JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Action News Jax First Alert Weather Team is continuing to track Hurricane Ian.
Ian was upgraded to a hurricane on Monday morning and is now a Category 3. Our area is under a Tropical Storm Warning and the track shows Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia in the forecast cone.
First Alert Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says that the exact timing and intensity of Ian’s impact will depend on the exact location and strength of the storm when it makes landfall and therefore, is subject to change.
- Few if any direct impacts from Ian into early Wednesday with the first rainfall -- still not necessarily directly a result of Ian (enhanced by onshore flow) -- arriving in parts of St. Johns & Putnam Co. spreading slowly from south to north. Some areas north of Interstate 10 may have little rainfall through Wed. night into Thursday morning.
- Potential rainfall: 8-12″... 15″+ for some areas with max amounts as high as 20″ for a few areas south of I-10, near and east of I-95 and near and along the coast. The most extreme rainfall potential will be along & south & east of a line from Brunswick to St. Marys to Bryceville to Macclenny to Lake Butler.
- Tropical moisture surging north combined with onshore winds (out of the east) ahead of Ian should begin to bring some showers, isolated thunderstorms from south to north through the day Wednesday. This will start to saturate the already wet ground across the area leading to flooding issues Thu./Fri. -- in particular -- as heavy Ian rain bands move across the area & potentially “train” across some areas. The saturated soil may also lead to trees being more easily uprooted by winds that otherwise may not be much of a problem.
- We’ll have to keep a close eye on downtown Jacksonville as -- given the current forecast & now Ian staying south of Jacksonville before moving northward near the coast -- strong easterly flow Thursday into Friday may “pile up” water at the bend near the Acosta Bridge (where it goes from flowing to southwest then south) causing water to overflow into parts of downtown in addition to the heavy rain & high tidal departures. This situation is not exactly the same as Irma in 2017 as Irma stayed to the west causing a strong & long fetch of southerly flow up the St. Johns River into downtown Jacksonville. The current Ian forecast is somewhat more similar to Matthew in 2016.
- Those along Black Creek and its tributaries should be aware of the flood threat & be ready to evacuate, if necessary.
- Storm surge is expected to average at least 3-5 feet at the Florida coast and along the St. Johns River (for comparison, St. Johns River storm surge caused by Irma was 5-6 feet in downtown Jacksonville in Sept., 2017 & was 5-7+ feet during Matthew at the coast in Oct. 2016).
- Seas & surf will increase through the week with a very high risk. Double digit breakers at local beaches can be expected Thu./Fri. with a very high rip current risk. Breakers at the beaches 5-7+ feet Wed... 10-15+ feet Thu... 8-12+ feet Fri.... subsiding over the weekend.
- Gusty winds arrive Wed. but increase further Thu./Fri. *At the moment* tropical storm force (39+ mph) sustained winds will be possible in some areas favoring near & south of I-10 with hurricane force (74+ mph) wind gusts possible for brief times.
- Isolated waterspouts & tornadoes can be expected Wednesday through Friday
- At least some power outages should be expected.
- Tuesday into early Wednesday will be your last full day to get organized, check storm kits, prepare your yard & home for a storm, check & test (understand!) generators & top off gas tanks.
Watches and warnings for Ian
The following watches and warnings are in effect:
- A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Chokoloskee to Anclote River, including Tampa Bay; Dry Tortugas
- A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Suwannee River southward to Flamingo; Tampa Bay; Dry Tortugas; Flagler/Volusia Line to the mouth of the St. Marys River; St. Johns River
- A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Cuban provinces of La Habana, Mayabeque, and Matanzas; Suwannee River to the Anclote River; All of the Florida Keys; Flamingo to Altamaha Sound; Flamingo to Chokoloskee; Lake Okeechobee; Florida Bay; Bimini and Grand Bahama Islands
- A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Florida Keys from the Card Sound Bridge westward to Key West; Florida Bay; Mouth of St. Marys River to South Santee River
- A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for North of Altamaha Sound to South Santee River
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within 24 to 36 hours. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life- threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours.
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
INTERACTIVE RADAR: Keep track of the rain as it moves through your neighborhood
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