Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwest Florida on Wednesday afternoon, the first hurricane to make landfall in the continental U.S. this year. Its first landfall was just after 3 p.m. on Wednesday in Cayo Costa, Fla. with max winds of 150 mph. After that, it made a second landfall as it moved inland just south of Punta Gorda near Pirate Harbor, with max winds of 145 mph.
While Ian weakened after making landfall and moving across Florida, it has once again strengthened into a hurricane over the Atlantic Ocean.
The latest forecast for Ian has it making its next landfall in South Carolina on Friday as a hurricane.
Ian’s current top estimated winds are 85 mph, as it is a Category 1 hurricane again. It is briefly back in the Atlantic as it begins to bring rain to Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. It is forecast to remain at hurricane strength as it makes landfall on Friday in South Carolina.
Hurricane-force conditions are expected across coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina beginning early on Friday, where Hurricane Warnings are now in effect.
Hurricane conditions may continue across parts of the northeast Florida coast and southeast Georgia coast Friday night, where Hurricane Watches are in effect.
In addition to the strong winds, storm surge will also be a concern for parts of northeastern Florida coast on the Atlantic up to South Carolina. Surge there could be at least a few feet above ground level.
Parts of southwest Florida, including Naples, were inundated with high water on Wednesday as Ian came ashore.
Surge was highest near Ian’s center, and considerably lower farther north toward Tampa Bay.
Sanibel Island saw waters rise extremely quickly as Ian made its way onshore.
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect along Florida’s Atlantic coast for the Flagler/Volusia County line to South Carolina.
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for the coast of North Carolina.
Along with all the other impacts, strong thunderstorms embedded in Ian’s outer bands could spin up tornadoes. The threat will be mainly confined to coastal areas of northeastern Florida on Thursday, then far eastern portions of the Carolinas on Friday.
Extremely heavy rain will lead to flooding. Some areas could receive more than a foot of rain. In those areas, damage from the flooding may be severe. River flooding will be major, possibly breaking records in some locations in Florida.
Farther north, rainfall in the Carolinas will top four inches in many locations, leading to some water issues there, as well.
Models are in fairly good agreement that Ian will turn northwest and make landfall again in South Carolina of Friday as a hurricane.
Spaghetti models or plots show a series of individual computer forecast models together on one map. They are useful to give insight into whether multiple models are in agreement on the path of the storm but they do not address the storm’s forecast intensity, winds, flooding and storm surge potential or other data. Tap here for more details on how to best use these models.
Ian became the ninth named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season on the evening of Sept. 23. Even though it was slow to strengthen, Ian underwent rapid intensification once it become a hurricane on Monday.
Ian made landfall as a major hurricane just southwest of La Coloma, a town in the Pinar del Rio Province of Cuba around 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
Ian weakened slightly after passing over western Cuba, but still maintained its major hurricane status as it moved north into the Gulf. After completing an eyewall replacement cycle Tuesday night, Ian became a Category 4 hurricane early Wednesday morning.
It made its first U.S. landfall in Cayo Costa in southwest Florida on Wednesday afternoon as a strong Category 4 Hurricane with max winds of 150 mph. After that, it made another landfall in mainland Florida. The second landfall happened just south of Punta Gorda near Pirate Harbor, Fla. with max winds of 145 mph.
Ian’s landfall brought devastating storm surge to parts of southwest Florida, including Fort Myers beach. Along with the devastating storm surge, Ian produced heavy rainfall in excess of 12 to 15 inches across southwest and central Florida.
A weather station near Port Charlotte reported a sustained wind of 115 mph with a wind gust of 132 mph as Ian made landfall Wednesday afternoon. Other parts of southwest Florida have reported dangerous storm surge, up to 12 to 18 feet inundation in spots.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic, there is one other tropical wave we are monitoring.
See how the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season has gone so far.