Memorable Hurricanes of the Gulf Coast (1950-present)

  • Hurricane Audrey

    Hurricane Audrey
    Hurricane Audrey made landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border on June 27th with devastating effects. Its central pressure deepened considerably in the last five hours before landfall. There were 390 deaths as the result of a storm surge in excess of 12 feet, which inundated the flat coast of Louisiana as far as 25 miles inland in some places. Damages were estimated at about $700 million (in 1990 dollars).
  • Hurricane Carla

    Hurricane Carla
    Hurricane Carla was the largest and most intense Gulf Coast hurricane in decades. On September 8, Carla's center took aim at the Texas coast. By the 9th, Carla's circulation enveloped the entire Gulf of Mexico with fringe effects along all Gulf Coast states. On the 9th, the largest mass evacuation to that date occurred, as an estimated one-half million residents of low coastal areas and islands off Texas and Louisiana were evacuated to higher ground. As the center approached Texas on the 10th, w
  • Hurricane Hilda

    Hurricane Hilda
    Hurricane Hilda developed in the western Caribbean Sea and reached storm intensity as it crossed the western tip of Cuba. Hilda reached maximum intensity about 350 miles south of New Orleans on October 1. On the morning of October 3rd, several tornadoes occurred in southeastern Louisiana in pre-hurricane squall lines. One tornado at Larose, LA, killed 22 and injured 200 people. Three other tornadoes caused much damage in the New Orleans metropolitan area but no deaths. Hurricane Hilda's highest
  • Hurricane Betsy

    Hurricane Betsy
    Betsy developed from a tropical depression on August 26 east of the Windward Islands and intensified as it moved west. On September 2nd, the central pressure fell to 27.82 inches (942 mb)--the lowest recorded during the life of the storm. Warnings to the Bahamas were posted on September 5 and southern Florida was warned on the 10th. Betsy moved south through the Bahamas, then west over the Florida Keys. Damage from winds, high tides and wave action was confined to an area from Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Hurricane Camille

    Hurricane Camille
    Camille was born off the African coast on August 5th but didn't become a hurricane until the 15th. Once into the Gulf of Mexico, the small, powerful hurricane intensified rapidly. By late afternoon on the 16th an Air Force reconnaissance plane measured a 905 mb pressure (26.72 inches) and winds of 160 mph, indicating a Category 5 hurricane, the most powerful on the Saffir/Simpson Scale.
  • Hurricane Celia

    Hurricane Celia
    Celia became a hurricane on August 1 in the Gulf of Mexlco and intensified rapidly in 15 hours before it crossed the coast north of Corpus Christi, TX. As it moved over land, spectacular damage occurred from a "cluster of high energy winds of short duration," (also called downbursts or microbursts). The extreme winds raked across the residential and business areas in less than half an hour. It was estimated that winds reached as high as 160 mph for several seconds.
  • Hurricane Eloise

    Hurricane Eloise
    Eloise became a threat when it regained hurricane strength in the central Gulf of Mexico about 350 miles south of New Orleans, LA. It strengthen until it made landfall about midway between Fort Walton Beach and Panama City, FL early on September 23. Winds were estimated at about 100 mph with storm tides of 12-16 feet above normal just east of Fort Walton Beach to Panama City. About $1 billion damage (in 1990 dollars) occurred along the 25 mile wide Panama City beach strip.
  • Hurricane Frederic

    Hurricane Frederic
    Frederic developed off the African coast on August 27, briefly became a hurricane on September 1, and then weakened to a tropical depression just north of Haiti. Frederic began to strengthen on September 7 and regained tropical storm intensity on September 9 near western Cuba. Frederic then turned to the north northwest with increasing forward speed for the next 60 hours. The eye passed over Dauphin Island,AL on the 13th. The highest winds recorded on Dauphin Island were 120 mph.
  • Hurricane Allen

    Hurricane Allen
    When it was over the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Allen was one of the most intense hurricanes ever. Allen reached Category 5 status three times. It obtained a 911 mb (26.89 inches) central pressure in the eastern Caribbean on August 5 while south of Puerto Rico.
  • Hurricane Alicia

    Hurricane Alicia
    Alicia was the first hurricane to strike the Continental U.S. since Allen in 1980. It was the longest period in this century that the U.S. mainland had gone without a hurricane landfall (though tropical storms did hit within that time). Alicia was a small to medium size hurricane. It reached a minimal Category 3 status as it hit land. The center of Alicia moved over the Texas coast about 25 miles southwest of Galveston on August 18.
  • Hurricane Elena

    Hurricane Elena
    Elena originated off the African coast on August 23rd and was named when it became a tropical storm on the 28th near Cuba. Elena intensified to hurricane strength on the 29th over the open water of the southeast Gulf of Mexico.
  • Hurricane Gilbert

    Hurricane Gilbert
    Although Gilbert, one of the most powerful hurricanes of the century, did not strike the U.S. Gulf coast, it did affect Texas and Oklahoma. It is often compared to 1969's Hurricane Camille, because like Camille, it was also a Category 5 storm. Hurricane Gilbert was also a monumental storm, because it had the lowest sea level pressure ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere at 888 mb (26.23 inches). The highest sustained winds recorded were in Jamamica at 116 mph, with gusts to 140 mph. An unoffi
  • Hurricane Andrew

    Hurricane Andrew
    After Andrew cut its historic path of destruction and devastation through southern Florida, it exited the southwestern part of the state as a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir/Simpson Scale. Once into the Gulf of Mexico, Andrew again strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane and headed northwest toward Louisiana. It is estimated that 1,250,000 evacuated from parishes in southeastern and south-central Louisiana, and about 250,000 evacuated from Orange and Jefferson counties in Texas.
  • Hurricane Opal

    Hurricane Opal
    This late season storm rapidly developed into a very strong Category Four Hurricane before weakening to a strong Category Three Hurricane when it came ashore near Pensacola, Florida in October, 1995. Opal ranks fifth all time in terms of damage with an estimated $3 billion dollars.
  • Hurricane Ivan

    Hurricane Ivan
    It was the second Category Five storm in as many years after almost a five year drought following Mitch in October, 1998. It would eventually weaken somewhat, but it still made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama as a strong Category Three Hurricane with 130 mph winds. Moving farther inland, Ivan's remains sparked torrential rains, flooding, and 123 tornadoes, which is second to Hurricane Beulah's 150 in 1967. Ivan was responsible for some 124 deaths throughout the Caribbean and the Eastern Unite
  • Hurricane Katrina

    Hurricane Katrina
  • Hurricane Rita

    Hurricane Rita
    The seventeenth named storm and fifth major hurricane of the 2005 season, Rita began near the Turks and Caicos Islands as a mere tropical depression on September 17th, 2005. However, as it passed near the Florida Keys and South Florida, Rita blossomed into the season's ninth hurricane, and brought sustained winds of Category Two strength with gusts over 100 mph. Continuing to strengthen, Hurricane Rita became a major hurricane on September 21st, 2005.
  • Hurricane Wilma

    Hurricane Wilma