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Hurricane Ian Strengthens, May Affect Our Area Later in the Week

Daniel Prince

Landfall in Florida expected later today; storm could dump 4-6 inches of rain on our area

Hurricane Ian is now a dangerous category 4 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph. As of the 5 a.m. advisory, the storm was off the coast of Florida and expected to make landfall as a major hurricane later today. The latest storm track has Ian crossing Florida to the northeast and emerging in the Atlantic Ocean as a tropical storm in the early morning hours Friday. It will make a second landfall as a tropical storm along the Georgia or South Carolina coast Friday afternoon and then turn to the north-northwest, crossing through our area on Saturday and moving into North Carolina early Sunday.

Our area has only a 5-10% chance to experience tropical-storm-force winds of 39 mph or greater sustained for a minute or longer. The strongest winds are expected in our area Friday morning, though we will begin to experience some gusty winds starting this evening. Heavy rains and gusty winds Friday through Saturday could lead to downed trees and power lines, and thunderstorms are possible Friday night through Saturday morning.

Our area has the potential to see 4-6 inches of rain from the storm, which will go a long way toward ending the moderate drought status that Union, Chester, and York counties are in. The rest of the upstate and some of the western Midlands counties are in an incipient drought phase. Some areas along the coast and in western North Carolina could see between 6-10 inches of rain from Ian. Through 8 a.m. Saturday, the severe weather potential is limited to the eastern part of the state, from the Midlands to the coast, with the coastal region seeing a higher potential for thunderstorms and possible tornadoes.

WBCU will monitor Ian closely over the next couple of days and bring you further updates as the National Hurricane Center issues them.

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