Tropical Storm Ian to begin strengthening, become hurricane on Sunday

Tropical Storm Ian expected to head toward Florida

ORLANDO, Fla.NOTE: This story documents the National Hurricane Center’s 11 p.m. update Saturday.

Find the latest updates on Tropical Storm Ian by clicking here.

Tropical Storm Ian is continuing to travel through the Caribbean and expected to strengthen into a hurricane on Sunday.

As of Saturday’s 11 p.m. update, Ian had maximum sustained wind speeds of 50 mph and was about 395 miles south east of Grand Cayman and about 685 miles south east of the western tip of Cuba.

A hurricane warning is in effect for Grand Cayman. A hurricane watch is in effect for Cuban provinces of Isla de Juventud, Pinar del Rio, and Artemisa while a tropical storm watch is in effect for Little Cayman, Cayman Brac and the Cuban provinces of La Habana, Mayabeque, and Matanzas.

The storm is moving west 13 miles per hour. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center.

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A turn toward the west-northwest and northwest at a similar forward speed is expected on Sunday. A turn toward the north-northwest is expected on Monday and north on Tuesday.

On the forecast track, the center of Ian is forecast to pass well southwest of Jamaica on Sunday, and pass near or west of the Cayman Islands early Monday. Ian will then move near or over western Cuba Monday night and early Tuesday and emerge over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday.

Ian is expected to become a hurricane on Sunday and a major hurricane by late Monday before it reaches western Cuba.

The current five-day forecast cone has the storm impacting Florida as a major hurricane next week, but the track is expected to continue to change over the next several days.

Ian is expected to produce the following rainfall:

  • Jamaica and the Cayman Islands: 3 to 6 inches up to a local maximum 8 inches.
  • Western Cuba: 4 to 8 inches up to a local maximum of 12 inches.
  • Florida Keys and southern Florida: 2 to 4 inches up to a local maximum of 6 inches through Tuesday evening.

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The next named storm will be called Julia.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Hermine weakened to a tropical depression once again.

As of 11 p.m. Saturday, Hermine is 535 miles north-northeast of the Cabo Verde Islands. The storm has maximum sustained wind speeds of 35 mph and is moving to the north at 10 mph. Hermine is expected to turn to the west-northwest or northwest. It’s expected to become a remnant low later Saturday.

Elsewhere, Hurricane Fiona is now a post-tropical storm bringing hurricane force winds to Canada. The storm is still causing problems along our coast, leading to a rip current warning into the weekend at Central Florida seashores as the Atlantic remains churned up from its passage.

Even though Hurricane Fiona is headed away from Florida, it's still causing problems along the coast, leading to a rip current warning into the weekend at Central Florida seashores.

Hurricane season runs through November.

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About the Author:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.