Hurricane Ian strengthening, may become ‘major hurricane’ this evening

Hurricane Ian is strengthening as it nears Central Florida, with the National Hurricane Center predicting it will become a “major hurricane” on Monday evening.

As of 11 a.m. on Monday, the storm is currently moving northwest at 13 mph, with a north-northwestward motion projected to begin later today.

The center of Ian is expected to pass near or west of the Cayman Islands today, and near or over western Cuba tonight, according to the latest report from the National Hurricane Center.

The hurricane is projected to pass west of the Florida Keys late on Tuesday, and approach the west coast of Florida on Wednesday evening.

Currently, the hurricane’s maximum sustained winds have increased to near 80 mph.

The NHC says that “rapid strengthening” of the storm is expected during the next day or so, and that Ian should become a major hurricane tonight or early Tuesday, when it is near western Cuba.

It will remain a major hurricane over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday.

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