Federal officials said in a recent update on Tuesday that Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall earlier than previously expected.
The Category 3 storm is forecast to pick up in intensity on Tuesday and Wednesday before making landfall on Wednesday evening, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in a 2 p.m. update on Tuesday.
“Ian is moving toward the north near 10 mph, and this motion is expected to continue today,” the update said. “A turn toward the north-northeast with a reduction in forward speed is forecast tonight and Wednesday.”
The center of the storm is slated to move over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico today before going west of the Florida Keys on Tuesday night. Then, it will approach Florida’s western coast on Wednesday and Wednesday night, the agency said.
Landfall is expected late afternoon on Wednesday between the Tampa and Fort Myers areas, according to an NHC model. The timing, track, and intensity of the storm could change.