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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) declared a state of emergency over the weekend, preparing for the looming landfall of Tropical Storm Ian later in the week. The system is currently on track to move through the Gulf of Mexico and arrive near the state’s panhandle by Wednesday while bringing rain and heavy winds to Florida’s southern tip beginning tomorrow (see trajectory). As of early this morning, Ian was on the verge of becoming a Category 1 hurricane.
Ian is the ninth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season and has the potential to be the first major hurricane—those classified as Category 3 and above—to make US landfall this year. As of this writing, Ian was located roughly 300 miles southwest of Cuba as a Category 1 storm and is expected to intensify as it moves across the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Projections have Ian making landfall along the Florida coast overnight Thursday as either a Category 3 or Category 4 hurricane. See updates here.