Event Summary
     National Weather Service, Raleigh NC


Hurricane Charley, August 2004
Updated 2004/08/17



Satellite Imager of Hurricane Charley on 2004/08/14 at 1745Z - Click to enlarge
(Click on the image to enlarge.)


Event Headlines

...Hurricane Charley was the third storm of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season...
...Hurricane Charley category four status just before landfall on Friday August 13, 2004...
...A weakened Hurricane charley moved across coastal North Carolina on Saturday, August 14, 2004 with some wind damage and flooding...


Overview

Tropical Depression Charley formed near the Windward Islands, about 50 miles southeast of Grenada, at 200 PM on Monday, August 9, 2004. The system moved quickly toward the west to west-northwest at 20 to 25 MPH. Tropical Storm Charley formed at 500 AM Tuesday, August 10, 2004 with maximum sustained winds of 40 MPH. Charley gradually became better organized and strengthened into a Hurricane as it near Jamaica at 200 PM on Wednesday, August 11.

The hurricane passed just southwest of Jamaica during the late afternoon and evening hours on August 11. The hurricane gradually strengthened and passed just east of Grand Cayman on the morning of Thursday, August 12, 2004, with maximum sustained winds of 90 MPH. Charley intensified to category two status with maximum winds of 105 MPH as it crossed over western Cuba on Thursday night.

Charley emerged from Cuba early Friday morning as a category two hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 110 MPH. The hurricane moved north-northwest into the Florida Straits with the circulation center passing 90 miles to the west of Key West Florida. Charley rapidly intensified on Friday morning and afternoon with the pressure dropping 29 millibars between 900 AM and 500 PM to 941 millibars at the 500 PM advisory. Charley was upgraded to a category four hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 145 MPH at 200 PM on Friday.

Charley made landfall near Charlotte Harbor Florida at around 500 PM on Friday, August 13, 2004. The hurricane advanced north-northeastward across central Florida before moving offshore just after midnight near Daytona Beach Florida. Charley emerged from Florida as a weak hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 85 MPH. The hurricane moved across the Carolina coast just before midday near the North Carolina - South Carolina border.

Charley weakened as it moved rapidly north-northeast across the coastal plain of North Carolina during the afternoon on Saturday. The hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm with winds of 70 MPH at 200 PM. Charley exited North Carolina at around 700 PM and moved offshore near Virginia Beach at 800 PM. Charley continued to weaken as it approached New England on Sunday morning before loosing its tropical characteristics at 1100 AM Sunday.




Additional Details

Additional details may become available at the NWS offices directly affected by the storm...
The National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City
The National Weather Service Wilmington




Hurricane Charley Track

Hurricane Charley's was track was erratic and meandering on Saturday July 31 and Sunday August 1, 2004 as the tropical cyclone was in its development and organizational phase. As the system became better organized late Sunday August 1 and Monday August 2, 2004, its motion became northeastward and its forward motion gradually increased.

Hurricane Charley Track
Hurricane Charley Track - Click to enlarge
(Click on the image to enlarge.)



Detailed Hurricane Charley Track
Hurricane Charley Track - Click to enlarge
(Click on the image to enlarge.)



Maximum Wind Gusts from Hurricane Charley


The analyzed map below contains the maximum wind gusts from Hurricane Charley. The map shows the highest wind speeds were located across Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender counties as well as the adjacent coastal waters. The highest wind gust report came from the Mercer Pier in Wrightsville beach where a wind gust to 86 MPH was observed. A wind gust to 92 MPH was observed at the Wilmington State Port with an instrument that was 65 feet high.

Maximum wind gusts from Hurricane Charley




Radar Imagery of Hurricane Charley


Radar Loop from KMHX
Loop of base reflectivity imagery from 221 PM EDT (1821Z) through 321 PM EDT (1921Z).



Regional Base Reflectivity Radar Imagery of Hurricane Charley on 2004/08/14 at 1130 AM EDT (1530Z)
This is the approximate time the storm made landfall


Regional Radar Imagery of Hurricane Charley  - Click to enlarge
(Click on the image to enlarge.)




Base Reflectivity Radar Imagery of Hurricane Charley on 2004/08/14 at 225 PM EDT (1825Z)

Radar Imagery of Hurricane Charley  - Click to enlarge
(Click on the image to enlarge.)






Photographs of flooding in Fayetteville on Sunday, August 15, 2004
Photographs courtesy of Dan Stephens
(Click the image to enlarge.)

Photograph of flooding along a creek in the Lafayette Village subdivision in Fayetteville. The pictures were taken near Coventry Drive and Odom Drive at about 600 PM on 2004/08/15. Photographs courtesy of Dan Stephens. - Click to enlarge           Photograph of flooding along a creek in the Lafayette Village subdivision in Fayetteville. The pictures were taken near Coventry Drive and Odom Drive at about 600 PM on 2004/08/15. Photographs courtesy of Dan Stephens. - Click to enlarge           Photograph of flooding along a creek in the Lafayette Village subdivision in Fayetteville. The pictures were taken near Coventry Drive and Odom Drive at about 600 PM on 2004/08/15. Photographs courtesy of Dan Stephens. - Click to enlarge



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Jonathan Blaes

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