Hurricane Ian tracking
Ian could pack wind gusts of 35mph to 40mph, enough to topple trees in weakened ground from the 4 inches to 6 inches of rain forecast from the tropical storm this weekend. This is the latest information on the storm.
The Charlotte area is under a tropical storm warning with Ian is expected to deliver a deluge of heavy rain likely to topple trees on Friday.
Bands of rain are expected to arrive in the Charlotte area a few hours before the center of the storm crosses near the city, a National Weather Service the meteorologist said Thursday.
Ian could pack 20-30 mph winds with gusts of 60 mph, strong enough to damage “porches, awnings, carports, sheds and unanchored mobile homes,” according to the tropical storm warning. Issued at 11:17 a.m. Thursday from the NWS office in Greer, SC.
The counties under warning are Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Catawba, Chester, Davie, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan and Union, and, in South Carolina, York County.
According to the warning, the gusts could break “many large tree branches” and uproot shallow trees.
Even deeper-rooted trees are likely to be toppled during Ian due to weakened ground from the 4 to 6 inches of rain expected this weekend, Andrew Kimball of NWS Greer’s office told the Charlotte Observer at 6:30 a.m. Thursday.
Falling trees on power lines could lead to outages, but flooding persists the biggest concernand people should stay off the roads, Charlotte-Mecklenburg emergency management officials warned Thursday.
The center of the former category 4 hurricane was scheduled to leave the east central Florida coast later Thursday.
Ian should turn into a hurricane again before the storm made landfall along the South Carolina coast on Friday, “with rapid weakening expected after landfall,” according to a National Hurricane Center bulletin at 11 a.m. Thursday.
The center of the storm is expected to move further inland across the Carolinas Friday night and Saturday, National Hurricane Center officials said.
As of 5 a.m. Thursday, Ian’s old 155 mph winds dropped to 65 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Kimball said Ian’s center could make landfall anywhere from Savannah, Georgia, to northeast of Charleston, given its wide cone of projected trajectory.
The center of the storm is expected to reach Charlotte around 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. Saturday, Kimball said.
The concern for Charlotte are heavy rain bands from Ian expected on Friday afternoon and evening, he said.
Expect flooding, he said. “Four inches of rain is a lot in such a short time,” he said.
Ian should weaken for tropical depression status or less by its arrival in the Charlotte area, Kimball said, but expected gusty rain and winds are still causing problems, such as flooding and power outages. Tropical depressions carry winds less than 39 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
In a weather report just before 5:30 a.m. Thursday, NWS Greer’s office said “widespread moderate to heavy rain and gusty northeasterly winds are expected Friday through Saturday” in the Charlotte area of the North Carolina Mountains. North and Northern South Carolina.
“There is still some uncertainty in the exact track and timing of this system,” according to the NWS bulletin. “Keep watching the forecast for updates throughout the week.”
Where is Ian?
At 11 a.m. Thursday, the National Hurricane Center released a hurricane warning for the entire coast of South Carolina.
A tropical storm warning or a tropical storm watch is also in effect for much of the North Carolina coast, McClatchy News reported. A flood advisory for the North Carolina coast begins at 2 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
The storm is gone 2.5 million people without electricity in southwest Florida, the Associated Press reported. A piece of Sanibel Causeway fell into the sea, cutting off access to the barrier island where 6,300 people normally live, according to AP.
Ian hit Florida’s southwest coast early Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph.
At 8 a.m. Thursday, Ian caused “catastrophic flooding” in east-central Florida, National Hurricane Center officials said.
At 11 a.m. Thursday, Ian 70 mph packed winds moving at about 9 mph about 25 miles north-northeast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, and about 285 miles south of Charleston, according to the National Hurricane Center
The storm could produce “life-threatening flooding, storm surges and gusty winds” in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, according to the National Hurricane Center bulletin at 8 a.m. Thursday.
CLT Airport Delays, Cancellations
At least 126 flights were canceled between Charlotte Douglas International Airport and airports in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina before 1 p.m. Thursday, according to FlightAware.com, a flight tracking site. Nearly 70 flights between CLT and Florida destinations scheduled for Friday have been canceled.
American Airlines, Delta Airlines and other carriers let passengers rebook without change fees if their flights are affected by Hurricane Ian.
American, which has a hub in Charlotte, posted a travel alert for 20 airports in the Western Caribbean and Florida on Monday, allowing new bookings free of charge.
American is the dominant airline at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Southwest and United too issued travel waivers for many Passengers to Florida.
Anyone heading for CLT airport should allow extra time for dropping off or picking up passengers. The airport closed its upper-level roadway for two weeks on Tuesday evening so crews could begin work on a new canopy.
Drivers should expect to see security fencing and signs directing them to the lower level for arrivals and departures, the Observer previously reported.
Charlotte has a 80% chance of showers beginning after 11 a.m. Friday and continuing through Saturday afternoon, according to the NWS forecast at noon Thursday. Saturday evening and Sunday morning there is a 40% chance of showers and Sunday morning and afternoon a 50% chance of rain, depending on the forecast.
The chance of showers rises to 60% late Sunday and early Monday before dropping to 40% the rest of Monday, according to the forecast. Tuesday and Wednesday should be sunny, according to the NWS Greer office.
The highs are expected to fall from 70 on Thursday to 60 on Friday, then climb to 65 on Saturday and 66 on Sunday, according to forecasts. Monday’s high is expected to fall to 62 before Tuesday’s moves to 66 and Wednesday’s to 72, according to NWS Greer’s office.
This is a developing story.
This story was originally published September 29, 2022 8:23 a.m.