Miami-Dade, Broward Out of Cone of Concern; Tropical Storm Ian Expected Impact Florida as Hurricane

Miami and Fort Lauderdale are now out of the cone of concern, but Tropical Storm Ian is still forecast to strengthen over the Central Caribbean and develop into a hurricane in coming days, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Early next week, the storm is expected to track over Cuba and continue to strengthen as it moves closer to the Florida peninsula. Impacts for Florida include extreme wind, storm surge, and heavy rain.

Heavy rain is also expected in areas like Jamaica and Cuba leading to flash flooding concerns.

Ian had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and was moving west at 15 mph about 270 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, the 11 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Saturday.

A hurricane watch was issued for the Cayman Islands, where hurricane conditions are possible by early Monday, while a tropical storm watch was in effect for Jamaica.

Strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and Ian is expected to become a hurricane Sunday night, the NHC said.

The latest forecasts from the NHC showed the system possibly becoming a major Category 3 hurricane.

Ian’s center is forecast to move across the central Caribbean Sea through Saturday, pass southwest of Jamaica on Sunday, and pass near or over the Cayman Islands Sunday night and early Monday. Ian will then approach western Cuba on Monday.

Local leaders are urging residents to prepare, not panic, for a storm that will potentially impact Florida. NBC 6’s Ryan Nelson reports

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Friday for 24 counties in the potential path of the system, including Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe and Palm Beach.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management said Friday that they were monitoring the system and urged residents to prepare.

“The Division is working closely with our federal, state and local partners to ensure we are prepared to provide assistance to impacted areas if Tropical Depression Nine makes landfall in Florida next week,” Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said in a statement. “It is critical that Floridians remain vigilant and prepared – it only takes one storm to cause costly or irreversible damage to your home or business.”

Watch Live: Track Tropical Storm Ian, Hurricane Fiona, Tropical Storm Gaston in the Atlantic

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava also said Friday that it was time to make preparations.

“No cause for panic but we want everyone to be prepared,” Levine Cava said at a briefing. “Now is the time to make sure that you have a hurricane plan in place.”