Hurricane Ian has grown above the nice and cozy waters of the Gulf of Mexico into a particularly harmful Category 4 storm after swamping Cuba with 12 inches (30 centimeters) of rain and reducing off energy all around the island earlier this week.
The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season began late however is now serving disagreeable surprises. After Hurricane Fiona, which brought about floods and widespread energy blackouts in elements of the Caribbean and Canada final week, Hurricane Ian has now emerged as a significant risk.
Churning above the Gulf of Mexico because it approaches the coast of Florida prematurely of a forecast landfall on Wednesday (Sept. 28), Ian has grown into an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 hurricane, packing sustained wind speeds of 155 mph (250 kph).
Related: See Hurricane Ian churn in video from International Space Station
Image 1 of 2
“Catastrophic storm surge along with destructive waves from #Ian are expected along the southwest Florida coastline from Englewood to Bonita Beach, including Charlotte Harbor. Residents should urgently follow evacuation orders from local officials,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Hurricane Center tweeted (opens in new tab) at 7 a.m. EDT (1100 GMT) on Wednesday (Sept. 28).
The hurricane is a nightmare in accordance to forecasters, because it strikes slowly whereas discharging torrential rains and devastating winds. According to the National Hurricane Center (opens in new tab), Ian will set off a sea surge of up to 16 ft (5 meters) above regular tide ranges alongside the southwestern coast of Florida after it makes landfall close to Tampa in a while Wednesday.
“Tropical-Storm-Force winds already beginning to affect coast. Conditions will rapidly deteriorate & catastrophic wind damage is expected,” NOAA’s National Hurricane Center tweeted at 9 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) on Wednesday.
NOAA predicts (opens in new tab) the storm will bring “catastrophic wind damage along the southwestern coast of Florida.” Extreme rainfall is predicted all around the Florida peninsula into Thursday with “catastrophic flooding expected across portions of central Florida” and “considerable flooding in southern Florida, northern Florida, southeastern Georgia and coastal South Carolina,” NOAA mentioned.
The storm pressured NASA to postpone a number of high-profile launches, together with a check flight of the brand new Space Launch System (SLS) moon rocket and a SpaceX crew launch to the International Space Station.
The Crew-5 launch to the orbital outpost is now anticipated now sooner than Tuesday (Oct. 4), whereas the company nonetheless ponders a brand new date for the milestone SLS flight, which is a significant step in NASA’s plans to bring people again to the moon as a part of the Artemis program.
Ian emerged over the Caribbean Sea over the previous weekend as a tropical storm and shortly grew right into a hurricane earlier than it reached Cuba on Tuesday (Sept. 27), unleashing heavy rains and sustained winds of 120 mph (192 kph).
The National Hurricane Center predicts Ian will weaken shortly after making landfall in Florida with wind speeds falling to Category 1 ranges by Thursday (Sept. 29) morning. The rain Ian brings, will, nevertheless, proceed swamping the southern elements of the East Coast as Ian carves its path to the north. The weakened however nonetheless noticeable storm is predicted to attain Washington, D.C., in the course of subsequent week.
NASA is monitoring Hurricane Ian from the International Space Station. On Wednesday, the area company will present dwell views of the storm at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) as seen from the orbiting laboratory.