1975 Atlantic hurricane season

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1975 Atlantic hurricane season
Season summary map
First system formed June 27, 1975
Last system dissipated December 13, 1975
Strongest storm Gladys – 939 mbar (hPa) (27.74 inHg), 140 mph (220 km/h) (1-minute sustained)
Total depressions 28
Total storms 9
Hurricanes 6
Major hurricanes (Cat. 3+) 3
Total fatalities 80
Total damage $490 million (1975 USD)
Atlantic hurricane seasons
1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977

The 1975 Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1, 1975, and lasted until November 30, 1975. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin. The activity level of the season was average, after several consecutive years of below average activity, with nine storms forming of which six reached hurricane strength.

The most notable storm of the season was September's Hurricane Eloise, which caused heavy damage and 80 deaths in Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and Florida.

Season summary[edit]

The season's activity was reflected with a cumulative accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) rating of 76.[1] ACE is, broadly speaking, a measure of the power of the hurricane multiplied by the length of time it existed, so storms that last a long time, as well as particularly strong hurricanes, have high ACEs. ACE is only calculated for full advisories on tropical systems at or exceeding 34 knots (39 mph, 63 km/h) or tropical storm strength. Although officially, subtropical storms are not included,[2] the subtropical stage of Doris is not excluded from the above ACE value.


Tropical Storm Amy[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration June 27 – July 4
Peak intensity 70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  981 mbar (hPa)

The second tropical depression of the season developed from a weak surface trough of low pressure. A circulation developed on June 26, and on June 27, it had become organized enough to be classified a tropical depression. The cyclone moved northward initially, but turned sharply to the east, preventing a North Carolina landfall. On June 29, the depression finally organized and intensified enough to become Tropical Storm Amy. Upper-level shear prevented this storm from becoming fully tropical, yet was never officially designated a subtropical cyclone due to the systems location near land, but the storm strengthened to a 70 mph (110 km/h) tropical storm on June 30. Amy maintained that intensity for the next two days, but on July 3, a major trough developed over southeastern Canada, pulling Amy rapidly out to sea. The storm lost tropical characteristics on July 4.

Hurricane Blanche[edit]

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration July 24 – July 28
Peak intensity 85 mph (140 km/h) (1-min)  980 mbar (hPa)

The tropical depression that became Hurricane Blanche formed from a tropical wave on July 24 while 500 mi (800 km) north of Hispanola. It moved northwestward for the following days, but as it turned northeastward, it rapidly intensified, first to a tropical storm on July 26, then to a hurricane on July 27. The hurricane crossed the Nova Scotian coast on July 28, and lost all tropical characteristics later that day.

In Atlantic Canada, the remnants of Blanche produced high winds, gusting up to 70 mph (110 km/h) and moderate rainfall, peaking at 3.1 in (79 mm) in Chatham, New Brunswick.[3]

Tropical Depression Three[edit]

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Counterclockwise vortex
Duration July 24 – July 26
Peak intensity 35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1007 mbar (hPa)

On July 24, the fifth tropical depression of the season formed over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. Deep convection associated with the system persisted around the center of circulation.[4] Forecasters at the time anticipated the depression to intensify into a tropical storm before moving over land.[5] Not long after forming, the depression made landfall in Tampico, Mexico at peak intensity; a barometric pressure of 1007 mbar (hPa; 29.74 inHg) was recorded in the city with sustained winds of 37 mph (60 km/h). Just prior to this, an air force reconnaissance mission into the cyclone found 50 mph (85 km/h) winds; however, due to the interaction with land, the NHC did not upgrade the depression. The system was no longer monitored by the NHC after landfall.[4]

Tropical Depression Four[edit]

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Duration July 27 – July 31
Peak intensity 35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min) 

Tropical Depression Four developed from a trough of low pressure in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico on July 28. It strengthened slightly, but remained below tropical storm intensity and made landfall in eastern Louisiana. Once inland, the depression slowly weakened and re-curved northeastward on July 30 into Mississippi. Eventually, the depression moved back to the northwest and degenerated into a remnant low pressure area over Arkansas late on August 1. The remnants meandered southwestward until finally dissipating over Texas on August 4.

The tropical depression dropped heavy rainfall, with some areas of the Florida Panhandle experiencing more than 20 inches (510 mm) of precipitation. Bay, Gulf, Holmes, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, and Walton were hardest hit. Numerous roads were flooded and closed, with $3.2 million in damage incurred to that infrastructure. About 500 homes suffered flood damage, 22 of which were destroyed. Damage is estimated to have reached $8.5 million in the state of Florida alone. In southern Alabama, overflowing rivers flooded several businesses and homes in Brewton and East Brewton. Damage in Alabama totaled approximately $300,000.

Hurricane Caroline[edit]

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration August 24 – September 1
Peak intensity 115 mph (185 km/h) (1-min)  963 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Caroline began as a tropical depression on August 24 from a tropical wave, located 200 mi (320 km) north of Hispanola. As it moved west-southwestward, it failed to strengthen further, and after it crossed Cuba, it had only minor evidence of a surface circulation. After the storm moved through the northwestern Caribbean Sea, it started to become more organized, with the depression becoming Tropical Storm Caroline on August 29. Intensification became steadier, with Caroline reaching hurricane strength on August 30. Just prior to its landfall 100 mi (160 km) south of Brownsville, Texas, Caroline rapidly strengthened to a 115 mph (185 km/h) major hurricane, but dissipated over land on September 1.

Hurricane Doris[edit]

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration August 28 – September 4
Peak intensity 110 mph (175 km/h) (1-min)  965 mbar (hPa)

The subtropical storm that became Hurricane Doris formed from a frontal low on August 28 over the north-central Atlantic. Subtropical Storm One moved to the northwest, where it gained tropical characteristics. On August 31, it was designated Hurricane Doris. It peaked as a 105 mph (169 km/h) hurricane, but a nontropical low-pressure system caused the storm to lose its tropical characteristics on September 4.

Doris made meteorological history when, on August 31, it became the first Atlantic hurricane ever to be upgraded to hurricane intensity solely on the basis of satellite pictures.[6]

Hurricane Eloise[edit]

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration September 13 – September 24
Peak intensity 125 mph (205 km/h) (1-min)  955 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Eloise

Hurricane Eloise formed from a tropical wave on September 13. As it moved westward north of the Lesser Antilles, it strengthened to a hurricane, but land interaction with Hispanola weakened it to a tropical storm. Eloise moved through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, where it hit near Panama City, Florida as a major hurricane.

Eloise caused roughly $490 million ($1.5 billion in 2000 US dollars) in damage and killed 80. Most of the deaths occurred in Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, and were the result of torrential rain. Property damage was concentrated in the heavily developed shoreline at Panama City Beach, Florida, where Eloise caused a 16 ft (4.9 m) storm surge.

Hurricane Faye[edit]

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration September 18 – September 29
Peak intensity 105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min)  977 mbar (hPa)

The tropical depression that became Hurricane Faye developed from a tropical wave on September 18, located 500 mi (800 km) west of Cape Verde. The depression reached tropical storm strength on 19th, but couldn't strengthen much further due to increasing upper-level shear. It weakened to a tropical depression on September 23, but managed to become a tropical storm again on September 25 and a hurricane on September 26 due to more favorable conditions. It passed by Bermuda on the September 27, but the island was spared from major damage. Later that day it turned eastward, and after two days became extra tropical.

As the eye of Faye passed roughly 40 mi (65 km) northeast of Bermuda, winds up to 69 mph (111 km/h) and heavy rains were recorded on the island.[7] Up to 2.8 in (71 mm) of rain fell in Bermuda from the hurricane.[8] Already severely impacted by flooding from Eloise days earlier, New England prepared for additional flooding from Faye. The National Weather Service issued flash flood watches, resulting in more evacuations.[9]

Hurricane Gladys[edit]

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Duration September 22 – October 3
Peak intensity 140 mph (220 km/h) (1-min)  939 mbar (hPa)

A tropical depression formed from a tropical wave on September 22 in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. On September 24, it became Tropical Storm Gladys, and on September 25, Hurricane Gladys. Intensification stopped due to the same upper level shear Faye experienced less than a week earlier. After the next week it moved to the northwest. On October 1, as Gladys moved more to the north and northeast, intensification became much more rapid, reaching 140 mph (230 km/h) winds at 35º North, an extreme intensity for such a latitude. Not long after did it succumb to cooler waters and upper level shear, and Hurricane Gladys became extratropical on October 4.

Tropical Depression Twelve[edit]

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Duration October 14 – October 17
Peak intensity 35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min) 

A tropical depression formed in the southern Gulf of Mexico on October 14. Rounding the western periphery of the subtropical ridge, the depression strengthened while moving northeast towards the central Gulf coast ahead of an advancing cold front. Moving inland late on October 16, the depression became an extratropical cyclone as it through the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states, before moving offshore New England. Heavy rains fell along the frontal boundary ahead of the system, leading to flooding across eastern Louisiana, central Mississippi, the western Florida panhandle, central Tennessee, western Virginia, and eastern New York.

The heavy rains which fell upon Jackson, Mississippi established a new daily rainfall record for October 16 and a new 24-hour rainfall record for the month of October. Eight bridges were damaged across Jackson County, Tennessee due to the floods. Heavy rains led to extensive damage to the soybean and corn crops in Hickman and Marion counties in Tennessee. Six tornadoes touched down in association with this system, with two reported in Alabama, two across northwest Florida, and two across North Carolina. One died due to flooding in Mississippi.[10]

Tropical Storm Hallie[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Duration October 24 – October 27
Peak intensity 50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  1002 mbar (hPa)

A frontal trough exited the East Coast of the United States on October 18. The southern portion of the system became stationary near the Bahamas; simultaneously, a cut-off upper-level low formed in the same region. The disturbance produced scattered convection, until a tropical wave merged with it on October 23. The system developed into a subtropical depression by October 24, while located about 100 miles (160 km) east of Daytona Beach, Florida.[11][12] The depression drifted northward on October 25 and eventually acquired tropical characteristics by October 26. Due to tropical storm force winds, the system was reclassified as Tropical Storm Hallie, while situated about 100 mi (160 km) east of Charleston, South Carolina.[11][12] Hallie accelerated to the northeast starting on October 26. By the following day, Hallie peaked with winds of 50 mph (85 km/h). Later that day, Hallie merged with a frontal zone and became extratropical offshore Virginia.[11][12]

The precursor to Hallie produced extensive cloudiness precipitation in The Bahamas.[13] On October 27, gale warnings were issued for portions of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and small craft advisories were posted for coastal areas from Georgia to Virginia.[14] Tides along the North Carolina and Virginia coasts were generally between 1 and 2 ft (0.30 and 0.61 m) above normal. Generally light precipitation fell, peaking at 2.55 in (65 mm) in Manteo, North Carolina.[13] Additionally, the pressure gradient between Hallie and a high pressure area increased winds across much of the East Coast of the United States.[11] However, because the storm remained primarily offshore, damage was minimal, and no fatalities were reported.[15]

Subtropical Storm Two[edit]

Subtropical storm (SSHWS)
Counterclockwise vortex
Duration December 9 – December 13
Peak intensity 70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  985 mbar (hPa)

An extratropical low pressure system moved southward in early December, gaining some tropical characteristics on the way. On December 9, it was declared a subtropical storm, and it reached its peak of 70 mph (110 km/h) the next day. After moving southward for the first three days, it moved eastward where it met its demise.

Other storms[edit]

Tropical Depression Seven over the Gulf of Mexico on September 7, 1975

In addition to the named storms and notable tropical depressions, several other minor tropical depression developed during the season. On June 24, the first tropical depression developed over the central Atlantic. It tracked westward for two days, before executing a counter-clockwise loop. By June 28, the system had completed the loop and was tracking north. The depression dissipated about 305 miles (491 km) southeast of Sable Island on June 29. A third tropical depression formed northeast of the Bahamas on July 4. Tracking northeastward, the system did not intensify and was last noted over open waters midday on July 5.[16]

On September 3, a tropical depression developed near Cape Verde. Generally tracking west, the depression eventually dissipated near the Lesser Antilles on September 9. Another tropical depression developed near west coast of Africa on September 3. It moved generally westward and dissipated on September 6. Tropical Depression Seven formed on September 5, in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. Tracking west-northwestward, the system nearly attained tropical storm-status; however, it made landfall later that day near Tampico, Mexico and dissipated not long after. Another tropical depression developed near Bermuda on September 11. Initially, the depression drifted northeastward but later accelerated and dissipated by September 14.[16]

Tropical Depression Eleven developed near the Gulf of Honduras on September 25 and tracked slowly westward. By September 28, the depression made landfall in northern Belize before dissipating two days later. A tropical depression developed over the eastern Atlantic Ocean on October 3. It dissipated by October 5. Tropical Depression formed on October 27 over the southwestern Caribbean Sea and tracked northwest. After turning nearly due west, the depression briefly made landfall near the Nicaragua-Honduras border and made another landfall in southern Belize shortly before dissipating on October 29.[16]

On November 8, a tropical depression developed off the coast of Honduras. Moving north-northwestward, the system gradually intensified. Between November 9 and 10, reconnaissance missions into the depression found winds of 40 mph (65 km/h); however, the NHC did not upgrade it to a tropical storm, because weaken occurred shortly thereafter. Over the following few days, the system gradually turned southward and made landfall in the southwestern edge of the Yucatán Peninsula on November 12, shortly before dissipating. In late November, another tropical depression formed over the central Atlantic. A short-lived system, it formed on November 29 and dissipated on December 1.[16]

Season effects[edit]

This is a table of the storms in the 1975 Atlantic hurricane season. It mentions all of the season's storms and their names, landfall(s), peak intensities, damages, and death totals. Deaths in parentheses are additional and indirect(an example of such being a traffic accident or landslide), but are still related to that storm. The damage and death totals in this list include impacts when the storm was a precursor wave or post-tropical low, and all of the damage figures are in 1975 USD.

Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale
TD TS C1 C2 C3 C4 C5
1975 North Atlantic tropical cyclone statistics
Dates active Storm category

at peak intensity

Max 1-min

mph (km/h)

Areas affected Damage
(millions USD)

One June 5 – June 7 Tropical depression None None 0
Two June 24 – June 29 Tropical depression None None 0
Amy June 26 – July 4 Tropical storm 70 (110) 981 North Carolina, Newfoundland minimal 0
Four July 4 – July 5 Tropical depression None None 0
Five July 12 – July 13 Tropical depression None None 0
Six July 18 - July 19 Tropical depression Mexico unknown unknown
Blanche July 23 - July 28 Category 1 hurricane 85 (140) 980 Maine, Nova Scotia minimal 0
Eight July 24 - July 26 Tropical depression 35 (55) 1008 Mexico unknown unknown
Nine July 27 - July 31 Tropical depression Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida >8.5 0
Caroline August 24 - September 1 Category 3 hurricane 115 (185) 963 Cuba, Yucatán peninsula unknown 0
Doris August 28 - September 4 Category 2 hurricane 110 (175) 965 None None 0
Twelve September 3 - September 6 Tropical depression None None 0
Thirteen September 3 - September 9 Tropical depression None None 0
Fourteen September 5 - September 7 Tropical depression Mexico unknown unknown
Fifteen September 11 - September 14 Tropical depression None None 0
Eloise September 13 - September 24 Category 3 hurricane 125 (205) 955 Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Florida, Alabama >550 80
Faye September 18 - September 29 Category 2 hurricane 105 (165) 977 Bermuda minimal 0
Gladys September 22 - October 3 Category 4 hurricane 140 (220) 939 None None 0
Nineteen September 25- September 30 Tropical depression Yucatán peninsula unknown 0
Twenty October 1 - October 1 Tropical depression Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia unknown unknown
Twenty-one October 3 - October 5 Tropical depression None None 0
Twenty-two October 13 - October 18 Tropical depression Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida unknown unknown
Twenty-three October 15 - October 17 Tropical depression None None 0
Hallie October 24 - October 28 Tropical storm 50 (85) 1002 South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia minimal 0
Twenty-five October 26 - October 29 Tropical depression Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize unknown unknown
Twenty-six November 7 - November 12 Tropical depression Honduras, Yucatán peninsula unknown unknown
Twenty-seven November 29 - December 1 Tropical depression None None 0
Two December 6 - December 13 Subtropical storm 70 (110) 985 None None 0
Season Aggregates
28 cyclones June 5 – December 13   140 (220) 939 >550 80

Storm names[edit]

The following names were used for named storms (tropical storms and hurricanes) that formed in the North Atlantic in 1975.[17] Storms were named Amy, Caroline, Doris, Eloise and Faye for the first time in 1975. Names that were not assigned are marked in gray.

  • Hallie
  • Ingrid (unused)
  • Julia (unused)
  • Kitty (unused)
  • Lilly (unused)
  • Mabel (unused)
  • Niki (unused)
  • Opal (unused)
  • Peggy (unused)
  • Ruby (unused)
  • Sheila (unused)
  • Tilda (unused)
  • Vicky (unused)
  • Winnie (unused)


The name Eloise was later retired.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hurricane Research Division (March 2011). "Atlantic basin Comparison of Original and Revised HURDAT". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  2. ^ David Levinson (2008-08-20). "2005 Atlantic Ocean Tropical Cyclones". National Climatic Data Center. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  3. ^ "Canadian Tropical Cyclone Season Summary for 1975". Canadian Hurricane Centre. July 3, 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Herbert, Paul (April 1976). "Atlantic Hurricane Season of 1975" (PDF). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved August 28, 2009. 
  5. ^ Staff Writer (September 8, 1975). "Tropical Depression Heads for Tampico, May Gain Strength". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 28, 2009. 
  6. ^ Miles B. Lawrence (April 1979). "Atlantic Hurricane Season of 1978" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. American Meteorological Society. p. 482. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  7. ^ Associated Press (September 27, 1975). "Islands Feel Faye". The Ledger. Retrieved August 28, 2009. 
  8. ^ Roth, David M; Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (November 16, 2012). "Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Point Maxima". Tropical Cyclone Point Maxima. United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. Retrieved December 7, 2012. 
  9. ^ United Press International (September 28, 1975). "Faye adds to flooding". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved August 28, 2009. 
  10. ^ David M. Roth. Tropical Depression Twelve – October 15-20, 1975. Retrieved on 2008-11-24.
  11. ^ a b c d "Tropical Storm Hallie Preliminary Report Page 1". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  12. ^ a b c "Tropical Storm Hallie Preliminary Report Page 2". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  13. ^ a b David Roth. "Tropical Storm Hallie - October 23–27, 1975". Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  14. ^ Staff Writer (October 27, 1975). "Hallie Heads to Open Sea". The Ledger. Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  15. ^ Paul Herbert. "Atlantic Hurricane Season of 1975" (PDF). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  16. ^ a b c d National Hurricane Center; Hurricane Research Division (May 7, 2015). "Atlantic hurricane best track (HURDAT version 2)". United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  17. ^ Associated Press (1974-12-01). "Fewer Big Hurricanes Spawned This Season". Retrieved 2007-12-01. 

External links[edit]