Hurricane Ian devastates Florida’s Gulf Coast
Hurricane Ian devastated Florida’s Gulf Coast
Hurricane Ian made landfall near Cayo Costa, Florida, at 3:05 p.m. ET (19 UTC) on Wednesday, September 28, 2022. It was an intense Category 4 storm with howling winds of up to 155 miles per hour (249 km/h). A devastating storm surge – up to 18 feet (5 m) in depth – hit Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda, Florida. People reported widespread power outages, which could last for weeks in the worst-hit areas. The death toll is still being counted.
After going onshore, Ian became a tropical storm, pounding central and eastern Florida with rain. It then emerged over the Atlantic Ocean and once again strengthened to hurricane force. Ian will hit South Carolina midday on Friday.
Ian is “unofficially” the 5th-strongest storm ever to make landfall in the U.S.
Millions of #Florida residents are without power in the wake of Hurricane #Ian as evident from nighttime imagery from #NOAA20. Some clouds blur remaining lights in the 9/29 image (l) but it's a significant difference compared to 4 nights ago (r). https://t.co/yCNKCKyryx #FLwx pic.twitter.com/H4PH08EAf9
— UW-Madison CIMSS (@UWCIMSS) September 29, 2022
Ian’s impact on Florida’s West Coast
Ian left much of the area around Fort Myers Beach in ruins. It took out the causeway leading to the islands of Sanibel and Captiva, cutting them off from the mainland.
— Bryan Bennett (@weatherbryan) September 29, 2022
— Moshe Schwartz (@YWNReporter) September 28, 2022
The Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel found himself in the eyewall of the hurricane.
— Mike Seidel (@mikeseidel) September 28, 2022
*RARE* first person view of storm surge. This camera is 6 feet off the ground on Estero Blvd in Fort Myers Beach, FL. Not sure how much longer it keeps working. You’ll see it live only on ?@weatherchannel? #Ian pic.twitter.com/WwHtvgVxjY
— Mike Bettes (@mikebettes) September 28, 2022
The EarthCam live stream out of Englewood, FL 2 minutes before the camera went dead.
This video is from inside the eyewall of #HurricanIan as it moved onshore.
— Pat Cavlin (@pcavlin) September 28, 2022
Ian’s storm surge in Florida
Storm surge rushed into Charlotte Harbor and the Fort Meyers area as Ian’s eyewall raked the region. Incredibly, water came up out of the bays and inlets as high as 18 feet above normal sea level.
— Kaitlin Wright (@wxkaitlin) September 28, 2022
I can’t overstate how serious the storm surge threat is in southwest Florida. #Ian will drive deadly surge into Cape Coral and Fort Myers, placing much of the area under water. If you live near the ocean in a surge zone, this is your last chance to leave… pic.twitter.com/FefKkoltd3
— Evan Fisher (@EFisherWX) September 28, 2022
NEW at 10:00am: The peak storm surge forecast from Englewood to Bonita Beach and Charlotte Harbor has increase to **12-18 feet**. Hurricane-force winds are approaching Sanibel Island. #Florida #FLwx #Ian #HurricaneIan #hurricane pic.twitter.com/OzfTT5GLPD
— Beth Carpenter | TDS Weather (@B_Carp01) September 28, 2022
— Ben Ames (@BenAmesWx) September 28, 2022
Hurricane Ian hits South Carolina and the East Coast
Hurricane Ian came ashore in South Carolina between Charleston and Myrtle Beach. Storm surge warnings are in place along the coast, and residents are already feeling the damaging winds.
— Peter Forister ????? (@forecaster25) September 30, 2022
— Ed Piotrowski (@EdPiotrowski) September 30, 2022
Ian was Category 4 storm
A category five hurricane has winds of 157 mph or higher. Ian was, notably, only two mph away from becoming a category five hurricane. In this case, Ian intensified as it moved over a large fuel source, the warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico.
Hurricane Ian moved over a large fuel source on Sept. 27: warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico. https://t.co/b9oMCMKbrb
This map shows sea surface temps, above 27.8° C (82.04° F) in red. Water this warm can sustain and intensify hurricanes as thermal energy moves from sea to sky. pic.twitter.com/kU2EDRuX7F
— NASA Earth (@NASAEarth) September 28, 2022
The waters that Ian crossed before making landfall in SW Florida were experiencing a marine heatwave.
Sea temperatures were 1.5-2.0?C warmer than average for the time of year.
It's important to investigate the role this played in the storm's intensification prior to landfall. pic.twitter.com/4SP0AyS1nl
— Ben Noll (@BenNollWeather) September 29, 2022
Since 2017 hurricanes have been relentless. We've had five cat 4s and one cat 5 impact the Gulf Coast. That's six catastrophic hurricanes in 6 seasons…before 2017 it took 45 years for the US to be impacted by six Cat 4/5 hurricanes. I know everyone is so tired. #BeOn4 pic.twitter.com/A87TS7uN6o
— Payton Malone WWL-TV (@paytonmalonewx) September 29, 2022
Hurricane Ian is a historic storm
Ian is unofficially ranked as the 5th-strongest storm ever to make landfall in the United States. Formerly, only four storms have made landfall with winds greater than 155 mph. These include Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the great Labor Day storm of 1935.
Labor Day (1935): 185 mph
Camille (1969): 175 mph
Andrew (1992): 165 mph
Michael (2018): 160 mph pic.twitter.com/Z7YGc83Fvo
— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) September 28, 2022
— Nikhil Trivedi (@DCAreaWx) September 28, 2022
Bottom line: Hurricane Ian made landfall near Fort Myers, Florida, on the afternoon of September 28, 2022. A horrific storm surge swept many homes away and the death toll is still be counted.