Floridians were bracing Saturday for a strong tropical storm that weather experts said could become a major hurricane.
Tropical Storm Ian is poised to become a hurricane within days of forming over the southern Caribbean on Friday. The storm could cross into parts of Cuba before heading to Florida in the middle of next week, according to forecasts.
“Ian is forecast to be a major hurricane over the eastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday and Wednesday as it approaches the west coast of Florida.” the National Hurricane Center he wrote, noting that experts expected a “significant or rapid intensification” of the storm as it crossed the northwestern Caribbean Sea.
The Cayman Islands issued a hurricane watch on Friday due to Ian, with Jamaica under a tropical storm watch, the new york times informed.
Flash flooding and mudslides could also occur in areas with higher ground due to heavy rains, with up to 10 inches forecast in parts of Cuba and up to eight inches forecast in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.
Forecasters are concerned the storm could quickly strengthen as it has access to a lot of deep, warm water in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, the Washington Post reports.
But it’s still impossible at this point to say exactly how severe the storm’s impact will be once it makes landfall in the US.
Experts and the models they rely on believe Ian could make landfall near Tampa, located four hours from Florida’s capital, or land in the state’s Panhandle region just north of the Gulf of Mexico, reports the Post.
In preparation, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has issued a state of emergency For all counties in Florida, urgent residents prepare by stocking up on emergency supplies.
“This storm has the potential to become a major hurricane and we encourage all Floridians to prepare,” DeSantis said in a statement. “We are coordinating with all state and local government partners to track potential impacts from this storm.”
Floridians have been preparing by heading to their local grocery stores, but many shelves are empty of food and water amid anxiety over the storm’s potential impact. FoxWeather informed.
So you have gasoline supposedly sold out in some areas as people prepare for the threat of the hurricane.
Questions also remain about how lawmakers will handle possible evacuations and house people given the intensity of the storm, Axios reported.
Events have been canceled as the storm approaches.
NASA announced on Saturday via Twitter which would delay the launch of the Artemis I mission scheduled for September 27 due to the weather.