WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Remembering September hurricanes

Posted September 20, 2009 7:32 p.m. EDT
Updated September 20, 2009 8:46 p.m. EDT

September is the busiest month in North Carolina for hurricanes. Last week was the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Floyd. North Carolina has seen two major hurricanes in September starting with the letter F: Fran and Floyd. I thought I would look back at all of the hurricanes that have made landfall in our state in the month of September. I didn’t count all of the other tropical systems that have rolled through the state after making landfall somewhere else.

We start back in 1933 with the Outer Banks Hurricane. Next came the 1944 Great Atlantic Hurricane. Both of these storms were Category 3 storms. After that the list reads like this…Ione in 1955, Helene in 1958, Donna in 1960, Ginger in 1971, Diana in 1984, Gloria in 1985 and Emily in 1993.

In 1996, one of the most memorable hurricanes to hit North Carolina was Fran…also a Category 3. Hurricane Floyd hit in 1999. Eleven days before Floyd was Dennis, a strong Tropical Storm. The one – two punch caused record flooding in several parts of the state. Since then, we’ve seen Isabel in 2003, Ivan in 2004 and Ophelia in 2005.

You can see why we keep a watchful eye on the tropics in September. North Carolina is a big target for hurricanes because of how far east our state extends into the Atlantic. Of course there are many dynamics that play a role in where a hurricane makes landfall, but sitting where we do doesn’t help our cause.

Now that we are almost out of September, you would think we could relax a bit, but that wouldn’t be wise. We still have all of October and November to go before Hurricane season ends. A quick peek into the tropics right now will show you two areas of disturbed weather that may indeed become one, if not two, named storms. Grace and Henri would be the names if that were to happen.