RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As of Saturday, Sept. 24 Tropical storm Ian, now Hurricane Ian, had 50-mile-per-hour winds, and was expected to rapidly intensify into a major hurricane in the coming days.

Friday through Sunday is the time period to watch for us in Virginia. Right now, models are pointing to the remnants of now Hurricane Ian to arrive here in Virginia — spreading rain to the area from South to North throughout the day on Friday, keeping scattered rain around on Saturday, and lingering rain eventually ending sometime Sunday.

The storm as of Saturday morning was situated southwest of Jamaica, in the water between the island and Central America. As it moved northwest, it was expected to become a hurricane at some point overnight or early Sunday morning. The storm was expected to continue its northward journey and become a category 2, then a category 3 hurricane just before making landfall over western Cuba on Tuesday.

After crossing Cuba and entering the Gulf of Mexico, it was expected to intensify into a category 4 (>130mph winds) hurricane by Tuesday afternoon as it encountered the extremely warm Gulf waters.

From there it would likely weaken a bit, and eventually looked to make landfall in the Florida panhandle near Tallahassee as a category 1 storm Thursday night/very early Friday.

From there, it would likely move northward up the coast and eventually bring Virginia rain.

All of this—timing of arrival and rainfall amounts, depends on the track that the storm takes. Models are still all over the map in both the intensity of the storm as it makes landfall somewhere in Florida as a hurricane, and the track it takes afterward.

The GFS model has arrival in Florida’s western Panhandle (between Pensacola and Panama City) late Thursday/early Friday morning, then takes a NE path up the coast, where it brings us rain into the weekend.

The European is vastly different. It projects the hurricane arriving late Wednesday night in Tampa. It then moves briefly NE, then takes a sharp turn to the NW, bringing the storm to Kentucky and Tennessee by Saturday evening (outer rain bands to Virginia), then to the Southern Great Lakes late on Saturday, then rides the US/Canadian border from Lake Erie up to the NE.

Once the hurricane-specific models get into range (they only go out a few days, and we are too far out now), we will have more information to go on. Stay tuned…