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Hurricane Charley was a Category 1 Atlantic hurricane which caused minor coastal flooding and strong riptides to North Carolina. The third named storm and third hurricane of the above-average 1980 Atlantic hurricane season, it formed as an extratropical low pressure system was centered over the Mid-Atlantic United States, though it tracked southeastward and emerged into the Atlantic on August 20. Later that day, satellite imagery indicated that a well-defined low-level circulation. As a result, it was determine that the system developed into a subtropical depression at 1200 UTC, while located about Template:Convert/LoffAoffDbSoff east-northeast of Hatteras, North Carolina. Initially, the depression tracked east-southeastward, though it curved east-northeastward by August 21. Shortly thereafter, the depression strengthened into a subtropical storm. By early on August 23, the storm had intensified and acquired enough tropical characteristics to be re-classified as a hurricane. [1] At 1200 UTC on August 23, Charley attained its peak intensity with winds of 80 mph (130 km/h) and a minimum pressure of Template:Convert/mbar. Following peak intensity, Charley completed a cyclonic loop and began weakening as it headed almost due-east. Charley was downgraded to a tropical storm early on August 24. The storm continued eastward and by August 26, Charley became unidentifiable as it merged with an intense extratropical cyclone while located about Template:Convert/LoffAoffDbSoff southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland. [1] Charley brought rip currents to the Outer Banks and minor coastal flooding, drowning seven people.

Meteorological historyEdit

The origins of Charley began as an extratropical low pressure system that moved southeastward over the Mid-Atlantic coast on August 20. By noon, satellite pictures showed a well-defined low-level circulation just offshore Hatteras, North Carolina.[2] The initial vortex was initially along a cold front, but intensified due to sea surface temperatures near 81°F (27°C). It was determined that the system developed into a subtropical depression at 1200 UTC on August 20 about 150 mi (Template:Convert/km) east-northeast of Hatteras. Shortly thereafter, the depression strengthened into a subtropical storm. [1] The system moved in a cyclonic loop for at least three days, under the influence of the larger extratropical circulation which was controlling the motion of the cyclone.[2]

The center of the storm passed about Template:Convert/LonAonDbSoff northwest of Bermuda on the morning of August 22. Six hours later, a ship located just north to the center reported a pressure of Template:Convert/mbar and Template:Convert/mph winds. An Air Force Reconnaissance aircraft investigated the storm the next day, indicating that the system transitioned into a minimal hurricane with winds of 80 mph (130 km) and a central pressure of Template:Convert/mbar, which would be its peak intensity. The National Hurricane Center named the storm Charley based on the reports. On August 24, Hurricane Charley turned eastward and accelerated to speeds of Template:Convert/mph on August 25. The storm weakened gradually and was no longer identifiable as a tropical weather system, having being absorbed by an intense extratropical cyclone while located about Template:Convert/LoffAoffDbSoff southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland. [2][1]


Charley produced strong riptides, spawned by three days of northeast winds, along with waves of 6 ft (Template:Convert/LoffAonSoff) along the coast. The conditions led to four drownings during a 90-minute span on the Outer Banks,[3][4] all within an hour of low tide. Dare County rescue crews answered dozens of calls in a three hour period along the 25 mi (Template:Convert/km) beach from south Nags Head to Duck. At least seventeen people received medical attention. The riptides were formed by monthly lunar tides and the steady northeast winds by Charley. [3] The Coast Guard suspended the search of a Virginian teenager who fell off a fishing boat in Oregon Inlet.[3] In total, the high waves killed seven people. [5] Charley is the third deadliest hurricane of the season, behind Hurricane Allen and Tropical Storm Hermine.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Hurricane Charley Preliminary Report". National Hurricane Center. 1980. p. 1. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Atlantic Hurricane Season of 1980". National Hurricane Center. 1981-07. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Associated Press (1980-08-25). "Riptides Take 4 Lives on Outer Banks". The Free Lance-Star.,3713727&dq=hurricane+north+carolina&hl=en. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  4. Associated Press (1980-08-25). "Coastal Riptides Claim 4". The Dispatch.,5828935&dq=hurricane+north+carolina&hl=en. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  5. Staff Writer (1980-09-06). "Depression Poses Little Threat To Outer Banks". Times-News. Associated Press. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 

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