the next couple of days. 

At 11 p.m. ET on Monday, Ian was moving north-northwest at 13 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.  Its maximum sustained winds increased to 105 mph. On the forecast track, the center of Ian is expected to move near or over western Cuba overnight and early Tuesday. 

Ivan Cabrera, chief meteorologist for CBS Miami, said Monday that the storm's winds and speed are expected to strengthen as it moves into the very warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

"Well see those numbers go up with each passing advisory," he said, adding that South Florida is already seeing heavy rain from the storm's outer bands. "A squall line is moving through Miami-Dade right now during rush hour."

The Hurricane Center said conditions in western Cuba are set to deteriorate Monday evening into tonight with "significant wind and storm surge impacts expected."

Hurricane Ian cone of uncertainty.  NEXT Weather

Although South Florida is expected to escape the worst of the storm, which could still bring rain bands to Broward and Miami-Dade Counties.

During a Monday morning news conference, Gov. Ron DeSantis said 5,000 Florida National Guard members have been activated along with 2,000 of their counterparts from Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina to help Florida recover.

"We know we're going to have major impacts in the state of Florida," he said, adding that many people in the storm's path would likely lose power and residents should be prepared.

DeSantis issued an expanded emergency declaration over the weekend to help free up emergency protective funding along with activating members of the Florida National Guard.

His order stresses that there is a risk for a storm surge, flooding, dangerous winds, and other weather conditions throughout the state.

President Joe Biden also declared an emergency for the state, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to coordinate disaster relief efforts and provide assistance to protect lives and property. The president postponed a scheduled Sept. 27 trip to Florida due to the storm.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Grand Cayman and the Cuban provinces of Isla de Juventud, Pinar del Rio, and Artemisa.

Watches and warnings for Florida Keys and lower west coast.  NEXT Weather

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within 24 to 36 hours.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Englewood, Florida to the Anclote River, including Tampa Bay.

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical storm-force winds.

Tropical storm warnings are posted for the Cuban provinces of La Habana, Mayabeque, and Matanzas; the lower Florida Keys from Seven Mile Bridge westward to Key West; and Dry Tortugas.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Englewood southward to Flamingo, Florida Keys from Seven Mile Bridge to the Channel 5 bridge, and Lake Okeechobee.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for the Florida Keys from the Card Sound Bridge westward to Key West, Dry Tortugas, Florida Bay, Anclote River southward to the Card Sound Bridge, and Tampa Bay.

Ian is forecast to take a northward motion on Tuesday with a slightly slower forward speed. A turn toward the north-northeast is forecast on Tuesday night or early Wednesday.

On the forecast track, the center of Ian is expected to pass near or over western Cuba early Tuesday. Ian will then emerge over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, and pass west of the Florida Keys late Tuesday, and approach the west coast of Florida on Wednesday.

Heavy rain bands with gusty squalls arrived in the lower Keys on Monday night and will continue spreading north across all of South Florida, including Miami-Dade and Broward, throughout Tuesday and Wednesday.  

Hurricane Ian rainfall estimates NEXT Weather

The Florida Keys could see 4 to 6 inches of rain, Central West Florida could get 8 to 10 inches, with local maxima up to 15 inches, and the remainder of the Florida Peninsula could get 3 to 8 inches.

Heavy rainfall is expected to affect North Florida, eastern portions of the Florida Panhandle, and portions of the Southeast, and Mid Atlantic regions Friday and Saturday. 

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