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Hurricane Ian live tracker: Follow 140mph storm as it approaches Florida

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Hurricane Ian live tracker: Follow 140mph storm as it approaches Florida
Hurricane Ian live tracker: Follow 140mph storm as it approaches Florida
Hurricane Ian live tracker: Follow 140mph storm as it approaches Florida

Hurricane Ian
The powerful storm on course to hit Florida after decimating parts of Cuba (Picture: AP/Rex/Windy.com)

Millions have been told to evacuate as an ‘extremely dangerous’ storm closes in on Florida. 

Hurricane Ian is set to bring 140mph winds, torrential rainfall and potentially deadly storm surges to the US state later today.

The weather system is crawling over the Gulf of Mexico towards Florida’s west coast and is expected to make landfall mid-afternoon local time.

Forecasters upgraded it to a category four storm, the second highest level, which means ‘catastrophic damage’ is expected and areas will be rendered ‘uninhabitable’.

The hurricane has already laid waste to parts of Cuba overnight and left the entire island without power.

Florida is no stranger to extreme weather events but this could be the first time in a century a hurricane has hit the city of Tampa.

The wider area is home to more than 2.5 million people who have been warned to get out immediately. 

Satellite imagery from Windy below reveals where the frightening weather system is in real-time.

This Satellite image provided by NASA on Sept. 26, 2022, shows Hurricane Ian pictured from the International Space Station just south of Cuba gaining strength and heading toward Florida. Hurricane Ian rapidly intensified off Florida's southwest coast Wednesday, Sept. 28, gaining top winds of 155 mph (250 kph), just shy of the most dangerous Category 5 status. (NASA via AP)
Nasa satellites captured the scale of the hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico (Picture: AP)
This Satellite image provided by NASA on Sept. 26, 2022, shows Hurricane Ian pictured from the International Space Station just south of Cuba gaining strength and heading toward Florida. Hurricane Ian rapidly intensified off Florida's southwest coast Wednesday, Sept. 28, gaining top winds of 155 mph (250 kph), just shy of the most dangerous Category 5 status. (NASA via AP)
It is expected to cause unprecedented damage to a part of Florida which has been spared the brunt of a hurricane direct hit since 1921 (Picture: AP)
A dog is walked through floodwater as the tide rise, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Key West, Fla., as the first bands of rain associated with Hurricane Ian pass to the west of the island chain. Ian was forecast to strengthen even more over warm Gulf of Mexico waters, reaching top winds of 140 mph (225 kmh) as it approaches the Florida???s southwest coast. (Rob O'Neal/The Key West Citizen via AP)
The outer bands of the weather system have already caused flooding in the south of Florida (Picture: AP)
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 27: Rebecca Hale places shutters on her home as she prepares for the possible arrival of Hurricane Ian on September 27, 2022 in St Petersburg, Florida. Ian is expected in the Tampa Bay area Wednesday night into early Thursday morning. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
People have been told to evacuated and some have been seen boarding up their homes ahead of the full impact (Picture: Getty)

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami warned it will unleash pounding surf, life-threatening coastal flooding and more than a foot of rain in some areas.

It’s latest update said coastal conditions are ‘deteriorating rapidly’ and the hurricane is well within 100 miles of built-up areas on land.

Tropical storm-force winds have already started lashing the southern tip of the state and it is expected to hit land and travel north, gradually losing strength as it makes its way to Georgia. 

The NHC is predicting coastal flooding of up to 12 feet from wind-driven high surf along Florida’s west coast.

Kevin Guthrie, who is in charge of the state’s emergency response, said on Tuesday: ‘The time to evacuate is now. Get on the road.’

epaselect epa10210512 A car drives through debris on the street after the passage of Hurricane Ian, in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, 27 September 2022. Ian made landfall in western Cuba as a category 3 hurricane, causing considerable material damage with heavy rains and strong winds, before continuing northward toward Florida. EPA/Yander Zamora
The island was plunged into darkness when powerful winds uprooted electric infrastructure (Picture: EPA)
TOPSHOT - Tobacco company worker Caridad Alvarez stands in her house destroyed by Hurricane Ian, in San Juan y Martinez, Pinar del Rio Province, Cuba, on September 27, 2022. - Powerful Hurricane Ian left a trail of destruction after battering western Cuba on Tuesday, while Florida battened down in preparation for a dangerous direct hit as the strengthening storm churns north. (Photo by ADALBERTO ROQUE / AFP) (Photo by ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP via Getty Images)
Tobacco company worker Caridad Alvarez stands in her house destroyed by the hurricane in San Juan y Martinez, Cuba (Picture: AFP)

Governor Ron DeSantis told people: ‘You need to get to higher ground, you need to get to structures that are safe.’

He warned power outages are likely to leave millions of homes without power in the days ahead.

Shelves in shops across the area have been stripped bare as people look to stock up on essentials including water.

Deanne Criswell, who is in charge of overseeing natural emergencies nationally, said she worried that too few Florida residents were taking the threat seriously.

She warned: ‘I do have concerns about complacency. We’re talking about impacts in a part of Florida that hasn’t seen a major direct impact in nearly 100 years.’

If the hurricane continues on its current course and hits the Tampa area, data modelling firm Enki Research estimates it could cause damage ranging from $38 billion to more than $60 billion in cost.

Disneyland Florida has been shut down for two days while the American football team Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been relocated to Miami.

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