Hurricane Ian will bring heavy rain and storm surge to the Carolinas and Georgia coasts
- Ian’s center is now off the northeast coast of Florida after combing the state.
- Torrential rains, coastal flooding and high winds remain threats as it heads into the Carolinas.
- This threat of heavy rain will extend from northeast Florida to Virginia and Appalachia.
Ian is a hurricane again the day after making landfall as one of the most intense hurricanes on record in southwest Florida. Ian is expected to bring life-threatening flooding, storm surges and high winds from northeast Florida to the Carolinas.
A hurricane warning was issued for much of the coastal Carolinas ahead of Friday’s final landfall there.
(AFTER: Latest updates)
Ian is a hurricane again after the center of the system emerged off the space coast of Florida on Thursday after hitting the peninsula on Wednesday.
Winds will begin to increase in the coastal Carolinas early Friday.
Here is an overview of the latest radars and gusts of wind:
Current watches, warnings
A hurricane warning has been issued for areas along and near the South Carolina coast, including Hilton Head Island, Charleston and Myrtle Beach, and for part of the North Carolina coast eastward. north to Cape Fear. That means hurricane conditions are expected in the area by Friday morning before Ian lands.
A storm surge warning remains in effect along the Atlantic Coast from the Flagler-Volusia County line in northeast Florida north to Cape Fear, North Carolina, including the St. Johns River in Florida and also the Lower Neuse River in North Carolina. This means that life-threatening flooding from rising waters moving inland from the coastline is expected.
Tropical storm warnings continue on Florida’s First Coast and extend north into eastern Georgia, much of South Carolina and much of central and eastern Florida. North Carolina, as shown in the map below.
Forecast path, intensity
Ian’s center will track north over the Atlantic Ocean, then turn northwest toward a final landfall along the South Carolina coast on Friday.
Hurricane Ian may strengthen slightly before making landfall.
The map below shows possible storm peak flooding, if it occurs at the time of high tide, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Storm surge is expected to bring flooding to the Atlantic side of northeast Florida and the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina and southern North Carolina starting Thursday. Given northeasterly wind direction, as may occur, the St. Johns River in northeast Florida may recede and flood.
Due to persistent onshore winds even as Ian’s center moves away, coastal flooding may last for some time beyond peak storm surge through Friday or even early Saturday along the areas shown here. below along the southeast Atlantic coast.
Power outages and downed trees are likely in areas with hurricane and tropical storm warnings, from Florida to the Carolinas.
The map below shows where sustained tropical storm-force winds are underway since the last advisory from the National Hurricane Center.
Precipitation, river floods
Heavy rain is another dangerous threat to the Florida peninsula in parts of the southeast throughout the weekend.
Here is the latest rainfall forecast from the National Hurricane Center.
– Coastal Georgia: 1 to 2 inches.
-Northeastern South Carolina: 4 to 8 inches, locally up to 12 inches.
– Northern and central South Carolina, North Carolina and Southern Virginia: 3 to 6 inches, locally up to 8 inches.
In addition to the previously mentioned record high river floods, major river floods are also occurring on the Manatee River east of Bradenton and record flooding is possible along the Myakka River northeast of Venice, Florida.
Additional heavy local rains and flash flooding are possible this weekend as Ian or his remnant pivots through southern Appalachia and mid-Atlantic states, especially in mountainous terrain.
A few tornadoes are possible late Friday in eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia.
History and statistics of Hurricane Ian
Ian’s debut came from a tropical wave in the Atlantic battling dry air and wind shear caused by Hurricane Fiona.
Eventually it became a major hurricane near the west Cuba before bringing its extreme winds and storm surges to Florida.
Ian’s American Landings
Ian’s eye made its first landing near Cayo Costa around 3:05 p.m. EDT. Maximum sustained winds were estimated at nearly 150 mph, making it a strong Category 4.
This is the exact same point where Hurricane Charley made landfall in 2004 as a Category 4. Both hurricanes had winds of 150 mph upon landfall.
Hurricane Ian made its second landfall at 4:35 p.m. in Pirate Harbor, or just south of Punta Gorda, with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph.
This landfall tied for the 4th strongest landfall by wind speed for a hurricane in Florida, According to Phil Klotzbachtropical scientist at Colorado State University.
The rear of Ian’s Wrath continued to produce additional surges and wind damage in Southwest Florida for hours after touchdown.
Winds blew 40 to 80 mph in Key West on Tuesday through early Wednesday, where Ian also produced the third highest storm surge in over 100 years.
The highest wind gust was 140 mph in Cape Coral, Florida. The highest sustained winds reported were 115 mph at a private weather station near Port Charlotte, Florida. This station also recorded a wind gust of 132 mph.
Winds blew over 100 mph in Punta Gorda, Florida for 30 minutes at 4 p.m. on September 28 and continued to report wind gusts over 100 mph into the evening.
Here are some of the most important bursts:
Additionally, winds reached 126 mph at Redfish Pass, 112 mph at Naples Grande Beach Resort and 107 mph near Sanibel Island.
Some gusts exceeded 70 mph in northeast Florida on Thursday, including Daytona Beach. Winds blew at 89 mph into an elevated tower at Kennedy Space Center. Gusts of over 50 mph were recorded in Gainesville and Jacksonville, and gusts of over 30 mph made their way along the Georgia and South Carolina coasts.
Storm surge inundated many cities in southwest Florida, including Naples, Florida, where more than 6 feet of storm surge flooding was measured, more than any other storm there since. at least 50 years old. The tide gauge has since broken there.
Water levels rise to the top of the first floor of Fort Myers Beach homes during the eye of Hurricane Ian. This tweet shows the view from the second floor of Fort Myers Beach:
In Fort Myers proper, however, the storm surge was over 7 feet at high tide this evening. Previously, the strongest storm surge was 3.36 feet MHHW during Hurricane Gabrielle in 2001.
Meanwhile, the winds are blowing offshore producing a rising tide in Tampa Bay. Water levels are about 8 feet below average near Tampa Harbor and many parts of Tampa Bay were dry for much of Wednesday.
The combination of storm surge and precipitation around high tide sent feet of water through St. Augustine on Thursday, with water entering homes, according to the National Weather Service. St. Augustine firefighters reported that water levels were higher in the city than during Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
Extreme rainfall triggered major flooding in parts of central Florida, causing a flash flood emergency for the north side of the Orlando metro area near the Little Wekiva River. Orlando shattered its 24-hour rainfall record, picking up 12.49 inches from 8 a.m. Wednesday to 8 a.m. Thursday, according to weather historian Christopher Burt. Up to 19 inches of rain has already fallen in parts of the state.
Here’s a look at some of the flood reports across Florida:
Heavy rains from Ian’s trail across Florida sent some rivers on the Florida peninsula to major and even record flood levels. Widespread flooding occurred on Thursday September 29 in the greater Orlando metropolitan area.
The Peace River reached a record crest beginning in 1933 at Zolfo Springs, about 60 miles north of Ft. Myers. Record flooding was also recorded in the Little Wekiva River near Altamonte Springs on the north side of Orlando, Shingle Creek in Campbell, and Horse Creek near Arcadia, Florida.
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