"On the forecast track, the center of Ian is forecast to move across the central Caribbean Sea today, pass southwest of Jamaica on Sunday, and pass near or over the Cayman Islands Sunday night and early Monday," the National Hurricane Center said. "Ian will then approach western Cuba late Monday and emerge over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday."
The ninth named tropical storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season has formed across the central Caribbean Sea, and forecasts show Florida may soon be impacted by its first major hurricane since 2018.
Tropical Storm Ian was located about 300 miles south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, as of 8 a.m. Saturday and moving west-southwest at 15 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The forecast shows Ian "as a major hurricane over the eastern Gulf when it is approaching the west coast of Florida," after briefly passing over Cuba, the center said Friday. Much of the Gulf Coast of Florida, including the eastern Panhandle, could be at risk.
Forecast models on Saturday morning vary on where Ian may make landfall on Florida's coast. The European model shows landfall near Fort Myers on Wednesday afternoon, while the American model shows landfall near the Big Bend region of the state early Friday morning.
The official hurricane center track splits the difference between the models, showing landfall near Tampa on Wednesday night.