The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for four counties, including Sarasota and Manatee. This watch is in effect until 5 p.m.
Hurricane Ian has strengthened overnight and is now a Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of 140 mph that extend up to 40 miles from the storm’s center, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds and flooding to Florida.
At 5 a.m., the center of Hurricane Ian was located 129 miles south of Sarasota.
Parts of Sarasota County are already feeling tropical-storm-force winds.
The track shifted further south overnight, resulting in a possible landfall of Hurricane Ian in south Sarasota County, or north Charlotte County.
The NHC continues to predict a storm surge of 8-12 feet and rainfall of 12-18 inches for Sarasota County and lower in Manatee County.
For a more detailed look at what to expect throughout the day, see below.
The latest advisory places Ian 65 miles west-southwest of Naples, Florida, and 80 miles south-southwest of Punta Gorda, Florida. Hurricane Ian had maximum sustained winds of 155 mph and was moving north-northeast at 10 mph.
Hurricane Warnings have been issued for: Polk, Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties
Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for: Volusia County, Flagler County, Brevard County, Marion County
Tornado Watch issued for Brevard, Orange, Osceola & Seminole Counties until 5 p.m.
- Wednesday: Rain, winds, severe storms forecast for most of Central Florida. Tornadoes and widespread considerable flooding a concern. Official landfall is forecast for sometime Wednesday.
- Thursday: Lingering storms remain, watching storm movement
Ian is forecast to produce the following rainfall through Thursday:
- Florida Keys and South Florida: 6 to 8 inches, with isolated totals up to 12 inches.
- Central and Northeast Florida: 12 to 18 inches, with isolated totals up to 24 inches.
- Eastern Georgia and Coastal South Carolina: 4 to 8 inches, with isolated totals up to 12 inches.
Your pet should be a part of your family plan. If you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them too. Leaving pets behind, even if you try to create a safe space for them, could result in injury or death.