First Alert Forecast In-Depth: Hurricane Ian, By The Numbers

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Katrina and Sandy are two hurricane names that were retired. That means those names are no longer used to describe a future tropical storm or hurricane. And more than likely, Hurricane Ian is going to be retired as well because of the sheer magnitude of the devastation.

Let’s review the numbers from Hurricane Ian and keep in mind these statistics are subject to revision because it is only five days since landfall. At the point of landfall winds were estimated at 150 mph and the storm surge was anywhere from 5 to 15 feet. However, the National Weather Service will have to go in to the area and survey the damage and look at the water level lines to get a better idea of the exact amount of surge. There are different ways of measuring intensity, such as rainfall and barometric pressure, but by using just wind speed Ian is now considered to be tied for the six strongest hurricane in recorded history. This is significant as we have to go back through more than 120 years of record keeping. The dollar amount is tremendous, with an estimate of $70 billion and this is likely to go up.  As it stands now Ian would be the fourth costliest hurricane on record. Of course the death toll is the saddest aspect of this event. Right now it appears at least 100 people lost their lives. In comparison you have to go back to Hurricane Katrina for a greater loss of life. 

It is interesting to note the difference in the number of named storms from last year compared to this year on this date. Last season we had 20 named storms, but this season there have been nine named storms.  This really illustrates that it takes just one significant hurricane, even in a down year, to have a huge impact.

Moving forward we are watching a couple of areas of the tropics for potential development. However, we have some time before there is any concern as any storm is probably more than week away before we have any real impact on the U.S.  The meteorologists at News 10NBC First Alert weather will continue to watch and keep you updated.