PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB-TV) – We’re closely monitoring Hurricane Ian as it makes its approach towards western Cuba where it will likely make landfall as a major hurricane Tuesday morning. Then, it will shift north and eye Florida. Northwest Florida remains in the NHC forecast cone of concern, so we will be fine-tuning the forecast over the next several days depending on its path and potential impacts to our area.

The extent of the forecast cone on days 3 and 4 (Wed/Thurs) has shrunk slightly and continues with an eastward trend.

Weather authorities will be able to pinpoint the center of the storm more accurately as it becomes a well-defined hurricane over the next 24 hrs. This will, in turn, increase forecast confidence in the coming days. By Tuesday morning, a much more reliable forecast will be issued.

The Panhandle’s forecast this week is still heavily dependent on what Hurricane Ian does. If we are to see impacts, the more likely solution is that the eastern areas, Franklin Co., Liberty Co., and Gulf Co., would see the brunt of potential impacts such as tropical storm force winds and soaking rain.

Despite what Hurricane Ian does Wednesday through Friday, calmer conditions are likely to return to the Panhandle throughout the weekend.

For more details about the tropical system, we encourage you to check the homepage of mypanhandle.com where we will be sharing updates every few hours with each release from the National Hurricane Center.