Tracking Ian | Ian downgraded to post-tropical cyclone; here's what that means

Sunday, October 2, 2022
Tracking Ian: What is a post-tropical cyclone?
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By 5:00 p.m. Friday, Ian was downgraded after making landfall near Georgetown, SC as a category 1 hurricane. The storm continues pound North Carolina as a post-tropical cyclone.

By 5:00 p.m. Friday, Ian was downgraded after making landfall near Georgetown, SC as a category 1 hurricane. The storm continues to churn into North Carolina as a post-tropical cyclone.

So what is a post-tropical cyclone and how dangerous is the storm at this level?

ABC11 Meteorologist Robert Johnson says Ian as a post-tropical cyclone is still just as dangerous as a tropical storm. The only difference is that it has lost its warm core (tropical characteristics in meteorology) and now has a cooler core.

Ian officially going from a hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone makes no impact for central NC. Impacts are all the same.

See other weather terms here.

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You may also be wondering about hurricane categories. For example, how intense is a Category 4 or Category 5 hurricane, and what do the different categories mean for people in the storm's path?

The National Weather Service uses the Saffir-Simpson Scale, which only measures a hurricane's sustained wind speeds using a 1 to 5 rating system. This scale provides estimates of potential property damage, according to NWS.

Here's how they're classified:

Category 1 hurricane: A Category 1 hurricane has sustained winds between 74-95 mph, according to NWS.

Category 2 hurricane: Winds on a Category 2 hurricane are between 96-110 mph. According to the NWS, its "extremely dangerous winds" can cause major roof and siding damage to well-constructed homes.

Category 3 hurricane: A Category 3 hurricane has continuous winds between 111-129 mph, where "devastating damage will occur," the NWS said.

Category 4 hurricane: Category 4 storms can cause "catastrophic damage" with their 130-156 mph winds. A Category 4 storm can cause severe damage to well-constructed homes, including damaging most of the roof and exterior walls.

Category 5 hurricane: Category 5 hurricanes are the most devastating, with sustained winds of at least 157 mph.

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