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Notable US Hurricanes In History

October 1, 2022

By Paul Homewood


Graphs only tell part of the story when it comes to hurricanes. They give the numbers, but don’t give much idea of the devastation they bring.

The National Hurricane Center has produced a list of some of the most notable hurricanes to hit the US:




I won’t reprint the whole  list, but it’s worth a read.

The list certainly is not all-inclusive. There are many more which could have been added, such as the 150 mph Indianola hurricane in 1886,  and Carla in 1961, the 8th and 9th most intense hurricanes on record.

But the list gives a good impression of how catastrophic US hurricanes have always been.

The timeline I have prepared below just covers the period 1900 to 1969 and summarises just how frequent these disastrous hurricanes actually are.


  1. Eddie P permalink
    October 1, 2022 6:10 pm

    1992 Andrew made land fall as a catagory 5 hurricane. Caused 65 deaths and $27 million in damage. The US President suffered a lapse of memory when he called Ian the worst ever.

    • October 2, 2022 10:16 pm

      While Andrew hit at the tail end of the elder Bush tenure (5 mos left in his term), the failure of the Clinton admin to lead on any sort of recovery (inc “After Andrew, the Homestead Air Force Base was closed”) is worth a revisit.

      Hurricane haunts Homestead 10 years later – August 24, 2002

      Amazingly CNN allowed this, but I never saw any other outlet pick it up, or follow up on the story.

      • Eddie P permalink
        October 3, 2022 1:56 pm

        Many thanks. Makes an interesting read.

  2. MrGrimNasty permalink
    October 1, 2022 8:27 pm

    BBC Reality Check says evidence says hurricanes are getting stronger but not more numerous – which sounds like a desperate effort to dismiss irrefutable hard evidence of no increased frequency, but insist there is still a CAGW effect with tenuous assertions .

    • Stuart Hamish permalink
      October 2, 2022 4:45 am

      The best available data show hurricanes are neither intensifying nor increasing in frequency ….Why is Paul not plastering the Accumulated Cyclone Energy index and the Number of Strong Hurricanes chart up on his blog in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian ?… The historical and satellite era timescales are only part of the story. There are also the paleotempestology studies to consider that analyse sand layers and oxygen isotopes to determine how powerful prehistoric off the scale super- hurricanes were in the sedimentary records ..The research of.Kam Biu Liu and his colleagues found there was a hyper-active Gulf Coast hurricane phase between 3800 BC – 1000 AD whereas the last millennium into the modern era is relatively quiet ….It is much the same with the Australian paleo-tempestology studies . Cyclones were more active 1500 – 500 years ago compared to the moderna age which is found to be the weakest period of the entire record .Even The Conversation publicized the Australian paleo-tempest research ….Quite obviously higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide and warm climatic optimums are not determinants of cyclone intensity and frequency

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        October 2, 2022 10:49 am

        He/we’ve stuck up the ACE charts/links globally and for the various basins lots of times. That won’t stop people like the BBC claiming individual storms are more powerful, or different in rainfall intensity, or speed of development/progress, .…..

      • Stuart Hamish permalink
        October 2, 2022 3:18 pm

        Sure its an uphill battle contesting the BBC ‘s disinformation and lies but it helps

  3. John Hultquist permalink
    October 2, 2022 3:17 am

    Galveston had a rail line along the shore. The water tore this loose, and the rails and ties moved across the town. That is an interesting story. Also, after the damage the city built a wall and filled in behind it, raising what buildings still stood. Wiki has a page for “Galveston_Seawall”

  4. ancientpopeye permalink
    October 2, 2022 7:59 am

    Those that subscribe to ‘man-made’ climate change would deny this natural phenomena factual weather as being sensible people in denial.

  5. October 2, 2022 9:17 am

    People like to live in coastal areas. Putting roads and structures in such places reduces the areas where rainwater can be soaked up and puts more pressure on drainage systems, which in turn will tend to make the effects of flooding from storms more severe. Nothing to do with trace gases in the atmosphere.

  6. Harry Davidson permalink
    October 2, 2022 12:09 pm

    But, but, but …. Michael was Cat 5, it realy was, and it came ashore onto a community, it destroyed – well every wood framed clapper board on the shoreline and almost nothing else.
    Why isn’t it ‘notable’? Because it wasn’t?

  7. October 2, 2022 12:19 pm

    I remember Diane in 1955. West Virginia got a huge rain event from that as it came up. It washed mountainsides in the Allegheny Mountains in the eastern part of the state down to the bedrock. You could see the scars of that for decades. We are getting Ian’s rain right now, but now torrential downpours.

    I lived in the Washington, DC area and worked in the Natural History building of the Smithsonian Institution during Agnes. Those were interesting times. They sent us home one afternoon w/ a wall of water expected to be coming down the Potomac River.

    Katrina is the other memorable one for me. About a week after it hit, I drove a woman back to New Orleans to rescue her 5 cats. She had made it out w/ one and then to Morgantown where her mother, a friend of mine, is. That was a very interesting 5-day trip to say the least. We got 3 (2 were newborn kittens) in downtown NO and the 5th was found later and brought up w/ a load of dogs to VA. The pet center at Gonazles was amazing, but her cats had not been rescued. They were where she had left them (except the one). I had the back seats out and a large borrowed dog cage in the back of my Ford Freestar van. We left about noon on the Sunday and arrived at my brother’s in Knoxville, TN about 10 that night. The next day, the “Kitten Express” roared north to Morgantown.

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