Hurricane Ian strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane this evening and continues to rapidly intensify ahead of its impact to the State of Florida later this week. Tropical-storm force winds may begin as soon as tonight in the Florida Keys and south Florida. Ian is forecast to become a major hurricane tonight and remain a major Hurricane over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday. Storm surge has the potential to impact much of Florida’s west coast, with the highest risk from Ft. Myers to the Tampa Bay region.
Current Watches and Warnings in Effect: – A Hurricane Warning has been issued for Englewood to the Anclote River, including Tampa Bay. – A Hurricane Watch has been issued from the Anclote River to the Suwannee River. – Tropical Storm Watches have been issued from the Suwannee River to Indian Pass, and from Jupiter Inlet to Altamaha Sound. – Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for the Lower Keys (from the 7 Mile Bridge westward to Key West), and from Englewood southward to Flamingo. – A Storm Surge Warning has been issued from the Anclote River southward to Flamingo, including Tampa Bay.