VERO BEACH, Fla. – Long-time Floridians likely have a fond memory of two notable hurricanes – Charley and Jeanne – that struck the state 43 days apart in 2004. And in a strange coincidence 18 years later, hurricanes Ian and Nicole also struck Florida in nearly the exact same locations as the 2004 pair.
But that's not the only way history repeated itself. Hurricane Ian's landfall on Sept. 28 was followed by Hurricane Nicole's on Nov. 10 – 43 days later.
Hurricane Nicole vs. Hurricane Jeanne
Hurricane Nicole made landfall Thursday at 3 a.m. Eastern just south of Vero Beach. Nicole was packing maximum sustained winds of 75 mph when its center moved onshore, making it a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Less than 15 miles to the south, but 18 years earlier, Hurricane Jeanne made landfall at the southern end of Hutchinson Island on the night of Sept. 25, 2004.
Jeanne was much stronger than Nicole, making landfall as a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph before weakening to a tropical storm over Central Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.
But the two storms even shared a similar path as they moved inland, curving toward the north and northeast through Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia, though Nicole's track was just a hair to the west of Jeanne's.
Hurricane Ian vs. Hurricane Charley
Hurricane Ian made landfall near Cayo Costa on Sept. 28 as a catastrophic Category 4 storm packing maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. It was Florida's first hurricane strike of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.
In 2004, Charley also made landfall near Cayo Costa as a Category 4 hurricane with 150-mph winds on the afternoon of Aug. 13. It was the first hurricane to hit Florida that year as well.
Ian and Charley both crisscrossed Florida as they traveled northeastward from the state's west coast to its east coast before moving into the Atlantic Ocean.
But believe it or not, this pair of major hurricanes couldn't have been more different.
Hurricane Charley was on the small side of the hurricane scale and only produced sustained hurricane-force winds (74-plus mph) outward to about 15 to 20 miles from its center.
Ian’s hurricane-force winds, however, reached outward to about 50 miles, while tropical-storm-force winds (39-plus mph) extended up to 175 miles from the center. That resulted in much more widespread and devastating impacts from damaging winds and storm surge.
According to the FOX Forecast Center, the eye of Hurricane Ian was so large that the entire extent of Charley's hurricane-force wind field could have fit inside Ian’s eye, which grew to about 35 miles across as the hurricane rapidly intensified in the hours leading up to landfall.