RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Ian is now a major category 3 hurricane as it moves away from western Cuba.

As of Tuesday afternoon, highest winds are 115 mph. The storm is moving north at 10 mph and is expected to strengthen before making landfall early Thursday most probably somewhere near Tampa, Florida.

THE LATEST: Major Hurricane Ian moving toward southwest Florida

Hurricane Ian could become a category 4 hurricane once it enters into very warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Over a foot of rain is possible across Florida, along with a storm surge of up to 10 feet.

Hurricane Ian is expected to weaken to a tropical storm on Friday and move up into east Georgia. Ian is expected to slow down as it moves toward upstate South Carolina on Saturday.

THE LATEST: Major Hurricane Ian moving toward southwest Florida

It is forecast to be a tropical depression on Sunday in the North Carolina mountains with highest winds all the way down to 30 mph on Sunday.

North Carolina will likely have indirect impacts from Hurricane Ian in the form of heavy rain. Two to four inches of rain are possible Friday through Sunday. Winds will be gusts from 20-30 mph are possible Friday through Sunday, but not strong enough to cause damage or power outages.

We will continue to track this storm and keep you updated over the week ahead.