The National Weather Service updates Hurricane Ian

September 27 — It looks like the effects of Hurricane Ian will likely be felt in all the Florida Keys. 

Bryce Tyner with the National Weather Service in Key West joined KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about the latest updates. 

Hurricane Ian is currently over the western tip of Cuba with maximum sustained winds of over 125 miles per hour — that puts it at a category 3. 

The track has not changed overnight. It’s expected to track to the north and eventually the northeast. 

Tyner said, “Quite slowly, actually, for a storm of that strength and still expecting a landfall somewhere in the western peninsula of Florida sometime late Wednesday or Thursday.” 

For the Keys there will be an extended period of squally weather on the periphery of a hurricane. 

A flood watch and storm surge watch are in effect for the entire Florida Keys. 

Tyner said, “We’re looking at a one to three feet above high tide.” 

Looking at the tide schedule that will likely fall in the hours after noon and after midnight. 

The surge events will happen through Thursday night. 

Tyner said, “This is not going to be a one and done kind of storm surge event. While the impacts are not going to be, for example, like a Hurricane Wilma, there will be an extended period of elevated tides.” 

Hurricane Ian will pass maybe 75 to 100 miles west of the Keys — that has shifted over the weekend. 

The main issues look to be water and flooding. Already two to three inches of rain have fallen over most island communities. An additional two to four inches are expected over the next 24 to 48 hours. 

No evacuation orders have been announced as of now. 

Tyner said, “The tides will remain elevated. This is a slow moving system and a large system, so that will take a long time for those tides to recede. I would expect elevated tides through Thursday night.” 

Anyone who is on a live-aboard on the water, bunker down as best you can. 

The Tampa Bay area could also be hit as well, particularly with storm surge. 

Tyner said, “Tampa Bay has kind of been spared from a lot of storms over the last several decades. We’re certainly concerned.” 

The worst and the closest approach of the storm will be late this evening and the early overnight hours. 

Tyner said, “The main concern for Ian is we will expect tropical storm wind gusts throughout the entire Florida Keys in some of the stronger squalls. Sustained winds potentially in the portions of the lower, middle Keys in the evening and overnight hours. We will have elevated tides. We do have a storm surge watch for the entire Florida Keys, predicting one to three feet above the high tides, which are already elevated due to the king tides.” 

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