Ruh-roh Charlotte County: Jim Cantore checking in
Jim Cantore plays a key role in the myriad emotions Floridians feel this time of year. Image via The Weather Channel.

The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore covering severe weather in Oklahoma City, OK on May 9
Meteorologist's knack for finding the eye of the storm is legend.

The National Hurricane Center says to expect Hurricane Ian’s Florida landfall somewhere in the 240-something shoreline miles between the Anclote River, north of Tampa to Chokoloskee, just west of Everglades City.

Folklore would have it, however, that the real harbinger of doom, extreme weather style, is when meteorologist Jim Cantore shows up in your vicinity. And Tuesday, as the hours ticked down to the last 24 before Ian’s expected landfall, it appears that Punta Gorda or thereabouts will be the chosen spot for the storm to make its Florida debut.

Wayne Sallade, former Emergency Operations Center chief for Charlotte County, posted a photo of Cantore, who reports for The Weather Channel, checking into the Springhill Suites in Punta Gorda on his Facebook Page, the Fort Myers News-Press reported under the headline that’s on a lot of people’s minds: “Where is Jim Cantore?”

Earlier reports put him in Clearwater Beach. And his Twitter feed, where he claims to be ready for nature’s latest temper tantrum, was noncommittal, with photos of Ian’s wrath in Cuba.

But Sallade solved the mystery.

“Imagine, visitors still coming to Charlotte County!” Sallade wrote. “The last person you want to see in a hurricane has checked into Springhill Suites in Punta Gorda. Is this enough to convince you it’s time to leave?

Cantore is a 2018 inductee in the Weather Hall of Fame, known for his live reporting of the biggest weather events. His sixth sense for tracking a hurricane down for its most dramatic live shots have become legend. He’s been a contributor to NBC programs such as “Nightly News with Lester Holt” and “TODAY,” as well as for all major network affiliates nationwide.

As one of the most-recognized faces in meteorology, Cantore has become a traveling meme: “Jim Cantore is like an ex-wife. When he rolls into town you are probably gonna lose everything.” Another one, “It’s all fun and games until this guy shows up.”

And the Boca Beacon, based in Boca Grande, remarked: “Houston, we have a problem.”

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].

One comment

  • Tom

    September 28, 2022 at 8:21 am

    If you aren’t kite surfing right now then you don’t know what you’re missing buddy. Epic stunts can be achieved in these conditions. Guinness book of world records can be achieved for surfing and kite surfing in these conditions. Just imagine the buzz on social media…

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