Stormy Weather

Hurricanes, Monsoons, and Tropical Storms

How many category 5 hurricanes have there been since 1920?

The Saffir-Simpson Scale was not invented until 1971; however, reliable records on hurricane wind speeds and storm surges have been kept since the 1920s. According to such data, there have been 31 category 5 hurricanes in the Atlantic since 1928. Eight of those have occurred since 2003 (four in 2005 alone), which is one piece of evidence some climatologists point to when talking about global warming and its effects on tropical storm intensity. Of all those hurricanes, only four have actually made landfall on U.S. territory. Others have struck Central America or islands in the Caribbean, or they have weakened to category 4 or below before reaching Puerto Rico or the Gulf Coast or Atlantic seaboard. Below is a chronological list of category 5 hurricanes.

Category 5 Hurricanes since the 1920s

Hurricane Year Areas Affected
“Okeechobee” 1928 PR, FL, GA, Eastern U.S. Seaboard, U.S. Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Guadeloupe, Virgin Islands, Lesser Antilles
“Bahamas” 1932 Bahamas, Northeastern U.S., Newfoundland, Iceland
“Labor Day” 1935 FL, GA, SC, NC, VA, Bahamas, Big Bend
“New England” 1938 Bahamas, NY, RI, MA, CT, NH, VT, Québec
“Fort Lauderdale” 1947 Bahamas, FL, LA, MS
Dog 1950 Eastern U.S. Seaboard, Lesser Antilles
Easy 1951 Bermuda
Janet 1955 Belize, Mexico, Leeward Islands
Cleo 1958 Remained at sea
Donna 1960 PR, U.S. East Coast, Haiti, Cuba, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Leeward islands, eastern Canada
Ethel 1960 LA, MS
Carla 1961 TX, Yucatán Peninsula, Central U.S.
Hattie 1961 Belize
Beulah 1967 TX, Yucatán Peninsula, northern Mexico, Greater Antilles
Camille 1969 AL, MS, LA, Cuba, central East U.S. Coast
Edith 1971 TX, LA, Central America, Venezuela, Mexico
Anita 1977 Northern Mexico
David 1979 PR, FL, GA, U.S. and Canadian East Coast, Cuba, Bahamas, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Windward Islands
Alan 1980 TX, Yucatán Peninsula and northern Mexico, Haiti, Jamaica, Windward Islands
Gilbert 1988 TX, south-central U.S., Yucatán Peninsula, Venezuela, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica
Hugo 1989 Eastern U.S. Coast, PR, U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Montserrat, Guadeloupe
Andrew 1992 FL, LA, Bahamas
Mitch 1998 FL, Yucatán Peninsula, Central America
Isabel 2003 Eastern U.S. Seaboard and as far inland as PA and OH, Ontario, Bahamas, Greater Antilles
Ivan 2004 FL, AL, LA, TX, Eastern Seaboard, Cuba, Jamaica, Venezuela, Windward Islands, Grand Cayman
Emily 2005 TX, Yucatán Peninsula and northeastern Mexico, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Honduras, Windward Islands
Katrina 2005 FL, LA, MS, AL, Eastern Seaboard, Bahamas, Cuba
Rita 2005 FL, AR, MS, LA, TX, Cuba
Wilma 2005 FL, Yucatán Peninsula, Central America, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, eastern Canada
Dean 2007 PR, Jamaica, Haiti, Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, St. Lucia, Dominica, Martinique, Leeward Islands
Felix 2007 Central America, Venezuela, southern Windward Islands


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