Tag Archives: how a hurricane makes landfall

Where Exactly Did Hurricane Ian Make Landfall?

Today I continue to reflect on Hurricane Ian, Southwest Florida’s Category 4 storm of September 28, 2022.  I ask the most basic of questions: “Where exactly did Ian make landfall?” This question seems simple, but it is not, and is best answered sharing a text exchange with my brother Todd after the storm.

Text Exchange

Jacqui: “Todd, the ‘New York Times’ did a story that shows Hurricane Ian coming in on the south side of Boca Grande. Did not NOAA say Cayo Costa? Not much of a difference, but still why? …. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/21/us/hurricane-ian-victims.html

Todd: “The National Hurricane Center Track is just connecting dots that are two hours apart — at each official update, seen below. Thus, the line does not show the wobble of the center of circulation.  The second fie is the archived radar data showing the eye at 19:05 UTC (3:05pm ET).  It’s a pretty good indicator of where the center made landfall.” 

Jacqui: “Hmm, incredible. Looking back through my screen shots, this Weather Channel one is interesting because it shows all the shifts – those wobbles you note – and Ian clearly makes landfall at Cayo Costa not Boca Grand.” 

Todd: “Yes that must have the intermediate positions so more wobble showing. My computer has been grinding radar data for about 15 minutes for a video and is 39% finished. It should spit out a radar animation from 8am to 8pm on the 28th. The colors are just the radar echo in decibels.  The higher the reflection the more dense the rain.”  

Jacqui: “What a terrible hit and the video makes wobbling clear. Makes me think of how fortunate we were that Cat. 5 Dorian did not continue on from the Bahamas to hit us in 2019. What a nightmare.” 

For more on Hurricane Ian see Todd Thurlow’s website eyeonlakeo.com