Hurricane Ian strengthens to Category 2, 100 MPH winds, threathens aviation in Florida, then Georgia later this week

Tropical Storm Ian became Hurricane Ian (Category 1) this morning.

Overnight the storm got stronger and radar shows the storm becoming better organized. Ian is expected to rapidly grow and become a major hurricane (Category 4) in the Gulf of Mexico. Later windshear will likely weaken the storm.

The storm is expected to pass over the western tip of Cuba before entering the Gulf of Mexico.

Since the right side of the storm is always remains the strongest side of the storm, aviation will be impacted in Florida during the period of Wednesday through Friday.

The cone of uncertainity remains large and the west coast of Florida could see a direct hit.

Airports on the west coast of Florida (especially Fort Myers, Sarasota/Bradenton, Tampa, St. Petersburg/Clearwater and possibly Orlando) are very likely to be impacted.

Orlando will be dealing with potentially strong crosswinds to their north-south runways.

Key West will probably be the first airport to close.

Airlines will cancel flights to this region so if you have travel plans you should contact your carrier.

Airports in southeast Florida (the Gold Coast), especially Miami and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, could remain open, but many flights could also be cancelled.

Here is the 0500 (5 am) EDT report from the National Hurricane Center:

Further updates will be added.

1100 (11 am) September 26, 2022 update: The west coast of Florida is under a Hurricane Watch:

1100 (11 amd) EDT September 26, 2022 Update:

1700 (5 pm) September 26, 2022 update:

1700 (5 pm) September 26, 2022 update:

More updates to come.