8:39PM September 24, 2022

TROPICAL STORM IAN TO MOVE TOWARD GULF; FORECAST TO BECOME HURRICANE… Tropical Storm Ian now has maximum winds of 45 mph as the storm grows in size and intensity in the central Caribbean Sea. Ian is forecast to move west over the next 24 hours before turning more northwest on Sunday. The storm is likely to become a hurricane tomorrow evening or on Monday. Ian will probably become a major hurricane before taking aim at the southeastern United States. Right now, the cone of uncertainty for a landfall point extends from Pensacola to Naples, FL. While local impacts in south Alabama and northwest Florida remain unlikely (based on the current forecast), it is important to emphasize that forecast changes will be possible in the days ahead. Please check back in for updates.

WHAT I AM DOING TO PREPARE FOR IAN… RedZone Weather covers south Alabama and northwest Florida and has since I started the company 7 years ago. redzoneweather.com/coverage is where you can learn more about our coverage commitment. Over the last few days, I have reviewed my hurricane plan and I would suggest you do the same. While current forecast guidance shows movement of the center of Ian to our east, further track shifts to the west could potentially mean that our local area could have more impacts from the system. For EVERYONE in the state of Florida, southern Georgia, and even south Alabama, I would encourage you to have a hurricane action plan and be ready to implement said plan once we get a better grasp on where the core impacts from Ian will happen. Maybe you’re new to the Gulf Coast region and don’t know what to do ahead of a hurricane. This site (https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes) explains a good bit about how we all can be prepared.

TAKE A DEEP BREATH TO COMBAT STORM ANXIETY… As someone who still sometimes feels like I am living through a continuation of the 2020 and 2021 hyperactive Atlantic Hurricane Seasons, I understand that tropical and hurricane anxiety is a real thing for many folks. I know seeking out the information can sometimes feel overwhelming. While this storm anxiety is a very real phenomenon, I would encourage you to check in at least once a day over the next few days. Info can and will change rapidly, thus it is important to stay ahead of the latest developments. I will have plenty of updates posted in the RedZone Weather app with more updates on Facebook each day as well. We will get through this together, regardless of if our local area has impacts from Ian.

APP ALERTS… If you haven’t already, be sure to download the free RedZone Weather app to keep up with all the latest information on the world of weather in south Alabama and northwest Florida. redzoneweather.com/app is the link for the free download. Once you have the app downloaded to your iOS or Android device, be sure to visit the Alerts tab (lower right corner) and tap the large, yellow Alert Settings button to customize the alerts you would like to receive straight from me.

I will have more updates overnight and into Sunday posted in the RedZone Weather app. Have a nice Saturday evening!

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6:32PM September 24, 2022

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4:19PM September 24, 2022

4PM SATURDAY FORECAST SHIFTS IAN FORECAST SLIGHTLY WEST… Tropical Storm Ian continues to become more organized in the Caribbean Sea on this Saturday evening. Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph. The latest National Hurricane Center “cone of uncertainty” has been shifted, yet again, a bit to the left/west. The cone of uncertainty now extends from Pensacola to Ft. Myers. NHC now explicitly calls for Ian to ramp up to a category 4 hurricane with max. winds near 130 mph in the southeastern Gulf by Tuesday afternoon.

LOCAL IMPACTS ASSESSMENT – IAN… As of 4PM Saturday, based on the latest cone of uncertainty, significant local impacts in south Alabama and northwest Florida remain unlikely to happen ALTHOUGH we note that the cone of uncertainty has shifted westward over the last few updates. Our local area would be on the “better” western side of the system where impacts would largely be limited under the current guidance from NHC. It should be vehemently emphasized, however, that forecast confidence in the 4-5 day range remains low and more forecast changes **will be possible.** It is important to not get caught up in any specific model, but rather, pay attention to the cone of uncertainty as it evolves in the days ahead. Models change on a whim. The official forecast from NHC is a much better guidance tool for all of us.

WHAT I AM DOING TO PREPARE FOR IAN… RedZone Weather covers south Alabama and northwest Florida and has since I started the company 7 years ago. redzoneweather.com/coverage is where you can learn more about our coverage commitment. Over the last few days, I have reviewed my hurricane plan and I would suggest you do the same. While current forecast guidance shows movement of the center of Ian to our east, further track shifts to the west could potentially mean that our local area could have more impacts from the system. For EVERYONE in the state of Florida, southern Georgia, and even south Alabama, I would encourage you to have a hurricane action plan and be ready to implement said plan once we get a better grasp on where the core impacts from Ian will happen. Maybe you’re new to the Gulf Coast region and don’t know what to do ahead of a hurricane. This site (https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes) explains a good bit about how we all can be prepared.

TAKE A DEEP BREATH TO COMBAT STORM ANXIETY… As someone who still sometimes feels like I am living through a continuation of the 2020 and 2021 hyperactive Atlantic Hurricane Seasons, I understand that tropical and hurricane anxiety is a real thing for many folks. I know seeking out the information can sometimes feel overwhelming. While this storm anxiety is a very real phenomenon, I would encourage you to check in at least once a day over the next few days. Info can and will change rapidly, thus it is important to stay ahead of the latest developments. I will have plenty of updates posted in the RedZone Weather app with more updates on Facebook each day as well. We will get through this together, regardless of if our local area has impacts from Ian.

APP ALERTS… If you haven’t already, be sure to download the free RedZone Weather app to keep up with all the latest information on the world of weather in south Alabama and northwest Florida. redzoneweather.com/app is the link for the free download. Once you have the app downloaded to your iOS or Android device, be sure to visit the Alerts tab (lower right corner) and tap the large, yellow Alert Settings button to customize the alerts you would like to receive straight from me.

More updates will be posted over the next few hours in the RedZone Weather app. Have a nice Saturday evening!

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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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7:18PM September 23, 2022

TD9 IN THE CARIBBEAN FORECAST TO MOVE INTO EASTERN GULF… Tropical Depression Nine formed this morning in the central Caribbean Sea. TD9 is forecast to become a tropical storm in the next 24 hours as the system moves westward. The system is forecast by the National Hurricane Center to become a hurricane by Monday morning. We note the official forecast from NHC now calls for TD9 to become a major hurricane by Wednesday morning. While forecast confidence in the 4-5 day range is still not as high as usual, confidence has increased somewhat today that this system will be an issue for Florida. The “cone of uncertainty” from NHC extends from Indian Pass and Apalachicola all the way over to Jacksonville, meaning nearly all of the Florida Peninsula (not the Panhandle where we are, but rather the Peninsula) is included in the cone. Landfall will probably happen along the western coast of Florida somewhere between the Big Bend region southward to the Keys. This means that folks in the Tampa Bay area, Ft. Myers, and the Keys should be implementing the first steps of their hurricane action plan.

LOCAL IMPACTS IN SOUTH ALABAMA & N.W. FLORIDA SEEM LESS LIKELY… While the forecast is not a “lock” at this point, forecast confidence has increased to the point that I am comfortable stating that direct local impacts in south Alabama and northwest Florida seem less likely to happen. While coastal impacts (specifically rip currents and high waves) will be a concern, the potential for major impacts seems to be much lower. While this is no “all clear” just yet, we will monitor trends over the weekend and hopefully be able to say those two magic words for our local area in south Alabama and northwest Florida early next week. Long time viewers and readers know I do not say “all clear” until there is basically a 100% chance of no major impacts.

HURRICANE WATCH FOR CAYMAN ISLANDS… A Hurricane Watch has been issued this evening that includes the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean Sea. The entirety of Jamaica is involved in a Tropical Storm Watch. I expect a Hurricane Watch will be posted for parts of western Cuba at some point tomorrow.

THIS SYSTEM WILL LIKELY BECOME TROPICAL STORM IAN… Quick, important note about the naming situation as this has changed from what has been widely publicized: Tropical Depression 10, located in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean near the African coast became a tropical storm earlier this afternoon and took the name, “Hermine.” That means that if or when Tropical Depression 9 in the Caribbean Sea becomes a tropical storm, it will likely take the name “Ian” (pronounced Ee-an, or E-un if you’re southern).

FLORIDA PENINSULA FOLKS SHOULD BE PREPARING FOR A POTENTIALLY SIGNIFICANT IMPACT… While folks in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and northwest Florida watch this system over the next few days, I strongly suggest folks who live in the Big Bend region of Florida and the Florida Peninsula (Miami, the Keys, Ft. Myers, Naples, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Ocala, Gainesville, St. Petersburg, and all surrounding areas in the PENINSULA) keep a close, intent watch on this developing tropical system. Major hurricane impacts will be possible in the eastern Gulf region in the days ahead, and model data today has concentrated on the west coast of Florida. Again, that doesn’t mean the landfall point will certainly happen there, but the trends are pointing in that direction for now. Know where you would go and what you will do if your specific location goes under an evacuation order. Heed those orders if you get one. NOW is the time to prepare and make a PLAN. Research shows time and time again that those folks who make a plan and implement it ahead of these dangerous storms have better outcomes, in general, than folks who don’t.

APP… If you haven’t already downloaded the RedZone Weather app, now is a great time to do that. redzoneweather.com/app is the link to the free download. Once you have the RZW app installed on your iOS or Android device, be sure to visit the Alerts tab to turn on the specific notifications you’d like to receive. All notifications are handcrafted by me. No automation and we promise not to bug you!

I will have more updates posted throughout the weekend in the RedZone Weather app. Have a great Friday evening!

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12:16PM September 23, 2022

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