(Weather Master)
Mon May 31 2004 05:42 PM
Strongest Hurricane

Does anyone know which was the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin? I've heard that Camille in '69 may have had sustained winds of 200mph at landfall, but I've also heard that these reports are unconfirmed. Perhaps someone could clarify the matter


LI Phil
Mon May 31 2004 07:08 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane


This information is from the National Hurricane Center, so it should be "accurate". Even with all I'd heard about Camille, I never heard about 200 MPH winds, however, the NHC believe wind speeds could have been at least 190. Read on:

"Typhoon Tip in the Northwest Pacific Ocean on 12 October 1979 was measured to have a central pressure of 870 mb and estimated surface sustained winds of 85 m/s (165 kt, 190 mph) (Dunnavan and Diercks 1980). Typhoon Nancy on 12 September, 1961 is listed in the best track data for the Northwest Pacific region as having an estimated maximum sustained winds of 95 m/s (185 kt, 213 mph) with a central pressure of 888 mb. However, it is now recognized (Black 1992) that the maximum sustained winds estimated for typhoons during the 1940s to 1960s were too strong and that the 95 m/s (and numerous 83 to 93 m/s reports) is somewhat too high.

Note that Hurricane Gilbert's 888 mb lowest pressure (estimated from flight level data) in mid-September 1988 is the most intense [as measured by lowest sea level pressure] for the Atlantic basin (Willoughby et al 1989), it is almost 20 mb weaker (higher) than the above Typhoon Tip of the Northwest Pacific Ocean.

While the central pressures for the Northwest Pacific typhoons are the lowest globally, the North Atlantic hurricanes have provided sustained wind speeds possibly comparable to the Northwest Pacific. From the best track database, both Hurricane Camille (1969) and Hurricane Allen (1980) have winds that are estimated to be 85 m/s (165 kt, 190 mph). Measurements of such winds are inherently going to be suspect as instruments often are completely destroyed or damaged at these speeds."

LI Phil
Mon May 31 2004 07:17 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued

Here's a list of the top 30 in terms of intensity, cost & deaths...

30 Most Intense USA (continental) hurricanes from 1900-present
(at time of landfall with landfall area)
(millibars) (inches of Hg)
1 FL (Keys) 1935 5 892 26.35
2 Camille (MS/SE LA/VA) 1969 5 909 26.84
3 Andrew (SE FL/SE LA) 1992 4 922 27.23
4 FL (Keys)/S TX 1919 4 927 27.37
5 FL (Lake Okeechobee) 1928 4 929 27.43
6 Donna (FL/Eastern U.S.) 1960 4 930 27.46
7 TX (Galveston) 1900 4 931 27.49
7 LA (Grand Isle) 1909 4 931 27.49
7 LA (New Orleans) 1915 4 931 27.49
7 Carla (N & Cent. TX) 1961 4 931 27.49
11 Hugo (SC) 1989 4 934 27.58
12 FL (Miami)
/MS/AL/NW FL 1926 4 935 27.61
13 Hazel (SC/NC) 195 4 * 938 27.70
14 SE FL/SE LA/MS 1947 4 940 27.76
15 N TX 1932 4 941 27.79
16 Gloria
(Eastern U.S.) 1985 3 *& 942 27.82
16 Opal (NW FL/AL) 1995 3 & 942 27.82
18 Audrey (SW LA/N TX) 1957 4 # 945 27.91
18 TX (Galveston) 1915 4 # 945 27.91
18 Celia (S TX) 1970 3 945 27.91
18 Allen (S TX) 1980 3 945 27.91
22 NEW ENGLAND 1938 3 * 946 27.94
22 Frederic (AL/MS) 1979 3 946 27.94
24 NE U.S. 1944 3 * 947 27.97
24 SC/NC 1906 3 947 27.97
26 Betsy
(SE FL/SE LA) 1965 3 948 27.99
26 SE FL/NW FL 1929 3 948 27.99
26 SE FL 1933 3 948 27.99
26 S TX 1916 3 948 27.99
26 MS/AL 1916 3 948 27.99
Intensity is for time of landfall. The cyclones may have been stronger at other times.
* Moving more than 30 miles per hour
& Highest category justified by winds
# Classified category 4 because of estimated winds

Note that Hurricane Gilbert's estimated 888 mb lowest pressure in mid- September 1988 is the most intense [as measured by lowest sea level pressure] for the Atlantic basin, but it affected the USA only as a weakening tropical depression (Neumann et al 1993).

Top 30 Damaging Hurricanes - From 1900-present
(Normalized to 1998 dollars by inflation, wealth increases, and coastal county population changes)
Updated from Pielke and Landsea (1998) RANK HURRICANE YEAR CATEGORY DAMAGE (U.S))
1 SE Florida/Alabama 1926 4 $83,814,000,000
2 ANDREW (SE FL/LA) 1992 4 38,362,000,000
3 N Texas (Galveston) 1900 4 30,856,000,000
4 N Texas (Galveston) 1915 4 26,144,000,000
5 SW Florida 1944 3 19,549,000,000
6 New England 1938 3 19,275,000,000
7 SE Florida/Lake Okeechobee 1928 4 15,991,000,000
8 BETSY (SE FL/LA) 1965 3 14,413,000,000
9 DONNA (FL/Eastern U.S.) 1960 4 13,967,000,000
10 CAMILLE (MS/LA/VA) 1969 5 12,711,000,000
11 AGNES (NW FL, NE U.S.) 1972 1 12,408,000,000
12 DIANE (NE U.S.) 1955 1 11,861,000,000
13 HUGO (SC) 1989 4 10,872,000,000
14 CAROL (NE U.S.) 1954 3 10,509,000,000
15 SE Florida/Louisiana/Alabama 1947 4 9,630,000,000
16 CARLA (N & Central TX) 1961 4 8,194,000,000
17 HAZEL (SC/NC) 1954 4 8,160,000,000
18 NE U.S 1944 3 7,490,000,000
19 SE Florida 1945 3 7,318,000,000
20 FREDERIC (AL/MS) 1979 3 7,295,000,000
21 SE Florida 1949 3 6,767,000,000
22 S Texas 1919 4 6,200,000,000
23 ALICIA (N TX) 1983 3 4,702,000,000
24 FLOYD (NC) 1999 2 4,500,000,000
25 CELIA (S TX) 1970 3 3,869,000,000
26 DORA (NE FL) 1964 2 3,603,000,000
27 FRAN (NC) 1996 3 3,591,000,000
28 OPAL (NW FL/AL) 1995 3 3,478,000,000
29 GEORGES (SW FL/MS) 1998 2 3,073,000,000
30 CLEO (SE FL) 1964 2 2,823,000,000

Notes :

Andrew is no longer the most destructive hurricane on record.
24 of the top 30 destructive hurricanes were major hurricanes od Saffir-Simpson scale 3 or higher. Most of the very destructive Category 1 and 2 hurricanes caused their damage through rainfall-induced flooding, often well away from the coast.
Though the major hurricanes make up only 21% of the US landfalling tropical storms and hurricanes, they cause an estimated 83% of the total normalized damage.
If one used only inflation to normalize hurricane damages, that would not take into account the massive coastal population increases and structural buildup that have occurred along the US East and especially the Gulf coasts during the past few decades. Major hurricanes will continue to inflict massive destruction along the USA coastlines, even with perfect forecasts of their track and intensity.

30 Deadliest USA (continental) hurricanes from 1900-1998
Updated from Hebert et al. (1997) RANKING HURRICANE YEAR CATEGORY DEATHS
1 Unnamed - Galveston, TX 1900 4 8000+
2 Unnamed - Lake Okeechobee, FL 1928 4 1836
3 Unnamed - Fl Keys/S TX 1919 4 600&
4 "New England" 1938 3 600
5 "Labor Day" - FL Keys 1935 5 408
6 Audrey - SW LA/N TX 1957 4 390
7 Unnamed - NE U.S. 1944 3 390#
8 Unnamed - Grand Isle, LA 1909 4 350
9 Unnamed - New Orleans, LA 1915 4 275
10 Unnamed - Galveston, TX 1915 4 275
11 Camille - MS/LA 1969 5 256
12 Unnamed - FL/MS/AL 1926 4 243
13 Diane - NE U.S. 1955 1 184
14 Unnamed - SE FL 1906 2 164
15 Unnamed - MS/AL/FL 1906 3 134
16 Agnes - NE U.S. 1972 1 122
17 Hazel - SC/NC 1954 4 95
18 Betsy - SE FL/SE LA 1965 3 75
19 Carol - NE U.S. 1954 3 60
20 Floyd - Eastern U.S. 1999 2 57
21 Unnamed - SE FL/LA/MS 1947 4 51
22 Donna - FL/Eastern U.S. 1960 4 50
22 Unnamed - GA/SC/NC 1940 2 50
24 Carla - TX 1961 4 46
25 Unnamed - TX 1909 3 41
26 Unnamed - TX 1932 4 40
26 Unnamed - S TX 1933 3 40
28 Hilda - LA 1964 3 38
29 Unnamed - SW LA 1918 3 34
30 Unnamed - SW FL 1910 3 30
30 Alberto - NW FL/GA/AL 1994 TS 30
ADDENDUM (Pre-1900 or not Atlantic/Gulf Coast):
2 Unnamed - LA 1893 Unk 2000
2 Unnamed - SC/GA 1893 Unk 1000-2000
3 Unnamed - GA/SC 1881 Unk 700
9 San Felipe - Puerto Rico 1928 4 312
13 U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico 1932 2 225
17 Donna - St. Thomas, VI 1960 4 107
24 Southern California 1939 TS& 45
24 Eloise - Puerto Rico 1975 TS& 44
+ May actually have been as high as 10,000 to 12,000.
& Over 500 lost on ships at sea; 600-900 estimate deaths.
# Some 344 of these lost on ships at sea.

One can take some comfort in the fact that even with the massive damage amounts that hurricanes can cause, none of those hurricanes in recent years have caused huge numbers of deaths in the USA. This is because of the increasingly skillful forecasts of hurricane tracks, the ability to communicate warnings to the public via radio and television, and the infrastructure that allows for evacuations to proceed safely for those in the hurricane's path (Sheets 1990).

However, if people chose to ignore warnings or if evacuations are not able to remove people from danger (because of too many people overcrowding limited escape routes - the Florida Keys and US 1 is a good example), then the potential remains for disasters similar to - or worse than - what was seen decades ago.

(Weather Master)
Tue Jun 01 2004 03:09 AM
Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued

Cheers Phil, you've answered every question on this subject I could ever have to ask! You really know where to look for info. Thanks again!

(Storm Tracker)
Tue Jun 01 2004 05:54 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued

Camille was the most powerful by far.

LI Phil
Tue Jun 01 2004 07:30 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued

Spike, you cannot argue that Camille was the most intense to hit the US (although Fla Keys 35 was a close second), but Gilbert 88 was stronger (at least in terms of pressure), but didn't really affect the US. And apparently some storms from the 1700-1800 era were pretty powerful too. They just don't have the proper records to compare them to the "modern" era.


(Storm Tracker)
Fri Jun 04 2004 05:01 AM
Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued

I know gilbert was pretty strong but what is the strongest hurricane to hit land outside of the usa?

(Weather Master)
Fri Jun 04 2004 08:22 AM
Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued

From the information I found I can tell you that in the Atlantic basin, the strongest hurricane to make landfall outside the USA was David in '79. It slammed into the Dominican Republic on Aug. 30th as Category 4 hurricane with a minimum pressure of 924mb. By the time the eye brushed Florida it had weakened to a 100mph Category 2. Here is the ranking for most intense landfall hurricanes outside of the USA:-

(rank is independent of other events in group)
4 David (S of PR) 1979 4 924 27.29
7 Unnamed (San Felipe PR) 1928 4 931 27.49
14 Hugo (USVI, PR) 1989 4 940 27.76
33 Iniki (Kaua'i HI) 1992 Unknown 950 27.91
43 Dot (Kaua'i HI) 1959 Unknown 955 28.11
50 Donna (St. Thomas, PR) 1960 4 958 28.29
64 Iwa (Kaua'i HI) 1982 Unknown 964 28.47
65 Georges (USVI, PR) 1998 3 968 28.59

As for the rest of the world I'm not entirely sure - it is quite difficult to find any information on this, especially since Unisys seem to have lost some of their storm data recently. Hope this helps.

LI Phil
Fri Jun 04 2004 10:14 AM
Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued


Without actually looking it up, I'm pretty sure Mitch would be at or near the top of the list. It was a CAT V at landfall, although it quickly lost strength (but still managed to kill 11,000+).

LIP (and thanks for the note about the 400th post...I didn't even realize it).

(Weather Master)
Fri Jun 04 2004 10:38 AM
Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued

I don't mean to start an argument, but Mitch wasn't a CAT 5 at landfall. When the centre of Mitch moved ashore it was a 50kt tropical storm:-

4 PM EST THU OCT 29 1998


Mitch actually lost CAT 5 status about 2 days prior to landfall:-

INITIAL 22/0300Z 12.8N 77.9W 30 KTS

INITIAL 22/0900Z 12.7N 78.5W 30 KTS

INITIAL 22/1500Z 12.0N 78.0W 30 KTS

INITIAL 22/2100Z 11.5N 77.6W 40 KTS

INITIAL 23/0300Z 12.3N 77.6W 45 KTS

INITIAL 23/0900Z 13.0N 77.5W 50 KTS

INITIAL 23/1500Z 12.7N 77.9W 50 KTS

INITIAL 23/2100Z 13.0N 78.1W 50 KTS

INITIAL 24/0300Z 13.5N 78.2W 50 KTS

INITIAL 24/0900Z 14.3N 77.7W 80 KTS

INITIAL 24/1500Z 14.9N 77.9W 85 KTS

INITIAL 24/2100Z 15.3N 78.2W 90 KTS

INITIAL 25/0300Z 15.7N 78.4W 105 KTS

INITIAL 25/0900Z 16.0N 79.2W 110 KTS

INITIAL 25/1200Z 16.2N 79.5W 110 KTS

INITIAL 25/1500Z 16.3N 79.8W 115 KTS

INITIAL 25/2100Z 16.6N 80.7W 130 KTS

INITIAL 26/0300Z 16.4N 81.7W 130 KTS

INITIAL 26/0900Z 16.5N 82.3W 130 KTS

INITIAL 26/1500Z 16.7N 82.9W 135 KTS

INITIAL 26/2100Z 17.2N 83.6W 155 KTS

INITIAL 27/0300Z 17.4N 84.1W 155 KTS

INITIAL 27/0900Z 17.4N 84.8W 155 KTS

INITIAL 27/1500Z 17.3N 85.0W 145 KTS

INITIAL 27/2100Z 16.8N 85.8W 135 KTS

INITIAL 28/0300Z 16.5N 85.6W 120 KTS

INITIAL 28/0900Z 16.3N 85.6W 115 KTS

INITIAL 28/1500Z 16.4N 85.6W 105 KTS

INITIAL 28/2100Z 16.4N 85.9W 100 KTS

INITIAL 29/0300Z 16.3N 86.0W 85 KTS

INITIAL 29/0900Z 16.0N 85.9W 75 KTS

INITIAL 29/1500Z 16.0N 85.6W 65 KTS

INITIAL 29/2100Z 15.9N 85.8W 50 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 30/0300Z 15.5N 85.5W 45 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 30/0900Z 15.4N 86.1W 35 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 30/1500Z 15.3N 86.2W 35 KTS

INITIAL 30/2100Z 15.1N 86.8W 50 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 31/0300Z 14.4N 87.3W 45 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 31/0900Z 14.2N 87.9W 35 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 31/1500Z 14.5N 88.7W 30 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 31/2100Z 14.5N 89.9W 30 KTS

INITIAL 01/0300Z 14.6N 90.5W 30 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 01/0900Z 15.0N 91.4W 30 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 01/1500Z 14.9N 91.6W 25 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 01/2100Z 15.0N 92.3W 25 KTS...DISSIPATING

INITIAL 03/2100Z 19.4N 91.3W 40 KTS

INITIAL 04/0300Z 20.2N 90.2W 35 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 04/0900Z 20.8N 89.4W 30 KTS...INLAND

INITIAL 04/1500Z 21.8N 88.3W 40 KTS

INITIAL 04/2100Z 23.5N 85.8W 40 KTS

INITIAL 05/0300Z 25.3N 84.0W 45 KTS

INITIAL 05/0900Z 25.7N 82.3W 45 KTS

INITIAL 05/1500Z 27.1N 80.2W 55 KTS...INLAND


While Mitch was a CAT 5 at peak intensity (ranked at the 4th most intense hurricane ever observed in the Atlantic basin), it was a shadow of its former self at landfall - the damage was caused by the phenomenal amount of rain it brought with it.

LI Phil
Fri Jun 04 2004 10:52 AM
Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued

I stand corrected. For the life of me I was pretty sure Mitch was a CAT V at landfall, but looking at your data, and then confirming it with wunderground & Unisys, obviously it was not.

(Storm Tracker)
Fri Jun 04 2004 02:22 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued

Ok, Thanks for the info

Unregistered User
Fri Sep 03 2004 01:18 AM
Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued

According to the NHC (National Hurricane Center) and the TWC (The Weather Channel) in terms of sustained winds, the hurricane that came ashore the Florida Keys in 1935 was the strongest. Top sustained winds were recorded at 200+, which is phenomenal, and that would top many a super typhoon also (as these typhoons 'hurricanes' tend to be stronger in the Pacific rather than the Atlantic).

Unregistered User
Fri Sep 03 2004 11:29 AM
Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued

I'm also pretty sure that the 1935 FL Keys Hurricane was the strongest storm at landfall (presssure at landfall was measured at 892mb, I think, 4mb shy of the strongest storm at any time in the Atlantic).

That said, there is then only one storm that could've been more powerful at landfall, Hurricane Gilbert (888mb). Gilbert was near maximum intensity at landfall, but I doubt that it was actually at 888 (probably closer to 895 or something, which is still stronger than any Atlantic storm at any time except the two already mentioned. The other strongest storms in the Atlantic Basin are Allen (1980, 899mb), Camille (1969, 905mb) and Mitch (1969, 905), but these pressures were not at landfall.

Unregistered User
Mon Sep 13 2004 08:19 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane

I am not an expert, but I have heard fromt he experts that the strongest known and when data was recorded was hurricane Camile that hit in 1969, with sustained winds reported at over 200 mph. After living thru it in Mobile Alabama and seeing large oil tankers up on the beach after the storm and tug boats several miles inland leaning up against houses, pretty much says it all !!!!

Unregistered User
Wed Sep 15 2004 11:23 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane


(Weather Guru)
Thu Sep 16 2004 05:58 AM
Re: Strongest Hurricane

I wonder why Gilbert 1988 did not make this list. His pressure measured a record 888 mb.




LI Phil
Thu Sep 16 2004 11:21 AM
Re: Strongest Hurricane

>>> I wonder why Gilbert 1988 did not make this list. His pressure measured a record 888 mb.

The list was of the strongest hurricanes to HIT the US. By the time Gilbert actually made a US landfall (via Mexico if memory serves) he was barely a TS...still produced tremendous flooding though.

Unregistered User
Sun Aug 28 2005 03:53 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane..similar to Karina 2006

...Katrina has many similar technical aspects, including path and intensity..only larger.

(Registered User)
Fri Sep 02 2005 01:36 AM
Re: Strongest Hurricane..similar to Karina 2006

So as it looks, power wise katrina will be up there around the top 5 or so beuase its pressure, from what i understand, was even lower then andrew. ( andrew 922, Katrina 915 at landfall) and it was the 4th most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the atlantic. Without knowing the full extent yet, but with all we have seen, it will most likely aslo be the 2nd or 3rd deadliest, if not the new deadliest, which is shocking considering it is compaired to a storm in 1900. Also for damage, im sure it will pass andrew, but adjusted for infaltion it might not pass the earlier miami hurricane that was around 88billion from that list, but i have now heard that some estimates would put katrina approaching 100billion in damages total. However, most still say anywere from 9billion (way to low if you ask me, that was like ivan) to 16 billion, to 25 billion, still very costly and one of the top on the list.

(Registered User)
Thu Sep 22 2005 02:27 AM
Re: Strongest Hurricane

Alright. A theoretical question. Given that the ocean water can only get so warm and physics is constant, what could be the strongest hurricane in terms of lowest central pressure and sustained wind speed? There would have to be a limit given the ocean water with a given specific gravity and maximum temp ever recorded. What would be the limit on how small the eye could be? The relationship between the central pressure and the maximum sustained wind speed is obvious but not always the same given that some storms could have the same maximum sustained wind speed but different central pressures recorded at the same time. So that means that there are some other variables involved in influencing that relationship otherwise the same central pressure would always be related to the same maximum sustained wind speed. What are those variables?

Unregistered User
Sun Sep 25 2005 09:59 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane

James, Camille was the second strongest hurricane to hit the USA. Although, the wind gust were 200mph. Sustained winds 175 with a pressure of 909mb. Number 3 was Andrew follow by Charley, Hugo, and Katrina. A hurricane hit the keys with a pressure of 892mb in 1932 making it the strongest.

Mon Sep 26 2005 12:53 AM
Re: Strongest Hurricane

The eye provides a natural constraint over a storm's intensity. Inherent to hurricanes -- other than the intense but steady-state and rare annular storms -- are the eyewall replacement cycles. An inner eye can only get so small; if it were to contract to a small enough radius, the necessary subsidence in the center of the storm to keep it in balance -- as manifest by the eye -- erodes, throwing the storm out of balance and ensuring a weakening cycle to come to account for the imbalance. The eyewall replacement cycles are a way to maintain this balance, replacing the inner eyewall every so often and repeating the intensification/weakening scenario again and again.

Further, hurricanes are like a Carnot cycle of limited efficiency; they are only as efficient as the environment will let them be. The maximum potential intensity formulation (see http://wxmaps.org) provides an idea of how strong hurricanes can be under such a cycle when taking into account sea surface temperatures and temperatures at upper levels, a maximum that is very rarely exceeded, and probably provides the best representation of what you are looking for. But do remember, the majority of storms do not come within 20mb of their MPI -- and most are even further away.

Unregistered User
Tue Sep 27 2005 03:55 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued

I find too many 3letter terms and names suxh as typhoon tips difficult as best to understabd what is being said! please remember that there are a lot of oeople out here that are scared about the possibility of facing a natural diaster. and it is good to know about these possible evewnts and how severe they can be.

satellite steve
(Weather Hobbyist)
Tue Sep 27 2005 05:40 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued

I think the simple way to look at this issue is that there is not likely to be any one hurricane/tropical cyclone that develops wind speeds significantly faster than storms already observed over the past 100 years because of the limitations of the physics of the air spinning in the eyewall and the phenomenon of the most intense inner eyewall breaking down during replacement cycles. However, if the sea surface temperatures and ocean heat content remain at record levels, the areas for potential development of the strongest storms that Clark referenced will remain larger and more storms may develop into the major hurricanes that cause the most damage (and angst).

I.E. we will not likely see 250 MPH sustained winds but may see more storms with winds getting into Cat 3 or greater

Unregistered User
Sat Oct 08 2005 05:32 AM
Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued

Tropical Cyclone Ingrid
6 to 17 March 2005

Summary | Track | Observations | Satellite Images | Radar Images | Impact Photos

cyclone ingrid track map

Severe Tropical Cyclone Ingrid caused significant impact on the Australian coast in March 2005. It was unusual in that it is the only cyclone in recorded history to impact, as a severe tropical cyclone, on the coastline of three different States or Territories. It crossed the Queensland east coast south of Lockhart River at Category 4; moved across the Gulf into the Northern Territory and impacted on the small islands north of the Arnhem Land coast as a Category 5 cyclone; weakened slightly to Category 4 as it crossed Croker Island and the Cobourg Peninsula; was at Category 3 intensity as it traversed the Tiwi Islands north of Darwin; and finally reintensified to Category 4, before making a final landfall on the West Australian Kimberley coast at that intensity.

Ingrid was a small cyclone in size, but very intense, not unlike Cyclone Tracy that devastated Darwin in 1974. For this reason, communities more than 100 km from Ingrid's path (like Darwin) were affected only slightly. Also, while some significant rainfall was reported, (eg 445mm in 24 hours at Emma Gorge in the Kimberley) the amounts were not as remarkable as those reported after some other larger, but less intense cyclones in the past.

Large sea swells outside of Australia's warning area caused a boat to capsize near Kerema in Papua New Guinea, resulting in the loss of five lives. Despite the widespread impact area of this cyclone, and the wind strengths experienced, there have been no reports of serious injury or death in Australia. Community feedback has shown that this was largely due to the accuracy and timeliness of the Cyclone Watches and Warnings.

On 3 March a tropical low developed north of the Gulf of Carpentaria, then drifted eastwards into the Coral Sea. It developed into a tropical cyclone on 6 March and turned back towards the Queensland coast as it rapidly intensified, reaching Category 5 at 9am on 8 March. Over the next week, the cyclone followed a relatively straight course to the west-northwest, then west. It crossed Cape York Peninsula into the Gulf of Carpentaria on 10 March, temporarily weakening over land, but gathered strength extremely rapidly as it headed for the NE corner of the Territory. It passed just north of Nhulunbuy on the morning of 12 March, and then travelled along the north coast of the Top End and the Tiwi Islands before moving offshore into the Timor Sea. At this stage, it changed direction towards the southwest, ploughing into the Kimberley coast near Kalumburu on the evening of 15 March. It weakened as it moved inland, finally decaying below cyclone strength on the morning of 17 March after passing Wyndham.

The cyclone crossed Cape York Peninsula at a remote location, however at the coastal crossing point a substantial number of trees were defoliated, stripped of bark, and felled. A 2.7m storm tide also inundated the coast 60km south of the Lockhart River township.

Communities along the north coast of the Northern Territory were not so lucky. Widespread tree damage and moderate damage to infrastructure was reported along the Arnhem Land coast. Six ships in a local pearling fleet were sunk or damaged. There was evidence suggesting a storm surge of several metres at Drysdale Island. The school at Gawa, on the northern tip of Elcho Island, received substantial damage, and the people of the nearby Nanginyburra community were unable to return home for several months due to the number of fallen trees. Although Ingrid had weakened slightly, there was still widespread damage at the Minjilang community on Croker Island, with around 20% of buildings losing some or all of their roofing. The cyclone had weakened further before reaching the Tiwi Islands, so damage to buildings was limited, although vegetation, powerlines and similarly exposed structures did suffer significant damage. Darwin was spared the major wrath of the cyclone with gusty winds and rain only causing minor problems with unstable trees.

In Western Australia, the cyclone seriously damaged the remote resort of "Faraway Bay", northeast of Kalumburu. Vegetation was stripped, and several buildings were destroyed. The accompanying storm tide deposited boats about 100 metres inland and several metres above the usual high tide mark. Luckily the resort was closed for the off-season and the caretakers took shelter in a shipping container secured in concrete to withstand cyclones. At Kalumburu several houses were unroofed but in general structures withstood the cyclone. Floodwaters cut the Great Northern Highway near Kununurra and isolated some properties.

The map below shows rainfall during the week ending 9am on 18 March 2005. The effects of Ingrid in the NT and WA can be seen. The cyclone had cleared Queensland at the beginning of this period, however rainfall in Queensland due to the cyclone had been less significant.
rainfall during the week ending 9am on 18 March 2005
Observations summary
Maximum Reported Wind Gust

207 km/h at McCluer Island, 03:40CST 13 March
174 km/h at Truscott, 03:40WST 16 March
148 km/h at Kalumburu, 01:30WST 16 March
Lowest Reported Pressure

967.4 hPa at Truscott, 04:30WST 16 March
973.6 hPa at Kalumburu, 02:40WST 16 March
974.5 hPa at McCluer Island, 03:20CST 13 March

192mm at Gove Airport in the 24 hours until 9am on 12 March
438mm at Truscott in the 24 hours until 9am on 16 March, including 341.2mm in four hours
East Coast Landfall Parameters

When: 5:00am on Thursday 10 March (close to mid-tide)
Where: 60 km SSE of Lockhart River (near Bobardt Point)
Severity Category: 4

Estimated Maximum Wind Gusts: 240 km/h
Estimated Central Pressure: 960 hPa
Estimated Storm Surge: several metres plus wave set-up of about 0.5 metre

Eye Radius: 15 km
Radius of Maximum Winds: 20 km
Radius of Very Destructive Winds: 25 km
Radius of Destructive Winds: 30 km

Northern Region (NT & WA) Parameters

the young weatherman
(Verified CFHC User)
Wed Oct 19 2005 07:51 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued

Wilma has become the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic in terms of pressure

satellite steve
(Weather Hobbyist)
Fri Oct 21 2005 11:41 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane...continued

Just this season we can say we lived thru 3 of the top 6 all time in the Atlantic Basin. I for one thought the '35 Keys Labor Day storm would be untouchable for both rapid intensification and low pressure -- But Wilma has definitely reset the standard

Yabba Dabba Doo

Unregistered User
Tue Jan 02 2007 07:07 AM
Re: Strongest Hurricane

i am trying to do a school project on the strongest hurricane ever recorded it seems rediculous to me that there isnt 1 syt that tells me!

(Weather Master)
Tue Jan 02 2007 04:45 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane

well we all know that the strongest Hurricane in the Atlantic was Wilma.. though strongest in the world? Probably Typhoon Tip, it was also the biggest in the world.

(Weather Guru)
Thu Jan 18 2007 02:45 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane

actually in my opinion monica could have easily topped tips pressure but the real pressure on monica will probably never be known.Ive never seen such a perfect CDO like the one monica had when she was at peak intensity,it was truly a sight to see.

Here are a couple of pics of monica at peak intensity

(Verified CFHC User)
Thu Jan 18 2007 06:36 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane

Some of the strongest, no question


http://www.osei.noaa.gov/Events/Tropical/Atlantic/1998/Mitch_10/TRCmitch299B_G8.jpg (very large size photo)







(Registered User)
Mon Feb 12 2007 09:54 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane

Monica's the strongest obviously. Tip doesn't look like the sort of storm to have a 870 mb pressure, but Monica looks like the perfect storm.

From those sat. images, I'd give it a least 871 mb.

Unregistered User
Thu Mar 15 2007 01:39 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane

wilma 882 icobars

Unregistered User
Wed Sep 17 2008 08:41 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane

I use to live in New Orleans until Katrina came i heard also that camille was the strongest but dont count me in im not a expert :P

(Veteran Storm Chaser)
Thu Sep 18 2008 09:13 PM
1926 Great Miami Hurricane.. Anniversary Today, Cat 4

Good day to stop and remember what happened in Miami in 1926 from a strong Cat 4 Hurricane.

If such a storm hit Miami dead on today like that it would make the figures from Katrina and Ike pale in comparison in dollar amount of damages alone and loss of life would hopefully be not as bad but hard to imagine such a storm if it took that exact path today.


We are all living on borrowed time in the tropics...

Unregistered User
Tue Dec 09 2008 08:30 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane

Hai,Nice post.You wrote very well about the Strongest hurricane...

Unregistered User
Wed Dec 10 2008 03:35 PM
Re: Strongest Hurricane

I am surprised at the inactivity on this website. No final discussion or stats on the 2008 season?

Unregistered User
Sat Mar 28 2009 11:57 PM
r.e strongest hurricane recorded...2

mitch was not the strongest ivan was.

(Weather Hobbyist)
Sat Jun 25 2011 05:15 PM
Re: r.e strongest hurricane recorded...2

Unfortunately, we're past due for the strongest hurricane. We'll see what happens this year.

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