Where is Hurricane Ian? Storm path, Florida damage, map tracker, death toll explained - will it reach the UK

Florida’s Gulf Coast has been left devastated after Hurricane Ian battered the area, leaving houses detroyed and an unspecified amount of deaths

US President Joe Biden has warned that there may be “significant loss of life” after Hurricane Ian landed in Florida.

Ian blasted ashore with catastrophic force on Wednesday afternoon (28 September) as a Category 4 hurricane, packing maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour (241 kph), and quickly plunged the region's flat, low-lying landscape into a scene of devastation.

Vehicles float in the water after Hurricane Ian (Getty Images)

Hours after weakening to a tropical storm while crossing the Florida peninsula, Ian regained hurricane strength Thursday evening (29 September) over the Atlantic. The National Hurricane Center predicted it would hit South Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane Friday, with winds picking up to 80 mph (129 kph) near midnight Thursday.

The devastation inflicted on Florida came into focus a day after Ian struck, one of the strongest storms ever to hit the US. It flooded homes on both the state’s coasts, cut off the only road access to a barrier island, destroyed a historic waterfront pier and knocked out electricity to 2.67 million Florida homes and businesses — nearly a quarter of utility customers.

What is the current death toll of Hurricane Ian?

Four people were confirmed dead in Florida. They included two residents of Sanibel Island along Florida’s west coast, Sanibel city manager Dana Souza said late Thursday (29 September). Three other people were reported killed in Cuba after the hurricane struck there on Tuesday.

When did Hurricane Ian hit Florida?

The hurricane first gathered on 19 September. The National Hurricane Centre first detected a tropical wave heading towards the Windward Islands in the West Indies.

Waning Hurricane Ian creeps across Florida after battering Gulf Coast (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

As it picked up momentum, the hurricane hit Cuba on 27 September at around 8.30am local time. The country was battered by winds of up to 125mph.

Forecasters predicted that Hurricane Ian would cause storm surges, flash floods and mudslides in southern Florida. The hurricane first made landfall in the south-west of the state at around 8pm on Wednesday 28 September.

How long will Hurricane Ian last?

Touching down in Florida on Wednesday, the state is expected to experience storm conditions until Friday 30 September.

Where in Florida was hit by Hurricane Ian?

Hurricane Ian touched down in Florida’s Gulf Coast. As a result, cities on the western coast were affected.

This includes Tampa, with storm weather also hitting Orlando. However, governor Ron DeSantis had placed the entire state into a state of emergency and placed 5,000 members of the national guard on standby to deal with any major incidents.

Sail boats lie on the bottom of Charlotte Harbor during a tide retreat as the eye of Hurricane Ian passes by (Photo by RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP via Getty Images)

Mr DeSantis warned that the region could be about to experience a “major disaster” as a result of the weather but urged residents to remain calm. US President Joe Biden has also advised Florida residents to follow evacuation instructions if authorities put them in place.

Will Hurricane Ian reach the UK?

The fallout from Hurricane Ian will be felt on Friday (30 September) as it sweeps an 'area of low pressure' across the UK, bringing wetter and windier weather with it. there will be some sunny spells with scattered showers before the jet stream, strengthened by the warm tropical air pushed northwards by Hurricane Ian, sweeps an area of low pressure across the UK on Friday.

Deputy Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, Chris Almond, said; “This will bring a much wetter and windier spell than we’ve seen so far this autumn, but nothing that is unusual for the time of year.

“The fast-moving system will bring strong gale force winds, locally in excess of 60mph, and heavy rain into the northwest before pushing quickly southeast through the day. We could see some minor impacts, such as surface water flooding or minor wind damage, as well as some short-lived impacts on ferry crossings, especially in exposed areas of western Scotland and eastern areas of Northern Ireland. Later in the day, parts of southeast England could experience winds of around 55mph, which may impact the English Channel too.”

Rain or showers will continue in the south on Saturday (1 October), sunny spells, and heavy, blustery showers elsewhere. Sunday (2 October) is looking a little more settled before further unsettled conditions arrive in the northwest from Monday (3 October) onwards.