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Florida hurricane history

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – When we think about hurricane season and the states that are most prone to be impacted, Florida would be at the top of that list for most people.

Florida has indeed experienced the most landfalling hurricanes in the United States. This past Wednesday, Sept. 28, marked the 121st occurrence of such event when Ian carved a path of devastation through a large part of central Florida. This state has seen nearly twice the amount of hurricanes as Texas (64) for instance. Other states such as Louisiana and North Carolina are not too far behind on that list.

Florida’s hurricane history unfortunately is quite troubling, and the resilience of those who live down there and call Florida home no matter what is tremendous. A tropical storm in of itself for example is already trouble enough due to gusty winds and flooding concerns. Hurricanes are rated by the Saffir-Simpson scale which assigns categories based on max sustained wind speeds. A major hurricane is declared when winds exceed 110 MPH.

Out of the 121 hurricanes to hit Florida, a staggering 38 of them were major hurricanes. Ian for instance just recently made landfall as a category 4 with winds of 150 MPH in western Florida. This made Ian tie for the fifth most powerful hurricane based on wind speed to make landfall in the United States, and it also now ties for the fourth most powerful hurricane in Florida state history. Overall, Ian, in comparison to past storms, was one of the stronger ones in history to directly affect any U.S. state.

Now, Florida has seen even more impactful hurricanes in the past. There have only been four category 5 storms to ever hit the U.S., with three of these occurring in Florida. The violent Labor Day hurricane is still the most powerful hurricane to ever any part of the U.S. when it took aim at the Florida Keys. Hurricane Michael was the first, and most recent, category 5 hurricane to slam the country since Andrew in August 1992. Other notable hurricanes that have hit Florida are Charley (2004 – cat. 4), Irma (2017 – cat. 4), and “Lake Okeechobee” (1928 – cat. 4). The “Lake Okeechobee” storm still stands as Florida’s deadliest hurricane with over 2,500 deaths, and it is also the fourth deadliest hurricane on record in the United States.