The continental U.S. has only been hit with Category 5 winds three times in modern history: the Unnamed Labor Day Storm of September 1935, Hurricane Camille of August 1969 and Hurricane Andrew of August 1992. Other storms have hit Category 5 status, but only those three were Category 5 when making landfall in the U.S.


Only eleven other storms have made landfall in the Atlantic Basin as a Category 5 hurricane (through 2009):

Name

Year

Location

Cuba

1924

Northwest Cuba

Okeechobee

1928

Puerto Rico

Bahamas

1932

Abaco Islands

Fort Lauderdale

1947

Abaco Islands

Janet

1955

Mexico

Edith

1971

Honduras

Anita

1977

Mexico

David

1979

Hispaniola

Gilbert

1988

Mexico

Dean

2007

Yucatán Penninsula

Felix

2007

Honduras/Nicaraugua

The complete list of all Atlantic Basin Category 5 hurricanes (32 through 2009):

Name

Year

Dates

Cuba

1924

October 19th

Okeechobee

1928

September 13th-14th

Bahamas

1932

September 5th-6th

Labor Day

1935

September 3rd

New England

1938

September 19th-20th

Fort Lauderdale

1947

September 16th-17th

Dog

1950

September 5th-7th

Easy

1951

September 7th-8th

Janet

1955

September 27th-28th

Cleo

1958

August 16th

Donna

1960

September 4th

Ethel

1960

September 15th

Carla

1961

September 11th

Hattie

1961

October 30th-31st

Beulah

1967

September 20th

Camille

1969

August 17th-18th

Edith

1971

September 9th

Anita

1977

September 2nd

David

1979

August 30th-31st

Allen

1980

August 5th-9th

Gilbert

1988

September 13th-14th

Hugo

1989

September 15th

Andrew

1992

August 23rd

Mitch

1998

October 26th-28th

Isabel

2003

September 11th-14th

Ivan

2004

September 9th-14th

Emily

2005

July 17th

Katrina

2005

August 28th-29th

Rita

2005

September 21st-22nd

Wilma

2005

October 19th

Dean

2007

August 20th-21st

Felix

2007

September 3rd-4th

For those of you who like to crunch numbers and look for trends:


  • First and foremost, Hurricane Cuba? Although the storm formed way back in 1924, the system wasn't classified as a Category 5 storm until 2009 (part of the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory's Re-Analysis Project updating the particulars of storms between 1851 and 1925)...
     
  • Out of the 32 Category 5 storms since 1928, one has been in July, seven have been in August, twenty have been in September and four have been in October…

  • The earliest Category 5 storm on record in the Atlantic was on July 17th, 2005 (Hurricane Emily). Emily hit the Caribbean, Yucatán Peninsula, northeast Mexico and a very small part of southern Texas

  • The latest Category 5 storm on record during a hurricane season is Hurricane Hattie (October 30th-31st, 1961). Hattie skipped across the Caribbean, slammed into Belize and killed about 275 people…

  • Highest chances of a Category 5 hurricane on a particular date: based on historically data, that would be September 13th and 14th: four Category 5 storms: Okeechobee (1928), Gilbert (1988), Isabel (2003) and Ivan (2004)…

  • Expand that field to a two week period (September 7th – 20th) and there have been 13 Category 5 storms…

  • To date, there has never been a Category 5 storm recorded in the Atlantic Basin during the hurricane season months of June or November…

  • Four Category 5 hurricanes have not had their names retired: Emily (2005), Edith (1971), Ethel (1960) and Cleo (1958). The name Cleo was retired after a different storm in 1964; the names Dog and Easy technically weren’t retired as that naming system was only in place from 1950 to 1952…
 

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