As the eye of Hurricane Ian slowly makes its way to Florida, satellite images are now showing how apocalyptic the storm is.
The New York Post shared the satellite images of the storm on Instagram. The outlet reports that the timelapse of Hurricane Ian’s eye by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was revealed just as more than 2.5 million people in Florida are being urged to evacuate. They were to do so before the storm eye’s expected arrival on late Wednesday (September 28th).
Other images from the NOAA then show the storm making its way through the Caribbean Sea. It has been upgraded from category 3 to category 4. “Air Force Hurricane Hunters find Ian has strengthened into an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane,” the U.S. National Hurricane Center announced in the early hours of Wednesday. The advisory also stated that it is expected to cause life-threatening storm surges. It will also cause catastrophic winds, and flooding throughout the Sunshine State.
“Very recent data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustain winds have increased to near 140 mph with higher gusts,” the warning further continues. “Ian is forecast to approach the west coast of Florida as an extremely dangerous major hurricane.”
When Does Hurricane Ian Move Through Florida?
Meanwhile, the Hurricane Center also disclosed that the center of Ian is forecast to move over central Florida tonight and Thursday morning. It will emerge over the western Atlantic by late Thursday. “Catastrophic wind damager is likely where the core of Ian moves onshore,” the center explained.
A hurricane warning has been issued and covers roughly 220 miles of Florida. This inlaces Fort Meyers as well as Tampa. St. Petersburg is also part of the earning. It reportedly may directly get hit by a major hurricane for the first time since 1921.
Along with the warning, forecasters believe Hurricane Ian’s storm surge may reach 12 feet if it peaks at high tide. Rainfall could also be upward towards 18 inches. The hurricane may also trigger tornadoes as it continues through the state.
With Florida, areas in both Georgia and South Carolina may also experience Hurricane Ian’s wrath. The two states may see flooding and coastal surges into Saturday. In response to the forecast, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp preemptively declared an emergency. He ordered 500 National Guard troops to stand by and prepare for the storm’s potential arrival.