Set To Strike As A Category 4; Tampa Braces For Direct Hit

CARIBBEAN SEA - SEPTEMBER 26:  In this NOAA handout image taken by the GOES satellite at 16:56 UTC: shows Hurricane Ian as it moves toward western Cuba on September 26, 2022 in the Caribbean Sea.  The storm is expected to bring a potentially life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds. Meteorologists expect Ian to peak at Category 4 strength over the Gulf of Mexico later this week, then weaken before reaching Florida. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)

At a glance

  • Hurricane Ian was growing stronger as it approached the western tip of Cuba on a track to hit the west coast of Florida as a major hurricane as early as Wednesday.
  • Ian was forecast to hit the western tip of Cuba as a major hurricane and then become an even stronger Category 4 with top winds of 140 mph (225 km/h) over warm Gulf of Mexico waters before striking Florida.
  • As of Monday, Tampa and St. Petersburg appeared to be the among the most likely targets for their first direct hit by a major hurricane since 1921.

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