Final Report: National Hurricane Center Says "Ian" was a CAT 5 Briefly Before Florida Landfall

news image
Special Stories
3 Apr 2023 9:15 PM

Hurricane Ian made landfall in SW Florida on September 28, 2022 as a Category4 Hurricane. The final report from the National Hurricane Center released in early April found that Hurricane Ian was a Category 5 Hurricane (the highest category) when it was over the Gulf of Mexico. This is an upgrade from the initial storm reconnaissance and report during the storm, as post storm analysis showed the stronger wind speeds were achieved.

Shortly after entering the Gulf, an eyewall replacement cycle began. This structural change resulted in a larger radius of maximum winds (RMW), an expanded overall wind field, and surprisingly, a slight increase in intensity once the eyewall replacement cycle completed. At 0200 UTC 28 September, the eye of the 110-kt hurricane passed directly over the Dry Tortugas. Ian intensified further later than morning and reached its peak intensity of 140 kt (a category 5 hurricane) at 1200 UTC 28 September.

The storm weakened back into a Category 4 before landfall, officially making U.S. landfall on Wednesday September 28th in Florida as a Category 4 Hurricane, becoming the 4th CAT 4 to make landfall in the sunshine state. At the time, winds were sustained at 150 mph. Ian went on to make another U.S. landfall on mainland Florida near Pirate Harbor, a second U.S. landfall. The final landfall was as a CAT 1 Hurricane in South Carolina on Friday. Hurricane Ian was the 6th Category 4 or 5 hurricane to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast in 6 years, Ian's impacts were deadly and catastrophic for Southwest Florida, and will be remembered for years to come. The storm surge obliterated much of Lee County, home to Fort Myers, Ft. Myers Beach and Cape Coral. Bonita Springs saw tremendous storm surge and damage around Sanibel island was and still remains tremendous.

Last week the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) retired the names "Ian" and "Fiona" from the Atlantic basin, never to be used again due to their historical nature. The National Hurricane Center & FEMA held a press conference on April 3rd discussing how best to be prepared for the upcoming hurricane season and some of the biggest threats during and after a storm.

For more on the 2023 Hurricane Season, stay with WeatherNation for our Hurricane Preparedness Week in early May.

All Weather News
More
Dangerous Heat Surrounding the Gulf Coast

Dangerous Heat Surrounding the Gulf Coast

Intense heat and humidity will continue over

27 May 2024 8:05 PM
Severe Storms Pushing into Atlantic Seaboard Through Tonight

Severe Storms Pushing into Atlantic Seaboard Through Tonight

Severe storms will continue to push through t

27 May 2024 8:05 PM
Southeast Storm Risk on Memorial Day

Southeast Storm Risk on Memorial Day

The Storm Prediction Center has kept a SLIGHT

27 May 2024 8:00 PM
Weekend Storms Leave Behind Trails of Devastation

Weekend Storms Leave Behind Trails of Devastation

Heart-breaking scenes are pouring out of the

27 May 2024 7:55 PM
Isolated Severe Storms for the Lone Star State

Isolated Severe Storms for the Lone Star State

There will be enough energy and instability a

27 May 2024 5:15 PM
Atlantic Hurricane Season 2024 Impacted by La Niña

Atlantic Hurricane Season 2024 Impacted by La Niña

Hurricane season is less than one week away a

27 May 2024 4:00 PM
This Tornado Season On Track To Be One Of The Most Active In History

This Tornado Season On Track To Be One Of The Most Active In History

The months of May and June typically bring th

26 May 2024 3:30 PM