Tropical Storm Watch issued for coastal communities in Georgia, South Carolina

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 4:50 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2022 at 11:29 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The start of our week will be dry ahead of moisture from Hurricane Ian moving in during the middle and end of the week, impacting us as a tropical storm.

Ian made landfall over Western Cuba this morning and will continue to strengthen today and tomorrow.

We’ll start seeing the chance for rain to move into our southern communities Wednesday evening, mainly near the Golden Isles. Our wind will be sustained from the northeast at 15 to 25 miles per hour with coastal gusts near 30 miles per hour.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday are First Alert Weather Days:

A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Bryan, Chatham, Liberty, McIntosh, Effingham, Long and Wayne counties in Georgia. A Tropical Storm Watch has also been issued for Beaufort and Jasper counties in South Carolina.

On Thursday, rain pushes in from the south during the afternoon and evening, mainly along the coast. Our sustained wind from the northeast will be 20 to 25 miles per hour. Gusts around Savannah will be around 35 miles per hour and will likely be 40+ miles per hour right along the coast during the afternoon and evening. Inland areas look drier than the coast on Thursday during the day. Heavy rain looks to become more widespread overnight into Friday morning as these bands push inland. This timeframe will also be our best chance for seeing tornadoes along the warm front.

Friday looks to be our wettest and breeziest day. The wind will be from the northeast in the morning, becoming easterly during the afternoon. Wind gusts around Savannah will be in the 35-40 mile per hour range during the afternoon, slightly stronger along the coast.

Our strongest wind could come late Friday into early Saturday morning. We could see 40 to 55 mile per hour wind gusts from the south just after midnight through the pre-dawn hours of Saturday morning. The wind will subside throughout the day, with afternoon gusts still in the 20 to 30 mile per hour range.

Rainfall totals for Ian from Wednesday to Saturday look to be from 4 to 7 inches, lower for inland communities and higher along the coast. We will also be monitoring the high tide cycles closely, as heavy rain bands and an onshore breeze could combine and cause additional flooding. We are specifically watching The 11AM high tide at Fort Pulaski that is projected to reach Moderate Flood Stage.

Conditions begin to improve Saturday afternoon into Sunday with a few lingering showers around.

Preparing for Ian:

Even though Hurricane Ian will likely be a tropical storm by the time it gets to our region, there are still some things you can do to prepare for those impacts.

We don’t need to panic buy anything, but there are some things you can pick up in case we lose power, like food and water. Experts recommend a three to five day supply of drinking water and non-perishable food items.

Don’t forget the can opener to get into those canned foods! Also, might want to pick up some paper plates and plastic utensils so you don’t need to wash them and can help conserve water.

Get extra batteries to have on hand for flashlights and a battery powered radio to check for updates. Also, a good idea to have a portable charger ready to keep your phone charged.

It’s a good idea to start thinking about bringing in some of your items that could blow away outside and tie down some of the others. As everyone keeps a close eye on the timing of the wind and rain, make sure to download the free WTOC First Alert Weather App on your phone or tablet.