10:28AM September 24, 2022

FORECAST TRACK FOR T.S. IAN SHIFTS SLIGHTLY WEST… The projected path for Tropical Storm Ian has shifted slightly west as of 10AM Saturday. Track shifts like this are expected over the next few days, particularly in the 4-5 day forecast as the overall forecast confidence remains fairly low in that range. The “cone of uncertainty” for the potential landfall point now extends from Santa Rosa Beach on the west side all the way south to the Florida Keys with a most likely landfall zone along the west coast of Florida from the Big Bend region southward to Tampa and Ft. Myers. Ian is becoming better organized today as the storm continues moving west in the Caribbean Sea.

LOCAL IMPACTS ASSESSMENT – IAN… As of 10AM Saturday, significant local impacts in south Alabama and northwest Florida remain unlikely to happen. While our local area is not completely “out of the woods,” it is encouraging for our area that trends continue to favor impacts well to our east. Folks in the Big Bend region south into the Florida Peninsula could have significant, potentially major impacts from Ian. The National Hurricane Center calls for Ian to be a major hurricane on approach to the western Gulf coast of Florida by midweek. More forecast changes will be possible in the days ahead. Please check back in for updates.

RAPID INTENSIFICATION POSSIBLE… The National Hurricane Center notes that rapid intensification will be possible over the next few days as the core of Ian moves over very warm water in the western Caribbean Sea. There is a real chance Ian becomes a major hurricane before making landfall or moving very close to western Cuba. Interests in the Cayman Islands and western Cuba should pay close attention to this developing storm as Ian could easily rapidly intensify in the Caribbean Sea before moving into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.

THE PROCESS OF MAKING A TRUE FORECAST… While the overall forecast track has shifted a bit to the left/west with this advisory package, shifts to the left and to the right (west and east) will be common over the next few days. Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance flights, along with special balloon releases at local weather offices across the country are providing more data to be “fed into” weather models. The forecasters at the National Hurricane Center (truly the best tropical/hurricane forecasters on the planet) rely on a suite of many different models to then generate the “cone of uncertainty” four times per day. Unlike the wildly changing model images that go viral on social media, the cone of uncertainty is a much more consistent, reliable source of information. People who post single run model images are essentially posting “one ingredient” in the recipe of a forecast and passing that ingredient off as a complete forecast. It would be like if you took a photo of an egg and posted it with the caption “pound cake.” Eggs are just one ingredient in a pound cake. Yet that’s what is happening when model images are shared. Rely on the official cone of uncertainty and not wildly varying weather models.

APP… Many updates will be posted throughout the next few days in the RedZone Weather app. redzoneweather.com/app is the link for the free download. Be sure to visit the Alerts tab (bottom right corner) and tap the large, yellow “Alert Settings” button to customize the alerts you’d like to receive from me. If you like a lot of info, be sure to toggle ON Low-Level Alerts.

I will have more updates posted later this evening. Have a nice Saturday!

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9:56PM September 23, 2022

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