ORLANDO, Fla. – Tropical Storm Ian is continuing to travel through the Caribbean and is expected to strengthen into a hurricane by early Monday.
As of Sunday’s 11 p.m. update, Ian had maximum sustained wind speeds of 65 mph with gusts up to 75 mph with dropping pressure ripe for rapid intensification on Monday.
The current track has it approaching western Cuba as a Category 2 or 3 and intensifying into a Category 4 as it makes its way through the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday morning.
The government of Cuba upgraded the hurricane watch to a hurricane warning for the Cuban provinces of Isla de Juventud, Pinar del Rio, and Artemisa, and upgraded the tropical storm watch to a tropical storm warning for the Cuban provinces of La Habana, Mayabeque, and Matanzas.
The government of the Cayman Islands has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center.
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A turn toward the northwest is expected Sunday evening, followed by a north-northwestward motion on Monday and a northward motion on Tuesday with a slightly slower forward speed.
On the forecast track, the center of Ian is expected to pass well southwest of Jamaica Sunday evening, 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 by early Monday and reach major hurricane strength Monday night or early Tuesday 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, with local maxima up to 8 inches.
- Western Cuba: 4 to 8 inches, with local maxima up to 12 inches.
- Florida Keys to the southern and western Florida Peninsula: 2 to 4 inches, with local maxima up to 6 inches through Wednesday morning.
- Heavy rainfall may affect north Florida, the Florida panhandle and the southeast United States Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The next named storm will be called Julia.
Meanwhile, formally Tropical Storm Hermine became a post-tropical remnant low.
As of 5 a.m. Sunday, Hermine was 580 miles north-northeast of the Cabo Verde Islands. The storm had maximum sustained wind speeds of 30 mph and was moving to the north at 7 mph. Hermine is expected to make a slow turn toward the northwest early Monday and a turn to the west-northwest Monday evening.
Elsewhere, formally Hurricane Fiona is now a post-tropical storm that brought hurricane force winds to Canada. As of 5 p.m. Saturday, hurricane and tropical storm warnings issued by the Canadian Hurricane Centre for Fiona in Atlantic Canada had been discontinued as the cyclone — located 80 miles northwest of Port Aux Basques Newfoundland — plods northeast at 8 mph. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 550 miles from Fiona’s center, though gradual weakening is expected over the next couple of days.
Hurricane season runs through November.
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