Hurricane Ian quickly gaining strength, expected to hit Tampa Bay on Wednesday

Ian is expected to approach the west coast of Florida on Wednesday into Thursday.

As of 8 p.m. Monday, Hurricane Ian is a Category 2 storm moving toward the north-northwest at 13 mph with maximum sustained winds  near 100 mph.

According to the National Hurricane Center, a turn toward the north with a slightly slower forward speed is expected on Tuesday. A turn toward the north-northeast with a further reduction in forward speed is forecast on Wednesday.

Ian is expected to approach the west coast of Florida on Wednesday into Thursday.

Rapid strengthening is expected during the next day or so, and Ian is forecast to become a major hurricane tonight or early Tuesday when it is near western Cuba, and remain a major hurricane over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday.

A hurricane warning is in effect for Englewood to the Anclote River, which includes Tampa Bay.

A storm surge warning is also in effect for Tampa Bay.

The storm surge for Tampa Bay is expected to be between 5 and 10 feet. The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the right of the center, where the surge will be accompanied by large waves.

Hurricane conditions are expected along the west coast of Florida on Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions possibly beginning by Tuesday night. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning area by Tuesday evening.

Hurricane conditions are possible in the watch area beginning Wednesday, and tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area on Wednesday into early Thursday.

Through Thursday, Ian is expected to produce 6 to 12 inches of rain in Central West Florida.