Hurricane Ian is inching toward Cuba where big impacts are being felt and landfall is underway on the western part of the island. Ian remains a category 2 system, but it’s on the verge of becoming a major (cat 3) on Tuesday. Even with a landfalling strike to Cuba, there’s no reason to believe it will hold Ian back very much (if at all). The center of the hurricane will only briefly be over the western tip of Cuba before emerging back over water. The official forecast has Ian peaking in strength from late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. At that time, winds could be as high as 140 mph while moving over the southern Gulf of Mexico. After that? Ian is likely to encounter some wind shear (basically, some interference). That would result in a slight weakening trend but still hanging on to hurricane strength over the Gulf. During the second half of the week, Hurricane Ian is expected to slow down off the west central Florida coast. If that happens, it will prolong the effects of wind and rain across much of Florida.

For the time being, all of south Florida is under a Street Flood Advisory (until Thursday morning). Be prepared for heavy rain squalls and the likelihood of torrential downpours. Of course, avoid water-covered roads and be safe. Gusty winds could also lead to downed trees and possible downed power lines. While south Florida won’t get the brunt of the hurricane, significant impacts will still threaten the area.

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