NOTICE! Please click here for updated information on Ian’s impacts and timing along the South Carolina coast. This story is no longer being updated.

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Hurricane Ian strengthened to a Category 4 storm on Wednesday as it nears the western Florida coast. After making landfall near the Fort Myers area.

The storm is on track to move across the Florida peninsula through Thursday before moving back out over the Atlantic Ocean. Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center (NHC) say the storm could make another landfall somewhere near the Savannah, Georgia area on Friday, likely as a tropical storm.

IMPACTS

Despite the shift in Ian’s forecast track, the impacts remain mostly the same for Thursday through early Saturday. Heavy rain, flooding, gusty winds, and a risk of tornadoes and waterspouts.

Peak wind gusts are expected to be between 40-50 mph for inland communities, and 60-70 mph for areas along the coastline Thursday night into Saturday morning.

TIMING

Much of the Lowcountry could begin feeling impacts from Hurricane Ian by the evening on Thursday through early Saturday.

Storms Team 2 Meteorologist Josh Marthers said showers will begin setting up along the coast by sunset Thursday, increasing through the night as the center of Ian passes by Jacksonville, Florida, and closer to Georgia and South Carolina.

Heavy rain and rising tides will pose a threat Friday evening. “My concern for Friday is that there is a risk of significant flooding, particularly along the coast,” said Marthers.

EXPECTED RAIN TOTALS

Expected rain amount 4-6” of rain Thursday through Saturday “Most of this is going to start up late in the day Thursday, especially Thursday night into Friday,” said Marthers.

Marthers said there will be a section along the coast that could see 6-10” of rain, but most people will see 4-8” of rain.

STORM SURGE

Marthers said underneath the anticipated heavy rainfall will be rising tides. The National Weather Service has issued a Storm Surge Watch for the Charleston Metro, specifically Charleston County, late Thursday through early Saturday due to the risk of significant flooding.

“Thursday morning’s high tide is expected to produce major coastal flooding along the South Carolina coast, even without heavy rain,” said Marthers. “Significant flooding is expected with Friday’s midday high tide as heavy rain falls.”

WATCHES AND WARNINGS (See active alerts)

A Hurricane Watch is in place for Charleston, coastal Colleton, and Berkeley Counties.

A Tropical Storm Warning is active for Georgetown County.

A Tropical Storm Watch is active for Dorchester, inland Colleton County.

A Storm Surge Warning is in place for Charleston and coastal Colleton counties.

BOTTOM LINE | THREATS AND TIMING

Flooding rain: Thursday night through Friday evening

Significant coastal flooding: Thursday and Friday

High wind: Friday, especially along the coast

Tornadoes and waterspouts: Friday

Download the Storm Team 2 Hurricane Ready Guide for tips and important information you may need. You can also download the News 2 and Storm Team 2 apps for the latest weather and breaking news alerts.

TRACKING IAN | See the latest news and important information | Click here