The 1917 Atlantic hurricane season ran through the summer and the first half of fall in 1917. It was an inactive season. Only four tropical cyclones formed this season. Two of them were hurricanes; the other was a tropical storm that stayed out to sea. The first Atlantic hurricane stayed largely out to sea. It passed about a dozen miles off Bermuda but did little else. The second hurricane was the most destructive. It kept close to the islands of the Greater Antilles, passing over Cuba as a strong Category 4 hurricane. After moving into the Gulf of Mexico, it swerved northeast toward the Florida Panhandle. It hit near Fort Walton Beach as a Category 3 hurricane and dissipated inland. The hurricane killed five people and caused $170,000 in damage in the United States.
On August 30, a tropical storm was detected 1,295 miles (2,085 km) east-southeast of Anguilla. It was likely a Cape Verde-type hurricane, but evidence is inconclusive because of scarce observations in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. It intensified to a hurricane on August 31, moving west-northwest through the North Atlantic. It remained north of the Lesser Antilles, and it intensified to peak winds of 120 mph (190 km/h) on September 4. It passed within 120 miles (195 km) of Hamilton, Bermuda, and it transitioned to an extratropical storm on September 6. The maximum winds of the storm are estimated, though high waves at Bermuda suggested that the cyclone reached major hurricane strength on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.
The strongest tropical cyclone of the season formed near the Windward Islands on September 20. It strengthened to a peak intensity of 150 mph (240 km/h) prior to landfall in Cuba on September 25. Later, it struck the Florida Panhandle east of Pensacola, Florida on September 29. It was the most intense hurricane in northwest Florida until Hurricane Opal in 1995.