Hurricane Ione

Infobox Hurricane
Name=Hurricane Ione
Formed=September 10, 1955
Dissipated=September 21, 1955
1-min winds=105

Fatalities=7 direct
Areas=North Carolina, Virginia
Hurricane season=1955 Atlantic hurricane season

Hurricane Ione (pronounced (i(o)-ne eye-OHN) was a strong Category 3 hurricane that affected North Carolina in September 1955, bringing high winds and significant rainfall.National Hurricane Center. [ Hurricane Best Track Database.] Retrieved on 2008-03-08.] David M. Roth. [ Hurricane Ione Rainfall Page.] Retrieved on 2008-02-23.] It came on the heels of Hurricanes Connie and Diane,National Hurricane Center. [ Hurricane Best Track Database.] Retrieved on 2008-0308.] and compounded problems already caused by the two earlier hurricanes. Ione caused $600 million (2005 USD) in damage, much of it to crops across North Carolina. Ione led to seven deaths.Gordon E. Dunn, Walter R. Davis, and Paul L. Moore. [ Hurricanes of 1955.] Retrieved on 2008-03-08.]

Meteorological history

A tropical wave moved through Cape Verde on September 6. It became a tropical depression on September 10, and a tropical storm later that day. Ione remained weak for the next few days. The cyclone steadily strengthened as it moved north of the Lesser Antilles, reaching hurricane strength on September 15. Conditions were favorable for additional development, and Ione reached its peak of convert|120|mph|kn winds on September 18 while north of the Bahamas. Its radius of maximum winds was typical for a hurricane; convert|22|mi|km away from the center. [Billy L. Edge. [ TIDAL HYDRAULIC MODELING FOR BRIDGES.] Retrieved on 2008-02-23.]

Drier and cooler air gradually became entrained in Ione's circulation, and the storm weakened into a minimal hurricane at the time of its Wilmington, North Carolina landfall on September 19, which made Ione the third hurricane to hit the state in six weeks and fourth in 11 months.David M. Roth. [ Hurricane Ione Rainfall Page.] Retrieved on 2008-02-23.] Ione was the first tropical cyclone to be observed on the Cape Hatteras radar during landfall, and was one of the first observed to make small scale oscillations within its track. [Harold M. Jordan and David J. Stowell. [ Some Small-Scale Features of the Track of Hurricane Ione.] Retrieved on 2008-02-23.] The storm weakened to a tropical storm over land, but restrengthened to a Category 2 hurricane over the northwestern Atlantic. Ione continued northeastward, and became an extratropical cyclone on September 21. The extratropical storm crossed over Newfoundland, and was last seen on September 24 moving across the North Atlantic.Gordon E. Dunn, Walter R. Davis, and Paul L. Moore. [ Hurricanes of 1955.] Retrieved on 2008-03-08.]


Hurricane warnings were in effect from Cape Hatteras to Cape Cod. Recent flooding along the Delaware River kept residents along its recently flooded banks on alert, with dump trucks standing by to protect the Regal paper mill with earthen dikes. People stood by, ready to move merchandise to higher ground should the storm strike the region. [Gene Robbins. [ Delaware River ran wild 50 year ago.] Retrieved on 2008-02-23.] New York City officials prepared for the worst, with cops filling gas tanks and extra patrol men being called to duty in advance of the hurricane. Flights were canceled, firemen stood at the ready in Staten Island, and the Coast Guard warned shipping of the impending storm. A boxing match between Rocky Marciano and Archie Moore was delayed one day until after hurricane warnings were lowered, which allowed the promoters to sell an additional US$150,000 (1955 dollars) in tickets. [Time Magazine. [,9171,807702,00.html Hurricane's Way.] Retrieved on 2008-02-23.]


In Swan Quarter, North Carolina, September 18 started out a gloomy day. Winds did not significantly increase until between 2 and 3 p.m. By 9:30 p.m., strong winds buffeted the area from the east-northeast. Electricity went out around 10:50 p.m. Area homes flooded for the first time since Barbara of the 1953 Atlantic hurricane season. Tides increased until 8:45 a.m. on September 19 before slowly ebbing and rising again between 2:00-2:30 p.m. The Lake Causeway was partially washed out towards New Holland. The Diamond Shoals lightship was reported to have broken loose during the hurricane. Tides did not fully recede at Swan Quarter until 3 a.m. on September 20, with winds finally dying down after 7 a.m. the same day. [Merlin S. Berry. [ HISTORY OF NORTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA STORMS.] Retrieved on 2008-02-23.] Cherry Point recorded a maximum sustained wind of convert|75|mph|kn, with gusts to convert|107|mph|kn. Prolonged easterly winds forced the tide to increase to levels convert|3|ft|m to convert|10|ft|m above normal, which resulted in one of the largest inundations in North Carolina history. [Holland Consulting Planners, Inc. [ Town of Wrightsville Beach Hazard Mitigation Plan.] Retrieved on 2008-02-23.] The storm surge from Ione was recorded at convert|3.6|ft|m at Morehead City, North Carolina, while a storm tide of convert|5.3|ft|m was measured at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. [W. C. Conner, R. H. Kraft, and D. Lee Harris. [ Empirical Methods for Forecasting the Maximum Storm Tide Due to Hurricanes and Other Tropical Storms.] Retrieved on 2008-02-23.] The HMTS Monarch, which had departed from Newfoundland, was laying telephone cable across the Atlantic ocean when Ione crossed its path. The ship weathered the storm, and managed to reach Scotland to complete its mission by September 26. [Alan Leon Varney. [ ... a chronology of Telegraph, Telephone and Radiotelephone, the three services reaching across the Atlantic before the 1960 Echo satellite.] Retrieved on 2008-02-23.]

Ione caused $600 million (2005 USD) in damage, much of it from crops across North Carolina. The rest came from flooding in an area already devastated by Hurricanes Connie and Diane six weeks earlier. Along the Trent river near Trent and the New River near Gum Branch, the river stage reached heights not seen again until Hurricane Floyd of the 1999 Atlantic hurricane season. [Jerad D. Bales, Carolyn J. Oblinger, and Asbury H. Sallenger, Jr. [ Two Months of Flooding in Eastern North Carolina, September - October 1999: Hydrologic Water-Quality, and Geologic Effects of Hurricanes Dennis, Floyd, and Irene.] Retrieved on 2008-02-23.] Ione caused seven deaths,Gordon E. Dunn, Walter R. Davis, and Paul L. Moore. [ Hurricanes of 1955.] Retrieved on 2008-03-08.] a low number attributed to well-executed warnings and effectiveness of relief groups such as the Red Cross.


The name Ione was retired and will never be used for an Atlantic hurricane again; this was before the formal lists were created, so it was not replaced with any particular name. Because of this, this is the only time the name Ione was used for the Atlantic Basin since hurricane naming began in 1950.


When one of the first tropical cyclone forecast models was developed, Ione was chosen as one of the candidates to test out its reliability. The errors associated with Ione were significant, as the model did not forecast Ione to make landfall in North Carolina, forcing the storm eastward to the south of the state. [Lcdr. William E. Hubert, U. S. Navy. [ Hurricane Trajectory Forecasts From a Non-Divergent, Non-Geostrophic, Barotropic Model.] Retrieved on 2008-02-23.]

See also

* List of Atlantic hurricanes
* List of wettest tropical cyclones in North Carolina


External links

* [ NOAA page on the three 1955 North Carolina hurricanes]
* [ History of North Carolina storms, including excerpts from diary entries on Ione]
* [ The Canadian Hurricane Centre's page on storms in 1955]

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