National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Hurricane Ivan  

Hurricane Ivan made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama at 210 am CDT on Thursday September 16, 2004. At landfall, Hurricane Ivan's strength was estimated around 130 mph, which would be a high end category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. NOAA Research Aircraft measured the minimum central pressure at 943mb near the time of landfall. Hurricane Ivan will compare with the worst hurricanes to ever to affect the Alabama Gulf Coastal Region since 1900, including Frederic in September 1979, Opal in October 1995, and the September 1926 Hurricane.


Hurricane Ivan moved inland maintaining hurricane strength to near Uniontown (Perry County) around 11 am. Ivan was downgraded to a Tropical Storm at 1 pm CDT as it was approaching Centreville (Bibb County). Ivan then tracked across the Birmingham Metropolitan Area between 4 and 8 pm. Ivan remained a Tropical Storm until reaching northeast Alabama, where it weakened to a Tropcial Depression around 10 pm.

Ivan produced estimated maximum winds of 60 to 80 mph generally southwest of line from Prattville to Livingston. A few spots may have reached 90 mph in this area. Most other locations across central Alabama had estimated maximum wind speeds of 50 to 60 mph, with a few isolated spots reaching 75 mph. Tree and power line damage was extensive.



Track of Hurricane Ivan across Alabama Peak Wind Gusts across Central Alabama


Satellite Picture of Hurricane Ivan Before Landfall


Ivan produced a large swath of heavy rainfall. Central sections of the area received an average of 4 to 8 inches, with a few locations just over 10 inches. Areas along and near the Georgia and Mississippi state-lines received slightly lower amounts. Flash flooding was widespread, although temporary. The Birmingham Metropolitan area was especially hard hit with flooding.

Here are some peak wind gusts and storm total rainfall amounts, associated with Hurricane Ivan as it passed over Central Alabama.

*** DISCLAIMER *** The information contained below has been quality controlled only for consistency. The accuracy of the equipment used has not been measured. The observations were taken from ASOS, AWOS, AWS, EMA wind equipment and personal wind equipment.

Peak Wind Gusts

Location County Speed
Demopolis (estimated) Marengo 90
Greensboro (estimated) Hale 78
Lake Harding Lee 72
Sumter County (estimated) Sumter 70
Maxwell Airforce Base Montgomery 67
Anniston (9th & Noble St.) Calhoun 67
Billingsley Autauga 67
Montgomery (Dannelly Field) Montgomery 58
Gadsden (Etowah Co. EMA) Etowah 57
Tuscsloosa Regional AP Tuscaloosa 55
Hackleburg Marion 55
Birmingham International AP Jefferson 54
Childersburg Middle School Talladega 52
Troy Municipal AP Pike 52
Gadsden Municipal AP Etowah 49
Birmingham Race Course Jefferson 47
Attalla (Etowah Co. Middle School) Etowah 47
Anniston Municipal AP Calhoun 44
Birmingham, Jimmie Hale Mission Jefferson 41
Guin (Marion Co. High School) Marion 41


Storm Total Rainfall

Location County Rainfall
Alabaster Shelby 6.00
Alexander City Tallapoosa 5.59
Alpine Talladega 7.22
Anniston Calhoun 6.66
Ashland Clay 6.72
Ashville St. Clair 6.50
Auburn Lee 5.93
Bessie Chilton 5.81
Birmingham Jefferson 9.81
Blount Springs Blount 5.29
Blue Pond Cherokee 5.33
Calera Shelby 7.28
Carbon Hill Walker 5.68
Childersburg Talladega 7.18
Clanton Chilton 5.26
Collins Chapel Chilton 6.38
Cordova Walker 4.56
Crudup Etowah 3.76
Dadeville Tallapoosa 5.38
Dearmanville Calhoun 3.95
Fayette Fayette 2.39
Gadsden Etowah 5.10
Gaylesville Cherokee 5.46
Gorgas Steam Plant Walker 7.64
Hackneyville Tallapoosa 4.01
Location County Rainfall
Hamilton Marion 3.14
Heflin Cleburne 2.12
Helena Shelby 4.72
Hollins Clay 6.97
Horseshoe Bend Tallapoosa 4.50
Indian Springs Shelby 7.61
Jackson Shoals Talladega 4.05
Ketona Jefferson 9.69
Manchester Walker 4.35
Montgomery Montgomery 5.32
Newell Randolph 4.67
Northport Tuscaloosa 3.80
Oak Grove Jefferson 5.28
Palmerdale Jefferson 7.03
Pinson Jefferson 4.94
Prattville Autauga 5.45
Selma Dallas 8.87
Talladega Talladega 5.60
Tannehill Jefferson 9.76
Troy Pike 6.50
Trussville Jefferson 8.97
Vance Tuscaloosa 6.59
Vestavia Hills Jefferson 8.65
Wadley Randolph 6.25
Wedowee Randolph 5.20