1937 Atlantic hurricane season

The 1937 Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 16, 1937, and lasted until October 31, 1937.[1] These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin.

1937 Atlantic hurricane season
A summary map of all tropical cyclone tracks in the 1936 Atlantic hurricane season
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formedJuly 29, 1937
Last system dissipatedOctober 21, 1937
Strongest storm
 • Maximum winds125 mph (205 km/h)
(1-minute sustained)
 • Lowest pressure951 mbar (hPa; 28.08 inHg)
Seasonal statistics
Total depressions16
Total storms11
Major hurricanes
(Cat. 3+)
Total fatalitiesUnknown
Total damageUnknown
Related article
Atlantic hurricane seasons
1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939

The 1937 season was not a very active one, with only four hurricanes and one major hurricane forming during the season and those stayed out to sea. Most of the activity during the 1937 season consisted of tropical storms. Ironically, Nova Scotia saw more tropical cyclone activity than the entire East Coast of the United States and the Gulf Coast of the United States. A tropical storm hit Tampa, Florida, and then grazed Nova Scotia. Tropical storms also hit Daytona Beach, Louisiana, southern Nova Scotia, and rural northwest Florida.

The most notable storm of the season actually was not tropical, at the time it made itself notable at least. The extratropical remnant of a hurricane struck just north of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The storm was moving swiftly, so most of the damage was strictly wind related.


Saffir–Simpson scale 

Tropical Storm OneEdit

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationJuly 29 – August 1
Peak intensity70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  996 mbar (hPa)

In late July, a stationary front was draped across the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. An area of rotation developed along this decaying boundary, developing into the season's first tropical depression around 00:00 UTC on July 29 while located about 225 miles (360 km) southwest of Tampa, Florida. The incipient cyclone moved steadily northeast and intensified into a tropical storm twelve hours later. It reached an initial peak of 65 mph (100 km/h) while in the Gulf of Mexico, making landfall at that intensity near Palm Harbor, Florida, at 22:00 UTC on July 29. The system initially weakened while crossing the state and emerging into the Atlantic, but surface observations along the North Carolina coastline supported peak winds around 70 mph (110 km/h) as the storm accelerated northeast; it is possible the cyclone possessed hurricane-force winds offshore. By 00:00 UTC on August 1, the system transitioned into an extratropical cyclone as an occluded front became attached to the circulation. It made landfall in Nova Scotia late on August 1 and curved northwest, dissipating over northern New Brunswick the next day.[2]

In Tampa, Florida, five-minute sustained winds reached 51 mph (82 km/h),[3] blowing [4] down trees, utility poles, and electric wires. Clearwater, Florida documented 8.88 in (226 mm) of rainfall in a 24-hour period, the heaviest rains measured in connection with the passing tropical storm. Some roads were washed out in Clearwater and minor losses of fruit were documented in surrounding Pinellas County. Farther north, winds at Hatteras, North Carolina peaked at 65 mph (105 km/h).[3] Telephone and power service was disrupted in Halifax, Nova Scotia as the storm's remnants produced 35 mph (56 km/h) winds in the city. Three boats moored there were destroyed.[5]

Tropical Storm TwoEdit

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationAugust 2 – August 9
Peak intensity65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  1005 mbar (hPa)

On August 1, a weak trough was identified north of the Greater Antilles. It developed into a tropical depression by 18:00 UTC on August 2 while positioned just southwest of Long Island, Bahamas; further intensification into a tropical storm occurred over Current Island 24 hours later. The system curved around the western periphery of an area of high pressure, attaining peak winds of 65 mph (100 km/h) based on data from ships that intersected the cyclone. Unlike the previous cyclone, this tropical storm never transitioned into an extratropical cyclone, instead weakening to a tropical depression around 00:00 UTC on August 9 and dissipating east of Nova Scotia twelve hours later.[2]

Tropical Storm ThreeEdit

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationAugust 24 – September 2
Peak intensity70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  995 mbar (hPa)

A tropical depression was first noted about 50 miles (85 km) east of Barbuda around 12:00 UTC on August 24, although it is possible a weak cyclone could have existed sooner in the absence of more abundant surface observations. It intensified into a tropical storm twelve hours but remained weak for several days after as it weaved through the Bahamas. The storm began to strengthen on August 28, a trend that continued over the next 48 hours. It struck the coastline near Daytona Beach, Florida, around 14:00 UTC on August 30 with winds of 70 mph (110 km/h); it is feasible the cyclone was of hurricane intensity based on damage reports, however. The tropical storm moved northwest across the Southeastern United States, weakening to a tropical depression over southern Alabama early on September 1. It opened up into a trough over northern Arkansas by 18:00 UTC the next day.[2]

The tropical storm caused widespread damage to electric and telecommunication wires in Florida, along the coast and as far as 100 mi (160 km) inland in Lake City. Gusts of 50–60 mph (80–97 km/h) impacted the coast between New Smyrna and St. Augustine.[6] At Savannah Beach, Georgia, the bulkhead and boardwalks were damaged by strong winds.[7] Flooding rains from the system washed out roads and bridges in the state's northwestern counties.[6] One squall associated with the tropical cyclone sank the SS Tarpon, drowning 18 of the 31 persons on board.[8][6] Rainfall totals of at least 3 in (76 mm) spread as far west as eastern Mississippi, with a maximum rainfall of 13.8 in (350 mm) observed in Vernon, Florida.[9]:174 Heavy rains in southeastern Alabama caused the Pea and Choctawhatchee rivers to flood, inflicting roughly $62,500 in damage to adjacent property and crops.[10]

Hurricane FourEdit

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
DurationSeptember 9 – September 14
Peak intensity100 mph (155 km/h) (1-min)  992 mbar (hPa)

A strong tropical wave, originating near Cabo Verde around September 4, developed into a tropical storm by 00:00 UTC on September 9 while positioned about 480 miles (770 km) east-northeast of Barbuda. It intensified into the season's first hurricane within 24 hours, with further development to Category 2 intensity with winds of 100 mph (160 km/h) by 06:00 UTC on September 12. The small hurricane moved steadily northwest throughout its lifespan, passing east of Bermuda before weakening to a tropical storm late the next day. It acquired well-defined frontal boundaries by 06:00 UTC on September 14, marking the system's transition into an extratropical cyclone. It made landfall in Nova Scotia and either elongated into a trough or merged with a frontal system over far eastern Canada twelve hours later.[2]

Tropical Storm FiveEdit

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationSeptember 10 – September 11
Peak intensity70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  988 mbar (hPa)

As part of the Atlantic hurricane reanalysis project, a previously unidentified tropical cyclone was discovered in 2012. Similar to the evolution of the season's first tropical cyclone, an area of low pressure formed along a dissipating frontal boundary early on September 10. It developed into a tropical storm by 06:00 UTC that day while located roughly 75 miles (120 km) south-southwest of Bermuda. The storm moved northwest over the next day, making a close approach to the Northeastern United States before veering to the northeast. It reached peak winds of 70 mph (110 km/h) around 18:00 UTC on September 11, when the structure of the system more resembled a subtropical cyclone than a strictly tropical one. It transitioned into an extratropical cyclone six hours later, striking Nova Scotia before becoming absorbed into the larger circulation of a non-tropical entity around 06:00 UTC on September 12.[2]

Hurricane SixEdit

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
DurationSeptember 13 – September 19
Peak intensity125 mph (205 km/h) (1-min)  951 mbar (hPa)

A tropical storm was first identified about 355 miles (570 km) east of Barbuda around 06:00 UTC on September 13, although it may have existed previously. The system executed a gradual curve toward the north while intensifying, becoming a hurricane early on September 14 and reaching its peak intensity as a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 125 mph (205 km/h) by 06:00 UTC the next morning. It temporarily veered east but then resumed a northward motion, remaining a potent hurricane for several days. Extratropical transition occurred by 18:00 UTC on September 19 when an occluded front became attached to the storm. It turned northeast and ultimately opened up into a sharp trough over the far northern Atlantic late on September 20.[2]

Tropical Storm SevenEdit

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationSeptember 16 – September 21
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  1002 mbar (hPa)

A tropical storm formed over the Bay of Campeche by 12:00 UTC on September 16, embarking on a steady northeastward course. Reports from ships indicate that the cyclone reached peak winds of 60 mph (95 km/h) on September 18, but that it weakened to 45 mph (75 km/h) while making landfall near Port Eads, Louisiana, at 18:00 UTC the next day. The system turned toward the east thereafter, making a second landfall near Apalachicola, Florida, with winds of 40 mph (65 km/h) at 16:00 UTC on September 20. It temporarily emerged into the far northeastern Gulf of Mexico before striking the Big Bend region of Florida as a tropical depression. The depression dissipated near Jacksonville, Florida, around 18:00 UTC on September 21.[2]

Damage from the storm in Florida was generally minor as winds on land remained around 30 mph (48 km/h). Some small boats in St. Marks broke from their moorings and sustained slight damage. A portion of Highway 6 between Wewahitchka and White City.[11] Two people drowned after their canoe capsized in rough seas generated by the storm near Everglades City.[12]

Hurricane EightEdit

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
DurationSeptember 20 – September 26
Peak intensity100 mph (155 km/h) (1-min)  982 mbar (hPa)

A tropical wave likely emerged from the western coast of Africa around September 14. It developed into a tropical cyclone at some point of the next few days, with a specific date unclear in the absence of surface observations. At 06:00 UTC on September 20, a hurricane was conclusively identified about halfway between Cabo Verde and the Leeward Islands. It gained strength on a general northwest heading, intensifying into a Category 2 hurricane and attaining peak winds of 100 mph (160 km/h) on September 24–25. Slight weakening occurred as the system passed well north of Bermuda. It transitioned into an extratropical cyclone by 06:00 UTC on September 26 and struck Nova Scotia before turning northeast across Newfoundland and into the northern Atlantic. The extratropical cyclone was last noted over Iceland at 12:00 UTC on September 28, after which time it likely merged with another non-tropical low.[2]

Tropical Storm NineEdit

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationSeptember 26 – September 28
Peak intensity45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  1010 mbar (hPa)

At 06:00 UTC on September 26, a tropical depression formed just north of Cuba. It intensified into a tropical storm by 18:00 UTC the following day based on reports from two ships. After attaining peak winds of 45 mph (75 km/h), the cyclone quickly transitioned to an extratropical cyclone by 12:00 UTC on September 28 as multiple fronts became intertwined with the circulation. The extratropical cyclone continued to parallel the U.S. East Coast, eventually making landfall in Newfoundland early on September 30. It strengthened into a hurricane-force low on October 1 but ultimately dissipated two days later as it merged with another cyclone and became increasingly elongated.[2]

Tropical Storm TenEdit

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationOctober 2 – October 4
Peak intensity45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  1002 mbar (hPa)

In late September, a tropical wave moved westward across the Caribbean. An initial area of low pressure formed over the northwestern portion of the region on September 29, but this feature dissipated within 2 days. Instead, a new low formed and organized into a tropical storm around 00:00 UTC on October 2 while positioned about 425 miles (685 km) south of Mobile, Alabama. It reached peak winds of 45 mph (75 km/h) after six hours, with steady weakening thereafter as the storm moved west-northwest and then north. The system made two landfalls in central Louisiana near the Atchafalaya Basin between 12:00–14:00 UTC on October 3, both with winds of 40 mph (65 km/h). The system continued to degrade once inland, dissipating after 06:00 UTC on October 4 over southeastern Arkansas.[2]

The tropical storm caused the wettest 48-hour period in New Orleans's history, with 16.65 in (423 mm) of rainfall recorded as the storm made landfall; the maximum 24-hour rainfall total of 13.59 in (0.345 m) nearly broke the city's record for maximum daily rainfall.[13] City streets were submerged under as much as 3 ft (0.91 m) of water.[14] Blue laws were suspended for half a day to allow grocery store food supplies to reach stranded areas.[13] Damage was estimated at several thousands of dollars and the flooding was considered the city's most severe since the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.[15] Crops around the city sustained considerable damage.[16] At Belle Chasse, Louisiana, the 15.40 in (391 mm) of rain recorded in 24 hours set the state record for the most rainfall recorded over such a time frame in October.[17] The strongest recorded winds from the tropical cyclone occurred at Port Eads, Louisiana, where a 33 mph (53 km/h) wind was documented as the system was developing on October 2.[18]

Hurricane ElevenEdit

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
DurationOctober 19 – October 21
Peak intensity80 mph (130 km/h) (1-min)  995 mbar (hPa)

Similar to Tropical Storm Five, a new tropical cyclone that was not documented in real time was found to have existed over the northern Atlantic. From October 16–17, a cold front moved eastward across the basin. An area of low pressure formed along the southern end of the dissipating boundary, initially harboring characteristics of an extratropical cyclone. This low became more symmetric while also intensifying, therefore transitioning into a hurricane by 00:00 UTC on October 19 while located roughly 715 miles (1,150 km) southeast of Newfoundland. The system attained peak winds of 80 mph (130 km/h) within six hours and weakened shortly thereafter while moving west-northwest. It fell to tropical storm intensity by early on October 20; by 00:00 UTC the next day, there were no further indications of the storm. It either dissipated or was absorbed by a front encroaching from the west.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Storm Season Opens on Coast". The Brownsville Herald (295). Brownsville, Texas. June 17, 1937. p. 8. Retrieved July 4, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Christopher W. Landsea; et al. "Documentation of Atlantic Tropical Cyclones Changes in HURDAT". Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Hurd, Willis E. (July 1937). "Small Tropical Disturbance of Late July, 1937" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. Boston, Massachusetts: American Meteorological Society. 65 (7): 281–282. Bibcode:1937MWRv...65R.281H. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1937)65<281b:STDOLJ>2.0.CO;2. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  4. ^ "Sunshine Routs 47-Mile an Hour Gulf Wind Storm". Tampa Morning Tribune (211). Tampa, Florida. July 30, 1937. p. 1. Retrieved July 22, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ "1937-1". Environment and Climate Change Canada. Ottawa, Quebec, Canada: Government of Canada. November 18, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Bennett, W. J. (August 1937). "Florida Section" (PDF). Climatological Data. Asheville, North Carolina: National Centers for Environmental Information. 41 (8): 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 22, 2019. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  7. ^ "Storm Blows Self Out on Upper Coast". Fort Myers News-Press. 53 (286). Fort Myers, Florida. Associated Press. August 31, 1937. p. 1. Retrieved July 22, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "SS Tarpon". National Park Service. September 28, 2017. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  9. ^ Schoner, R. W.; Molansky, S. (July 1956). Rainfall Associated with Hurricanes (and Other Tropical Disturbances) (PDF) (Report). Washington, D.C: National Hurricane Research Project. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  10. ^ Emigh, E. D. (September 1937). "Alabama Section" (PDF). Climatological Data. Asheville, North Carolina: National Centers for Environmental Information. 43 (9): 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 22, 2019. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  11. ^ "Storm Dissipates in North Florida". Miami Daily News. 284 (42). Miami, Florida. United Press. September 21, 1937. p. 1. Retrieved July 22, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "Storm Brings Death to Seminole Women". Miami Daily News. Miami, Florida. September 21, 1937. p. 26. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Record Rains at New Orleans". Orlando Morning Sentinel (627). Orlando, Florida. October 4, 1937. p. 1. Retrieved May 10, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.  
  14. ^ "Storm Brings Floods to New Orleans and Halts Football Game". The Tampa Daily Times (204). Tampa, Florida. Associated Press. October 2, 1937. p. 1. Retrieved May 10, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.  
  15. ^ "City New Orleans Flooded by Rains". The Kingsport Times (236). Kingsport, Tennessee. October 3, 1937. p. 1. Retrieved May 10, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.  
  16. ^ United States Army Corps of Engineers (August 1972). History of Hurricane Occurrences Along Coastal Louisiana (PDF) (Report). Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University. p. 28. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  17. ^ "Louisiana". Climatological Data (PDF) (Report). 69. Asheville, North Carolina: National Climatic Data Center. October 1964. p. 122. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 10, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  18. ^ McDonald, W.F. (1937). "Louisiana Section". Climatological Data (PDF) (Report) (42 ed.). Asheville, North Carolina: National Climatic Data Center. p. 37. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 10, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2019.

External linksEdit