Hurricane Ian Tracker: Updated at 12:30 p.m. EDT

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Hurricane Ian has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.

A flash flood warning is now in effect for Hardy, Highlands, Manatee, Sarasota and Polk counties.

The storm made landfall in Cayo Costa, Florida around 3pm on Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150mph. By 11 p.m., it had weakened to a Category 1 with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph.

The storm was about 70 miles south of Orlando, Florida, and 80 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, moving north-northeast at 8 mph.

“It will continue to move north-northeast into Hardee and Polk counties before moving near Orlando as a tropical storm,” said Storm Team 8 meteorologist Eric Stone.

Ian was expected to exit the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday evening, turn north and pass over northeast Florida, Georgia and the South Carolina coast on Friday.

While Ian is expected to continue to weaken as it moves across the Florida peninsula, the system could regain hurricane strength as it moves over Florida’s east coast.

New watches and warnings were issued Wednesday evening for North and South Carolina.

Central and northeast Florida could still see 12 to 20 inches of rain, with some areas seeing as much as 30 inches. The storm could dump another 6 to 8 inches of rain on South Florida and the Florida Keys, with some areas getting as much as 12 inches.

Central Florida is vulnerable to “widespread, life-threatening catastrophic, urban and river flooding,” with “record-breaking” flooding along rivers, the NHC added.

Tampa Bay and other parts of Florida are also under a storm surge warning, meaning the storm could raise water levels above normal tides.

According to the NHC, water may reach the following heights above the ground in the following areas:

  • Englewood to Bonita Beach, including Charlotte Harbor — 8-10 feet
  • Bonita Beach to Chokoloska — 5-8 feet
  • Flagler/Volusia County line to Altamaha Sound — 4-6 feet
  • Chokoloski to Cape East Sable — 3-5 feet
  • Altamacho Sound to South Santa River — 3-5 feet
  • St. Johns River north of Jullington — 3-5 feet
  • St. Johns River south of Jullington — 2-4 feet
  • Suwanee River to mid-Longboat Key, including Tampa Bay — 2-4 feet
  • South Santa River to Little River inlet — 2-4 feet
  • East Cape Sable to Card Sound Bridge — 1-3ft
  • Patrick Air Force Base to the Flagler/Volusia County line — 1-3 feet
  • East of Little River Bay to Point Lookout — 1-3 feet
  • Florida Keys — 1-3 feet

The NHC said the deepest water will be near and to the right of the hurricane’s center, where large waves will accompany the storm surge. Flooding depends on the timing of the run-up and the tidal cycle, creating different floodwater levels over short distances.

Here is a list of watches and warnings in effect as of 11:00 PM ET. Wednesday.

A hurricane warning is in effect for:

  • Chokoloskie to Anclote River including Tampa Bay
  • Sebastian’s entrance to the Flagler/Volusia county line

A storm surge warning is in effect for:

  • Suwannee River south to Flamingo
  • Tampa Bay
  • Flagler/Volusia Line to the mouth of the South Santa River
  • St. John’s River

A tropical storm warning is in effect for:

  • Indian Pass to Anclote River
  • Boca Raton – Sebastian Inlet
  • Flagler/Volusia County Line to Surf City
  • Flamingo in Chokolosky
  • Lake Okeechobee
  • Bimini and Grand Bahamas

A storm surge watch is in effect for:

  • North of the South Santa River to the headwaters of Little River

The Hurricane Watch is in effect for:

  • Flagler/Volusia County Line to South Santa River

A tropical storm watch is in effect for:

  • North from Surf City to Cape Lookout

Hurricane Jan tracking

>> Latest updates on Hurricane Ian

>> Live Max Defender 8 Radar

>> Evacuation in Tampa Bay

>> Find the evacuation zone

>> Max Defender 8 Hurricane Guide

>> School closures

>> Where to find sandbags

>> Closing and Cancellation

>> Download Max Defender 8

Source link

USA News