Hurricane Ian Tracker Thursday: Storms Hit Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Hurricane Ian continues to batter the Florida peninsula Thursday after being downgraded to a Category 1 system Wednesday evening, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm made landfall near Cayo Costa, Florida just after 3 p.m. Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds measured at 150 mph. By 2 a.m. Thursday it had weakened to a Category 1 with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.

According to the NHC, the center of the hurricane was located about 55 miles south-southeast of Orlando, Florida, and 90 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, as it moved. north-northeast at 9 mph.

“It will continue to move north-northeast through Hardee and Polk counties before moving near Orlando as a tropical storm,” said Storm Team 8 meteorologist Eric Stone.

Ian’s center is now expected to cross central Florida from Wednesday evening through Thursday morning and emerge over the Atlantic on Thursday evening. Ian will then turn north on Friday and approach the northeast coasts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

While Ian is expected to weaken as it moves across the Florida peninsula, the system could regain hurricane strength once it moves across Florida’s east coast on Thursday afternoon. .

New watches and warnings were issued for North Carolina and South Carolina on Wednesday evening.

Central Florida and Northeast Florida could still see 12 to 20 inches of rain, with some areas seeing isolated maximum amounts of 30 inches. The storm could dump another 6 to 8 inches of rain over southern Florida and the Florida Keys, with some areas seeing around 12 inches.

Central Florida is vulnerable to “widespread and life-threatening catastrophic flash, urban and riverine flooding,” with “record-breaking” flooding along rivers, the NHC added.

Tampa Bay and other parts of Florida are also under a storm surge warning, meaning the storm could cause water levels to rise above normal tides.

According to the NHC, water could reach the following heights above ground in the following areas:

Englewood to Bonita Beach including Charlotte Harbor…5 to 8 feet

  • Bonita Beach at Chokoloskee…4 to 6 feet
  • Flagler/Volusia County line to Altamaha Sound…4 to 6 feet
  • Middle of Longboat Key to Englewood…3-5 feet
  • Altamaha Sound to South Santee River…3 to 5 feet
  • Saint John River north of Julianton…3-5
  • St. Johns River south of Julington…2-4 feet
  • Chokoloskee to East Cape Sand…2 to 4 feet
  • From the Suwannee River to the middle of Longboat Key including Tampa Bay…2 to 4 feet
  • South Santee River to Little River Inlet…2 to 4 feet
  • East Cape Sand to Card Sound Bridge…1-3 feet
  • Patrick Air Force Base to Flagler/Volusia County line…1 to 3 feet
  • East of Little River Inlet to Cape Lookout…1-3 feet
  • Florida Keys…1 to 3 feet

The NHC said the deepest waters will be near and to the right of the center of the hurricane, where large waves will accompany the storm surge. Flooding depends on the timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, creating varying levels of flood water over short distances.

Here is a list of watches and warnings in effect as of 11 p.m. ET. Wednesday.

A hurricane warning is in effect for:

  • North of Bonita Beach to the Anclote River including Tampa Bay
  • Sebastian Inlet to Flagler/Volusia County line

A storm surge warning is in effect for:

  • Suwannee River south to Flamingo
  • Tampa Bay
  • Flagler/Volusia line to the mouth of the South Santee River
  • St. John River

A tropical storm warning is in effect for:

  • Indian Pass at the Anclote River
  • Boca Raton to Sebastian Inlet
  • Flagler/Volusia County Line to Surf City
  • Flamingos at Chokoloskee
  • Lake Okeechobee
  • Bimini and Grand Bahama Islands

A storm surge watch is in effect for:

  • North of the South Santee River to Little River Inlet

A hurricane watch is in effect for:

  • Flagler/Volusia County line to the South Santee River

A tropical storm watch is in effect for:

  • North of Surf City to Cape Lookout

Hurricane Ian tracking

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