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Tracking Hurricane Ian through the Gulf

Early Monday morning, tropical storm Ian upgraded to a category one hurricane. This current storm has wreaked havoc already on many Caribbean islands and only looks to continue its path of destruction. Hurricane Ian is currently just to the south of the Cuban islands with winds sustained at 100 mph jumping the storm to a category two hurricane. In just the past 24 hours the storm has dropped its pressure by 18 millibars showing its increase in strength.

Currently, most models are placing this systems landfall in the United States in West Central parts of the Florida panhandle. Although this breaks down a region, the exact timing and track of the systems is unknown due to uncertainty in how long it will stay in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Much of the western coast of Florida is currently looking to see dangerous storm surges looking to spell widespread issues. The main area of concern currently looks to be the Tampa Bay region. This area is currently predicted to see the storms pass through it very closely or possibly even overhead later this week. The National Hurricane Center is currently expecting some areas to see anywhere from 3 feet surges all the way up to 10 feet. This would lead to life threatening circumstances for some people along the coastal areas.

The area of concern for this hurricane currently looks to exceed well beyond the coast, as a majority of the state of Florida can see anywhere from 6"-10" possible. Some areas could even see isolated rainfall totals exceeding this range if the storm makes landfall as a major hurricane.

Being the end of September, hurricane season is in its peak stages of activity. More tropical storms and disturbances will most likely cause more issues as we head into the month of October. During the month of October, an increased number of hurricanes that form in the Atlantic tend to follow northwest into the Caribbean and eventually passing through the southern half of the Florida panhandle much like what hurricane Ian is expected to do.

Article Topic Follows: Weather
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Chance Gotsch

Chance Gotsch grew up just south of St. Louis and moved to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri to pursue a degree in Atmospheric Sciences.

His interest in weather begin as a child when he used to be afraid of storms. Years later, he purchased a weather forecasting book and weather station at his elementary Scholastic Book Fair. After reading into the hows and whys of atmospheric science, he quickly became interested and gained his new passion.

Chance joined the ABC17 Stormtrack Weather Team in February of 2021. He is currently the weekday Noon Meteorologist.


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