Ian Expected to Become Hurricane Sunday, Portions of Florida Remain in Cone of Concern – NBC New York

While all of South Florida is currently out of the cone of concern for Tropical Storm Ian, there is growing thought that it could become as strong as a Category 4 hurricane before making impact on the northern part of the state in the coming days.

The latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center showed Ian with winds of 50 miles per hour as it moves west-northwest at 12 mph. Ian currently is located 345 miles south-southeast of Grand Cayman and 625 miles southeast of the western tip of Cuba.

Despite Ian’s movement more to the west with each advisory, South Florida could still be placed under a tropical storm watch in the coming days due to expected weather conditions. A hurricane warning is currently in effect for Grand Cayman and a hurricane watch is currently in effect for the Cuban provinces of Isla de Juventud, Pinar del Rio and Artemisa.

Watch Live: Track Tropical Storm Ian, post-tropical cyclone Fiona, Tropical Storm Gaston in the Atlantic

A tropical storm watch is in effect for Little Cayman and Cayman Brac and the Cuban provinces of La Habana, Mayabeque and Matanzas.

Early next week, the storm is expected to pass west of the Cayman Islands and graze the western tip of Cuba. Ian is then expected to move on a path to the Florida peninsula, according to the latest advisory.

Despite being out of the cone of concern officials are encouraging South Florida residents to stay vigilant.

The City of Fort Lauderdale will distribute sandbags on Sunday. They will be limited to six per car and proof of residency will be required, according to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue.

Distribution starts at 8 a.m. at Mills Pond Park located at 2201 Northwest 9th Avenue while supplies last.

The City of Miami will also be distributing free sandbags to Miami residents starting Sunday at 7 a.m. at multiple locations including Little Haiti Soccer Park (6301 NE 2nd Avenue), Grapeland Park (1550 NW 37 Avenue) and Douglas Park (2755 SW 37 Avenue).

President Joe Biden has postponed a trip to South Florida next week due to Tropical Storm Ian, the White House announced Saturday.

Ian’s center is forecast to 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.

There is increasing confidence that life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds over portions of western Cuba could occur beginning late Monday.

NBC 6’s Ryan Nelson has more on how some residents are getting ready even though South Florida is not in the cone of concern.

Limited flash flooding and urban flooding is possible with rainfall across the Florida Keys and the Florida peninsula through mid next week, NHC forecasters said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis expanded the declaration of a state of emergency Saturday to include the entire state. President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for the state of Florida Saturday due to Tropical Storm Ian, the White House said in a statement.

The declaration authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts resulting from Ian.

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

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