Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Feeling the Hurt After Hurricane Ian

Unless you've been living under a rock this week, you've heard a thing or two about Hurricane Ian. Where I live, we a're getting days worth of dark and dreary, cold rain from it as it stalls here.

Additionally, after living in Florida for 6 years a good decade and a half ago, I've been through a hurricane or two myself. All the familiar vocabulary comes "raining" back: cones of uncertainty, spaghetti models, storm surges, maximum sustained wins, and more. Also, concern for friends and favorite places I still have in Florida brought this particularly close to home for me.

Hurricane Ian made landfall at a high Category 4 storm, doing major damage in Fort Myers with its 7 foot storm surge. [The sustained winds were only two mph short of being a Category 5 storm.]  Ian tied for the 5th strongest hurricane to make landfall. It then crossed Florida, doubled back over sea gaining strength and hit South Carolina as a Category 1 storm. In Florida, more than 2.3 million lost power. Areas of Florida got 12 to 28 inches of rain. Hundreds of flights were canceled in the domino effect of airfare cancellations. It has become the 6th deadliest US Hurricane since 1980 with just over 100 deaths, and it is Florida's biggest storm since 1935. Financially, the total damages range in the neighborhood of $68-100 BILLION. Capital B. Capital "all" letters. 

Climate change gets credit for intensifying the rainfall, making Hurricane Ian's rain 10% worse due to greenhouse gas pollution, thanks to life beyond the Industrial Revolution. Climate change often also gets credit for warming the oceans which only serves to intensify the growth and power of the storm.

This video from NOAA SciJinks shows how hurricanes form.  It's the perfect informative video for both young and old.

If you are in a position to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, here are some resources:

Video from, image from

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