Ian, swirling about 40 miles off the northern section of Florida’s Atlantic coast, became a hurricane once again late Thursday afternoon, about 12 hours after losing its hurricane status. AccuWeather forecasters had been warning all day of this eventuality — and of the storm’s next anticipated landfall sometime around noon on Friday along the South Carolina coast.
Hurricane warnings were issued along the entire coast of South Carolina on Thursday morning and put into effect for a section of the North Carolina coastline later in the day. By late Thursday evening, the storm’s wind speed had increased to 85 mph. As of 8 a.m., Ian was moving northward at 9 mph and was located about 175 miles to the south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina. Maximum sustained winds were holding at 85 mph.
Ian lost wind intensity and was downgraded to a tropical storm early Thursday morning after taking a deadly rampage across Florida, and carving a path of destruction with severe flooding.
Life-threatening impacts will continue to spread northward across the Southeast as Ian charges over the Atlantic then swings back over land. Hazards will include flooding rainfall, dangerous storm surge, damaging winds, and severe weather as Ian makes that trek.
“Ian’s structure is similar to that of a powerful nor’easter with most of the storm’s rain and wind focused to the north and west of the center,” AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said. “But, make no mistake, Ian will hit with the force of a hurricane in the Carolinas, especially along the upper half of the South Carolina coast.”
Drenching rain extended several hundred miles to the north of Ian’s eye at daybreak Friday morning and was already reaching Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina, and Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Ahead of Ian’s arrival and as the storm pummeled Florida, states of emergency were declared across Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. Tropical storm warnings were issued for coastal areas in Georgia and North Carolina. A hurricane warning was in effect for the coast of South Carolina. (Accuweather)