Forecast cone center shifts slightly southeast of Orlando – WFTV



ORLANDO, Fla. – Ian is a major hurricane and remained at Category 3 strength Wednesday morning.

The storm continued to move towards the southwest coast of Florida and, based on its latest track, is expected to have significant impacts over central Florida.

3:45 am update:

Rain from the outer bands of Hurricane Ian is already being felt in parts of central Florida.

Chief Meteorologist Tom Terry said the highest risk for tornadoes would be from Interstate 4 east toward the coast beginning Wednesday morning and continuing throughout the day.

Terry said starting Wednesday, residents should be in a safe place to ride out the storm, noting the possibility of tornadoes and flooding.

As we enter Thursday, Terry said Central Floridians can expect power outages and areas of flash flooding.

11:15 p.m. update:

The center of Hurricane Ian’s forecast cone has moved slightly southeast of Orlando, Channel 9 meteorologist George Waldenberger said.

Winds from the Category 3 storm remain at 120 mph.

Ian caused wind gusts of up to 91 mph near Dry Tortugas as it passed west of Key West, Waldenberger said. The threat of flooding is heightened through Thursday.

10:15 p.m. update:

Seminole County is now under a hurricane warning.

The storm brings the threat of tornadoes on Wednesday, with winds picking up Wednesday and Thursday evening, with the risk of flooding increasing through Thursday.

9 p.m. update:

Many hurricane shelters in Orange County are expected to open in 12 p.m. at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning.

See our full story below:

5 p.m. update:

Hurricane Ian continues to strengthen.

Winds from the Category 3 storm are at 120 mph.

Read: Universal and Disney World announce temporary closures ahead of Hurricane Ian

The storm is expected to make landfall somewhere between Fort Myers and the Tampa area later in the day Wednesday.

The Flagler County coastal area has been upgraded to a storm surge warning.

Tuesday’s updated track shows Ian moving a little faster.

Read: Hurricane Ian: Publix stores in these central Florida counties will close early for the storm

The storm is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds and flooding.

Click here to watch Tom Terry follow the hurricane live on Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

4:15 p.m. update:

Publix sites in seven central Florida counties will close early Wednesday due to Hurricane Ian.

Publix officials said sites in Sumter, Orange, Lake (717 N. 14th St., Leesburg and 1120 Bichara Blvd., The Villages), Seminole, Marion, Osceola and Volusia counties will close at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Click here to read more.

4 p.m. update:

Tom Terry explains the timing of impacts from Hurricane Ian.

Click here to watch Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

3:15 p.m. update:

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex announced Tuesday afternoon that it will close on Thursday. It will be open during normal business hours on Wednesdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Legoland Florida announced it would be closed Wednesday and Thursday. The closure includes Legoland, the water park and the Peppa Pig theme park. Hotels remain open to guests with existing reservations.

Tickets dated Wednesday through Sunday will automatically be extended through Dec. 31, and vacation stays for the shutdown period will be booked without penalty when the call center reopens, Legoland said.

2:50 p.m. update:

Watch the latest forecast update from Channel 9 weatherman George Waldenberger below:

2:30 p.m. update:

The City of Orlando will waive parking fees for the following parking garages beginning at 2 p.m. Wednesday for any resident who wishes to park a car in a covered garage.

  • Central Boulevard Garage, 53 Central Boulevard West
  • Jefferson Street Garage, 62 Jefferson Street West
  • Library Garage, 112 Central Boulevard East
  • Orange County Administration Garage, 300 Liberty Avenue

This is for passenger vehicles only and height restrictions must be observed. No oversized vehicles, motorhomes, boats, trailers, watercraft, etc. will not be allowed to enter.

All cars must be removed by 8 p.m. Friday depending on weather and road conditions.

2 p.m. update:

SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove and Aquatica will be closed Wednesday and Thursday due to Hurricane Ian.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will be closed Tuesday through Thursday.

Click here for more information.

1:45 p.m. update:

Orange County Public Schools announced Tuesday that they are canceling classes through Friday.

Read: Hurricane Ian: School Closures Across Central Florida

1:40 p.m. update:

Orlando International Airport will halt commercial flights beginning Wednesday morning due to Hurricane Ian.

Airport officials said out of an abundance of caution the last commercial flight will leave the airport at 10:30 a.m.

Click here for more details on the closure.

Read: Orlando International Airport halts commercial flights Wednesday morning ahead of Hurricane Ian

11 a.m. update:

As Ian moves away from Cuba and into the Gulf of Mexico, it remains a powerful Category 3 hurricane.

Hurricane Ian now has maximum sustained winds of around 115 mph and is tracking north at 10 mph.

The storm’s new track shifted slightly eastward and directly into central Florida.

The storm is expected to slow as it makes landfall south of Tampa as a major hurricane.

There is still time for Ian to regain his strength as he moves through the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

It is expected to reach Category 4, but could also reach Category 5 as it heads to Florida.

9 a.m. update:

Tropical storm warnings are in effect for most of central Florida until further notice.

Volusia, Flagler and Marion counties are under tropical storm watch.

Hurricane and tropical storm warnings for Hurricane Ian are in effect for much of Florida’s west coast.

State leaders are warning that Tuesday will be the last day to prepare and follow evacuation orders ahead of the storm’s expected impacts.

Original report:

Ian made landfall around 4:30 a.m. over western Cuba with maximum sustained winds of around 125 mph.

Significant wind and storm surge impacts are expected in western Cuba as the storm moves across the island.

Watch: Ian threatens FL gas supply, but executives say they’ve prepared

Ian is currently moving north at 12 mph.

There was rapid strengthening overnight and Ian is nearing a Category 4 hurricane Tuesday morning.

The storm is expected to be off the Florida Keys by Tuesday evening.

The predicted track shifted overnight, bringing the storm’s track closer to central Florida.

Watch: Hurricane Ian: School Closures Across Central Florida

Ian is expected to slow as it approaches Tampa and become a major hurricane before moving inland.

As rain bands move across Florida by Wednesday, there will be a risk of tornadoes and flooding.

Channel 9 weather forecasters are advising Florida residents to hide somewhere safe before 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Read: Hurricane Supplies Checklist: What Should You Include in Your Kit?

Parts of west central Florida could see about 20 inches of rain as Ian moves.

Hurricane and tropical storm conditions may persist in central Florida Wednesday through Thursday as Ian moves slowly through our area.

Read: New to Florida? 9 useful tips for getting through a hurricane

Channel 9 will continue to monitor Hurricane Ian and provide ongoing coverage on Eyewitness News.

Click here to download free WFTV news and weather apps, Click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and Click here to broadcast live Channel 9 Eyewitness News.

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