Hurricane Questions


Weather & Water Temp


Fripp Hurricane Questions
By Rita Riley & Jack Williams,

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Q: Why do so many hurricanes veer to the north, at the last minute, and miss the coast of South Carolina?

A: They aren't really veering at the last minute. Almost all hurricanes that move as far north as the Carolinas are eventually caught by west-to-east winds at all levels of the atmosphere and pushed back out over the Atlantic.
National Hurricane Center
Many hurricanes move toward the northwest as they leave the tropics, which means they seem to be aiming at South Carolina. But as they approach the coast, many storms are beginning to turn to the north and then to the northeast. Sometimes a storm hits land and dies before it makes these turns, as Hugo did in 1989. But more often, the storm makes the turn to the north while still off the North Carolina Coast and then starts turning back toward the northeast.

But, the North Carolina Coast pokes out much farther into the Atlantic than any part of the coast to the south. A storm that's turning north and then northeast is more likely to hit or clip this coast, as Hurricane Alex did the first week of August.

The odds of a storm hitting various places along the U.S. Coast, based on where hurricanes have hit for more than the last 100 years, tells the tale. The odds of a hurricane hitting Charleston or Myrtle Beach, S.C., are 10% in any year. As you move north and east to Morehead City, N.C., the odds go up to 12%. When you go all of the way east to Cape Hatteras, N.C., the odds jump to 21.5%.

The only place in the USA with higher hurricane odds than Cape Hatteras is southeastern Florida with 27% for Fort Lauderdale, 26.3% for Miami, and 22.2% for Marathon in the middle of the Florida Keys.

Storms that hit southern Florida are almost always following a generally east-to-west path that hurricanes follow across the tropics. They never begin turning toward the north, or make the turn after crossing Florida into the Gulf of Mexico. (Related: Hurricane odds)
The Buyers of property for oceanfront homes or oceanfront condos that are looking at Fripp Island can be relieved to see the path of the jet stream as it leaves the Carribean and travels north.   Most of the hurricanes that use that path - other than those in the gulf stream which go through LA and Texs - usually follow that gulf stream heated water and are well off the coast.  The prospects for fripp island real estate are looking for a mild- or semi-mild climate, and one where there is plenty of sunshine & outdoor sports.  Waterfront property is abundant here and boating is a big activity for many.  Ans by Jack Williams, USATODAY.

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