We figured that surely by today we’d have a darn good idea of where Ian is going
Let’s get to the bottom line up front:
- There’s a clear split in the hurricane forecast models, with some favoring the Panhandle for landfall, and others insisting on the west coast as a target.
- Notably, among the two biggest players in the model world, the American model favors the panhandle, while the European Model favors the west coast.
- The National Hurricane Center has been splitting the difference by literally drawing the line down the middle, while cautioning uncertainty remains extremely high.
- Rapid intensification of the storm is expected starting tonight or tomorrow, and the storm could reach Category 4 status while over open water. Ian’s strength at landfall will depend on how far north the storm can get before hitting land; wind shear is expected to weaken the storm if it makes it all the way up to the northern Gulf of Mexico. That’s why you’ve been seeing cones showing Category 2 or 1 at landfall.
- The Attractions Area remains within the Cone of Uncertainty. And with more models sticking to the west coast, we’re not yet in a position to sound the all-clear for Central Florida.
- The current National Weather Service forecast for the Attractions calls for possible Tropical Storm Conditions Wednesday night through Thursday night.
- The forecast may still change for the better or for the worse, as NHC and NWS tries to get a handle on this storm.
Here’s a graphic showing just how much disagreement there is between some of the models. Note that the red line for the European model essentially hits Tampa Bay and travels very close to the attractions, while the Green line for the American model lands near Pensacola (almost in Alabama). Models, of course, change often — but this snapshot in time shows the wide range of disagreement between them at the moment.
With this much uncertainty, it’s impossible yet to say how much impact we’ll see in the Attractions area. Sadly there’s not much more that we can do at the moment than to treat it as a plausible yet uncertain threat and continue with early storm preparations such as replenishing supplies; it’s likely still too early for most folks to pull the trigger on major preparation measures such as boarding up windows or deciding to evacuate.
Here’s the latest National Weather Service Forecast for the Attractions area based in part on the 11AM advisory.
Wednesday: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 81. East northeast wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
Wednesday Night: Tropical storm conditions possible. Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Cloudy, with a low around 73. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Thursday: Tropical storm conditions possible. Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 83. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
Thursday Night: Tropical storm conditions possible. A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 74.
Friday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 86. South southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.Source: NWS Melbourne
This forecast may still change in terms of when and how bad (for better or for worse).
Continue monitoring the storm over the coming days… we hope to have washed our hands of the whole thing by next weekend.
Keep calm and carry on!