A ‘near-average’ hurricane season ends, but it was far from normal for Floridians

The Atlantic hurricane season brought two hurricanes through Florida.
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 6:23 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 3, 2022 at 8:52 AM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Atlantic hurricane center concluded on Wednesday, but it was not as active as the last two record-breaking seasons.

The 2022 season had 14 named storms with eight of them becoming hurricanes. Two of the hurricanes were of Category 3 strength or higher. From a climatological standpoint, the season was an average one. But those in the Sunshine State may think differently of that “normal” assessment.

Florida was a bullseye for two hurricanes and one low that would eventually be named first.

Before becoming Alex, the then tropical low brought heavy rain to portions of South Florida in the beginning of June. It caused flooding before it moved into the Atlantic Ocean.

Florida would get a break from the tropics, but that would only last for about three months before a major storm arrived.

Ian made landfall as a major hurricane in Southwest Florida on the afternoon Sept. 28 with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. Dangerous storm surge arrived in portions of the region. Heavy rain from Ian brought over 20 inches of rain in some locations – mainly along a belt from Southwest Florida to Central Florida. The rain brought flooding throughout the central peninsula.

At least 139 deaths were attributed to Ian in Florida alone, according to data released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Nearly a third of the fatalities were from drowning.

Estimated losses from Ian are at least $10 billion, according to some early estimates.

Ian then moved into the Atlantic to make its second and final landfall in South Carolina two days later. I brought gusty winds, heavy rain and storm surge.

Over a month later, Hurricane Nicole made landfall near Vero Beach, Fla. The hurricane moved northwestward through the peninsula into the Big Bend as a tropical storm. Wind gusts of at least 40 mph were observed in locations such as Perry and Cross City.

Nicole killed five in Florida, according to Data from the FDLE. Damage estimates so far are at least $1.6 billion.

The 2022 season was a reminder that despite a near-normal season, it doesn’t mean that no one will be spared from nature’s wrath.

The original version of this story erroneously stated Hurricane Nicole taking a “northeastward” path. The correct word is “northwestward,” and has since been corrected.

WCTV’s Julie Montanaro contributed to gathering information for this story.