After passing over Cuba, Ian was forecast to strengthen further over warm Gulf of Mexico waters before reaching Florida as early as Wednesday as a Category storm with top winds of 140 mph (225 km/h).
This satellite image released by NASA shows Hurricane Ian growing stronger as it barreled toward Cuba. Ian was forecast to hit the western tip of Cuba as a major hurricane and then become an even stronger Category 4 with top winds of 140 mph (225 km/h) over warm Gulf of Mexico waters before striking Florida.
A resident of El Fanguito neighborhood carries a mattress in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Ian, in Havana, Cuba. Hurricane Ian is growing stronger as it approached the western tip of Cuba on a track to hit the west coast of Florida as a major hurricane as early as Wednesday.
Residents of the El Fanguito neighborhood move their belongings to a safe place as they prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Ian, in Havana, Cuba.
Workers remove a boat from the water in the bay of Havana, Cuba.
Waves kick up under a dark sky along the shore of Batabano, Cuba.
Jesus Rodrigues takes wood to his vehicle outside a Home Depot store in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Ian in Orlando, Florida.
Lisa Bromfield and Mike Sernett work to place a sheet of plywood on the front windows of a store in downtown Gulfport in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Ian in South Pasadena, Florida.
Bob Copeland, center, helps fill free sand bags for Wilbur Villamarin, left, and his son Fabian Villamarin at an Orange County park in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Ian in Orlando, Florida.
People wait in lines to fuel their vehicles at a Costco Wholesale store in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Ian in Orlando, Florida.
In this aerial image, the city of Tampa, Florida is seen. It's been more than a century since a major storm like Ian has struck the Tampa Bay area, which blossomed from a few hundred thousand people in 1921 to more than 3 million today.