Category 5 Hurricane List

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…