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PANAMA CITY, Fla. WEATHER (WMBB) — A new forecast cone was issued by the National Hurricane Center Sunday evening.
The new track stays generally consistent with the last update at 5 PM, but there have been slight changes. The models have continued with a slight eastward shift that brings higher confidence to the Panhandle’s forecast, that we will probably see the center of the storm stay east of the region.
Unchanged, however, is the wide area of the uncertainty of the cone after Wednesday evening. There is still little confidence as to a landfall location for Ian.
However, this does not mean that there will be no supplemental impacts here in the Panhandle.
Current projections show a steep gradient between areas on the west side of the Panhandle and the east. Areas west, are expected to see little possibility of a tropical storm force wind, while areas on the east end (Gulf Co., Franklin Co., and Liberty Co.) have just under a 50% chance at this time.
This will also mean eastern areas will be susceptible to other impacts, like rain and potential storm surge.
The American Model, the GFS, projects areas east of the Apalachicola River will see a greater potential for rainfall. If the track of the storm continues to shift east in the coming days, the majority of the Panhandle could see little to no rainfall.
As for impacts on the state. At this time, the gained confidence in the short-term forecast track will likely mean significant storm surge and soaking rain for the west coast of Florida this week. The southwestern end of the Peninsula will begin to notice the effects of what will be Hurricane Ian late Tuesday and Wednesday.