Visit the NOAA Coastal Services Center Historical Hurricane Tracks web site to learn about historical tropical cyclones occurring in different areas located throughout the North Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and East-Central North Pacific Basins.
The web site provides information about U.S. coastal county population versus hurricane strikes as well as links to various Internet resources focusing on tropical cyclones. The interactive mapping application allows you to search the National Hurricane Center historical tropical cyclone database and graphically display storms affecting your area since 1851.
This killer weather system was first detected over the tropical Atlantic on August 27. While the history of the track and intensity is not fully known, the system reached Cuba as a tropical storm on September 3 and moved into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on the 5th. A general west-northwestward motion occurred over the Gulf accompanied by rapid intensification. By the time the storm reached the Texas coast south of Galveston late on September 8, it was a Category 4 hurricane. After landfall, the cyclone turned northward through the Great Plains. It became extratropical and turned east-northeastward on September 11, passing across the Great Lakes, New England, and southeastern Canada. It was last spotted over the north Atlantic on September 15.
was the deadliest weather disaster in United States history.
tides of 8 to 15 ft inundated the whole of Galveston Island, as well
as other portions of the nearby Texas coast. These tides were largely responsible
for the 8,000 deaths (estimates range from 6,000 to 12,000) attributed to
the storm. The damage to property was estimated at $30 million.
For an interactive map of the Galveston Hurricane visit the NOAA Coastal Services Center.
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This fearsome cyclone was first detected near the Lesser Antilles on September 2. It moved generally west-northwestward for several days, passing near the Dominican Republic on September 4 and into the southeastern Bahamas on the 5th and 6th. At that time it became a hurricane. A westward turn on September 7 took the center across the central Bahamas on the 7th and 8th and into the Straits of Florida on the 9th. The now large hurricane was of Category 4 intensity as the eye passed just south of Key West, Florida and the Dry Tortugas on September 10. A continued west to west-northwestward motion brought the center to the Texas coast south of Corpus Christi as a Category 3 hurricane on September 14. The cyclone dissipated over northern Mexico and southern Texas the next day.
Although hurricane-force winds occurred over the Florida Keys and the central and south Texas coast, no reliable wind measurements are available from near the center. A storm surge of up to 12 ft inundated Corpus Christ, Texas causing major damage to the coastal areas. A ship moored near the Dry Tortugas measured a pressure of 27.37 inches as the center passed, and based on this, the storm is ranked as the third most intense to hit the United States.
The death toll
was estimated at 600 to 900 people. Of these, more than 500 were lost on
ten ships that either sunk or were reported missing. Damage in the United
States was estimated at $22 million.
For an interactive map of the Atlantic-Gulf Hurricane visit the NOAA Coastal Services Center.
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Great Miami Hurricane
The "Great Miami" Hurricane was first spotted as a tropical wave located 1,000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles on September 11th. The system moved quickly westward and intensified to hurricane strength as it moved to the north of Puerto Rico on the 15th. Winds were reported to be nearly 150 mph as the hurricane passed over the Turks Islands on the 16th and through the Bahamas on the 17th. Little in the way of meteorological information on the approaching hurricane was available to the Weather Bureau in Miami. As a result, hurricane warnings were not issued until midnight on September 18th, which gave the booming population of South Florida little notice of the impending disaster.
The Category 4 hurricane's eye moved directly over Miami Beach and downtown Miami during the morning hours of the 18th. This cyclone produced the highest sustained winds ever recorded in the United States at the time, and the barometric pressure fell to 27.61 inches as the eye passed over Miami. A storm surge of nearly 15 feet was reported in Coconut Grove. Many casualties resulted as people ventured outdoors during the half-hour lull in the storm as the eye passed overhead. Most residents, having not experienced a hurricane, believed that the storm had passed during the lull. They were suddenly trapped and exposed to the eastern half of the hurricane shortly thereafter. Every building in the downtown district of Miami was damaged or destroyed. The town of Moore Haven on the south side of Lake Okeechobee was completely flooded by lake surge from the hurricane. Hundreds of people in Moore Haven alone were killed by this surge, which left behind floodwaters in the town for weeks afterward.
The hurricane continued
northwestward across the Gulf of Mexico and approached Pensacola on September
20th. The storm nearly stalled to the south of Pensacola later that day and
buffeted the central Gulf Coast with 24 hours of heavy rainfall, hurricane
force winds, and storm surge. The hurricane weakened as it moved inland over
Louisiana later on the 21st. Nearly every pier, warehouse, and vessel on
Pensacola Bay was destroyed.
The great hurricane of 1926 ended the economic boom in South Florida and would be a $90 billion disaster had it occurred in recent times. With a highly transient population across southeastern Florida during the 1920s, the death toll is uncertain since more than 800 people were missing in the aftermath of the cyclone. A Red Cross report lists 373 deaths and 6,381 injuries as a result of the hurricane.
For an interactive map of the Great Miami Hurricane visit the NOAA Coastal Services Center.
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San Felipe-Okeechobee Hurricane
This classic Cape Verde hurricane was first detected over the tropical Atlantic on September 10, although it likely formed several days earlier. It moved westward through the Leeward Islands on the 12th. It then turned west-northwestward, scoring a direct hit on Puerto Rico on the 13th (the feast of San Felipe) as a Category 4 hurricane. The hurricane continued west-northwestward through the Bahamas and made landfall near Palm Beach, Florida on September 16. It turned north-northeastward over the Florida Peninsula on the 17th, a motion which brought the remains of the storm to eastern North Carolina on the 19th. It then turned northward and merged with a non-tropical low over the eastern Great Lakes on September 20.
No reliable wind readings are available from near the landfall area in Florida. However, Palm Beach reported a minimum pressure of 27.43 in, making this the fourth strongest hurricane of record to hit the United States. In Puerto Rico, San Juan reported 144 mph sustained winds, while Guayama reported a pressure of 27.65 inches. Additionally, a ship just south of St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands (USVI) reported a pressure of 27.50 inches, while Guadeloupe in the Leeward Islands reported a pressure of 27.76 inches.
caused heavy casualties and extensive destruction along its path from the
Leeward Islands to Florida. The worst tragedy occurred at inland Lake Okeechobee
in Florida, where the hurricane caused a lake surge of 6 to 9 ft that inundated
the surrounding area. 1,836 people died in Florida, mainly due to the lake
surge. An additional 312 people died in Puerto Rico, and 18 more were reported
dead in the Bahamas. Damage to property was estimated at $50,000,000 in Puerto
Rico and $25,000,000 in Florida.
For an interactive map of the San Felipe-Okeechobee Hurricane visit the NOAA Coastal Services Center.
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Florida Keys Labor Day Hurricane
This system was first detected east of the central Bahamas on August 29. Moving westward, it passed near Andros Island on September 1, at which time it reached hurricane strength and turned west-northwestward. Phenomenal strengthening then occurred, and when the storm reached the middle Florida Keys on September 2, it was a Category 5 hurricane. After roaring through the Keys, the hurricane turned gradually northward almost parallel to the Florida west coast until it again made landfall near Cedar Key as a Category 2 hurricane on the 4th. A northeastward motion took the storm across the southeastern United States to the Atlantic coast near Norfolk, Virgina on September 6. It continued into the Atlantic, becoming extratropical on the 7th and last being detected on the 10th.
No wind measurements are available from the core of this small, but vicious hurricane. However, a pressure of 26.35 inches measured at Long Key, Florida makes this the most intense hurricane of record to hit the United States and the second most intense hurricane of record in the Atlantic basin (surpassed only by the 26.22 inches observed in Hurricane Gilbert in 1988).
of winds and tides were responsible for 408 deaths in the Florida Keys, primarily
among World War I veterans working in the area. Damage in the United States
was estimated at $6 million.
For an interactive map of the Labor Day Hurricane visit the NOAA Coastal Services Center.
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New England Hurricane
The "Long Island Express" was first detected over the tropical Atlantic on September 13, although it may have formed a few days earlier. Moving generally west-northwestward, it passed to the north of Puerto Rico on the 18th and 19th, likely as a category 5 hurricane. It turned northward on September 20 and by the morning of the 21st it was 100 to 150 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. At that point, the hurricane accelerated to a forward motion of 60 to 70 mph, making landfall over Long Island and Connecticut that afternoon as a Category 3 hurricane. The storm became extratropical after landfall and dissipated over southeastern Canada on September 22.
Blue Hill Observatory, Massachusetts measured sustained winds of 121 mph with gusts to 183 mph (likely influenced by terrain). A U.S. Coast Guard station on Long Island measured a minimum pressure of 27.94 in. Storm surges of 10 to 12 ft inundated portions of the coast from Long Island and Connecticut eastward to southeastern Massachusetts, with the most notable surges in Narragansett Bay and Buzzards Bay. Heavy rains before and during the hurricane produced river flooding, most notably along the Connecticut River.
struck with little warning and was responsible for 600 deaths and $308 million
in damage in the United States.
For an interactive map of the New England Hurricane visit the NOAA Coastal Services Center.
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Great Atlantic Hurricane
This large and powerful hurricane was first detected northeast of the Leeward Islands on September 9. It moved west-northwestward through the 12th, then turned northward on a track that brought the center near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina on the 14th. The cyclone accelerated north-northeastward, moving across eastern New England and into Canada by September 15. The storm became extratropical over Canada and finally merged with a larger low near Greenland on September 16. This hurricane was of Category 3 intensity at landfalls at Cape Hatteras, Long Island, and Point Judith, Rhode Island, and Category 2 as far north as the coast of Maine.
Cape Henry, VA reported 134 mph sustained winds (measured 90 ft above the ground) with estimated gusts to 150 mph. Widespread hurricane-force winds were reported elsewhere along the storm track from North Carolina to Massachusetts with a maximum reported gust of 109 mph at Hartford, Connecticut. Rainfall totals of 6 to 11 inches accompanied the storm.
While this hurricane
caused 46 deaths and $100 million in damage in the United States, the worst
effects occurred at sea where it wreaked havoc on World War II shipping.
Five ships, including a U. S. Navy destroyer and minesweeper, two U. S. Coast
Guard cutters, and a light vessel, sank due to the storm causing 344
For an interactive map of the Great Atlantic Hurricane visit the NOAA Coastal Services Center.
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Hurricanes Carol and Edna
Carol formed near the central Bahama Islands on August 25, and moved slowly northward and north-northwestward. By August 30 it was a hurricane about 100-150 miles east of Charleston, South Carolina. It then accelerated north-northeastward, make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane over Long Island, New York and Connecticut on the 31st. The cyclone became extratropical later that day as it crossed the remainder of New England and southeastern Canada.
Sustained winds of 80 to 100 mph were reported over much of eastern Connecticut, all of Rhode Island, and eastern Massachusetts. A peak gust of 130 mph was reported at Block Island, Rhode Island, while gusts of 100 to 125 mph occurred over much of the rest of the affected area. Storm surge flooding occurred along the New England coast from Long Island northward, with water depths of 8 to 10 ft reported in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. Carol was responsible for 60 deaths and $461 million in damage in the United States.
No discussion of Carol is complete without mention of the remarkably similar Hurricane Edna. This storm first formed east of the Windward Islands on September 2. It moved northwestward, and by September 7 it was a hurricane very near where Carol had formed two weeks before. From this point, Edna followed a path just east of Carol's. It accelerated past Cape Hatteras, North Carolina on September 10 and made landfall over Cape Cod as a Category 3 hurricane the next day. Edna moved across Maine into eastern Canada later on the 11th as it became extratropical.
Massachusetts reported a peak wind gust of 120 mph during Edna, and much
of the rest of the affected area had gusts of 80 to 100 mph. The storm was
responsible for 20 deaths and $40 million in damage in the United
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Hazel was first spotted east of the Windward Islands on October 5. It moved through the islands later that day as a hurricane, then it moved westward over the southern Caribbean Sea through October 8. A slow turn to the north-northeast occurred from October 9-12, with Hazel crossing western Haiti as a hurricane on the 12th. The hurricane turned northward and crossed the southeastern Bahamas on the 13th, followed by a northwestward turn on the 14th. Hazel turned north and accelerated on October 15, making landfall as a Category 4 hurricane near the North Carolina-South Carolina border. Subsequent rapid motion over the next 12 hours took the storm from the coast across the eastern United States into southeastern Canada as it became extratropical.
High winds occurred over large portions of the eastern United States. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina reported a peak wind gust of 106 mph, and winds were estimated at 130 to 150 mph along the coast between Myrtle Beach and Cape Fear, North Carolina. Washington, DC reported 78 mph sustained winds, and peak gusts of over 90 mph occurred as far northward as inland New York state. A storm surge of up to 18 ft inundated portions of the North Carolina coast. Heavy rains of up to 11 inches occurred as far northward as Toronto, Canada resulting in severe flooding.
Hazel was responsible
for 95 deaths and $281 million in damage in the United States, 100 deaths
and $100 million in damage in Canada, and an estimated 400 to 1000 deaths
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Hurricanes Connie and Diane