1928 Atlantic hurricane season

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1928 Atlantic hurricane season
Season summary map
First system formed August 3, 1928
Last system dissipated October 15, 1928
Strongest storm "Okeechobee" – 929 mbar (hPa) (27.44 inHg), 160 mph (260 km/h) (1-minute sustained)
Total storms 6
Hurricanes 4
Major hurricanes (Cat. 3+) 1
Total fatalities 4,000+
Total damage + $75 million (1928 USD)
Atlantic hurricane seasons
1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930

The 1928 Atlantic hurricane season ran through the summer and the first half of fall in 1928. The season was not active, but eventful. Six tropical cyclones formed during the season. Four of those became hurricanes. Only one became a major hurricane, which was also a Category 5 hurricane.


1928 Okeechobee hurricane Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale


Hurricane One[edit]

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration August 3 – August 10
Peak intensity 105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min)  971 mbar (hPa)

A weak 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) tropical storm formed near Tobago on August 3. Moving northwest on August 4, the system made landfall near Santo Domingo as a 45 miles per hour (72 km/h) tropical storm on August 5. The system crossed Hispaniola as a 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) tropical storm late on August 5 and began to restrengthen steadily on August 6 while moving through the Bahamas. The storm strengthened into a hurricane later on August 6, and the hurricane reached its peak of 105 miles per hour (169 km/h) as a Category 2 hurricane on August 7 while nearing the Florida east coast. The hurricane weakened slightly on August 8, making landfall near Fort Pierce as a 90 miles per hour (140 km/h) Category 1 hurricane. The hurricane weakened to a strong tropical storm later on August 8 after moving inland, and the weakened system continued moving northwest as it neared St. Marks on August 9. The remnants then began to move northeast while weakening to a depression on August 10, becoming extratropical on August 10. The circulation dissipated on August 13 after the system exited the Carolinas and moved offshore off southeast Virginia near Norfolk.

Hurricane Two[edit]

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration August 7 – August 17
Peak intensity 90 mph (150 km/h) (1-min)  ≤998 mbar (hPa)

A 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) tropical storm formed near Barbados late on August 7. Moving west-northwest, the system moved through the Windward Islands on August 8 as a weak tropical storm and then began to slowly intensify shortly thereafter. Continuing to move west-northwest, the strengthening tropical storm intensified to a hurricane late on August 9, and the hurricane reached its peak as an 90 miles per hour (140 km/h) Category 1 hurricane early on August 10. The hurricane later made landfall at its peak intensity in southwest Hispaniola on August 11, and the storm maintained intensity before making a second landfall near Guantanamo Bay later on August 11. The hurricane weakened to a tropical storm shortly after moving inland over Cuba, and the system entered the Straits of Florida late on August 12 as a 50 mph (80 km/h) tropical storm before slowly beginning to reintensify on August 13 as it crossed the Florida Keys near Key West. Moving northwest, the system slowly reintensified to a brief secondary peak of 65 miles per hour (105 km/h) off southwest Florida before slowly weakening on August 14, eventually making landfall near St. George Island as a weak 45 miles per hour (72 km/h) tropical storm. The system soon weakened to a depression late on August 15 after moving inland, and the remnants dissipated on August 17. Heavy rain fell across the United States from the eastern Florida panhandle, through central Georgia, and up the Appalachians into southwest Virginia. Caesars Head, South Carolina reported the most rain, with 13.5 inches (340 mm) between August 13 and August 17.[1]

Tropical Storm Three[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration September 1 – September 8
Peak intensity 60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min) 

A tropical storm formed on September 1 just south of Hispaniola. Moving just north of due west, the system brushed the south coast of Jamaica as a 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) tropical storm on September 2 before slowly beginning to intensify on September 3. The strengthening tropical storm reached its peak of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) on September 4 shortly before making landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula near Playa del Carmen near its peak intensity early on September 5. The system weakened after crossing the peninsula, entering the Bay of Campeche early on September 6 as a weak tropical storm, later restrengthening slightly to a 50 mph (80 km/h) while nearing mainland Mexico on September 7. The tropical storm then weakened slightly shortly before making landfall north of Tampico early on September 8 as a weak 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) tropical storm. After moving inland, the system weakened quickly to a depression and dissipated.

Hurricane Four[edit]

Category 5 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration September 6 – September 18
Peak intensity 160 mph (260 km/h) (1-min)  ≤929 mbar (hPa)

This system developed as a tropical depression just offshore the west coast of Africa on September 6. The depression strengthened into a tropical storm later that day, shortly before passing south of the Cape Verde Islands. Further intensification was slow and halted by late on September 7. However, about 48 hours later, the storm resumed strengthening and became a Category 1 hurricane on the modern-day Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale. Still moving westward, the system reached Category 4 intensity before striking Guadeloupe on September 12. There, the storm brought "great destruction" and 1,200 deaths. Martinique, Montserrat, and Nevis also reported damage and fatalities, but not nearly as severe as in Guadeloupe.

Around midday on September 13, the storm strengthened into a Category 5 hurricane and peaked with sustained winds of 160 mph (260 km/h). About six hours later, the system made landfall in Puerto Rico; it was the only recorded tropical cyclone to strike the island at Category 5 intensity. Very strong winds resulted in severe damage in Puerto Rico. Throughout the island, 24,728 homes were completely destroyed and 192,444 were damaged, leaving over 500,000 people homeless. Heavy rainfall also led to extreme damage to vegetation and agriculture. On Puerto Rico alone, there were 312 deaths and about $50 million (1928 USD) in damage. While crossing the island and emerging into the Atlantic, the storm weakened slightly, falling to Category 4 intensity. The storm began crossing through the Bahamas on September 16. In the Bahamas, many buildings and houses were damaged or destroyed, especially on Bimini, Eleuthera, New Providence, and San Salvador Island. Nineteen deaths were reported, eighteen from a sloop disappearing and one due to drowning.

Early on September 17, the storm made landfall near West Palm Beach, Florida with winds of 145 mph (233 km/h). In the city, more than 1,711 homes were destroyed. Elsewhere in the county, impact was severest around Lake Okeechobee. The storm surge caused water to pour out of the southern edge of the lake, flooding hundreds of square miles as high as 20 feet (6.1 m) above ground. Numerous houses and buildings were swept away in the cities of Belle Glade, Canal Point, Chosen, Pahokee, and South Bay. At least 2,500 people drowned, while damage was estimated at $25 million. While crossing Florida, the system weakened significantly, falling to Category 1 intensity late on September 17. It curved north-northeastward and briefly re-emerged into the Atlantic on September 18, but soon made another landfall near Edisto Island, South Carolina with winds of 85 mph (140 km/h). Early on the following day, the system weakened to a tropical storm and became extratropical over North Carolina hours later. Overall, the system caused $100 million in damage and at least 4,078 deaths.

Tropical Storm Five[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration September 8 – September 10
Peak intensity 70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  ≤1015 mbar (hPa)

A 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) tropical storm formed in the central Atlantic northeast of the Leeward Islands on September 8. Moving northwest while slowly intensifying, the system began to turn northward on September 10, and the system reached its peak of 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) early on September 10 while turning northeast and becoming extratropical. The remnants dissipated on September 12 over the open North Atlantic.

Hurricane Six[edit]

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration October 10 – October 15
Peak intensity 90 mph (150 km/h) (1-min)  ≤980 mbar (hPa)

A tropical storm formed on October 10 in the eastern tropical Atlantic west of Cape Verde. Moving north-northwest, the system maintained intensity on October 11 before beginning to intensify more rapidly on October 12. The strengthening tropical storm intensified to its peak as an 80 miles per hour (130 km/h) Category 1 hurricane on October 13 as it began to turn northeast. In the process, the hurricane weakened to a 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) tropical storm on October 14, and the system became extratropical later that day and dissipated on October 15.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Monge, Luigi (2007). "Their Eyes Were Watching God: African-American Topical Songs on the 1928 Florida Hurricanes and Floods". Popular Music 26 (1): 129–140. doi:10.1017/S0261143007001171.  edit


  1. ^ United States Corp of Engineers (1945). Storm Total Rainfall In The United States. War Department. p. SA 2–13. 

External links[edit]