FIRST ALERT: Tropical Storm Ian forms, expected to become a major hurricane
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Tropical Storm Ian has formed in the Caribbean. The storm is expected to develop into a major hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico next week.
TROPICAL STORM IAN
Ian is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph. A westward motion is expected to continue through Saturday night, followed by a turn toward the northwest and north-northwest on Sunday and Monday. On the forecast track, the center of the cyclone is forecast to move across the central Caribbean Sea through Saturday, pass south of Jamaica on Saturday night and Sunday, and approach the Cayman Islands on Sunday night and early Monday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts. Some slow strengthening is forecast during the next day or so. More significant intensification is forecast on Sunday and Monday, and the system is forecast to become a hurricane by early Monday.
Our weather models agree on Ian impacting the state of Florida. The big question is where? All options are possible from crossing South Florida to crossing along the Central Gulf Coast. Each scenario would pose a different threat here in the Carolinas. A clearer idea of the eventual path will start to come into focus by late Sunday and Monday.
The worst-case scenario here in the Carolinas would be Ian crossing the Northern Florida Panhandle as a hurricane. This would allow the storm to ride the coast bringing potentially major impacts to us here in the Carolinas. The best case scenario would be Ian crossing South Florida and then safely out to sea with all impacts remaining over the Atlantic Ocean.
As of right now, Florida will be impacted hardest by Ian. Where Ian makes landfall in Florida will determine which areas will be impacted after. All areas in yellow and orange are possibilities at this point.
The positioning and intensity of the storm will be updated every 3 hours, while the track data will be updated every 6 hours.
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TROPICAL STORM HERMINE
. Hermine is moving toward the north-northwest near 10 mph, and this general motion with some decrease in forward speed is forecast this weekend, with a turn to the northwest possible early next week. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is possible through tomorrow, with weakening expected on Sunday, and Hermine could become a remnant low on Monday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center.
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