Brought to you by our weather partners at AccuWeather
As of 2 p.m. EDT Sunday, Ian had sustained winds of up to 50 mph and was moving steadily westward at 14 mph. Tropical-storm-force winds extended up to 60 miles outward from the storm’s center.
While Ian remains a tropical storm, for now, forecasters caution that there is a high likelihood of that soon changing. In recent days, the storm’s strength and ability to stay organized have been hindered by persistent wind shear, which frequently limits the strength of tropical systems. However, as Ian moves into the western Caribbean, conditions are set to become much more favorable for strengthening.
“A quick uptick in strengthening is expected early this week as Ian moves into the western Caribbean, where low wind shear and very warm water are in place. This will raise the likelihood of significant impacts in the western Caribbean, and eventually, the United States,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty.
Moving toward midweek, the focus will quickly turn to the United States, where landfall is increasingly likely. Ian is expected to miss most of Cuba’s high, mountainous terrain that often disrupts tropical systems, allowing the storm to remain a powerful Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
However, what happens afterward will depend largely on the exact track that Ian takes. This will be determined by a southward dip in the jet stream across the United States, which will help act to pull the storm northward and into the coast. Just how quickly this interaction happens will determine the track of Ian, as well as how strong the system is when it reaches land.