Currently in the Atlantic - September 29,2022

Special Update from Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz

Ian emerging into Atlantic

Ian has made its historic, catastrophic track across Florida. The devastation extends from Marco Island in far South Florida to near Sarasota-an area of about 100 miles wide! By comparison, the destruction with Charlie in 2004 (the same exact landfall intensity and location) was closer to 10 miles. The difference: Ian was much larger and moved much more slowly. The storm surge damage on the right side of the track was even bigger than the wind damage and rainfall flooding on the left side.

The rainfall has been extreme, as is expected with a large, slow-moving hurricane.

Radar rain estimate from Ian

A swath of more than 10 inches of accumulated rain stretched across the ENTIRE peninsula, with large areas of 20"+. And the area of 5"+ covered about half of that very large state.

Now what? As Ian emerges into the Atlantic, it will strengthen some over the warm water. The water isn't as warm as it was in the Gulf, and the warmth doesn't extend nearly as deep as in the Gulf. With a slow-moving storm, that will allow the churning up of water to cool the surface a bit, limiting the intensification potential. And then there's the wind shear:

High wind shear over Ian and in its path

Ian has moved well past the area with very low wind shear, which covers the southern half of the Gulf. Strong upper-air winds blowing across the entire storm are a big factor in limiting intensification. Still, Ian is not far from hurricane strength already, and it is now predicted to become a Category 1 hurricane as it makes a second U.S. landfall in South Carolina Friday afternoon. So, a hurricane warning has been issued for the entire coast of South Carolina. Then it continues its slow movement in the Southeast states:

Landfall in South Carolina, then slowly north

The computer models are in good agreement with a track over water, making landfall in South Carolina, and then curving a bit west of due north. That keeps Ian over the U.S. through the weekend. Then, several models track Ian (or the remnants of Ian) back into the Atlantic by Monday night.

This future adds up to a lot of rain and miserable weather from Georgia up to the mid-Atlantic states. The combination of Ian and a stalled front to the north and a large area of HIGH pressure centered in Canada will keep it wet and chilly over a large area. The map below is for SUNDAY.

Heavy rain over several days will cause flooding in states FAR away from where Ian is now. The map below shows rainfall forecasts by Tuesday morning.

Heavy rain over multiple states on the way

More than 3 inches is expected over parts of NINE states. And more 5 inches is predicted over parts of FIVE states by Tuesday.

So, we're a long way from being finished with Ian.

Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz     thehurricaneschwartz@gmail.com