Four reasons why Ian is the worst Florida storm since 1935

Since the Florida peninsula suffered three of history’s most impactful Hurricanes in 1926, 1928 and 1935, no storm has ever wrecked havoc like Ian has. And it’s not over yet.

1-In terms of impacting the entire peninsula only Donna in 1960, Frances in 2004 and Irma in 2017 can make a similar case. Donna was a wake-up call for many new residents of the state and probably goes down as the second most important storm since 1935 for this reason. Frances is a similar east-coast approaching storm to what Ian was forecast to do prior to Tuesday, but Ian’s landfalling impact was significantly greater. In terms of Irma, it was a really horrible storm but not nearly as bad as forecast for the sate. In fact, Florida dodged a major bullet with Irma moving as quickly as it did up the peninsula. Yes it was horrible, but it was supposed to be worse and wasn’t quite as bad as Ian has proven to be.

2-In terms of intensity only Michael of 2018, Charley of 2004 and Andrew of 1992 are in the same league. But Ian impacted a larger population than all three of those storms. Michael hit in the least populated portions of the state, Charley despite hitting the same exact location with almost the same exact intensity (150 MPH for both, 940 MB for Ian v 941 for Charley), was a much smaller storm. Southeast Florida for example got no impact from Charley and the Tampa Bay area had minimal impacts.

3- In terms of rainfall, only the 1947 Fort Lauderdale Hurricane and 2008’s Tropical Storm Fay are in the same category. Ian’s rainfall impact in East Central Florida compares to Fay and no storm has done this sort of number on Polk and Osceola counties in the modern era.

4- In terms of storm surge, no storm is in the same bracket as Ian. Nothing comes close and again, Michael may have, had it been further west and come ashore at a different angle let’s say in Okaloosa County. But Ian trailing the cost in Collier and then coming ashore in Lee, counties which combined have about 1.2 million residents mostly within a few miles of the coast was the worst-case scenario ever.

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