List of Texas hurricanes (1900–49)

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The List of Texas hurricanes from 1900 to 1949 encompasses 47 tropical cyclones that affected the U.S. state of Texas. The season with the most storms to affect the state was the 1933 Atlantic hurricane season, when five storms affected Texas. Major storms during this period include the 1900 and 1915 Galveston Hurricanes, the former which killed 8,000 to 12,000 people. Also one to mention merit was the 1943 Surprise Hurricane, when the weather bureau's information was censored and killing 19 people.

1900–1909[edit]

This photograph shows the aftermath of the hurricane and the destruction it wrought

September 8, 1900: A long-lived tropical cyclone trekked across the Caribbean and moved over Cuba. On September 4, the Galveston office of the U.S. Weather Bureau began receiving warnings from the Bureau's central office in Washington, D.C., that a tropical storm had moved northward over Cuba. The Weather Bureau forecasters had little way of knowing where the storm exactly was, and referenced climatology, preferring a storm track towards the middle Gulf coast. Conditions in the Gulf of Mexico were ripe for further strengthening of the storm. The Gulf had seen little cloud cover for several weeks, and the seas were as warm as bathwater, according to one report. The hurricane moved west-northwest towards the Texas coast. The last train to reach Galveston left Houston on the morning of the September 8 at 9:45 a.m. It found the tracks washed out, and passengers were forced to transfer to a relief train on parallel tracks to complete their journey. Even then, debris on the track kept the train's progress at a crawl. As the hurricane neared, conditions in Texas deteriorated, and residents just thought it was a thunderstorm. When the hurricane made landfall, it was of category four intensity. It destroyed the city of Galveston, and led to the rise of Houston. Although damage was significant across Galveston Island, the human toll was higher. The death toll is estimated to lie between 8,000-12,000.[1][2]

July 10, 1901 - The second storm of the 1901 season made landfall in Southeast Texas as a minimal tropical storm.[3]

June 26, 1902 - The second storm of 1902 made landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas.[4]

September 30, 1905 - The third tropical storm entered Texas as a tropical depression.[5]

July 31, 1908 - The fourth tropical storm of the 1908 season formed and made landfall in Texas.

September 18, 1908 - The seventh tropical storm of the 1908 season dissipated right off the Texas coast.[6]

June 29, 1909 - The second storm of 1909 hit Texas as a Category 2 hurricane near Bronwsville, according to the "Best Track" database maintained by the National Hurricane Center. Little information on this storm is known at this time.

July 21, 1909 - The fourth storm hit near Freeport, Texas as a Category 3 hurricane; with a 10-foot (3-meter) storm surge. Damage totals came to $2 million (1909 dollars) and 41 people died.[7]

August 24, 1909 - a hurricane slammed into the Mexico and Texas area. Point Isabel, Texas was completely underwater. No one perished though.[7]

1910–1919[edit]

Storm Surge damage from the 1915 hurricane
  • August 31, 1910 – The second tropical cyclone of 1910 moves ashore near the mouth of the Rio Grande as a tropical storm with winds of 45 mph (75 km/h).[8][9][10] In advance of the storm, northeast storm warnings are posted for the region. The cyclone causes strong winds, which cause moderate property damage in the Brownsville area.[8]
  • September 14, 1910 – The first hurricane of the 1910 season slapped Texas as a hurricane.[11]

October 16, 1912 - The sixth storm of 1912 made its second landfall just south of Corpus Christi, Texas as a Category 1. 15 people died and damage came to over $28,000.[12]

June 27, 1913 - The first storm of the 1913 season was Category 2 hurricane that struck Cancún, Mexico and Padre Island, Texas. This storm caused major flooding and killed one person.[13]

September 19, 1914 - The remnants of a system affected Texas near the Louisiana border.[14]

August 17, 1915 - The second storm of the year was first observed in the eastern Tropical Atlantic on August 5. It tracked westward, intensifying into a hurricane on the 9th before crossing the Lesser Antilles on the 10th. As the hurricane continued through the Caribbean Sea, it passed just south of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola before crossing Jamaica on the 13th where it caused heavy damage. While south of Cuba it became a major hurricane, and it brushed the western tip of the country on the 15th. Over the Gulf of Mexico the hurricane continued to strengthen, and reached a peak of 140 mph winds. Just before landfall it weakened, and the hurricane hit Galveston, Texas on the 17th as a 120 mph hurricane. It turned northward, became extratropical on the 18th, and dissipated on the 23rd. Just fifteen years after the 1900 Galveston Hurricane, this hurricane damaged the already hurting Texas economy. Throughout its path, it caused a total of $50 million in damage (1915 USD, $921 million in 2005 USD) and 400 casualties.[15]

Main article: 1916 Texas Hurricane

August 18, 1916 - The 1916 Texas hurricane struck Corpus Christi, Texas on August 18 after striking Martinique. The storm caused over $28 million in damage, 1.6 million dollars in damage.[16]

August 6, 1918 - The remnants of the first storm of 1918 affected Texas after making landfall in Louisiana.[17]

September 14, 1919 - The second storm of the 1919 season made landfall just south of Corpus Christi, Texas as a Category 1.[18]

1920s[edit]

June 22, 1921 - The first hurricane of the 1921 season made landfall in Texas.[19]

September 6, 1925 - The first storm of the 1925 season formed was a tropical storm that hit near Brownsville, Texas.[20]

August 27, 1926 - The third storm of the season entered Texas after making landfall in Louisiana.[21]

September 22, 1926 - The sixth storm of the 1926 season entered made landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border.[21]

June 29, 1929 - A category 1 hurricane struck near Freeport, Texas in 1929, the only town to suffer much damage from it.[22]

1930s[edit]

The first storm of 1931 made landfall in the Galveston area as a tropical storm.[23]

In 1932, the 1932 Freeport hurricane formed August 11 in the southern Gulf of Mexico near the Yucatán Peninsula and slammed into the upper Texas coast near Freeport, Texas as a very compact Category 4 hurricane two days later. As the storm moved over the Gulf of Mexico, it intensified from a Category 1 to a Category 4 with winds estimated at 140 mph and an estimated central pressure of 942 millibars in less than one day. The eye crossed the coast about 10 p.m. on August 13, slashing a 30- to 40-mile wide path of destruction across Brazoria County, Texas. Official warning for the storm came just 4 hours prior to landfall, and many people trying to evacuate inland had to abandon their cars in high winds and heavy rains. The 1932 hurricane retained its strength miles from the coast and killed 40 people. The greatest single toll for any town was 7 in West Columbia, Texas, where sustained winds over 100 mph flattened homes. Two neighborhoods that had been constructed for oil industry workers there were wiped clean. Freeport, Angleton and Galveston suffered extensive wind damage, and the inland towns of Brazoria, West Columbia, Damon and Needville, all in the path of the eye, were also devastated. Damage estimates topped $7 million in 1932 U.S. dollars.[24]

The Texas area was alive with activity in 1933, with the second storm making landfall in Mexico after threatening Texas; the fourth storm making landfall near Matagorda Bay in Texas as a 45 mph (70 km/h) tropical storm on July 23. The fifth storm made landfall near Brownsville, Texas on August 5 as a strong tropical storm. The storm produced strong winds and high tides along the coast of Texas, while heavy rains in south Texas and northern Mexico caused heavy damage. High tides from the storm covered parts of South Padre Island. The tenth storm threatened Texas, causing the issuance of tropical storm warnings for portions of the southern Texas coastline. The eleventh storm made landfall just north of Brownsville early on September 5, killing 179 people and causing $28 million in damage.[25][26] [27]

In 1934, the third storm was a Category 1 hurricane passed over north Florida as a tropical storm and made landfall in central Texas, causing 11 casualties and $1–$2 million in damage. The fifth storm was another Category 1 hurricane that grazed Galveston.[28]

The third storm of the 1936 season caused severe crop damage was reported in San Patricio and Nueces Counties. In all, the hurricane caused $550,000 (1936 USD) in damage, primarily to oil refinery property, though no deaths or injuries were reported. The fourteenth storm of the season made landfall near Brownsville.[29]

The third and fifth storms of 1938 made landfall in the state.[30]

1940s[edit]

The second storm of 1940 hit near the Texas/Louisiana border, and dissipated three days later over Missouri. One casualty and $1.7 million in damage from flooding has been attributed to this hurricane.[31]

In 1941, the first storm hit the Texas coast between Galveston and Port Arthur. The storm dissipated the next day without causing any damage. The second storm hit Texas near Matagorda just below hurricane strength. It continued northward, and became extratropical later that day. The hurricane caused heavy flooding in Texas, amounting to $7 million in damage (1941 dollars) and 4 deaths.[32]

The first storm of 1942 made landfall on the eastern Texas coast, and dissipated two days later over extreme southern Missouri. The hurricane caused around $600,000 in damage. The second storm hit the central Texas coast. The next day it dissipated over northwestern Texas, after resulting in $26.5 million in damage and eight casualties.[33]

This hurricane was first detected on July 26, 1943. The United States was in the middle of the second World War and there were no satellites or weather radar. Because of the fear of U-boats in the Gulf, all radio traffic from ships was silenced, including storm reports. Newspaper articles mentioned a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico, but did not mention its true intensity. The storm struck the Bolivar Peninsula, crossed Galveston Bay, and made landfall a second time near the Houston Ship Channel. Because of war interests, warnings were few, and residents were caught off-guard. Maximum sustained winds were estimated at nearly 100 mph, with higher wind gusts. Damage was significant and primarily wind-related. The storm killed 19 people, and caused $17 million (1943 dollars) in damage to the Houston area. After the loss of life in this storm, weather information has never been censored again.[34]

A map showing closed isobars and several surface observations as a hurricane made landfall
Surface weather analysis of the 1949 Texas hurricane
  • July 22, 1945 – The second storm of the season hits South Texas, causing squalls and rough seas.[35]
  • August 28, 1945 – The fifth hurricane of the same year makes landfall on Port O'Connor with winds of 110 mph (180 km/h).[36] The storm causes flooding across much of the coast, peaking at an estimated 30 inches (760 mm).[35] Port Lavaca is inundated by a 15-foot storm tide (4.6 m), with the coastline retreating as much as 50 ft (15 m) in locations due to the storm.[37] The hurricane causes three deaths and roughly $20 million in damages.[35]
  • June 16, 1946 – The first storm of 1946 moves ashore near the Texas/Louisiana border, causing no damage.[38]
  • August 2, 1947 – A tropical storm makes landfall on Port Isabel with 40 mph (64 km/h) winds, causing heavy rain.[36][39] Rainfall peaks at 9.78 inches (248 mm) at Raymondville.[39] The storm causes one death and $2 million in damages, but the rain benefits many crops in East Texas.[37][39]
  • August 2, 1947 – Hurricane Three makes landfall on Galveston as a minimal hurricane, causing primarily wind damage to multiple structures.[37] The hurricane causes one death and $2 million in damages.[39]
  • October 3, 1949 – The 1949 Texas hurricane makes landfall near Freeport with winds of 135 miles per hour (217 km/h) after crossing into the Gulf of Mexico from the East Pacific.[10] In advance of the storm 50,000 people sought shelter.[40] Rainfall peaks in Goodrich at 14.5 inches (370 mm).[41] The hurricane causes severe crop losses in the region.[42] Power outages also take place across the region, with the entire city of Freeport losing power.[42] The storm kills two people and causes $6.7 million in damages, most of which are attributed to crop losses.[37]

Listed by month[edit]

Number of recorded storms affecting Texas
Month Number of storms
June
8
July
7
August
16
September
13
October
3

Deadly storms[edit]

The following is a list of hurricanes with known deaths in the state.

Name Year Number of deaths
Galveston 1900 ~8,000
Galveston 1915 400
Unnamed 1933 179
Velasco 1909 41
Freeport 1932 40
Texas 1916 24
Surprise 1943 19
Unnamed 1912 15
Unnamed 1934 11
Unnamed 1942 8
Unnamed 1941 4
Unnamed 1945 3
Unnamed 1949 2
Unnamed 1947 1
Unnamed 1940 1
Unnamed 1913 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1900 Monthly Weather Review
  2. ^ NOAA retrospective on the Galveston Storm of 1900
  3. ^ United States Weather Bureau (1901). "Monthly Weather Review" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-01-25. 
  4. ^ E.B. Garriott (1902). "1902 Monthly Weather Review" (PDF). U.S. Weather Bureau. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  5. ^ Cleveland Abbe (1905). "1905 Monthly Weather Review" (PDF). U.S. Weather Bureau. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  6. ^ E.B. Garriott (1907). "September 1907 Forecasts and Warnings" (PDF). U.S. Weather Bureau. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  7. ^ a b E.B. Garriot (1909). "1909 Monthly Weather Review" (PDF). U.S. Weather Bureau. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  8. ^ a b Bowie, Edward H. (August 1910). "Weather, Forecasts, and Warnings For The Month" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. American Meteorological Society. 38 (8): 1296–1298. Bibcode:1910MWRv...38.1296B. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1910)38<1296:WFAWFT>2.0.CO;2. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Brief Telegrams". Reading Eagle. 43 (216). Reading, Pennsylvania. August 31, 1910. p. 3. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b National Hurricane Center; Hurricane Research Division (April 11, 2017). "Atlantic hurricane best track (HURDAT version 2)". United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved April 13, 2017. 
  11. ^ Edward B. Howie (1910). "1910 Monthly Weather Review" (PDF). U.S. Weather Bureau. Retrieved 2007-09-28. 
  12. ^ United States Weather Bureau (1912). "1912 Monthly Weather Review" (PDF). U.S. Weather Bureau. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  13. ^ United States Weather Bureau (1913). "1913 Monthly Weather Review" (PDF). U.S. Weather Bureau. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  14. ^ United States Weather Bureau (1914). "1914 Monthly Weather Review" (PDF). U.S. Weather Bureau. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  15. ^ United States Weather Bureau (1915). "1915 Monthly Weather Review" (PDF). U.S. Weather Bureau. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  16. ^ United States Weather Bureau (1916). "1916 Monthly Weather Review" (PDF). U.S. Weather Bureau. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  17. ^ United States Weather Bureau (1918). "1918 Monthly Weather Review" (PDF). U.S. Weather Bureau. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  18. ^ United States Weather Bureau (1919). "1919 Monthly Weather Review" (PDF). U.S. Weather Bureau. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  19. ^ United States Weather Bureau (1921). "1921 Monthly Weather Review" (PDF). U.S. Weather Bureau. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  20. ^ United States Weather Bureau (1925). "1925 Monthly Weather Review" (PDF). U.S. Weather Bureau. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  21. ^ a b United States Weather Bureau (1926). "1926 Monthly Weather Review" (PDF). U.S. Weather Bureau. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  22. ^ United States Weather Bureau (1929). "1929 Monthly Weather Review" (PDF). U.S. Weather Bureau. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  23. ^ 1931 Monthly Weather Review
  24. ^ 1932 Monthly Weather Review
  25. ^ 1933 Monthly Weather Review
  26. ^ David Roth (2000). "Texas Hurricane History". NWS. Retrieved 2006-08-31. 
  27. ^ Corpus Christi National Weather Service (2000). "Hurricane #11, 1933". Retrieved 2006-08-31. 
  28. ^ 1934 Monthly Weather Review
  29. ^ 1936 Monthly Weather Review
  30. ^ 1938 Monthly Weather Review
  31. ^ 1940 Monthly Weather Review
  32. ^ 1941 Monthly Weather Review
  33. ^ 1942 Monthly Weather Review
  34. ^ 1943 Monthly Weather Review
  35. ^ a b c Sumner, H.C.; Weather Bureau (January 1946). Culnan, Robert, ed. "North Atlantic Hurricanes and Tropical Disturbances of 1945" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. Washington, D.C. 74 (1): 1–5. Bibcode:1946MWRv...74....1.. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1946)074<0001:MACDFJ>2.0.CO;2. 
  36. ^ a b Hagen, Andrew B.; Strahan-Sakoskie, Donna; Luckett, Christopher; The Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory's Hurricane Research Division (July 1, 2012). A Reanalysis of the 1944–53 Atlantic Hurricane Seasons—The First Decade of Aircraft Reconnaissance (PDF) (Report). American Meteorological Society. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  37. ^ a b c d Roth, David (January 17, 2010). "Texas Hurricane History" (PDF). National Weather Service. Retrieved May 11, 2013. 
  38. ^ Sumner, H.C.; Weather Bureau (December 1946). "North Atlantic Hurricanes and Tropical Disturbances of 1946" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. Washington, D.C. 74: 1. Bibcode:1946MWRv...74..215S. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1946)074<0215:nahatd>2.0.co;2. 
  39. ^ a b c d Sumner, H.C.; Weather Bureau (December 1947). "North Atlantic Hurricanes and Tropical Disturbances of 1947" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. Washington, D.C. 75: 1. Bibcode:1947MWRv...75..251S. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1947)075<0251:nahatd>2.0.co;2. 
  40. ^ "Hurricane Drives 50,000 From Homes". The Sydney Morning Herald. New York City. October 4, 1949. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  41. ^ Zoch, Richmond T.; Weather Bureau (December 1949). "North Atlantic Hurricanes and Tropical Disturbances of 1949" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. Washington, D.C. 77: 339–342. Bibcode:1949MWRv...77..339Z. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1949)077<0339:nahatd>2.0.co;2. 
  42. ^ a b "Hurricane Fizzling Out After Blasting Houston". Victoria Advocate. The Associated Press. October 4, 1949. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 

External links[edit]