TRACKING THE TROPICS: Tropical Storm Ian expected to affect Lowcountry

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 12:43 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 24, 2022 at 5:37 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A tropical wave that upgraded to a Tropical Storm Friday night is expected to impact weather in the Lowcountry by late next week, the latest forecasts suggest.

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Tropical Storm Ian’s maximum sustained winds are at 40 mph, as of 11 p.m. on Friday. The storm is currently moving through the Caribbean Sea.

The ninth named storm of the hurricane season could affect the Lowcountry by late next week, Live 5 Meteorologist Chris Holtzman said. But how much of an impact depends on how much of a turn the storm takes after Florida.

The latest computer models have the system taking a more northeasterly turn as it approaches Cuba Monday night. It is expected to be a Category 1 hurricane before crossing the western side of the island, then strengthen to a Category 2 as it emerges on the other side by Tuesday morning.

By the time it reaches the southwestern end of the Florida peninsula on Wednesday morning, forecasters expect it to have become a major storm at a Category 3.

From there, the track of the system would affect how much of an impact the Lowcountry feels. Holtzman said if the center passes to the west of the Lowcountry, that would result in the greatest tornado threat for the area.

The ClimatePrediction Center already has the Lowcountry under a heightened risk for rain and winds for late next week.

Holtzman said the forecast is still subject to change. But he said the system bears watching over the next few days since the forecast will become more accurate as the system better develops.