10 PM UPDATE: Ian remains an intensifying major hurricane as it approaches Florida’s west coast. Ian will likely continue gradually intensifying as it approaches Florida, making landfall somewhere between Fort Meyers and Clearwater.
FLORIDA IMPACTS: Water is almost always the most dangerous part of a hurricane, and Ian will be no exception. Extreme storm surge is likely from the Everglades to Tampa Bay, with significant surge likely on most of the West coast of Florida, as well as from around Cape Canaveral northeast to Savannah on the Atlantic side of the storm. Flooding across parts of central and southern Florida will be catastrophic, with multiple feet of rain possible as the storm meanders across the Florida Peninsula. Destructive winds are likely across west-central Florida as Ian approaches the coast, with hurricane force winds likely extending fairly far from the center of the eye. Tornadoes will also be a threat across Florida.
ALABAMA IMPACTS: Impacts in Alabama will depend on Ian’s track after landfall. Ian will likely be close enough to bring some rain to East Alabama, but it remains a bit unclear just how far west Ian will jog after landfall. Some heavy rain can’t be ruled out east of I-65, but more spots than not probably miss out on any particularly heavy rain. Most of the rain falls between Friday evening and early Sunday morning.
WEEKEND EVENTS: Rain could be an issue for some of the outdoor events across Alabama this weekend. Biggest impacts from the remnants of Ian this weekend would be east of I-65, but even then, I don’t necessarily expect a total washout. Rain could impact some football games Friday night, particularly in east and southeast Alabama, and there could be some rain around for the college games in Auburn and Jacksonville too. The big race on Sunday could also feature some light rain, but I think there’s a good chance it won’t be a washout at any events this weekend. Expect wind to be a factor for the sporting events, with gusts climbing as high as 30mph at times.