Hurricane Ivan, September 2004|
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...Hurricane Ivan was the 9th named tropical cyclone of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season...
...6 of the 9 named tropical cyclones have impacted North Carolina...
...Rain bands associated with Ivan produced several tornadoes over the Piedmont of North Carolina. One tornado hit Stokesdale in northwestern Guilford County followed by several more touchdowns in Rockingham County, Moore County, and Chatham County...
...A strong down burst, associated with a convective rain band, hit the Raleigh-Durham International Airport producing a wind gust of 79 MPH.
This down burst produced significant damage to a terminal and flipped several small planes. This was the second strongest wind gust recorded
at the airport, trailing only the 90 MPH gust on October 15, 1954 associated with Hurricane Hazel...
...A swath of 3 to 6 inches of rain fell across the North Carolina Mountains associated with Ivan. There were reports of 7 to 10 inches of rain along the higher terrain with isolated reports in excess of 11 inches...
...Severe flooding and damage resulted in many Mountain counties including a major land slide near Franklin in Macon County...
...Several fatalities in North Carolina were directly related to the storm...
Tropical Depression Ivan developed late in the afternoon on Thursday, September 2, 2004, 550 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands.
Ivan became a Tropical Storm early on Saturday, September 4, 2004, approximately 1600 miles east-southeast of the Lesser
Antilles. Ivan was moving west at 18 MPH. Ivan became the 5th Hurricane of the 2004 Atlantic season at around 500 AM,
Sunday, September 5, 2004, 1200 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles. Ivan's maximum sustained winds had increased
to 75 MPH, with a minimum pressure of 987 MB.
Ivan strengthened into the fourth major Hurricane of the 2004 Atlantic at 100 PM, Sunday,
September 5, 2004. Ivan had maximum sustained winds of 115 MPH, while located 995 miles east of the Windward Islands.
From September 7 through September 13, Hurricane Ivan maintained at least category 4 intensity during
its journey across the central Atlantic into the Caribbean. Ivan reached Category 5 intensity on several
occasions during this period. Along its general west-northwest course, Ivan affected Grenada, the Windward Islands, Jamaica, the
Cayman Islands, and the western part of Cuba before moving turning to the north and reaching the Gulf of Mexico
late on September 13, 2004.
Ivan gradually turned toward the north as it moved through the Gulf of Mexico on September 14 and 15, 2004. It maintained
a Category 4 status during the few days proceeding land fall. Ivan decreased slightly in intensity, to a strong Category 3 storm,
just before making land fall. The center of Hurricane Ivan moved on shore near Gulf Shores, Alabama, at around 300 AM on Thursday,
September 16, 2004. maximum sustained winds at landfall were estimated to be near 130 MPH, with a minimum pressure of 943 millibars.
Ivan weakened rapidly as it moved north and then northeast across Alabama on Thursday.
Ivan was downgraded to a Tropical Storm at 200 PM on Thursday, when it was located 45 miles west-northwest of
Montgomery, Alabama. Maximum sustained winds had decreased to 70 MPH and the pressure had come up to 975 MB.
The tropical storm was downgraded to a Tropical Depression late on Thursday evening while centered 25 miles to the north-northwest
of Gadsden, Alabama. Maximum sustained winds had dropped to near 35 mph with a minimum pressure of 986 MB. At this time,
widespread heavy rain affected much of the southern Appalachians.
The system remained a Tropical Depression status as it slowly moved northeast across northwestern Georgia and
eastern Tennessee during Thursday night and Friday morning. By 1100 AM, Friday, September 17, the depression was
located 45 miles east of Knoxville, Tennessee. Widespread heavy rain affected western North Carolina Thursday night and Friday.
Wind gusts reached between 40 and 60 MPH across the higher elevations of the Appalachians. Numerous trees were downed and flooding
was widespread. Rainfall amounts reached 8 to 12 inches across portions of the higher elevations.
As the depression moved across northeastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia Friday afternoon, the Piedmont
of North Carolina remained in the warm sector of the storm. As late morning and afternoon temperatures reached
the 80s, several rain bands became enhanced and produced damaging winds and several tornadoes. Tornadoes, varying
in intensity from F0 to F2, touched down producing damage to homes, businesses, and trees in Guilford, Rockingham,
Moore, and Chatham Counties.
Damaging winds were reported with several of the rain bands including a 79 MPH wind gust at the Raleigh-Durham
Airport. This was the second strongest wind gust ever recorded at the airport. The strongest wind gust occurred
on October 15, 1954 when Hurricane Hazel produced a gust to 90 MPH.
Additional details may become available at the NWS offices directly affected by the storm...
The National Weather Service Greenville/Spartanburg
The National Weather Service Blacksburg