WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Hurricane Ian has strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane as the entire state remains under a state of emergency.
Tropical storm warnings have been issued for Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast. Okeechobee County is under a hurricane warning for the National Weather Service, but not the National Hurricane Center.
Outer bands of Hurricane Ian are producing tornadoes across parts of South Florida. There are several reports of tornado damage in Broward and Palm Beach County including a possible tornado that injured two people in Delray Beach.
According to the 5 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Category 4 Hurricane Ian is packing maximum sustained winds of 140 mph and moving toward the north-northeast at 10 mph.
Sustained tropical-storm-force winds have reached the east coast of Florida.
The NHC said Ian is about 110 miles southwest of Naples.
"Now that it's going to work its way into the warmer waters of the Gulf of Mexico, as we head into the next couple of hours, it could intensify up to a Category 4, winds of 130 mph," WPTV First Alert Weather meteorologist Steve Villanueva said.
On the forecast track, the center of Ian is expected to approach the west coast of Florida within the hurricane warning area on Wednesday. The center of Ian is forecast to move over central Florida Wednesday night and Thursday morning and emerge over the western Atlantic by late Thursday.
"[Wednesday night], along the Treasure Coast, we could have wind gusts over 50 mph, maybe up to 60 mph," Villanueva said.
Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast are also currently under a flood watch.
Ian is expected to bring 6 to 8 inches of rain to the Florida Keys and South Florida, with local maxima of 12 inches.
The outer bands of Ian will continue to impact the viewing area overnight and Wednesday. Tornado threats will continue overnight.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- Palm Beach County
- Martin County
- St. Lucie County
- Indian River County
- Cuban provinces of La Habana, Mayabeque, and Matanzas
- Indian Pass to the Anclote River
- All of the Florida Keys
- Flamingo to Altamaha Sound
- Flamingo to Chokoloskee
- Lake Okeechobee
- Florida Bay
- Bimini and Grand Bahama Islands
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:
- North of Altamaha Sound to South Santee River
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:
- Chokoloskee to Anclote River, including Tampa Bay
- Dry Tortugas
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:
- Suwannee River southward to Flamingo
- Tampa Bay
- Dry Tortugas
- Flagler/Volusia Line to the mouth of the St. Mary's River
- St. Johns River
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for:
- Florida Keys from the Card Sound Bridge westward to Key West
- Florida Bay
- Aucilla River to Suwanee River
- Mouth of St. Mary's River to South Santee River
- South of Marineland to the Volusia/Flagler county line
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:
- North of Anclote River to Suwannee River
- South of Bonita Beach to Chokoloskee
- Okeechobee County