Disney World and much of the Gulf Coast of the U.S. are busy preparing for the potential impacts of a major weather event.
Tropical Storm Ian has officially been upgraded into a hurricane and is only expected to strengthen in the coming days as it passes over Grand Cayman and Cuba. We’ve been tracking this tropical system for a while and are back to bring you the latest updates and what you need to know about how the storm might impact your Disney World visit.
Tropical Storm Ian was upgraded into a hurricane on Monday morning as its winds reached maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the National Hurricane Center reported Hurricane Ian’s center about 90 miles west-southwest of Grand Cayman as of 8AM EST.
A hurricane watch is in place from Englewood north to the Anclote River, also impacting all of the Tampa Bay Area, and as of this morning, the storm was moving northwest at 14 miles per hour.
Additionally, a storm surge watch has been issued for the Florida Keys from the Card Sound Bridge to Key West, the Dry Tortugas, Florida Bay, as well as the Anclote River South to the Card Sound Bridge and Tampa Bay.
The current forecasts expect Hurricane Ian to make landfall just north of Tampa Bay early Friday as a Category 1, but could stall off the coast of Tampa as a Category 3 hurricane on Thursday.
NHC forecasters did state that, “It should again be stressed that there is still significant uncertainty in the track of Ian, especially in the 3-5 day time frame, and users should not focus on the details of the track forecast at longer time ranges.”
Computer models are still uncertain exactly where Ian will go or make landfall, but most show the storm hitting just north of Tampa Bay or moving farther north to the Florida panhandle.
New models holding firm With split camps of into #TampaBay or north into Florida’s big bend region. Models clearly show 48-60 hrs of intensification with peak Wednesday am. Then sheer quickly weakens as Ian approaches landfall. @HurricaneModels pic.twitter.com/XJgc3k4UF6
— Bill Karins (@BillKarins) September 26, 2022
According to WESH, Central Florida school districts have already started to close in preparation for the storm.
If you’re in the path of Hurricane Ian, pay attention to local weather channels for the most accurate information as well as the potential for more hurricane watch and storm surge watches issued. We’re also keeping up to date with the latest updates — so you can follow along here as well as we continue to share the newest information.
UPDATE: On Tuesday, September 27th, Hurricane Ian strengthened to a Category 3 storm. Several parts of Florida are under Hurricane Watch including Disney World.
— Eric Burris (@EricBurrisWESH) September 27, 2022
UPDATE: As of September 28th, Hurricane Ian is a Category 4 storm, and hurricane watches are in effect for Osceola and Orange counties (where Disney World is located). Disney World parks will be closed on September 28th and 29th. Disney Springs will be closed on September 28th, with many stores likely remaining closed through September 29th.
To get ready for hurricane season, you can check out how you can prepare for hurricane season in Disney World here. Plus, these are the 5 must-haves for hurricane season in Disney World, and you can also read about past hurricanes that have hit the parks here.
Be sure to stay tuned to AllEars for the latest Hurricane Ian and Disney World updates.
How are you preparing for Hurricane Ian? Let us know in the comments!