Some Unforgettable Hurricanes of A Lifetime
Hurricanes form off the coast of the United States every year between June and November. These are the most dangerous storms to hit the ground, and they can cause massive damage and even death, leaving an indelible mark on people’s lives. Here is a list of some of these unforgettable hurricanes:
1. Hurricane Allen
The first major hurricane to hit North America in over two decades formed on Nov. 1, 1980, near Bermuda. It was an intense Category 4 with winds up to 130 mph as it moved northward across the Caribbean Sea toward Florida. On Nov. 3, it made landfall just south of Cape Canaveral, Fla., where it caused $2 billion worth of damage. In addition to its wind speed, this is one of only four known tropical cyclones to have reached 100-mph sustained winds while crossing land; the others were Tropical Storm Allison in 2001, Hurricane Wilma in 2005, and Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
Allen’s remnants continued into Canada before dissipating early on Nov. 5.
2. Hurricane Andrew
This powerful Category 5 storm struck South Florida on Aug. 24, 1992, causing more than $25 billion in damages. Its name comes from the fact that it was the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the basin. At the time, it had maximum sustained winds of 155 mph — making it the second-strongest hurricane after Katrina.
Andrew also set records for being the longest-lived hurricane since 1851, lasting nearly five days, and having the highest barometric pressure measured by any Atlantic hurricane.
It killed 25 people and injured hundreds more when it slammed ashore.
3. Hurricane Bertha
A weak system developed off the coast of Africa on Oct. 30, 1995, and became a tropical depression later that day. By Dec. 2, it strengthened into a tropical storm, and on Dec. 6, it intensified further into a category 1 hurricane. That same night, it began moving westward away from the U.S. East Coast.
On Dec. 7, it weakened back down to a tropical storm, and by Dec. 9, it degenerated into a remnant low.
4. Hurricane Bret
Formed on August 22, 1999, Bret was the third hurricane of the year. Like many other September hurricanes, they originated in the western Pacific Ocean and tracked eastward through the Western Hemisphere.
Bret peaked at 115 mph, becoming the fourth fastest-moving hurricane on record. However, it quickly lost strength due to interaction with cooler waters and eventually stalled out about 500 miles southeast of Puerto Rico.
5. Hurricane Charley
One of the deadliest hurricanes in history, Charley, devastated parts of southeastern United States on August 13, 2004. It was the fifth hurricane of the season, and like all previous ones, it started in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
Charley rapidly intensified once it entered the Gulf of Mexico, reaching a peak intensity of 145 mph. However, as it neared the coastline, it slowed down considerably, weakening to a Category 2 hurricane late on Aug. 15.
By Aug. 16, it re-intensified slightly, and on Aug. 17, it became a Category 3 hurricane again. After peaking at 120 mph, it turned northeastward and accelerated towards the Carolina’s.
6. Hurricane Dennis
Another deadly hurricane, Dennis, struck southern Louisiana on July 29, 2016. It was the sixth named storm of the season, which means there are six storms total so far.
Dennis was an intense Category 3 hurricane when it crossed the northern Leeward Islands on July 28. Later that evening, it briefly attained Category 4 status but soon weakened to a Category 3.
7. Hurricane Emily
An extremely rare occurrence, Emily was the last hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. It formed on June 21 and remained relatively small throughout most of its existence.
Emily never grew much larger than a Category 1 hurricane, and even during its brief life span, it maintained minimal power.
8. Hurricane Florence
Named after Florence Nightingale, who founded modern nursing, this hurricane was responsible for killing dozens of people along the Carolina coasts.
Florence was born on Sept. 10, 2018, and slowly gained strength over the next few weeks. When it finally reached hurricane force, it was already a large Category 2 hurricane.
The National Weather Service warned residents living in coastal areas to evacuate ahead of the storm’s arrival.
9. Hurricane Gordon
Also called “Gordon Bessie,” this hurricane was the final member of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season. It first appeared as an area of disturbed weather near Bermuda on Nov. 5 and then gradually organized into Tropical Storm Gordon early the following morning. The storm continued strengthening until it made landfall just south of Charleston, South Carolina, on Nov. 8.
10. Hurricane Helene
This is another name that has been retired since the 1950s. In 1954, the World Meteorological Organization decided to retire names beginning with H because they were too similar to those used before.
Helene was one of three hurricanes to form in 1953, the others being Hazel and Irene. All three storms caused significant damage across the Eastern Seaboard.
Hurricanes can be dangerous if you live by their side or close enough to them. However, many people have survived these powerful storms without any major injuries. If you do decide to stay put, make sure your home is well-prepared. You should also know how to prepare yourself physically and mentally for such situations.