University of Florida officials continue monitoring Hurricane Ian. Here is what we know today:
Hurricane Ian is a dangerous Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds currently near 155 mph with higher gusts, according to the 11 a.m. Wednesday advisory from the National Hurricane Center. At noon, the storm’s eyewall was beginning to come ashore near Sanibel. Weakening is expected after landfall.
Computer models show the storm moving at a slower pace. As a result, tropical storm winds are expected to begin Wednesday night and early Thursday morning across Northeast and North Central Florida, which includes Alachua County.
As Wednesday progresses, rain chances will increase in North Central Florida. The weather will continue to deteriorate into tropical storm conditions Wednesday evening through Friday, according to forecasters at the National Weather Service office in Jacksonville. There is a concern for isolated tornadoes Wednesday evening through at least Thursday evening across parts of Northeast and North Central Florida.
Meanwhile, a hurricane warning has been extended southward from the Anclote River in Pasco County to Chokoloskee, which is south of Naples. The warning includes the Tampa Bay area. Hurricane-force winds are expected in the warning areas later today.
Additionally, the National Hurricane Center expects life-threatening storm surge “along the Florida west coast and the Lower Florida Keys where a storm surge warning is in effect, with the highest risk from Naples to the Sarasota region.”
UF units should continue to monitor forecasts and follow guidance from local officials.
The University of Florida campus is Gainesville will be closed Wednesday, Sept. 28 through Friday, Sept. 30. Only essential university personnel should report for work during that time.
The university expects to reopen and resume classes and normal campus operations on Saturday, Oct. 1.
We will continue to monitor and update the UF community as Hurricane Ian makes its way over the Florida peninsula. Regularly check https://www.ufl.edu/ for updates.