Ian takes aim at Florida this week
The storm could make landfall as a major hurricane
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - The WLOX First Alert Weather Team continues to track Hurricane Ian.
Ian is in the Southern Gulf of Mexico as of Tuesday night. The forecast track continues to keep Ian well east of South Mississippi.
A strong ridge of high pressure nearby will help to keep our weather nice and dry all week and will protect South Mississippi from Ian. A front in the Gulf of Mexico and a trough upstairs in the atmosphere will help to steer Ian away from us and toward Florida this week.
We are getting more confident that Ian will make landfall along the west coast of Florida somewhere between Tampa and Naples. It could make landfall as a category four hurricane by Wednesday afternoon. At this time, Ian is expected to weaken into a tropical storm by Thursday.
Florida will be under the gun for a direct hit from the storm. Ian threatens parts of Florida with life-threatening storm surge of greater than nine feet, devastatingly strong winds of greater than 100 mph, extreme rainfall of greater than ten inches, and a multi-day tornado threat. At this time, there is no expectation of direct impacts in South Mississippi from Ian. The storm is expected to stay well east of South Mississippi.
But, it will be breezy if not downright windy this week in South Mississippi due to what meteorologists call ‘pressure gradient’ winds which are winds that are caused by strong differences in air pressure (we have very high pressure to our northwest this week and Hurricane Ian’s very low pressure to our east this week and the circulation between those two pressure systems will drive a strong north to northeast wind across our region for most of this week). The breezy conditions should finally relax around Saturday once Ian’s circulation weakens and pulls further away from us.
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