Cyclones form in most of the Earth-s oceans; depending on
where you live, they are known by different names.
- Hurricane - North
Atlantic Ocean and Northeast Pacific Ocean, east of the
- Typhoon - North
Pacific Ocean, west of the International Dateline.
- Tropical Cyclone - Southwest Pacific Ocean west of 150
Degrees East, and Southeast Indian Ocean.
Kublai Khan's first invasion of Japan was foiled by a
Hindu temple records claim that a violent storm broke a
natural isthmus that previously joined Sri Lanka to India.
The first written European account of a hurricane comes from
Christopher Columbus, who sheltered his fleet from a tropical cyclone during
his second voyage to the New World. He later declared that -nothing but the
service of God and the extension of the monarchy- would induce him to expose
himself to such danger again. How prophetic.
During his fourth voyage, Christopher Columbus warned the
governor of Hispanola, Nicholas de Ovando, of an approaching hurricane. The
governor ignored Columbus- warning, refused his request to stay in port at Santo Domingo, and ordered 30 ships from his treasure fleet to set sail back to Spain. Two days later the storm stuck in Mona Passage, between Hispanola and Puerto Rico, sinking 21 of those ships. Five hundred sailors perished.
The first attempt by the Spanish to colonize Florida ended when 73 of 74 ships in the fleet were destroyed by a hurricane. The surviving
ship and its sailors founded a colony in present-day Pensacola Bay.
A French fleet sent to support Fort Caroline, and take
control of the Atlantic coast of North America, is destroyed by a hurricane. As
a result, the Spaniards at St. Augustine massacred the colonists at Fort Caroline, gaining control of East Florida, near present-day Jacksonville.
The British ship
Sea Venture, bound for Virginia to relieve the starving Jamestown colonists, was crippled by a hurricane and wrecked
on the uninhabited Bermuda. The survivors establish a British colony. The story
becomes the inspiration for William Shakespeare-s
Fifteen years after the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock,
the Great Colonial Hurricane struck a Massachusetts Bay Colony. The eye passed
between Boston and Plymouth, causing a twenty-foot tide in Boston. Many of the
pilgrims believed that the storm was apocalyptic.
A rare hurricane strikes England, killing some 8,000 people.
Daniel Defoe publishes The Storm from eyewitness accounts.
A Spanish treasure fleet sailing from Cuba to Spain is destroyed in a hurricane off the coast of Florida. Modern day treasure hunters are
still searching for millions of dollars lost in solid gold.
Benjamin Franklin's plan to study a lunar eclipse from his
location in Philadelphia was prevented when a hurricane struck the Northeastern United States. He soon learned that his brother, residing in Boston,
experienced the same storm, but much later. This led Franklin to the conclusion
that the storm had moved up the Atlantic seaboard, against the direction of the
surface winds. This observation gave rise to the first scientific steps toward
a basic understanding of hurricanes. In addition, Professor Winthrop of Harvard
made his first detailed pressure and tide measurements during this hurricane.
Willoughby Spit was created in Norfolk, Virginia when a
hurricane destroyed Fort George, the site of present day Fort Monroe. An eight hundred acre sand spit was washed up by the storm.
A seventeen foot storm surge, from an Atlantic hurricane,
destroyed Charleston, South Carolina-s infrastructure and over 500 homes.
A powerful hurricane struck Newfoundland, Canada causing a storm surge of up to 30 feet. A total of 4,153 people died in this storm,
including 4,000 sailors, mostly from England and Ireland.-
A powerful hurricane hit Martinique and Pointe-a-Pitre Bay, Guadeloupe killing more than 6,000 people.
The Great Hurricane of 1780 hit the Caribbean with winds
estimated at 135 mph, earning it a category 4 designation. Twenty-two thousand
people perished. The entire British and French fleets were destroyed.-
A central Atlantic hurricane claims the lives of more than
A hurricane hits western Cuba killing more than 3,000
A powerful hurricane hit Dominica and Martinique causing
3,000 deaths. The cyclone then moved south of Jamaica.
The Great September Gale, the first hurricane to strike New
England in 180 years, first made landfall on Long Island, New York, and then Connecticut. It brought an eleven-foot storm surge to Providence, Rhode Island causing
extensive damage throughout the region.
A category 4 hurricane struck Cape May, New Jersey, with hurricane force winds traveling as far west as Philadelphia, cutting a path of
The Racer's Storm hurricane was one of the most destructive
storms of the 19th century. It devastated much of the Gulf Coast of
Texas before moving through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and finally arriving off the coast of North Carolina on October 9th.
Two major inlets in North Carolina were cut by this
September hurricane, referred to as -The Great.- Later that year, a category 5
hurricane struck the Florida Keys, destroying or damaging all but eight of the
600 homes in Key West.
Two hurricanes hit Fort Brooke, present day Tampa Bay, within one month of each other, nearly destroying the town.
A cyclone kills about 60,000 people in Calcutta, India.
A hurricane struck the Southern Coast of Cuba, as predicted
by Father Benito Vi-es, his first hurricane warning. Father Benito Vi-es
studies of tropical storms and hurricanes made the Cuban forecasters some of
the best in the world at that time.
A hurricane and resulting storm surge struck the Meghna River region in present day Bangladesh killing more than 100,000 people. The resultant
disease claimed an additional 100,000 lives.
Seven hundred people were killed with a hurricane hit Savannah and Augusta, Georgia. Several barrier islands were completely submerged by the
Indianola, the leading port city in Texas, was destroyed by
a hurricane that had already dumped more than twenty-one inches of rain on Alexandria, Louisiana. Indianola was never rebuilt. Sea traffic was diverted to Galveston, making that city the prominent port until it was also destroyed by the Great
Hurricane of 1900.
On August 27, 1893, a category 3 hurricane struck Savannah, Georgia and submerged the Sea Islands in South Carolina killing more than 2,000
people, and leaving more than 30,000 homeless. In October, another storm
flooded a Louisiana bayou, killing more than 2,000 people.
Hurricane San Ciriaco strikes Puerto Rico, leaving 3,433
people dead and causing millions of dollars in damage.
Cyclone Mahina, a category 5 cyclone, strikes Bathurst Bay , Australia, bringing with it a 48 foot storm surge, and leaving over 400 people
The deadliest natural disaster in United States history,
this category 4 hurricane moved through Cuba into the Gulf of Mexico before
crashing into Galveston, Texas without warning. The storm brought tides as high
as fifteen-feet killing an estimated eight-to-twelve-thousand people. The cost
of damage was 20 million dollars. In today-s money, that would equate to 700
A hurricane strikes Cuba, the Florida Keys, and Texas with a storm surge of up to twelve-feet. It was estimated that as many as 900 people
As Miami neared the end of its first boom period, with the
extension of the Florida East coast Railway, a category 4 hurricane struck with
little warning. The 128 miles winds brought a 15-foot high storm surge caused 150
million dollars in damage (1.7 billion in today-s dollars), and taking the
lives of 350 people. The devastation led to the first building code development
in Miami, which was imitated in over 5000 cities nationwide.
The San Felipe/ Lake Okeechobee hurricane hit Puerto Rico on September 13th and continued through the Bahamas until it came ashore near Palm Beach, Florida on September 16th. The hurricane continued to cut a path
inland over the north shore of Lake Okeechobee, causing a lake surge of
nine-feet that drown the entire area. Some 2,500 people perished in Puerto Rico and Florida combined. The damage was estimated at 25 million dollars (300 million in 1990
U.S. dollars). This hurricane now ranks behind Galveston as the second
deadliest natural disaster in United States history.
As many as eight-thousand people were left dead in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic as this hurricane ripped through the capital city.
A category 5 hurricane strikes Cuba leaving more that 3,000
dead and causing millions of dollars in damage.
August, September 1933
This was a very active year for tropical storms and
hurricanes. Twenty-one named storms are on record, including the category 4,
Great Chesapeake Hurricane, which caused 27.2 million dollars in damage (358.4
million in 2005 U.S. dollars), and claimed 30 lives. Virginia was hardest hit with
the center of circulation passing directly over Norfolk.
A Central America hurricane traveled over the Yucatan Peninsula before making landfall in Louisiana. Up to 3,000 people were killed with more
than 2 million dollars in damage to Louisiana.
The most powerful hurricane to make landfall in the United States occurred on Labor Day when a category 5 storm crashed into the Florida Keys before
turning north to the southeastern United States. The 180 mph winds and rushing
tides claimed the lives of 408 people, mostly WWI veterans working in the area.
With little warning, the -Long Island Express,- a category 3
hurricane, slammed into New York-s little island before ripping through southern
New England in less than six hours. There were 600 fatalities.
The Great Hurricane of September, 1944 is largely forgotten
in light of the previous two mentioned here. This is likely due to the fact
that the worst effects were experienced at sea. Five ships, including a United
States Navy destroyer and minesweeper, two United States coast Guard cutters,
and a light vessel were sunk by the storm, causing 344 deaths. The powerful
storm caused extensive damage from North Carolina all the way to New England estimated at 100 million dollars.
Hurricane technology in the 1950-s
In 1946, the United States Navy and Air Force organize
Hurricane Hunter squadrons in the Pacific and Atlantic. In 1947, Navy planes begin
seeding an Atlantic hurricane as part of Project Cirrus. The hypothesis of
storm seeding originates from Dr. Irwin Langmuir, who explored the idea that if
a plane flew into the eye of a hurricane, and dropped a payload of dry ice, or
silver iodide aerosols, the hurricane would form rain, and thus weaken its wind
strength. Unfortunately, the experiment failed. It has since been determined
that hurricane force winds already contain an abundance of ice crystals,
required to produce rain, and are beyond the control of mankind. In 1950, the
United States Weather Bureau officially begins naming hurricanes.
Hurricane Timeline from 1950 to 1960
- September 1950 - Hurricane Easy
sustains winds at 125 mph and dumps more than 38 inches of
rain of Yankeetown, Florida.
- October 1950 - Hurricane King hits
Miami carving a 10 mile path of destruction with gusts
reaching 150 mph and a storm surge as high as 19 feet.
- August 1953 - Hurricane Barbara
ravages the Carolinas with gusts of 90 mph, causing damage
over 1 million dollars and claiming one life.
- September 1954 - Hurricane Carol
hits North Carolina with winds up to 100 mph and damage of
- September 1954 - Hurricane Edna
nips at the heels of Carol causing damage to New England
exceeding 40 million dollars. Twenty-one people perished.
- October 1954 - Hurricane Hazel, a
category 4 storm, strikes North Carolina and brings
hurricane force winds as far as Canada. Hazel also brings
a record eighteen-foot storm surge at Calabash, North
Carolina. Wind gusts of 150 mph were recorded as Hazel
carved a path of destruction that cost more than 350
million dollars and left over 600 people dead.
- August 1955 - Hurricane Connie was
the first of three hurricanes to wreak havoc on the
Carolina-s that year. Connie produced heavy rains,
tornadoes, and wind gusts up to 100 mph, affecting North
Carolina, Eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and
New York City. The storm caused devastating floods and
claimed the lives of 155 people.
- August 1955 - On the heels of
Hurricane Connie, just five days later, Diane made
landfall along the outer banks of North Carolina. Diane
was the first billion dollar hurricane to make landfall in
the United States. At her peak, Diane produced winds of
125 mph. Her flooding rains proved more devastating,
killing 200 people. It was Hurricane Diane that brought
about a Presidential Commission on Storm Modification that
eventually led to Project Stormfury (1963), another failed
attempt to seed hurricanes.
- September 1955 - Hurricane Ione
struck just one month after Connie and Diane, which
fortunately made landfall well after it had reached peak
intensity. Even so, it brought sixteen-inches of rainfall
to parts of North Carolina, 90 million dollars in damage,
and left six dead before turning seaward.
- September 1958 - Hurricane Helene was one of the
most powerful hurricanes of the 1950-s. Thankfully, she spared the Carolina-s, but just barely. Helene raged just 20 miles off the coast of Cape Fear with
winds whipping at 135 mph.
Hurricane technology in the 1960's
In 1955, the Miami office of the United States Weather
Bureau is designated the primary hurricane warning center responsible for
coordinating all forecasting and warnings issued for hurricanes in the Atlantic. The U.S. Weather Bureau founds the National Hurricane Research Project (NHRP)
which begins research flights into hurricanes the next year. In 1959, the Joint Typhoon warning Center is formed in Guam, combining itself with the Navy and Air Force
forecasting efforts. In 1960, TIROS I, the first experimental weather satellite
is launched, and promptly discovers an undetected tropical cyclone near New Zealand.
Hurricane Timeline from 1960 to 1970
- Summer 1960 - Hurricane Donna
sliced an erratic path from the Caribbean, through the
Florida Keys, into the Gulf of Mexico, back to and over
Florida before heading up the Atlantic coast to North
Carolina, New England, and completing her journey at Long
Island, New York. Her peak winds of 200 mph and 13-foot
storm surge claimed the lives of 50 people while causing
more than one billion dollars in damage.
- September 1961
- Hurricane Carla,
the most powerful storm to strike Texas in more than 40
years, brought winds of 170 mph, storm surge waves of at
least eighteen-feet, and caused 408 million dollars in
damage, killing 43 people.
- October 1961 - The wicked witch of
this Halloween, Hurricane Hattie, struck the capital of
Belize as a category 5 leaving some 275 dead in her path,
causing 60 million dollars in damage, and causing the
government of Belize City to relocate its government
offices inland to Belmopan.
- September 1963
- Hurricane Flora
became a category 4 storm just before making landfall on
southwestern Haiti then drifting westward through Cuba.
Flora was responsible for 8000 fatalities and billions of
dollars in damage.
- August 1964 - Hurricane Cleo
produced winds gusts of 138 mph, caused 125 million
dollars in damage, but thankfully did not claim any lives.
- September 1964 - Hurricane Dora
swept through the Northeastern coast of Florida, just
weeks after Cleo had subsided, with wind gusts of 125 mph
and a twelve-foot storm surge.
- September 1965 - Hurricane Betsy, a
category 3 storm, struck southern Florida and Louisiana.
This area of the United States will enjoy relative
calmness before the devastating storm of Andrew in 1992.
- October 1966 -Hurricane Inez, also
known as -The Crazy One,- carves it-s category 3, 190 mph
path, from the Caribbean to Florida, and then to Mexico,
producing millions of dollars of damage and claiming the
lives of 1,500 people.
- September 1967
- Hurricane Beulah
was a category 4 storm that hit Texas, producing a record
150 tornadoes after making landfall.-
- April 1968
- Cyclone Giselle, with
the highest wind speed ever clocked in New Zealand (166
mph), drove the Wahine ferry onto Barrett-s Reef. Despite
rescue attempts, 51 people perished when the ferry
capsized and sank.
- August 1969 - Hurricane Camille, a category 5
hurricane, came ashore over Gulfport, Mississippi with winds of 180 mph
and a record storm surge of more than 24 feet. The combination of winds,
surges, and rain killed more than 250 people and caused almost 1.5 billion
dollars in damage.
Hurricane technology in the 1970-s
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),
and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) are formed. The first barotropic
hurricane computer forecast model, SANBAR, is put into operation at NHC.
Project STORMFURY carries out its last experiment when it seeds Hurricane
Ginger. The Saffir-Simpson scale, a 1 to 5 rating based upon hurricane
intensity, is created.
Hurricane Timeline from 1970 to 1980
- August 1970 - Hurricane Celia, a
category 3 hurricane, hit the Corpus Christi area with
winds as high as 180 mph. Eleven people were killed, 466
were injured, and the damage is recorded as 453 billion
- November 1970 -
Bhola crashed into Bangladesh with 190 mph winds and a
storm surge of 20 feet. The official death toll was put at
500,000 with another 100,000 missing. This is one of the
deadliest natural disasters in modern times.
- June 1972
- Hurricane Agnes hits the Florida panhandle, moves into
Georgia and heads north to New York. Although a minimal
category 1 hurricane, the widespread severe flooding from
Virginia northward to New York caused 2.1 billion dollars
in damage and killed 122 people.
- September 1974 - Hurricane Fifi
kills as many as 10,000 people in Honduras, destroying 80
percent of the banana crop and drowning two-fifths of the
- December 1974
- Cyclone Tracy,
equivalent to a category 5 storm, hits Darwin, Australia
causing 837 million dollars in damage, destroying more
than 70% of Darwin-s buildings and transportation
infrastructure, leaving 20,000 people homeless, and
- September 1975 - Hurricane Eloise,
a category 3 hurricane, produces a storm surge as high as
16 feet along the Florida Coast causing about 1 billion
dollars in damage and killing 21 people.
- November 1977
- A tropical cyclone
hits the Andhra Pradesh coastline in India killing over
10,000 people, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless, and
destroying almost half of India-s food grains.
- September 1979 - Hurricane David, a
powerful category 5 hurricane, rips through the Caribbean
before striking the coast of Georgia, and producing
tornadoes as far away as Long Island. Damage was estimated
at 320 million dollars. Two-thousand people lost their
lives to this storm.
- September 1979
- Hurricane Frederick slammed into
the Mobile Bay in Alabama after gaining strength while over Hispanola and Cuba, causing 3.5 billion dollars in damage.
Hurricane technology in the 1980's
Project STORMFURY is officially ended.- The first Synoptic
Flow experiment is flown around Hurricane Debby to help define the large scale
atmospheric winds that steer the storm. William Gray and his team issue the
first hurricane seasonal forecast. The Air Force disbands its Pacific Typhoon
Chasers squadrons. The Beta and Advection Model (BAM), and VICBAR, a nested
barotropic hurricane track forecast model, become operational.
Hurricane Timeline from 1980 to 1990
- August 1980 - Hurricane Allen, a
category 5 hurricane, is ranked as one of the strongest
storms ever recorded in the Atlantic. Allen-s eye didn-t
touch land from the time it crossed the Windward Islands,
including St. Lucia, until it came ashore near Port
Mansfield, Texas. Allen caused 2.6 billion dollars and
killed 274 people.
- August 1983 - Hurricane Alicia, a
category 3 hurricane, hammered Galveston and Houston,
causing 2 billion dollars in damage and killing 21 people.
- September 1985
- Hurricane Elena, a
category 3 hurricane, smashes into Biloxi Mississippi
causing 1.25 billion dollars in damage.
- September 1987
- Hurricane Gloria,
a category 3 hurricane, made landfall on the coast of
North Carolina before moving northward up the East Coast,
causing 900 million dollars in damage.
- September 1988
- Hurricane Gilbert,
the second most powerful storm ever recorded in the
Atlantic, hits the Yucatan before proceeding through the
Gulf of Mexico and crashing into Matamoras, Mexico.
Gilbert caused 5 billion dollars in damage and killed 318
- September 1989 - Hurricane Hugo, a category 5
hurricane, carved its path from the Caribbean until it made a direct hit
on Charleston, South Carolina. Its 20 foot storm surge and 160 mph winds
caused an estimated 7 billion dollars in damage, and claimed 50 lives in
the United States, the Caribbean, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Hurricane technology in the 1990's
Rapid scan high-resolution satellite loops are made of
Hurricane Luis, showing eye structure and motion. High resolution dropsondes
are released in the eye of Hurricane Guillermo in the eastern Pacific. These
reveal wind structure that surprise scientists. NOAA-s GIV high altitude jet
becomes operational, allowing examination of the steering flow around
hurricanes from a greater height.
Hurricane Timeline from 1990 to 2000
- April 1991 - A category 5 Bangladesh cyclone kills 138,000 people and leaves as many as 10 million homeless in the Chittagong region.
- August 1992 - Hurricane Andrew, a
category 5 hurricane, devastates South Florida with winds
of 165 mph, causing 30 billion dollars in damage and
claiming 26 lives in the United States and the Bahamas.
- September 1992
- Hurricane Iniki, a
category 4 hurricane, hits Kauai, Hawaii, causing 1.8
billion dollars in damage and killing 6 people.
- July 1994 -
Tropical Storm Alberto dumps an enormous amount of
rain over northwest Florida and southern Georgia leaving
31 people dead and causing 500 million dollars in damage.
- November 1994 - Hurricane Gordon
weaves its erratic path from Honduras, Nicaragua, and
Florida before making landfall in North Carolina and
turning back on Florida. The storm left 1,145 people dead
and caused 400 million dollars in damage.
- August -
October 1995 - With 19 storms on
record, this season goes down as the second-busiest storm season on record
(2nd to the
21 recorded in 1933).- Of note is Hurricane Opal, a
category 3 hurricane that came ashore in Pensacola,
Florida causing an estimated 3 billion dollars in damage.
- October 1996 - After the 1995
season, it was thought that 1996 could not be as bad, but
as it turns out, it was even worse. Six hurricanes reached
a category 3 or higher, causing 4.1 billion dollars in
damage and killing 147 people in the United States, Mexico
, Central America, and the Caribbean islands.
- October 1997 - A welcome relief
from the past two years, 1997 recorded only 3 hurricanes.
- December 1997
- Typhoon Paka, a
category 5 super typhoon,- ravages Guam causing 500
million dollars in damage
- October 1998
- Hurricane Mitch, a
category 5 storm, devastated Honduras and Nicaragua with
over 75 inches of rain, causing massive flooding and
mudslides. The death toll crept past 12,000 people and
damage exceeded 5.5 billion dollars.
- September 1999 -
caused the largest peacetime evacuation in history, with 3
million people fleeing from South Florida to North
Carolina. The death toll was nearly 80 people, mostly from
the storm-produced floods, and damage is estimated at 6
- October 1999
- Tropical cyclone 05B, equivalent to a
category 5 storm, hits Orissa, India, bringing with it a 26 foot storm
surge. A total of 9,803 people died, 40 were listed as missing, and the
damage was recorded at 4.5 billion dollars.
Hurricane technology in the 2000-s
A NASA experiment, run in conjunction with NOAA-s Hurricane
Field Program, collects detailed data sets on Hurricanes Erin, Gabrielle,
Humberto, and Tropical Storm Chantal. A major paper in
decadal swings in Atlantic hurricane activity. Mike Black and James Franklin publish a paper on hurricane eye wall wind profiles based on GPS dropsondes.
Hurricane Timeline from 2000 to 2006
- April 2000 -
Cyclone Rosita struck
Broome, Western Australia as a category 5 storm causing
severe damage and subsequent coastal erosion.
- October 2000 - Hurricane Keith, a
category 4 hurricane, strikes Belize City causing 2
million dollars in damage in Belize, Nicaragua, and
Honduras. Keith left 24 people dead.
- June 2001
- Tropical storm Allison dumps 37 inches of rain on
Houston, during her five day rampage, causing up to 5
billion dollars in damage, the costliest natural disaster
to ever hit Houston.
- October 2001
- Hurricane Iris hits
central Belize with 145 mph winds killing 28 people and
causing millions of dollars in damage.
- November 2001
- Hurricane Michelle,
a category 4 hurricane, strikes western Cuba and the Isle
of Youth with winds of 135 mph, killing 17 people and
causing widespread damage.
- October 2002
- Hurricane Lili, a
category 4 hurricane, kills 14 people and causes
widespread damage across the Caribbean and into Louisiana.
- March 2003
- Tropical Cyclone Erica
devastated the South Pacific islands as a category 5 storm
leaving at least one person dead.
- September 2003 -
a category 4 hurricane, is on record as the worst
hurricane to strike Bermuda since 1926. Fabian is
responsible for 8 deaths and 300 million dollars in
- September 2003 - Hurricane Isabel
was able to stay at the highest level a hurricane can
reach for over 30 hours, making it one of the longest
lasting category 5 storms on record. Isabel struck North
Carolina causing 16 deaths and 3.4 billion dollars in
- January 2004 - Cyclone Heta, a category 5 tropical cyclone, causes
150 million dollars of damage across Samoa, Tonga, and
Niue, and claims two lives.
- March 2004 - Cyclone Gafilo made
landfall on Madagascar as a category 5 storm, killing 350
people, and leaving 300,000 homeless from its extensive
- August 2004 - Hurricane Charley, a
rapidly intensifying category 4 storm, devastated Port
Charlotte, Florida, killing 35 people and causing 14
billion dollars in damage.
- September 2004 - Hurricane Jeanne,
a category 3 storm, leaves more than 3,000 dead in Haiti
as a result of flooding and mudslides.
- September 2004 - Hurricane Frances,
a category 4 hurricane, moved slowly across the Florida
Peninsula for more than 24 hours during Labor Day weekend.
Frances forced the evacuation of 2.8 million people,
spawned 75 tornadoes, caused 9 billion dollars in damage,
and left 49 dead.
- September 2004 - Category 5
Hurricane Ivan was responsible for 124 deaths throughout
the Caribbean and Eastern United States. Damage was
estimated at 14.2 billion dollars.
- July 2005 - Hurricane Dennis, just missing a category 5 strength
with 150 mph winds, causes damage up to 2.5 billion
dollars and claims 32 lives. Cienfuegos, Cuba bears the
brunt of its assault, but Dennis brought heavy wind and
rain to Jamaica, the Caymans, and Hispanola, before
eventually making landfall near Pensacola Florida.
- July 2005 - Hurricane Emily, a category 5 storm, claims 64 lives
and causes 300 million dollars in damage as it cut its
path through Grenada and the Yucatan Peninsula.
- August 2005 - Hurricane Katrina
crosses over Florida as a minimal category 1 hurricane
before gaining category 5 strength in the Gulf of Mexico.
While gaining her strength, Katrina stuck Buras, Louisiana
with 140 mph winds and then near Bay St. Louis,
Mississippi with 135 mph winds. Storm surges reached 27
feet and winds as high as 90 mph were felt as far east as
Mobile, Alabama, which experienced its worst flooding in
90 years. Waves as high as 48 feet happened offshore in
the Gulf of Mexico. Extensive flooding occurred in New
Orleans, which was actually spared the brunt of the storm.
The death toll is currently at 1,833 with damage of 81
billion dollars. Experts estimate the total cost of the
storm could reach 200 billion dollars, making Katrina the
costliest hurricane in United States history.
- September 2005 - Hurricane Rita,
following a similar track as Katrina, reached category 5
strength before making landfall on the Texas/Louisiana
border. Rita set a record for being the most powerful
Atlantic hurricane as measured by pressure. Weather
aircraft recorded minimum pressure of 895 mbar
- September 2005 - Hurricane Stan
barely made hurricane status but is worth mention here
because its torrential rains in Central America caused
flooding and mudslides that claimed the lives of more than
2,000 people, and caused damage estimated at 1.9 billion
- October 2005 - Hurricane Wilma was the 4th category 5 hurricane
to form in this season, and gradually decreased to a
strong category 4 storm before striking Cozumel, Mexico.
It moved over southern Florida with category 3 winds.
Wilma devastated the east coast of southern Florida. Waves
as high as 45 feet battered Havana, Cuba. Wilma claimed
the lives of 48 people from Florida to Haiti, causing an
estimated damage of 10 billion dollars.
- March 2006
- Cyclone Larry, a
category 4 storm crossed the Queensland coast in Australia
causing 1 billion dollars in damage and injuring 200
- April 2006
- Cyclone Monica, the
strongest cyclone ever recorded in the Southern
Hemisphere, caused massive flooding in far north
- April 2006
- Cyclone Mala,
equivalent to a category 5 hurricane, struck Myanmar,
India, causing severe damage and at least 22 deaths.
- May 2006
- Chanchu -- the strongest
typhoon on record to enter the South China Sea in the
month of May -- triggered houses to collapse and
landslides in Guandgong's Shantou city. The Typhoon was
the most powerful storm to strike Communist China.
- Jun 2007
Cyclone Gonu was the strongest tropical cyclone on record in the Arabian Sea. At its peek, the storm had winds of 150 MPH.
- Sept 2007
-Hurricane Felix set two records with help from two other storms. It was the first time two category five Category 5 hurricanes struck land during the same Atlantic hurricane season. Two weeks prior, Hurricane Dean hit Mexico. The other record set was for twin Atlantic and Pacific hurricanes making landfall on the same day. A few hours after Felix came ashore, Hurricane Henriette hit the Baja of Mexico.
- OCT 2007
- Typhoon Lekima causes floods and landslides in Vietnam killing at least 86 people.
- Nov 2007
- Cyclone Sidr makes landfall near Bangladesh, with recorded winds of up to 150 mph. At least 3,000 deaths were reported, with officials fearing it could be as many as 10,000.
- Feb 2008
- Cyclone Ivan hits slams Madagascar killing at least 93 people and affecting over 300,000 others.
2008 Cyclone Nargis makes landfall in Myanmar (formerly Burma).
The storm claimed more than 130,000 lives and left more than 2 million
homeless, according to the United Nations.. It was the the deadliest natural
disaster ever to strike the area.
Jun 2008- Typhoon Fengshen developed June 15 and hit China and the
Philippines directly, killing at least 1354 people with 41 still missing.
Aug 2008-Tropical storm Fay develops Aug 15 and makes its way through the
Caribbean, killing a total of 23 people there before moving on to Florida,
where it took the lives of another 14. Up to 25 inches of rain was received
in some areas of the state. Fay was the first storm on record to hit the
same U.S. state on four separate occasions, beating a previous record set in
- Aug 2008- Hurricane Gustav developed on Aug 25, and took a total of 125 lives and
cost up $20 billion in damage.
- Aug 2008- Hurricane Hanna formed Aug 28 and killed at least 529 people in
Haiti, mainly in the Gonaives area, after battering the region with
torrential rain and strong winds for several days.
- Sept 2008-
Hurricane Ike formed on September 1, and is responsible for 145 total
deaths. Sixty were reported in the United States, and another 74 in
storm-pummeled Haiti, where they had already been struggling with the
effects of the previous 3 storms which battered the island nation. A total
of more than 550 Haitian people lost their lives in these storms, as many as
1 million have been left homeless, and the entire city of Gonaïves was so
severely damaged that the Prime Minister says the city may have to be
Beginning as a disturbance in the Bay of
Bengal and eventually strengthening to a Tropical
Cyclone, Aila made landfall with wind gusts of up to 75
mph and a huge surge of seawater. At least 330 people were
killed with another 8,208 missing.
- Sept. 23
2009- Tropical storm Ketsana devastated the
Philippines with massive flooding, pouring a months worth
of rain on the city of Manila in just 12 hours. The
current death toll of at least 140 people is expected to
rise. The storm has been upgraded to a Typhoon, and
is now headed for Vietnam.
For the first time in recorded
history, 12 hurricanes formed this
year in the Atlantic basin without
any making landfall in the U.S. This
was tied with 1969 for the
second-highest number of hurricanes
recorded during a season.
June 30 - Hurricane Alex, the first
Atlantic hurricane of the season,
swept across the Gulf of Mexico and
made landfall on the Mexican coast.
The storm left two people dead,
caused widespread flooding, and
knocked out power for thousands of
homes and businesses in the
Monterrey metropolitan region of
Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
September 17 - Hurricane Karl moved
straight through Veracruz, México,
causing as many as 22 deaths and
forcing 40,000 into shelters.
September 23 – Matthew, a tropical storm, did its
worst damage after it was downgraded
to a tropical depression and moved
inland across northern Guatemala and
into southern Mexico, causing
torrential rain, flooding, and
landslides. Matthew caused 126
deaths near the Yucatan.
November 1–7 - Hurricane Tomas caused landslides and
heavy flooding in the Caribbean
islands, resulting in
41 deaths and $572 million in
damage. The storm was responsible
for the cause of 1,000 additional
deaths due to flooding that resulted
in contaminated water in Haiti and
initiated the recent cholera
The 2011 Atlantic hurricane season
was one of the most active seasons
in recorded history, producing 19
tropical storms, of which 7 became
hurricanes. Three of those were
August 27 - Irene was the first
hurricane—and the first major
hurricane—of the season, as well as
the only one to hit the U.S. this
year. It tracked across the Bahamas
and then pushed northward into New
England, with Vermont and New Jersey
hit the hardest. Death toll reached
55; 3 million were without power,
and damage estimates were at $7.2
November – Hurricane Katia, the
worst hurricane to hit Britain in 15
years, caused thousands to lose
power and touched off inland
August 28 - Hurricane Isaac claimed
at least two dozen lives in Haiti.
It slammed into into Louisiana with
winds of 80 mph. The storm moved
slowly over the state, creating
massive flooding in the New Orleans
area. Isaac arrived on the seventh
anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
November 2013 - Super Typhoon Haiyan impacts
the southern part of Philippines,
killing 6300 people. It also
destroyed or severely damaged 1.1
million houses, leaving more than
four million people homeless.
The Most Powerful Super Typhoon of 2014 Hits the Pacific -
While there have been several
powerful tropical storms this year,
Super Typhoon Vongfong in the
Western Pacific has strengthened to
become the year’s
With gusts over 300 mph and
sustained 155 mph winds, the massive
storm is the most intense typhoon to
tear its way through any ocean this
year. Although it is currently rated
at a category 4, it could reach
category 5 by tomorrow (Oct. 9)
before hitting Japan.
Related; Record-Shattering super
Typhoon Haiyan Slams Philippines
with 235 MPH Winds
was hit by Typhoon Phanfone, killing
one U.S. airman who was taking
photos of the typhoon with two
colleagues when they were swept out
to sea. The storm also put rescue
efforts on hold in September where
over 50 people were killed.
The number of hurricanes or typhoons
that have reached Category 4 or 5
strength in the Northern Hemisphere
this year is closing in on a record
set just over a decade ago.
Following a trio of Category 4
hurricanes at the same time during
the final weekend of August, we’ve
now seen 15 storms of Category 4 or
5 strength in the Northern
Hemisphere so far in 2015.
All of the typhoons or hurricanes in
2015 that have maxed out at Category
4 or 5 strength have been in the
western, central or eastern Pacific
basins. The strongest hurricane in
the Atlantic so far this year was
Category 3 Danny.