Whether it’s Hermine or Ian, Florida may see its most serious hurricane threat in years

Florida has had a favorable run of tropical luck over the last few years.

Though climatology says to expect a hurricane landfall in about 40% of seasons, there has not been a direct strike in the state since Michael’s apocalyptic haymaker in the Panhandle, give or take the eastern eyewall of 2020’s Sally in Pensacola.

Consider the three major hurricanes that have brutalized Louisiana in that time, and Florida’s recent punishment has been light indeed.

Unfortunately, that hot streak could well come to an end next week, with Florida facing its most serious threat since Dorian three years ago.

What we know: Is a hurricane going to hit Florida? What we know about Tropical Depression Nine

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Wind-speed probabilities for Tropical Depression 9 as of 2 a.m. Friday, Sept. 23, 2022.

And while the state is coming into focus as the likely target of a potential hurricane landfall, there remains significant uncertainty as to which part of Florida will take the brunt of it.

What we know about Tropical Depression Nine: Hermine or Ian in the offing?

Tropical Depression Nine developed early Friday morning in the east-central Caribbean, and as of the 11 a.m. NHC advisory has sustained winds of around 35 mph. The depression is moving a little north of west at around 15 mph, and a general westward track is likely through Saturday.

Wind shear is displacing the depression’s deep convection west of the circulation center, which should keep strengthening gradual for the next two days. Still, TD 9 may become a tropical storm at any time.

(Side note: with the development of TD 10 in the far eastern Atlantic, it remains unknown if TD 9 will be named Hermine or Ian. It would be downright bizarre if it is Hermine, as North Florida faced down a Category 1 landfall by that name just six years ago. We’ll see if the ludicrous 2 Hermines, 2 furious scenario plays out.)

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