Photo of Shuyi Chen
Shuyi Chen

Shuyi Chen, a UW professor of atmospheric sciences, was traveling to a conference in Boston as Hurricane Ian approached the Gulf of Mexico. During breaks at the conference, she provided her thoughts on the closely watched catastrophic storm system that made landfall in Florida on Sept. 28.

Q: What are your thoughts on Hurricane Ian? How does it compare to other storms?

SSC: Each hurricane is unique in many ways. However, Hurricane Ian has some similarity to Hurricane Irma in 2017 in terms of landfall location on the southwest coast of Florida. Both hurricanes caused large storm surges — about 10 feet of water — near Naples and Fort Myers with strong onshore winds, while the water got “sucked” out of Tampa Bay by offshore winds associated with the hurricane. Ian is a larger storm than Irma, in terms of size of strong wind and rain areas.

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