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Major Hurricane Ian is heading toward the Gulf, and watches are up in the Florida panhandle


Hurricane Ian continues to intensify. It's now a strong category 3 storm as it moves over the western tip of Cuba.

"As its center pushes into the southeastern Gulf, the storm will likely continue strengthening, and is forecast to gain category 4 strength with winds at or over 130 miles an hour," says Florida Public Radio Meteorologist Megan Borowski. "It should parallel the peninsula today and tomorrow before jogging to the right and making landfall on Thursday."

While the models continue to fluctuate, the latest trend is a rightward track. "The entire Gulf Coast of Florida needs to remain prepared and vigilant as landfall is still possible from the Lee Island Coast to the Big Bend," Borowski says.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the coastal Big bend, including Apalachee Bay. Tropical storm conditions could arrive Wednesday along with the threat of tornadoes.

Megan Borowski
Gina Jordan is the host of Morning Edition for WFSU News. Gina is a Tallahassee native and graduate of Florida State University. She spent 15 years working in news/talk and country radio in Orlando before becoming a reporter and All Things Considered host for WFSU in 2008. Follow Gina: @hearyourthought on Twitter. Click below for Gina's full bio.