1916 Texas hurricane

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
1916 Texas Hurricane
Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Damage from the hurricane.
Formed August 12, 1916 (1916-08-12)
Dissipated August 19, 1916 (1916-08-20)
Highest winds 1-minute sustained:
135 mph (215 km/h)
Lowest pressure 932 mbar (hPa); 27.52 inHg
Fatalities 24 direct
Damage $28.6 million (1916 USD)
Areas affected Lesser Antilles, Leeward Antilles, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Cuba, Cayman Islands, Yucatán Peninsula, Texas, Mexico
Part of the 1916 Atlantic hurricane season

The 1916 Texas Hurricane was a Category 4 hurricane that struck the southern Texas (the landfall was south of Corpus Christi, Texas) coast in mid August 1916. The hurricane was the fourth hurricane and third major hurricane of an active 1916 Atlantic hurricane season. Forming on August 12, the storm crossed the Leeward Islands and Caribbean Sea before hitting south Texas on August 18. The 1916 storm was the strongest hurricane to hit the Texas coast since the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, and the hurricane caused 24 fatalities and left millions of dollars in damage.[1][2] The hurricane was also one of three hurricane to hit the Caribbean Island of Martinique during the 1916 season.[3]

Meteorological history[edit]

Map showing the sequential path of the storm; the colored points indicate the storm's position and intensity at six-hour intervals.

On August 12, a tropical storm formed east of the Leeward Islands and moved westward. At 1800 UTC, the storm rapidly reached hurricane strength before crossing over the Leeward Islands on the same day. On August 14, the hurricane then reached Category 2 strength as it moved west-northwest through the Caribbean sea. On the evening of August 15, the hurricane made landfall in Jamaica as a 105 mph (169 km/h) hurricane. Despite the landfall, however, the storm did not weaken as it winds strengthened to 110 mph (177 km/h). As the storm moved west-northwest, the storm reached Category 3 status as it passed over the Cayman Islands on August 16. As the storm approached the western tip of Cuba, it veered slightly southwestward and brushed the north tip of the Yucatán Peninsula, thus sparing western Cuba of a direct landfall. The hurricane made landfall on August 19 south of Corpus Christi, Texas as a Category 4 hurricane.[4] After making landfall, the hurricane quickly weakened to a tropical storm and later to a tropical depression before dissipating.[1]


At 7 am (CST), local weather officials issued hurricane warnings to coastal sections. Telegraphs of the warnings were then sent out to Cameron and Calhoun counties. Over 100 vehicles were used to transport residents to storm shelters.[2]


Storm surge damage from the hurricane.

The Island of Martinique was brushed by the hurricane.[5] In Jamaica, the hurricane left 17 people dead and 25–27 million dollars (1916 USD) in damage.[6]

In Texas, tropical storm force winds of 64–70 mph were felt as the hurricane neared land. A gust of 90 mph (140 km/h) was reported at 6:50 pm (CST) as the hurricane made landfall. Rainfall totals from the hurricane was estimated at 1.58 inches (25.4 mm). The hurricane damaged some of the measuring equipment at the National Weather Service office. Offshore, a fishing boat sank, drowning two of its occupants. On land, five people perished during the storm; two from a house collapsing. In Corpus Christi, the hurricane destroyed several wharfs and salt cedars.[2] In Fort Brown, the flooding from the hurricane forced United States Army soldiers and National Guardsmen to seek refuge in city hall after their barracks were flooded.[7] The storm left $1.6 million (1916 USD) in damage in Texas.[2] In all the hurricane left $28.6 million (1916 USD) in damage and 24 people dead.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b 1916 Weather Underground Archive URL Accessed:June 12, 2006
  2. ^ a b c d National Weather Service Report on the 1916 Hurricane URL Accessed:June 12, 2006
  3. ^ Don Stewart Hurricane Preparations URL Accessed:July 11, 2006
  4. ^ Hurricane Research Division. "HURDAT Meta-Data". NOAA. Archived from the original on 16 March 2008. Retrieved February 15, 2008. 
  5. ^ Hurricane City Martinique Data Base URL Accessed:July 11, 2006
  6. ^ Caribbean Genealogy Research Caribbean Hurricane History URL Accessed:July 11, 2006
  7. ^ New York Times (August 19, 1916). "HURRICANE SWAMPS CAMPS ON BORDER". The New York Times. Retrieved April 5, 2007.