Currently in the Atlantic - Hurricane Ian - September 29th, 2022

by Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz

Ian landfall 150 mph Cat 4

Florida is a big state. But rain from Ian extends from Jacksonville to Key West. Ian is a big hurricane-much bigger than Charley in 2004. It was exactly the same intensity and made landfall in exactly the same place, but Ian will end up doing MUCH more damage. In fact, damage should be in the tens of billions!

See how much bigger Ian's eyewall was!
SIX Category 4-5 hurricanes since 2017!

Just because Ian has made landfall, the story is far from over. Torrential rain and hurricane force gusts continue over a large area, which will spread toward the northeast part of Florida. Look at the expected rainfall:

Flooding rains Central and Northeast Florida, then....

That's 20"+ in some areas! Heavy bands of rain can set up and dump tremendous amounts of tropical rainfall, mainly on the western side of the track (the highest storm surges are on the east side).

Then the question is: does Ian track back over warm water off of the northeast Florida coast and re-intensify? That is still unclear, but the models that have done best with the track so far do suggest a second landfall, most likely in South Carolina. Below are the European ensembles:

Most Euro ensemble members re-intensify - 2nd landfall

Winds and seas are already increasing along the coast from the Daytona Beach area up through North Carolina. Onshore winds will keep increasing over the next 2-3 days, with storm surge flooding likely. Here is the surge forecast from NHC:

Storm surge flooding coming over FOUR states!

Ian won't even be done with the U.S. by the end of the weekend. Hurricanes, especially as we head to October, tend to accelerate after landfall in the U.S. Some can start moving at 40+ mph. But not this time. Below is the predicted weather map by SUNDAY, OCT. 2:

Forecast for SUNDAY-still in the Southeast!

And with slow movement comes even more rain. The combination of Ian + a stalled front just north of it + a big area of HIGH pressure over Eastern Canada means LOTS of rain over LOTS of states. Here is the predicted rainfall map over the next 5 days:

More than 3" of rain over parts of 8 states!

Parts of at least FIVE states are predicted to get at least FIVE inches of rain. That means flooding from Ian over the next week over a huge area.

Hurricane season 2022 started off slowly, but Ian by itself will make this year another historically destructive one in the Atlantic basin, no matter what happens during the rest of the season.

Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz