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Hurricane Ian Strikes

Category four storm makes landfall in Florida … right where the last category four storm hit the state eighteen years ago.

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The 2022 hurricane season in the Atlantic basin has been nothing near what it was cracked up to be. With a little over a month to go before the end of the season, so far we have seen only ten total depressions – just two of which have developed into major hurricanes.

That’s well below the level of activity seen in recent years in the Atlantic – especially in 2020, which was the most active tropical season since records have been kept. In fact, this was the first year since 1997 in which there was absolutely no tropical cyclone formation during the month of August.

How quiet has this season been? Take a look for yourself (once again, courtesy of our amazing research director Jenn Wood) …

Don’t tell residents of Florida’s gulf coast it has been a slow year, though.

As this report went to press, a category four monster by the name of Hurricane Ian was barreling ashore near Cayo Costa, Florida – packing maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour. Ian landed almost exactly where Hurricane Charley made landfall on August 13, 2004 – becoming the first category four storm to strike Florida since Charley struck the gulf coast eighteen years ago.

Nine days after forming as a tropical wave east of the Winward Islands, Ian reached peak intensity just prior to landfall – with its maximum sustained winds reaching as high as 155 miles per hour at one point.

Here are some views of the damage it is doing as it moves inland …

After cutting across the heart of Florida Thursday afternoon and evening, Ian is projected to move over the Atlantic Ocean and make a second U.S. landfall near the border of Georgia and South Carolina sometime Friday.

Ian could potentially regain hurricane strength by the time it makes its second landfall, forecasters say.

South Carolina has seen 24 hurricane landfalls since 1893 – the most recent being Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and the most infamous being Hurricane Hugo in 1989 (the state’s last direct hit from a major system). The Palmetto State was nearly hit in 2020 by Hurricane Isaias (or, as governor Henry McMaster called it, Hurricane “Icy Isis”).

Other recent close calls included Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and Hurricane Irene in 2011.

Readers interested in learning more about the Palmetto State’s hurricane history should check out this nifty new report (.pdf) from the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).

More practically, the S.C. Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) has important preparedness information available on its new Hurricane.SC homepage.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Via: FITSNews)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has many hats – including that St. Louis Cardinals’ lid (with matching Stan Musial jersey) pictured above.

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