Currently in the Atlantic - September 27, 2022 ALERT

Special update by Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz

Track over west Cuba barely weakens Ian

Ian enters Gulf of Mexico—a major hurricane

Latest headlines:

  1. Track slightly farther east-Tampa area wouldn't get the absolute max storm surge (still will be bad)
  2. But will get even more rain than with previous tracks!
Now 15"+ rain expected in Tampa Bay area

Combining an already high storm surge with these amounts of rain will lead to massive flooding.

3. With track shift, there is less chance of Ian weakening before landfall. It also will cause landfall to happen more quickly than earlier forecasts

4. Areas south of Tampa will get maximum storm surge, especially south and southwest facing beaches. They include Longboat Key, Port Charlotte, Sanibel Island, and Ft. Myers Beach.

Latest model tracks-between Tampa and Ft. Myers
New surge forecast- some areas up to 12 feet!

5. The new storm surge forecast (above) shows a slight drop in Tampa Bay area (now 5-8 feet) but increases just south of Tampa down to the Ft. Myers area (8-12 feet). This would be similar to the surge with Hurricane Charlie in 2004, but that storm was much smaller than Ian and the max surge and wind areas were much smaller than Ian will produce. Just because you may not have flooded in Charley doesn't necessarily mean you'll be OK with Ian.

6. It is obvious that the European model (ECMWF) is going to end up being the most accurate model. It has helped NHC make their excellent forecasts of Ian tracking farther east than the main U.S. model (GFS) and Canadian model. That was for forecasts 2-4 days ahead. Other shorter-range models may be more accurate now that Ian is closer to landfall

7. The storm surge threat now increases along the East coast of Florida north of Daytona Beach all the way up to South Carolina. The flood threat increases across central and Northeast Florida.

8. Ian will be far from over after it makes landfall. It will cause widespread flooding due to its size, strength, and slow movement. Ian will be a problem for parts of the U.S. through at least the weekend.

Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz