INDIANAPOLIS – Our weather remains quiet and fall-like here in Central Indiana as a breezy northwest wind continues to bring cool weather. While our weather remains quiet however, a major hurricane landfall is possible within the next 24 hours on the west coast of Florida.

Coolest weather of the season in Indiana

Portions of Central & Southern Indiana woke up to temperatures in the 30s this morning! Our coolest reading was a low of 36 degrees in both Richmond & Owensburg. Indianapolis fell to 42 degrees, which was the city’s coldest reading since last April!

Indianapolis only made it to 65 degrees this Tuesday and there’s a good chance Wednesday could be even cooler. The day will begin with lows in the same general range with a milder start farther north due to cloud cover. There may even be a few sprinkles north of Hamilton County. The day will then get going with a little more sun than clouds throughout. Highs will have a tough time surpassing low 60s once more with a steady northwest wind throughout the day once again.

Our coolest morning may come on Thursday will widespread lows in the upper 30s & low 40s. Indianapolis certainly has a chance to reach the 30s, but it appears most likely the city will miss by a couple degrees. Wind will be light and the sky will be clear, which should allow highs to climb back into the mid & upper 60s at least. We’ll continue to slowly warm as we head into the late week as well.

Hurricane Ian bears down on Florida

While our weather remains quiet, all eyes are on Florida as Hurricane Ian bears down as a powerful category three storm.

The center of the storm has emerged in the Gulf of Mexico where warm waters will fuel strengthening tonight. Currently the storm is rated as a category 3 storm with 120 mph winds, winds are expected to increase to at least 130 late tonight making this a category four storm. This will potentially be the fifth category 4 or stronger storm to hit Florida in the past 50 years but remarkably the third since 2017. (Michael and Irma previously).

As Hurricane Ian looms, residents are heeding warnings and evacuating inland. Northbound traffic here along I-75 late Tuesday shows heavy traffic. The storm is 230 miles south of Sarasota, FL with 120 mph winds. Outer bands are already lashing south Florida with rain and potential tornadoes. Imagine some of our worst severe thunderstorm winds here, often reaching 60-70 mph, but lasting for hours. That’s what they are bracing for in Florida. Except much stronger winds for a extended time.

The storm’s wind field is massive delivering potentially 16 consecutive hours of hurricane force winds. The snap shot below is from our GRAF model, predicting wind gusts topping 111 mph Ft Myers Beach Wednesday afternoon.

The latest forecast from the The National Hurricane Center takes the storm north, northeast, reaching category four status before landfall near Ft. Myers Wednesday afternoon or evening.

Along with predicted rainfall perhaps nearing two feet, storm surge flooding could be immense from Marco Island north through Ft Myers up to Port Charlotte. Areas of orange and red on the map below are a predicted storm surge of 6 feet or more. We will be monitoring this storm and watch for any updates later tonight.