There is a storm on the way that could make people forget about the calm of the early season. The National Hurricane Center is watching the storm, which is expected to become a major Hurricane before hitting the US.


The official track forecast for Ian was as of Sunday morning.


Emergency planning is affected by uncertainty in the track.

We know that track forecasts can be unreliable. Predicting the exact location of the storm is not a good idea. Weather experts don't make forecasts for landfall that far out. Uncertainty in track forecasts usually starts to narrow within 5 days. The AmericanGFS and the EuropeanEuro still have some differences. At the time of this writing, the forecast is for a track that parallels the Florida peninsula with a possible landfall in the Panhandle of the state. The storm heads into Georgia. The Euro model predicts that the storm will make it's way into the eastern Gulf of Mexico and then make it's way towards the bay area. The storm moves northward into Florida and Georgia.


The spread was shown in the models as of Sunday morning.


The challenge is summed up by Craig Setzer. He said, "We have two solutions, the Panhandle and the west coast, but we have to prepare for all locations threatened, people think one or the other, in this case it's both, prepare in both locations." Mark said that the same thing. He said this is frustrating. Euro won't let go and that gives EM officials only a few days to respond. Once the storm is better defined, the official track forecast from the National Hurricane Center will likely shift as I expect. The initial motion estimate is uncertain due to the lack of center definition according to the National Hurricane Center. This is an analogy I use a lot. Imagine if we could predict where the spinning beach ball would go after it was placed in the river. To improve the prediction of the fluid flow, the mathematical model needs initial conditions of the river, boundary changes, initial spin characteristics of the ball and other obstacles. That is where Ian is with us.


The water in the Gulf of Mexico is warm.


There is a possibility of a major storm.

I'm worried about the potential for rapid intensification. Ian could be a major Hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico as it approaches Cuba. Ian will be in a good place to strengthen for a few days. The National Hurricane Center says that once the circulation becomes more vertically coherent, low vertical wind shear conditions and high ocean heat content are expected to allow for rapid intensification. The waters in the Gulf of Mexico have not been affected by storms. It's ready to explode. Wind shear is expected to get worse as Ian gets closer to the coast. The storm could be knocked down in intensity, but it will still be a very dangerous storm. Even though there was some wind shear present, Hurricane Michael intensified quickly. It's important not to make assumptions about Ian because forecasts lag track forecasts.


There were maximums of wind gusts in the storm.

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The impact of inland impacts.

Many of us remember the impacts of storms like Michael in Georgia. In Georgia, a fast moving Michael destroyed peanut, cotton, and other crops. Tropical storm winds were felt in Atlanta and Athens. The power supply was disrupted in some places due to trees being down. It's too early to understand impacts further inland with Ian, but it's something people in places like Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas should keep an eye on.


The forecast cone is something to understand.