Travel & RV Weather Forecast Tuesday 27 September (includes Hurricane Ian 5 p.m. ET update)

** Heads Up ** RVers in or traveling to Florida or coastal Georgia or South Carolina, TAKE ACTION regarding Category 3 Hurricane Ian, now in the Gulf of Mexico and re-strengthening. There will be significant impacts to infrastructure on parts of Florida’s Gulf Coast from the Big Bend region to Tampa Bay and south to Naples. Growing potential for major river flooding in northern and central Florida, including the St. Johns River and Jacksonville. Flooding and tropical storm force winds are likely along much of the east coast of Florida, coastal Georgia and coastal South Carolina south of Myrtle Beach. See details under the ‘Eastern’ heading of this forecast.

  • Excessive heat through Wednesday for parts of Southern California.
  • Lake effect rains along the Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York shorelines may produce flash flooding today and tonight.

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— Southeast OR; northeast CA and adjacent northwest NV: Strong winds Wednesday afternoon. Gusts 30-40 mph. US-395 impacted.

— Parts of southern CA: Excessive Heat Warnings through Wednesday. High temperatures 95-105 deg F. Hottest temperatures in the interior deserts, coolest near the coast. I-5, I-8, I-10, I-15, US-101 impacted.


— No significant weather impacts to RV travel today or Wednesday.


— No significant weather impacts to RV travel today or Wednesday.


— Northeast OH; northwest PA; western NY along the shores of Lakes Erie and Ontario: Flood watches through late tonight for excessive lake effect rainfall. Rainfall may reach up to 2 inches, especially downwind of Lake Ontario. I-79, I-90 potentially impacted.

— (based on 5 p.m. NHC Advisory) Hurricane Ian is a Category 3 storm, now in the Gulf of Mexico. The storm is 230 miles south of Sarasota Florida, moving to the north, and strengthening. Ian will likely became a Category 4 hurricane by tonight. Ian will make landfall near Ft. Myers Wednesday afternoon, then move to the northeast across the Florida Peninsula to near Daytona Beach by Thursday night. Ian may briefly emerge in the Atlantic off the northeast Florida coast as a tropical storm before turning back to the northwest and going inland over Georgia on Friday. This track is slightly south and east of this morning’s forecast. I think the track is about right now, and do not expect significant variations in this forecast for the next couple of days.

The National Hurricane Center has issued numerous Warnings and Watches for Florida, associated with Ian.  All of the Florida Peninsula, from Jacksonville clockwise to Panama City, is under a Tropical Storm or Hurricane Warning.  Hurricane Warnings are in effect from north of Tampa Bay southward to Everglades City.  A Storm Surge Warning is in effect on the west coast from Cedar Key to the Everglades.  There is also a Storm Surge Warning along the northeast FL coast, and along the St. Johns River.

	As Ian approaches the Florida Peninsula, there will also be the threat of (mostly) short-lived, quick spin-up tornadoes.  The tornado threat this evening and tonight will be over central and southern Florida, then move slowly northward up the Peninsula along with Ian.

	Expect Tropical Storm and Hurricane force winds to impact the coast from south to north.  Tropical storm force winds should reach the southwest tip of the Florida Peninsula by late this evening, Tampa Bay by Wednesday morning, and Jacksonville by  Thursday morning.  The greatest risk for sustained hurricane force winds is from Tampa Bay to Everglades City.  Destructive winds, at a force you would not want to experience in your RV, may be experienced from Cedar Key southward to the Everglades.   On the east coast, there is a significant chance of destructive wind from Port St. Lucie northwards to Savannah GA.

	As bad as the winds will be along the immediate coast, the impacts of storm surge and fresh water flooding will likely be more significant than destruction from the strong winds.

	The entire west coast of Florida south of Cedar Key will see a minimum of 3 feet of storm surge.  Expect storm surge of 8-12 feet from south of Tampa Bay to south of Ft Myers, including 8-12 feet of surge in Charlotte Bay.  Tampa Bay will likely see 4-6 feet of storm surge.  There is also 3-6 feet of storm surge expected on the northeast FL coast, southeast GA, and along the St. Johns River.  

	I am very concerned about fresh water flooding, especially over central and northern Florida.  Expect 6-10 or more inches of rain from Tampa Bay to Daytona Beach.  As this rain runs into the major rivers, the storm surge and on-shore winds will prevent the rivers from draining normally into the ocean.  There is a potential for major river flooding in Jacksonville and communities along the St. Johns river.  Move away from the rivers and find higher ground.  Coastal Georgia and southern coastal South Carolina may also be subject to flooding. 

	Expect infrastructure impacted by the hurricane, not only along the immediate coast, but also inland due to flooding, to be disrupted for days or even weeks.  If you have to travel to the Florida Peninsula this week, you will likely be required to evacuate on short notice.  If you are already RVing on the west coast of Florida south of the Big Bend region, or near any stream or river in central or northern Florida, have your rig and evacuation plan ready to go, and follow the directions of your local emergency management officials.  If you are on the east coast of Florida - move away from rivers or low lying areas that may flood from a combination of fresh water flooding and/or storm surge.

	Where to evacuate?  Most important, get away from the immediate coast or any estuaries that are impacted by storm surge.  Water kills in hurricanes.  Fresh water flooding will also be significant with Ian.  If you are in Tampa or south, think about evacuating to the Ft. Lauderdale / Miami area.  It’s counter-intuitive to go TO Miami to avoid a hurricane(!) … but the distance is shorter than driving up the Peninsula with a million of your new found friends.  Miami will also have several inches of rain falling, so make sure you are not in a low-lying area or location that floods easily.  Other options, if you choose to go north, would be almost anywhere in along the Florida Panhandle, or Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana.

Severe Weather and Tropical Watches and Warnings

— See for the latest WARNINGS and information on Tropical Storm Ian.

— See for the latest Tornado and Severe Thunderstorm WATCHES

— See for the latest Tornado, Severe Thunderstorm, and Flash Flood WARNINGS.

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