Ian is expected to regain hurricane strength and hit South Carolina

Ian is expected to regain hurricane strength and hit South Carolina

After generating a disastrous ocean tide, damaging winds and devastating floods in Florida, Ian has one more act to do. The National Hurricane Center’s latest forecast calls for Ian to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane over the Atlantic Ocean before making landfall in the United States near Charleston, South Carolina on Friday.

Hurricane warnings have been issued for the entire South Carolina coast, while tropical storm warnings are in effect just north of West Palm Beach, Florida to Duck, North Carolina.

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Although Ian weakened from a powerful Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph on landfall Wednesday to a tropical storm Thursday morning, it has begun to strengthen again over the Atlantic Ocean just east of Florida.

Here’s a look at updated forecasts for multiple regions across the country, from northern Florida to northern New York.

North Florida towns are currently facing the wrath of Ian, who is stalking just east of Cape Canaveral. Overnight, nearly 17 inches of rain fell near Orlando and 28 inches in New Smyrna Beachwith widespread totals of more than a foot.

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Ian’s worst precipitation is forecast to move offshore, but several more inches are possible northeast of Orlando through Thursday afternoon. Closer to Jacksonville an additional 2 to 4 inches are expected, with locally higher amounts possible.

Jacksonville remains under a tropical storm warning and a storm surge warning, with tropical storm conditions expected to last until the evening — and the storm surge threat could last longer. Wind gusts of up to 60 mph remain possible, and a “deadly” storm surge of 4 to 6 feet can occur in surge-prone areas.

With Ian likely to strengthen into an offshore hurricane, a hurricane watch has also been issued for parts of Florida’s east coast, starting as far south as the Palm Coast to the border with Georgia. This watch includes the city of Jacksonville.

All of coastal Georgia remains under a storm surge warning, with impacts from Ian expected to last through Friday evening. As of 11 a.m., hurricane warnings were lifted for all of coastal Georgia.

Regardless of Ian’s exact strength, a significant portion of the state will see impacts from the storm, including locations far from the coast. Tropical storm watches are in place through Statesboro, and a wind advisory has been issued for much of the state, including Atlanta, with sustained winds of 20-25 mph possible and gusts up to 35mph.

In locations on the Tropical Storm Watch, the Weather Service warns that while winds are expected to be sustained at tropical storm force, uncertainty in the forecast means it’s possible winds could climb to 39 to 57. mph, enough to cause wind damage. At these locations, 2 to 4 inches of rain are also forecast, with locally higher amounts possible, which is enough to cause significant flooding.

Tropical storm warnings are now in effect as far inland as Augusta.

Along the immediate coast, including Savannah and Tybee Island, which is under hurricane watch, a maximum storm surge of 4 to 6 feet remains possible through Saturday morning. Heavy rain is also possible on the immediate coast and just inland, leading to the issuance of a flood watch for cities including Savannah, with 3 to 6 inches of rainfall amounts possible. , with locally higher amounts.

Coastal residents should be prepared for winds that could reach Category 1 strength, although the Hurricane Center’s best forecast is for sustained winds of 35-45 mph with gusts up to 70 mph.

The South Carolina coast is the likeliest location for Ian’s second landfall in the United States, with current forecasts from the Hurricane Center predicting to take the storm inland near Seabrook Island , which is just south of Charleston, around noon Friday.

In addition to the hurricane warning, storm surge warnings and flood watches are also in effect.

Near-hurricane force winds are expected to begin along the South Carolina coast Friday morning, with sustained winds of 55-70 mph and gusts of up to 90 mph expected around Charleston. There remains enough uncertainty in the forecast that hurricane-force wind speeds of between 75 and 100 mph are possible, as it is not ruled out that Ian could become a Category 2 hurricane as it moves. on the warm waters of the Gulf Stream.

Flooding, both from dangerous storm surge and heavy rain, is also likely in and around Charleston. A “life-threatening” storm surge of 4 to 7 feet is possible in surge-prone areas, and a flood watch has been posted with 4 to 8 inches of rain likely, with higher localized amounts. There is also an isolated risk of a tornado or two.

Further north towards Myrtle Beach, impacts from Ian should be less, but still noticeable. Myrtle Beach is also under a hurricane warning, although forecasts call for only sustained winds of 40 to 50 mph, with gusts of up to 80 mph. Uncertainty over Ian’s strength and exact position, however, means swimmers and local residents should be prepared for winds that could reach lower Category 1 strength.

Locals should also expect dangerous storm surge of 3 to 5 feet in surge-prone areas, in addition to 3 to 6 inches or more of rain.

Tropical storm warnings were also issued for nearly the entire state of South Carolina, including the cities of Columbia and Camden, but not as far west as Greenwood or Spartanburg.

In Colombia, sustained winds of 15 to 25 mph gusting to 60 mph are forecast, although the National Weather Service says residents should plan for the potential for strong tropical storm-force winds that could also have significant impacts in the region. as 3 to 6 inches of rain, with locally higher amounts possible.

Ian’s large wind field along with the storm’s emergence and possible strengthening over the Atlantic means that even coastal and interior North Carolina could see tropical storm conditions from the storm.

Tropical storm warnings and storm surge watches are as far north as Nags Head, which the National Weather Service says could see sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 45. A surge 2 to 4 foot storms are also possible starting Friday, as well as 4 to 8 or inches of rain and isolated tornadoes.

Further south towards the seaside town of Southport, sustained winds could climb to 35-45 mph with hurricane-force gusts. A storm surge of 2 to 4 feet is possible, and strong breaking waves in Southport and elsewhere in the Outer Banks could damage beachfront homes, with major beach erosion expected.

Tropical storm warnings were also issued for areas far inland, including the cities of Charlotte, Hickory, Winston-Salem and Raleigh-Durham. In these locations, sustained tropical storm-force winds are possible, although the biggest threat comes from a forecast of 4 to 6 inches of rain, which is expected to begin Friday and last through the weekend, with the possibility higher isolated quantities.

A flood watch has also been posted for these areas, with inland flooding of rivers, streams and creeks likely Friday through at least Saturday morning.

Sustained tropical storm conditions are unlikely to enter the mid-Atlantic states, but that doesn’t mean Ian won’t have any impact there.

The Tidewater region of Virginia is expected to see widespread rain of 4 to 6 inches from Ian and its remnants, with limited coastal flooding possible in locations from Norfolk to Williamsburg. High waves are also likely at Virginia Beach to the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula, with large breaking waves of 6-9 feet possible in the surf area.

If Ian strengthens further, it is possible that coastal areas of Virginia will find themselves under a Tropical Storm Watch, although none are currently posted.

Farther inland, remnants of Ian will likely bring 2 to 4 inches across much of Virginia Friday through the weekend, with wet conditions likely to persist through Tuesday if an additional low pressure system appears off the Carolina coast from Ian.

Precipitation is also expected to extend farther along the east coast, with 2 to 4 inches possible in Salisbury, Maryland, and coastal parts of New Jersey. Rainfall triggered by Ian’s remains is expected to spread to Philadelphia and even New York. It is unlikely to cause severe flooding, although a marginal risk of excessive rainfall extends as far north on Sunday.

Remnants of Hurricane Ian will smother parts of the mid-Atlantic

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