North Carolina: A busy hurricane state - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

North Carolina: A busy hurricane state

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Have you ever stopped to think how commonly hurricanes impact us.  It seems like every time we turn around, another tropical system is impacting the Carolinas.  

Since 1851, 45 hurricanes and tropical storms have made a direct landfall in North Carolina.  Only three states- Florida, Texas and Louisiana- see a greater average number of hurricanes.

State Climatologist Dr. Ryan Boyles says that the average number of years between direct landfalls is just over 3.5 years.  That's not much down time before another tropical storm or hurricane makes landfall in North Carolina.  And that's not even counting those storms that hit elsewhere and then move into our neighborhood.   Many more storms have brought indirect impacts of flooding and wind damage to the state, including Sandy and Hurricane Hugo, which made landfall in Charleston before moving over Charlotte in 1989.

The Tarheel State has never seen a Category 5 storm make landfall, but Boyles says a Category 4 storm hit in 1954.  "The strongest hurricane is generally considered Hazel.  It made landfall right along the NC/SC border."

The peak for storms near NC is the first couple of weeks in September, but the months of August and October- the peak of hurricane season- tend to see the development of storms that threaten the Carolinas.

Hurricane season runs through November 30th.

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