Tuesday marks 15 years since Hurricane Charley made landfall on Florida.
Initially, the National Hurricane Center predicted the center of Charley to make landfall near Tampa Bay as a category 3 hurricane. Tampa had been highlighted as a potential landfall spot based solely on the track forecast, NOAA said.
“The Tampa area was not significantly impacted as originally projected,” a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration service report found. “This was due to the change in track and Charley’s eye, the area of strongest winds, was shrinking in size keeping the greatest impacts in a relatively small area.”
The category 4 hurricane made landfall on the southwest coast of Florida near Cayo Costa, just north of Captiva, at about 3:45 p.m. on Aug. 13, 2004.
According to a separate NOAA report, the storm’s eye passed over Punta Gorda and the eyewall struck that city and nearby Port Charlotte.
The hurricane then moved north-northeastward across the central Florida peninsula. On Aug. 14, 2004, the center passed near Kissimmee and Orlando.
Charley was still considered a hurricane when it moved off the northeast coast of Florida near Daytona Beach on Aug. 14, 2004.
Later that day, Charley intensified slightly and came ashore near Cape Romain, South Carolina. The center then moved just offshore before making another landfall at North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Charley soon weakened to a tropical storm over southeastern North Carolina.
Hurricane Charley was the first of four hurricanes to impact or strike Florida in 2004. The others were hurricanes Frances, Ivan and Jeanne.
Charley killed 10 people in the U.S., NOAA reported.
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