List of Category 4 Atlantic hurricanes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Floyd near peak intensity as an intense Category 4 hurricane on September 14, 1999

Category 4 hurricanes are tropical cyclones that reach Category 4 intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. Category 4 hurricanes that later attained Category 5 strength are not included in this list. The Atlantic basin includes the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Category 4 is the second-highest hurricane classification category on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, and storms that are of this intensity maintain maximum sustained winds of 113–136 knots (130–156 mph, 209–251 km/h). Based on the Atlantic hurricane database, 95 hurricanes have attained Category 4 hurricane status since 1851, the start of modern meteorological record keeping. Category 4 storms are considered extreme hurricanes. Hurricane Ike, which was a Category 4 storm, brought on a 24 ft storm surge, the third greatest storm surge ever recorded (after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Camille, respectively).

Statistics[edit]

Category 4 hurricanes have maximum sustained winds of 113–136 knots (130–156 mph, 209–251 km/h).[1] "Sustained winds" refers to the average wind speed observed over one minute at a height of 10 meters (33 ft) above ground. Gust can be 30% higher than the sustained winds.[2] Mobile homes and other buildings without fixed structures can be completely destroyed, and the lower floors of sturdier structures usually sustain major damage. In addition to the winds, the cyclones generally produce a storm surge of 13–18 feet (4–5.5 m) above normal, potentially causing major beach erosion. Heavy, irreparable damage and/or near complete destruction of gas station canopies and other wide span overhang type structures are also very common, and mobile and manufactured homes are often completely destroyed. Low-level terrain may be flooded well inland, as well.[3] In addition, Category 4 hurricanes are very often Cape Verde type hurricanes. Cape Verde hurricanes are usually the strongest, and their track sometimes points them towards the United States, or other land.[4]

Studies have shown that the number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes nearly doubled in occurrence in from 1970 to 2004.[5] Also, due to growing population in major coastal cities, many areas have become more vulnerable to strong hurricanes, especially categories 4 and 5.[6]

Meteorological measurements[edit]

All of the storms listed in this analysis are listed in chronological order, but they also list the minimum central pressure and maximum sustained winds. Each of these meteorological readings are taken using a specific meteorological instrument. For modern storms, the minimum pressure measurements are taken by Reconnaissance Aircraft using dropsondes, or by determining it from satellite imagery using the Dvorak technique. For older storms, pressures are often incomplete, typically being provided by ship-reports or land-observations. None of these methods can provide constant pressure measurements; thus it is possible the only measurement occurred when the cyclone was at a lesser strength.[7] Sustained winds are taken using an Anemometer at 10 meters (33 ft) above the ground.[8]

Climatology[edit]

A total of 95 hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean Basin, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, have reached Category 4 status as their peak intensity. (Note that Category 4 storms that intensified later to Category 5 status are not included in this analysis.)

Most Category 4 hurricanes occur during September, with 51 storms occurring in that month. This coincides with the average peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, which occurs on September 10.[9] Most Category 4 hurricanes develop in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Several Category 4 hurricanes are Cape Verde-type hurricanes. There have been no Category 4 hurricanes to form in either May or December, or in any other month outside the traditional bounds of the Atlantic hurricane season.

List of Category 4 hurricanes[edit]

Listed in chronological order[edit]

All data listed is provided by the NHC best track, unless otherwise noted. Also, some pressure readings for the older storms may have been taken at a time other than the storm's peak intensity. Thus, some pressure readings might not be the minimum pressure.

Some pressure readings are unavailable due to scarce information.

Hurricane frequency

Period Number Number per year
1851–1900 13 0.26
1901–1950 29 0.58
1951–1975 22 0.88
1976–2000 24 0.96
2001–2012 19 1.6

1851–1900[edit]

Homes in Galveston were reduced to timbers by the hurricane winds and floods caused by the Galveston Hurricane of 1900.

In the years between 1851 and 1900, thirteen Category 4 storms are known to have occurred in the Atlantic Ocean. These numbers are limited by the observation techniques used prior to the use of satellite imagery in the 1960s.

Name Season Month Max. sustained winds Minimum pressure
(Knots) (km/h) (mph) (mbar)
Hurricane #3 1853 August, September 130 240 150 924
"1856 Last Island Hurricane" 1856 August 130 240 150 934
Hurricane #6 1866 September, October 120 220 140 938
Hurricane #7 1878 September, October 120 220 140 938
Hurricane #2 1880 August 130 240 150 931
Hurricane #8 1880 September, October 120 220 140 928
Hurricane #6 1882 October 120 220 140 975
Indianola Hurricane of 1886 1886 August 135 250 155 925
Hurricane #10 1893 September, October 115 215 130 948
Hurricane #6 1894 October 115 215 130 931
Hurricane #7 1898 September, October 115 215 130 930
Hurricane #3 1899 August, September 130 240 150 930
Galveston Hurricane of 1900 1900 August, September 125 230 145 936
Sources: Atlantic Hurricane Best Track File 1851–2012.[10]

1901–1950[edit]

Destruction after the 1930 Dominican Republic Hurricane

Between 1901 and 1950, 29 Category 4 hurricanes formed in the Atlantic Basin.

Name Season Months Max. sustained winds Minimum pressure
(Knots) (km/h) (mph) (mbar)
Hurricane #4 1906 August, September 115 215 130 950
1910 Cuba hurricane 1910 October 130 240 150 924
1915 Galveston hurricane 1915 August 125 230 145 940
1915 New Orleans hurricane 1915 September, October 125 230 145 931
1916 Texas hurricane 1916 August 115 215 130 932
1917 Nueva Gerona hurricane 1917 September 130 240 150 928
1919 Florida Keys hurricane 1919 September 130 240 150 927
1921 Tampa Bay hurricane 1921 October 120 220 140 941
1926 Nassau hurricane 1926 July, August 120 220 140 ≤ 967
Hurricane #4 1926 September 120 220 140 ≤ 957
1926 Miami hurricane 1926 September 130 240 150 930
1926 Havana hurricane 1926 October 130 240 150 934
1929 Bahamas hurricane 1929 September, October 135 250 155 924
1930 Dominican Republic hurricane 1930 August, September 135 250 155 933
1931 Belize hurricane 1931 September 115 215 130 ≤ 952
1932 Freeport hurricane 1932 August 130 240 150 935
1932 San Ciprian hurricane 1932 September 125 230 145 943
1933 Chesapeake–Potomac hurricane 1933 August 120 220 140 ≤ 940
1933 Treasure Coast hurricane 1933 August, September 120 220 140 945
1933 Outer Banks hurricane 1933 September 120 220 140 ≤ 947
Hurricane #2 1935 August 115 215 130 ≤ 955
1935 Cuba hurricane 1935 September, October 120 220 140 ≤ 945
Hurricane #5 1939 October 120 220 140 ≤ 941
Hurricane #4 1941 September 115 215 130 ≤ 957
Hurricane #3 1943 August 120 220 140
1944 Great Atlantic hurricane 1944 September 125 230 145 ≤ 933
1944 Cuba–Florida hurricane 1944 October 125 230 145 937
1945 Homestead hurricane 1945 September 115 215 130 949
1946 Florida hurricane 1946 October 115 215 130 979
Hurricane #6 1948 September 115 215 130 -
1948 Miami hurricane 1948 October 115 215 130 975
1949 Florida hurricane 1949 August 130 240 150 954
1949 Texas hurricane 1949 September, October 115 215 130 -
Hurricane Able 1950 August 120 220 140 953
Hurricane Fox 1950 September 120 220 140 -
Sources: Atlantic Hurricane Best Track File 1851–2012[10]

1951–1975[edit]

Flooding in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans after Betsy.

In the years between 1951 and 1975, there were 22 Category 4 hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean.

Name Season Month Max. sustained winds Minimum pressure
(Knots) (km/h) (mph) (mbar)
Hurricane Charlie 1951 August 115 215 130 964
Hurricane Fox 1952 October 130 240 150 934
Hurricane Carol 1953 August, September 130 240 150 929
Hurricane Hazel 1954 October 115 215 130 937
Hurricane Connie 1955 August 125 230 145 936
Hurricane Greta 1956 October, November 120 220 140 970
Hurricane Audrey 1957 June 125 230 145 946
Hurricane Carrie 1957 September 135 250 155 945
Hurricane Helene 1958 September 115 215 130 934
Hurricane Ilsa 1958 September 115 215 130 968
Hurricane Gracie 1959 September 120 220 140 950
Hurricane Betsy 1961 September 120 220 140 945
Hurricane Esther 1961 September 125 230 145 927
Hurricane Flora 1963 September, October 126 230 145 940
Hurricane Cleo 1964 August, September 135 250 155 950
Hurricane Dora 1964 August, September 115 215 130 942
Hurricane Gladys 1964 September 126 230 145 945
Hurricane Hilda 1964 September, October 130 240 150 941
Hurricane Betsy 1965 August, September 120 220 140 941
Hurricane Inez 1966 September, October 130 240 150 929
Hurricane Carmen 1975 August, September 130 240 150 928
Hurricane Gladys 1975 September, October 120 220 140 939
Sources: Atlantic Hurricane Best Track File 1851–2012[10]

1976–2000[edit]

In the years between 1976 and 2000, 24 Category 4 hurricanes formed in the basin:

Name Season Month Max. sustained winds Minimum pressure
(Knots) (km/h) (mph) (mbar)
Hurricane Ella 1978 August, September 120 220 140 956
Hurricane Greta 1978 September 115 215 130 947
Hurricane Frederic 1979 August, September 115 215 130 943
Hurricane Harvey 1981 September 115 215 130 946
Hurricane Debby 1982 September 115 215 130 950
Hurricane Diana 1984 September 115 215 130 949
Hurricane Gloria 1985 September, October 125 230 145 919
Hurricane Helene 1988 September 125 230 145 938
Hurricane Joan 1988 October, November 125 230 145 932
Hurricane Gabrielle 1989 August, September 125 230 145 935
Hurricane Claudette 1991 September 115 215 130 943
Hurricane Felix 1995 August 120 220 140 929
Hurricane Luis 1995 August, September 120 220 140 935
Hurricane Opal 1995 September, October 130 240 150 916
Hurricane Edouard 1996 August, September 125 230 145 933
Hurricane Hortense 1996 September 120 220 140 935
Hurricane Georges 1998 September, October 135 250 155 937
Hurricane Bret 1999 August 125 230 145 944
Hurricane Cindy 1999 August 120 220 140 942
Hurricane Floyd 1999 September 135 250 155 921
Hurricane Gert 1999 September 130 240 150 930
Hurricane Lenny 1999 November 135 250 155 933
Hurricane Isaac 2000 September, October 120 220 144 943
Hurricane Keith 2000 September, October 120 220 140 939
Sources: Atlantic Hurricane Best Track File 1851–2012[10]

2001–Present[edit]

A beachfront home in Navarre Beach, Florida largely destroyed by Hurricane Dennis in 2005.

In the years between 2001 and the present time, nineteen Category 4 hurricanes formed within the confines of the Atlantic Ocean. A dagger (†) denotes that the storm temporarily weakened below Category 4 intensity during the specified period of time.

List of Category 4 Atlantic hurricanes from 2001–present
Storm
name
Image Season Dates as a
Category 4
Maximum
sustained winds
Minimum pressure Notes
Hurricane Iris
Hurricane Iris 08 oct 2001 1922Z.jpg
2001 October 8–9 145 mph (230 km/h) 948 mbar (hPa; 27.99 inHg)
Hurricane Michelle
Hurricane Michelle 2001.jpg
2001 November 3–4 140 mph (220 km/h) 933 mbar (hPa; 27.55 inHg)
Hurricane Lili
Hurricane Lili- Peak.JPG
2002 October 2–3 145 mph (230 km/h) 938 mbar (hPa; 27.70 inHg)
Hurricane Fabian
Hurricane fabian 2003.jpg
2003 August 31–September 5 145 mph (230 km/h) 939 mbar (hPa; 27.73 inHg)
Hurricane Charley
Hurricane Charley 2004.jpg
2004 August 13 150 mph (240 km/h) 941 mbar (hPa; 27.79 inHg)
Hurricane Frances
Hurricane Frances 2004.jpg
2004 August 28–September 2 145 mph (230 km/h) 935 mbar (hPa; 27.61 inHg)
Hurricane Karl
Hurricane Karl 21 sept 2004 1315Z.jpg
2004 September 20–21 145 mph (230 km/h) 938 mbar (hPa; 27.70 inHg)
Hurricane Dennis
Hurricane Dennis restrengthened to a Category 4 hurricane.jpg
2005 July 8–10 150 mph (240 km/h) 930 mbar (hPa; 27.46 inHg)
Hurricane Gustav
Hurricane Gustav 30 Aug 2008 1605z.jpg
2008 August 30–31 155 mph (250 km/h) 941 mbar (hPa; 27.79 inHg)
Hurricane Ike
Hurricane Ike off the Lesser Antilles.jpg
2008 September 4–8 145 mph (230 km/h) 935 mbar (hPa; 27.61 inHg)
Hurricane Omar
Omar 2008-10-15 at 1745 UTC.jpg
2008 October 16 135 mph (215 km/h) 945 mbar (hPa; 27.91 inHg)
Hurricane Paloma
Paloma 2008-11-08 at 1835 UTC.jpg
2008 November 8 145 mph (230 km/h) 944 mbar (hPa; 27.88 inHg)
Hurricane Bill
Bill.A2009231.1415.250m.jpg
2009 August 19–20 135 mph (215 km/h) 943 mbar (hPa; 27.85 inHg)
Hurricane Danielle
Danielle aug 27 2010.jpg
2010 August 27 135 mph (215 km/h) 942 mbar (hPa; 27.82 inHg)
Hurricane Earl
Hurricane Earl 2010-09-01 1801Z.jpg
2010 August 30–September 2 145 mph (230 km/h) 927 mbar (hPa; 27.37 inHg)
Hurricane Igor
Hurricane Igor at 1640z on September 13, 2010.jpg
2010 September 12–17 155 mph (250 km/h) 924 mbar (hPa; 27.29 inHg)
Hurricane Julia
Julia sept 15 2010 1145Z.jpg
2010 September 15 140 mph (220 km/h) 948 mbar (hPa; 27.99 inHg)
Hurricane Katia
Hurricane Katia Sept 5 2011 1700Z.jpg
2011 September 6 140 mph (220 km/h) 942 mbar (hPa; 27.82 inHg)
Hurricane Ophelia
Hurricane Ophelia Oct 1 2011 1735Z.jpg
2011 October 2 140 mph (220 km/h) 940 mbar (hPa; 27.76 inHg)
Sources: Atlantic Hurricane Best Track File 1851–2012[10]

Listed by month[edit]

Landfalls[edit]

The following hurricanes made landfall at some location at any strength; hurricanes that did not make landfall but made a direct hit are also included. Due to inaccuracies in data, tropical depression landfalls are not included.

Name Year Landfall/Direct hit
Category 4 Category 3 Category 2 Category 1 Tropical Storm
"Last Island" 1856 Louisiana
"Unnamed" 1866 Bahamas
"Unnamed" 1878 Haiti & Turks and Caicos Islands
"Unnamed" 1880 Texas Quintana Roo Guadeloupe
"Unnamed" 1882 Cuba Florida
Indianola 1886 Texas Dominican Republic & Cuba
Cheniere Caminada 1893 Louisiana Quintana Roo & Mississippi
Unnamed 1894 Saint Lucia
Unnamed 1898 Georgia
San Ciriaco 1899 Guadeloupe & Puerto Rico Bahamas & North Carolina
Galveston (1900) 1900 Texas Antigua, Nevis, Dominican Republic, Cuba
Unnamed 1910 Cuba Florida
Galveston (1915) 1915 Texas Cuba Guadeloupe
New Orleans 1915 Louisiana
Florida Keys 1919 Texas
Tampa Bay 1921 Florida
Unnamed 1922 Barbuda & Anguilla
Unnamed 1924 Martinique & Saint Croix
Nassau 1926 Bahamas Florida Puerto Rico
Miami 1926 Bahamas & Florida Alabama
Unnamed 1926 Bermuda Cuba
Unnamed 1929 Bahamas Florida Florida
San Zenón 1930 Dominican Republic Guadeloupe Cuba & Florida
Unnamed 1932 Texas
Unnamed 1933 Bahamas & Florida
Unnamed 1933 Bahamas Cuba
Great Atlantic Hurricane 1944 New York & Connecticut
Unnamed 1945 Florida Bahamas South Carolina
Unnamed 1946 Cuba Florida
Unnamed 1948 Cuba & Florida
Unnamed 1949 Florida Bahamas
Unnamed 1949 Texas
Able 1950 Nova Scotia
Charlie 1951 Quintana Roo Tamaulipas Jamaica Dominica
Fox 1952 Cuba Bahamas Bahamas
Carol 1953 New Brunswick
Hazel 1954 North Carolina Haiti & Bahamas
Connie 1955 North Carolina
Audrey 1957 Louisiana
Carrie 1957 Azores
Helene 1958 North Carolina (direct hit) Newfoundland
Gracie 1961 South Carolina
Esther 1961 Maine
Flora 1963 Haiti Tobago & Cuba Cuba & Bahamas
Cleo 1964 Guadeloupe & Haiti Florida Cuba Georgia
Dora 1964 Florida
Hilda 1964 Louisiana
Betsy 1965 Louisiana Bahamas & Florida
Inez 1966 Dominican Republic Guadeloupe, Cuba, Tamaulipas Cuba & Florida
Carmen 1974 Quintana Roo Louisiana
Greta 1978 Honduras Belize
Frederic 1979 Alabama Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba
Diana 1984 North Carolina
Gloria 1985 North Carolina New York
Joan 1988 Nicaragua Grenada & Venezuela
Opal 1995 Florida
Hortense 1996 Puerto Rico & Nova Scotia Guadeloupe
Georges 1998 Antigua, Saint Kitts, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic Florida & Mississippi Cuba
Bret 1999 Texas
Floyd 1999 Bahamas Bahamas North Carolina New Jersey
Lenny 1999 Saint Croix Saint Martin Anguilla Saint Barthélemy Antigua
Keith 2000 Belize & Mexico
Iris 2001 Belize
Michelle 2001 Cuba Bahamas
Lili 2002 Cuba Cayman Islands & Louisiana
Fabian 2003 Bermuda
Charley 2004 Florida Cuba South Carolina
Frances 2004 Bahamas Bahamas & Florida Florida
Dennis 2005 Cuba Florida
Gustav 2008 Cuba(2x) Louisiana Haiti & Cayman Islands Jamaica
Ike 2008 Cuba & Turks and Caicos Islands Bahamas Texas Cuba
Omar 2008 US Virgin Islands
Paloma 2008 Little Cayman Grand Cayman Cuba
Bill 2009 Nova Scotia Newfoundland
Earl 2010 British Virgin Islands Anguilla Barbuda, St. Martin, & North Carolina Massachusetts, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, & Quebec
Igor 2010 Bermuda & Newfoundland
Julia 2010 Cape Verde

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Hurricane Center (2007). "Saffir-Simpson Scale". National Weather Service. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  2. ^ Chris Landsea (2006). "FAQ subject D4". HURDAT. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  3. ^ National Hurricane Center (June 22, 2006). "Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale Information". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  4. ^ Chris Landsea (2006). "FAQ subject A2". HURDAT. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  5. ^ NSF (2005). "severe Hurricanes doubled in the past 35 years". NSF. Retrieved 2013-09-03. 
  6. ^ weather.com - Vulnerable Cities: Index
  7. ^ Terry Hock (2007). "GPS dropsondes". NCAR. Retrieved 2007-12-16. [dead link]
  8. ^ Federal Emergency Management Agency (2004). "Hurricane Glossary of Terms". Archived from the original on 2005-12-14. Retrieved 2006-03-24.  Accessed through the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ National Hurricane Center (2007-03-08). "Tropical Cyclone Climatology". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  10. ^ a b c d e National Hurricane Center; Hurricane Research Division (April 1, 2014). "Atlantic hurricane best track (HURDAT version 2)". United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved July 9, 2014.