I am reviewing Sustained Wind Speed data for several locations associated with Hurricane Hugo in September 1989.

HURDAT2 data shows the Max Sustained Wind Speed at Landfall to be 120 knots at Isle of Palms, SC on 9/22/89 at 0400. But the Max Sustained Wind Speed for Charleston Airport is 52 knots at 0100 on the same date. The Max Sust at 0400 is recorded as 32 knots.

Charleston Airport is 17 statute miles from Isle of Palms as I measure it in ArcGIS Pro just now.

Can anyone explain the source of this discrepancy? Is it possible their anemometer(s) were in error at high speeds? Is it possible the maximum speed really dropped off that much over this short distance?


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