Hurricane Ian to become a major hurricane as track shifts closer to Central Florida

Sep 26, 2022 in "Severe Weather impacts to Walt Disney World"

Posted: Monday September 26, 2022 6:52am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

The latest 5am update from the National Hurricane Center shifts the Hurricane Ian track east as the storm intensifies into a major hurricane.

The National Weather Center Melbourne says there is increasing confidence for impacts across Central Florida, with high winds arriving as early as Tuesday night, accompanied by heavy rains.

As of now, Disney has not announced any closures or operational impacts, but that will likely change in the coming days.

Hurricane Ian Discussion Number 13
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL092022
500 AM EDT Mon Sep 26 2022

Satellite imagery shows that Ian has quickly become better organized  overnight. Banding has increased in all quadrants of the storm, and the eye has become much better defined in radar data from Grand Cayman. The improving eye structure was also reported by an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft that was in the storm overnight. During a single pass through the northeastern portion of the storm the plane measured peak 700-mb flight-level winds of 71 kt and SFMR winds of 57 kt. Given the continued increase in organization and drop in central pressure on the latest center fix, the initial intensity has been increased to 65 kt, making Ian the fourth hurricane of the 2022 hurricane season. The latest center drop from the aircraft supported a minimum pressure of 983 mb.

In addition to the development of an inner core, the upper-level outflow over the storm has expanded overnight. Ian will be traversing the warm waters (30 degrees C) of the northwestern Caribbean and remain within very low shear conditions today. These very conducive environmental factors along with the improved structure of the storm are likely to result in rapid intensification today, and Ian is forecast to be a major hurricane when it moves near or over western Cuba tonight. This is supported by the majority of the intensity guidance, and the SHIPS Rapid Intensification (RI) Index that gives a 90 percent chance of a 30 kt increase in wind speed over the next 24 hours, and about a 60 percent chance of a 40 kt increase in wind speed during that same period. Ian is not expected to spend much time over western Cuba, and additional strengthening is likely over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday. Around 60 hours, a sharp increase in southwesterly vertical wind shear and a drier mid-level environment to the northwest of Ian is likely to induce some weakening. Despite the reduction in intensity, Ian is likely to have an  expanding wind field and will be slowing down by that time, which will have the potential to produce significant wind and storm surge impacts along the west coast of Florida.

The initial motion estimate is 325/12 kt. Ian is expected to turn northward around the western side of a mid-level ridge during the next day or so. Later in the period, a broad trough over the eastern United States is forecast to induce a north-northeastward motion, however the steering currents are forecast to weaken around day 3, and a slower forward speed is expected by that time. Although the track guidance is in good agreement during the first 48 hours, there is still significant spread after that time. The
UKMET and ECWMF are still on the eastern side of the guidance and show a track very near or over the west-central coast of Florida while the GFS, HWRF, and HMON, and GFS ensemble mean are on the western side with a track toward Appalachia Bay. The NHC track forecast remains close to the TVCA multi-model consensus aid, and is very similar to the previous official forecast. It should again be stressed that there is still significant uncertainty in the track of Ian, especially in the 3-5 day time frame, and users should not focus on the details of the track forecast at longer time ranges.

Key Messages:

1. Ian is expected to produce heavy rainfall and instances of flash flooding and possible mudslides in areas of higher terrain, particularly over Jamaica and Cuba. Considerable flooding impacts are possible later this week in west central Florida. Additional flash and urban flooding, and flooding on rivers across the Florida Peninsula and parts of the Southeast cannot be ruled out for later this week.

2. Life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds are expected in portions of western Cuba beginning late today, and Ian is forecast to be at major hurricane strength when it is near western Cuba. Efforts to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

3. Ian is expected to be a major hurricane in the eastern Gulf of Mexico during the middle of this week. Regardless of Ian’s exact track and intensity, there is a risk of a life-threatening storm surge, hurricane-force winds, and heavy rainfall along the west coast of Florida and the Florida Panhandle by the middle of this week. Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watches have been issued for a portion of the west coast of Florida and additional watches may be required later today.

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donsullivanOct 15, 2022

One more step towards recovery. They are finally reopening after the flooding from Ian.

donsullivanOct 14, 2022

A little update that the flooding behind the Magic Kingdom has finally dissipated and Reams Road has now re-opened. The impact of these storms last much longer than the national news coverage. Bay Court is the entrance road for the residential community in the city of Bay Lake to the east of the North Service Area. Floridian Place runs along the west side of the CM parking lot.

JoeCamelOct 13, 2022

Hero's all, they come from all over leaving their families behind to help people they don't know in terrible conditions because they know if the situation was reversed locals would be at their door asking to help.. The cooperation agreements and planning for major disruptions is amazing to see. Thank you from me to them

Vegas Disney FanOct 12, 2022

It’s amazing how quickly we can do things when the will is there, the news was saying it would take months to restore the bridge, they managed it in just over a week. It’s also encouraging to see how good people really are, we usually highlight the bad people so it’s easy to forget the majority truly are good people.

drizgirlOct 12, 2022

Truly heartwarming. I'm tearing up.

drizgirlOct 12, 2022

That's amazing. The cavalry has arrived. 😍

DryerLintFanOct 12, 2022 Not sure if FB videos work here but this was really moving ❤️ One by one they go, restoring power and hope.

DryerLintFanOct 12, 2022

The bridge to Sanibel Island yesterday morning ❤️

SoFloMagicOct 07, 2022

Too busy fighting the largest private employer in the state during special sessions of legislature instead of using those special sessions for insurance reform as previously announced.

John park hopperOct 06, 2022

I posted this before after hurricane Hugo we were inundated with supposed roofers and contractors that did shoddy work and then left the state. Th homeowner was left holding the bag not getting what they paid for.. Beware and know who you are hiring to do the work and never ever pay up front.

LilofanOct 05, 2022

Your example of $20K check from the insurance company is reality. Then enter the crooked money hungry roofers who prey on the desperate homeowners. To get the roof done it won't cost $20K but $30K. Dont like it? Then hope that blue tarp that covers the open gaps of the damaged roof doesn't leak water into the house in future rain storms.

Vegas Disney FanOct 05, 2022

I don’t know the specifics but why aren’t they mirroring the regulations of the other 49 states that aren’t resulting in 80% of lawsuits? The articles I’m reading say Florida accounts for 9% of policies but 79% of lawsuits, and the insurance companies spend billions every year fighting those lawsuits so they lose even if they win. Mirroring the regulations of the other states that aren’t bankrupting insurers seems a good place to start.

DryerLintFanOct 05, 2022

How do you propose they fix it? Right now in PG and FMB and Naples you have hundreds of people with damage to their property. Before Ian hit the area already had labor and material shortages for construction and new builds took years. So there's a huge influx of help coming from arround the country. General contractors, electricians, plumbers, and crooks. You have a ton of desperate home owners who want to get their homes restored, and a ton of strangers in the area who SAY they are legitimate construction workers. There's no way to really check references, no way to ask your neighbor if they're any good, and if they screw up they can't be contacted again because they aren't from the area. So the homeowner gets a check for $20k from insurance for a new roof, let's say, and they get a new roof from a perfectly legitimate looking company that charitably came all the way from Texas to help the area recover. But they do such crappy work that the insurance company, upon inspection, will not reinsure the home unless the roof is replaced again, but now the homeowner has no money. They can't get the money back because that company ghosted them and their contact information now goes nowhere. At least this is the scenario I'm hearing is playing out again and again. We plan on waiting before replacing our pool cage until the company that put it up can replace it. So we'll spend this winter with the alligators and snakes and noseeums 😭😭 but it sure beats being swindled.

DryerLintFanOct 05, 2022

Well now that it's allowed it's no fun 😂