List of Florida hurricanes

The List of Florida hurricanes encompasses approximately 500 tropical or subtropical cyclones that affected the state of Florida. More storms hit Florida than any other U.S. state,[1] and since 1851 only eighteen hurricane seasons passed without a known storm impacting the state. Collectively, cyclones that hit the region have resulted in over 10,000 deaths, most of which occurred prior to the start of hurricane hunter flights in 1943. Additionally, the cumulative impact from the storms has totalled over US$300 billion in damage (2018 dollars), primarily from Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Ian in the 1992, 2017, and 2022 seasons respectively. The most recent hurricane to make landfall in Florida was Idalia in 2023.

Category 4 Hurricane Idalia, the most recent landfalling Florida hurricane on August 30, 2023

Climatology edit

Tropical cyclones have affected Florida in every month of the year with the exceptions of January and March. Nearly one-third of the cyclones affected the state in September, and nearly three-fourths of the storms affected the state between August and October, which coincides with the peak of the hurricane season. Portions of the coastline have return periods, or expected time between hurricane strikes of a certain intensity or category within 86 mi (139 km) of a given location, that are the lowest in the country. Monroe County was struck by 26 hurricanes since 1926, which is the greatest total for any county in the United States.[2]

In a Monthly Weather Review paper published in 1934, the U.S. Weather Bureau recognized Key West and Pensacola as the most hurricane-prone cities in the state; Key West experiences both storms developing from the western Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean, while Pensacola has received hurricanes crossing the state as well as storms recurving in the northern Gulf of Mexico.[3] Officially, the earliest hurricane to affect the state was Hurricane Alma on June 9; the latest, Hurricane Kate on November 21. However, preliminary reanalysis suggests that a hurricane may have struck the state on May 28, 1863.[4]

The strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall on the state was the 1935 Labor Day hurricane, which crossed the Florida Keys with a pressure of 892 mbar (hPa; 26.35 inHg); it is also the strongest hurricane on record to strike the United States. Out of the ten most intense landfalling United States hurricanes, four struck Florida at peak strength.[5]

Pre-1900 edit

Tracks of hurricanes over Florida from 1851 to 1899

The first recorded tropical cyclone to affect the area that is now the state of Florida occurred in 1523, when two ships and their crews were lost along the western coastline.[6] A total 159 hurricanes are known to have affected the state prior to 1900, which collectively resulted in at least 6,504 fatalities and monetary damage of over $102 million (2017 dollars). Additionally, at least 109 boats or ships were either driven ashore, wrecked, or damaged due to the storms. A strong hurricane struck northwest Florida on May 28, 1863, and is the earliest landfall during the year known in the US, pending reanalysis.[4]

Information is sparse for earlier years due to limitations in tropical cyclone observation, though as coastlines became more populated, more data became available. The National Hurricane Center recognizes the uncertainty in both the death tolls and the dates of the events.[7]

1900–1949 edit

Surf from 1947 Fort Lauderdale hurricane

In the period between 1900 and 1949, 108 tropical cyclones affected the state, which collectively resulted in about $4.5 billion (2017 dollars) in damage. Additionally, tropical cyclones in Florida were directly responsible for about 3,500 fatalities during the period, most of which were from the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane. The 1947 season was the year with the most tropical cyclones affecting the state, with a total of six systems. The 1905, 1908, 1913, 1927, 1931, 1942, and 1943 seasons were the only years during the period in which a storm did not affect the state.

The strongest hurricane to hit the state during the period was the 1935 Labor Day hurricane, which is the strongest hurricane on record to strike the United States.[8] Several other major hurricanes struck the state during the period, including the 1926 Miami hurricane, the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane, and several Category 4 hurricanes in the period 1945–50.

1950–1974 edit

Radar image of Hurricane Donna making landfall

In the period between 1950 and 1974, 85 tropical or subtropical cyclones impacted the state, which collectively resulted in about $7 billion (2017 dollars) in damage, primarily from Hurricanes Donna and Dora. Additionally, the storms were directly responsible for 93 fatalities and indirectly for 23 more deaths. Several tropical cyclones produced over 20 inches (500 mm) of rainfall in the state, including Hurricane Easy, which is the highest total during the period. The 1969 season was the year with the most tropical cyclones affecting the state, with a total of eight systems. The 1954 and 1967 seasons were the only years during the period in which a storm did not affect the state.

The strongest hurricane to hit the state during the period was Hurricane Donna, which was the tenth strongest hurricane on record to strike the contiguous United States.[8][5] Additionally, Hurricanes Easy, King, Betsy, and Alma hit or otherwise impacted the state as major hurricanes.

1975–1999 edit

Hurricane Andrew approaching South Florida in August 1992.

In the period between 1975 and 1999, 83 tropical or subtropical cyclones affected the state, which collectively resulted in $51.1 billion (2017 dollars) in damage, primarily from Hurricane Andrew, and 54 direct casualties. The 1985 season was the year with the most tropical cyclones affecting the state, with a total of eight systems. Every year included at least one tropical cyclone affecting the state. The strongest hurricane to hit the state during the period was Hurricane Andrew, which was one of only four Category 5 hurricanes to strike the United States. Andrew, at the time, was the costliest tropical cyclone in United States history and remains the seventh-costliest. Additionally, Hurricanes Eloise, Elena, and Opal hit or otherwise impacted the state as major hurricanes.

2000–present edit

A beachfront home in Navarre Beach largely destroyed by Hurricane Dennis

The period from 2000 to the present has been marked by several devastating North Atlantic hurricanes; as of 2023, 79 tropical or subtropical cyclones have affected the U.S. state of Florida. Collectively, cyclones in Florida over that period resulted in over $236 billion in damage, most of it from Hurricane Ian.[9] Additionally, tropical cyclones in Florida were responsible for 145 direct fatalities and at least 92 indirect ones during the period. Eight cyclones affected the state in both 2004 and 2005, which were the years with the most tropical cyclones impacting the state. Every year included at least one tropical cyclone affecting the state.

The strongest hurricane to hit the state during the period was Michael, which made landfall in Florida as a Category 5 hurricane–the strongest since Andrew in 1992. Additionally, hurricanes Charley, Ivan, Jeanne, Dennis, Wilma, Irma, Ian, and Idalia made landfall on or otherwise impacted the state as major hurricanes.

Florida major hurricanes edit

The following major hurricanes either made landfall on the state as a major hurricane or brought winds of Category 3 status to the state. For storms that made landfall twice or more, the maximum sustained wind speed, and hence the highest Saffir–Simpson category, at the strongest landfall is listed. Only landfalls at major hurricane intensity are listed. Storms are listed since 1851, which is the official start of the Atlantic hurricane database.[5][10] Originally, hurricanes were classified by central pressure in the 20th century;[10][11] however, modern practices quantify storm intensities by maximum sustained winds.[12] United States hurricanes are still classified by central pressure from 1971 to 1979;[10][11] therefore, the maximum sustained winds in the Atlantic hurricane database (HURDAT) are utilized for storms from 1971 to 1979,[5] since this period has not been reanalyzed by the Atlantic hurricane reanalysis project.[13]

Florida major hurricanes
Storm Saffir–Simpson
Date of Landfall
Year Landfall Intensity
(in Knots)
Landfall Location
Great Middle Florida 3 August 23 1851 100 Panama City
Unnamed 3 August 17 1871 100 Jupiter Island
Unnamed 3 October 7 1873 100 Captiva Island
Unnamed 3 October 3 1877 100 Panama City
Unnamed 3 September 10 1882 110 Navarre
Unnamed 3 August 16 1888 110 Miami Beach
Unnamed 3 October 9 1894 105 Panama City
Unnamed 3 September 29 1896 110 Cedar Key
Unnamed 3 October 18 1906 105 Marathon
Unnamed 3 October 11 1909 100 Marathon
Unnamed 3 September 29 1917 100 Fort Walton Beach
Unnamed 4 September 10 1919 130 Dry Tortugas
Great Miami 4 September 18–20 1926 125 Perrine
Okeechobee 4 September 17 1928 125 Palm Beach
Unnamed 3 September 4 1933 110 Jupiter
Labor Day 5 September 3 1935 160 Craig Key
Unnamed 3 October 18 1944 105 Dry Tortugas
Unnamed 4 September 15 1945 115 North Key Largo
Unnamed 4 September 17 1947 115 Fort Lauderdale
Unnamed 4 September 21–22 1948 115 East of Chokoloskee
Unnamed 4 August 26 1949 115 Lake Worth
Easy 3 September 5 1950 105 East of Cedar Key
King 4 October 18 1950 115 Miami
Donna 4 September 10 1960 125 Conch Key
Betsy 3 September 8 1965 100 Tavernier
Alma 3 June 8 1966 100 Dry Tortugas*
Eloise 3 September 23 1975 110 East of Destin
Elena 3 September 2 1985 100 Gulfport, Mississippi*
Andrew 5 August 24 1992 145 North of Homestead
Opal 3 October 4 1995 100 Pensacola Beach
Charley 4 August 13 2004 130 Cayo Costa
Ivan 3 September 16 2004 105 West of Gulf Shores, Alabama*
Jeanne 3 September 26 2004 105 Hutchinson Island
Dennis 3 July 10 2005 105 Santa Rosa Island
Wilma 3 October 24 2005 105 Cape Romano
Irma 4 September 10 2017 115 Cudjoe Key
Michael 5 October 10 2018 140 West of Mexico Beach
Ian 4 September 28 2022 130 Cayo Costa
Idalia 3 August 30 2023 110 Keaton Beach
References: HURDAT, HRD[5][10]
† Highest Saffir–Simpson scale category experienced on land in the state.
* Storm brought winds of major hurricane intensity to part of the state, while not making landfall.

Strongest and most intense edit

Strongest landfalling tropical cyclones
in the U.S. state of Florida† as of 2023
Rank Hurricane Season Wind speed
mph km/h
1 "Labor Day" 1935 185 295
2 Andrew 1992 165 270
3 Michael 2018 160 260
4 "Florida Keys" 1919 150 240
Charley 2004
Ian 2022
7 "Miami" 1926 145 230
"Okeechobee" 1928
Donna 1960
10 "Homestead" 1945 130 215
"Fort Lauderdale" 1947
"Florida" 1948
"Florida" 1949
King 1950
Irma 2017
Source: HURDAT,[5] Hurricane
Research Division,[10] NHC[14]
†Strength refers to maximum sustained wind speed
upon striking land.

Most intense landfalling tropical cyclones
in the U.S. state of Florida
† as of 2023
Rank System Season Barometric pressure
1 "Labor Day" 1935 892 mbar (hPa)
2 Michael 2018 919 mbar (hPa)
3 Andrew 1992 922 mbar (hPa)
4 "Florida Keys" 1919 927 mbar (hPa)
5 "Okeechobee" 1928 929 mbar (hPa)
6 "Great Miami" 1926 930 mbar (hPa)
Donna 1960
8 Irma 2017 931 mbar (hPa)
9 "Florida" 1948 940 mbar (hPa)
10 Charley 2004 941 mbar (hPa)
Ian 2022
Source: HURDAT,[5] Hurricane
Research Division[10]
Intensity refers to central barometric pressure upon striking land.

Monthly statistics edit

Number of recorded major hurricanes affecting Florida[5][10]
Month Number of major hurricanes

Deadliest storms edit

Hurricanes causing 100 or more deaths in Florida[6][7][8]
Name Year Number of deaths
"Okeechobee" 1928 2,500+
Unnamed 1781 2,000
Unnamed 1622 1,090
Unnamed c. 1553 700
Unnamed 1553 <700
Unnamed 1559 500
Unnamed 1559 ~500
Unnamed 1683 496
"Labor Day" 1935 409
"Miami" 1926 372
Unnamed 1563 284
"Florida Keys" 1906 240
Ian 2022 150

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "After Great Hurricane of 1896". World Digital Library. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  2. ^ National Hurricane Center (2006). "Tropical Cyclone Climatology". Retrieved 2007-10-02.
  3. ^ Richard Gray (1933). "Florida Hurricanes" (PDF). U.S. Weather Bureau. Retrieved 2007-10-02.
  4. ^ a b Michael Chenoweth and Cary J. Mock (2013). "Hurricane "Amanda": Rediscovery of a Forgotten U.S. Civil War Florida Hurricane". Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 94 (11): 1735–42. Bibcode:2013BAMS...94.1735C. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00171.1. S2CID 123011306.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Atlantic hurricane best track (HURDAT version 2)" (Database). United States National Hurricane Center. April 5, 2023. Retrieved March 2, 2024.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  6. ^ a b Edward N. Rappaport; Jose Fernandez-Partagas & Jack Beven (1997). "The Deadliest Atlantic Tropical Cyclones, 1492-1996: Cyclones that may have caused 25+ deaths". NOAA. Retrieved 2007-01-02.
  7. ^ a b Edward N. Rappaport & Jose Fernandez-Partagas (1995). "Notes to the Appendices for the Deadliest Atlantic Tropical Cyclones, 1492-1996". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2007-02-02.
  8. ^ a b c Eric S. Blake; Edward N. Rappaport; Christopher W. Landsea (April 2007). "THE DEADLIEST, COSTLIEST, AND MOST INTENSE UNITED STATES TROPICAL CYCLONES FROM 1851 TO 2006 (AND OTHER FREQUENTLY REQUESTED HURRICANE FACTS)" (PDF). p. 26. Retrieved 2007-04-11.
  9. ^ Weather Underground. "Hurricane and Tropical Cyclones" (web).
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Landsea, Chris; Anderson, Craig; Bredemeyer, William; et al. (January 2022). Continental United States Hurricanes (Detailed Description). Re-Analysis Project (Report). Miami, Florida: Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Hurricane Research Division. Retrieved March 2, 2024.
  11. ^ a b Jarrell, Jerry D.; et al. (1992). "Hurricane Experience Levels of Coastal County Populations from Texas to Maine" (PDF). NOAA. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
  12. ^ Landsea, Christopher W.; et al. (2007). "A Reanalysis of the 1911–20 Atlantic Hurricane Database" (PDF). Journal of Climate. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
  13. ^ Atlantic Hurricane Research Division. "Re-Analysis Project". Retrieved 2008-11-22.
  14. ^ John L. Beven II; Robbie Berg; Andrew Hagen (April 19, 2019). Hurricane Michael (PDF) (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved April 19, 2019.

Further reading edit