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Tropical Storm Ian, the ninth named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season is forecast to reach up to Category 4 hurricane strength before hitting Florida next week. If it does, it will be the first major hurricane to impact the state since 2018.
Ian was located about 255 miles south of Kingston, Jamaica, as of 6 p.m. Saturday and moving west at 16 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. “Significant strengthening is forecast during the next few days,” the center said.
The forecast shows Ian “as a major hurricane over the eastern Gulf when it is approaching the west coast of Florida,” after briefly passing over Cuba at or near major hurricane strength, the center said Friday. The entire Florida panhandle and nearly the entire western coast of the state could be at risk, according to the most recent forecast cone from the hurricane center.