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November Hurricanes Are Extremely Rare

hurricane-facts.jpgThe chances of South Florida getting hit by a hurricane in November is less than 5%.

Historically, only about 5% of all Atlantic tropical storm activity occurs after the 1st of November. On average, one tropical storm forms in November every other year, and a hurricane forms in November every five years.

There have been six recorded major hurricanes in November. They were Hurricane Michelle of 2001 (Cat. 4, 140 mph); Hurricane Lenny of 1999 (Cat 4, 150 mph); Hurricane Kate of 1985 (Cat 3, 120 mph); Hurricane Greta of 1956 (Cat 4, 140 mph); Hurricane 10 of 1932 (Cat 4, 135 mph); and Hurricane 7 of 1912 (Cat 3, 115 mph).

The most extraordinary November hurricane was “Wrong-Way Lenny”, which hit the northern Leeward Islands as a strong Category 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds on November 17-18, 1999. Lenny was the first storm to have an extended west-to-east track across the central and eastern Caribbean Sea in the 135-year Atlantic tropical cyclone record, and was the strongest November hurricane on record.

Hurricane Gordon was the deadliest November hurricane. It claimed 1122 lives in Haiti when it passed just west of the country as a tropical storm on November 13, 1994. Lenny claimed six lives in Costa Rica, five in the Dominican Republic, two in Jamaica, two in Cuba, and eight in Florida. Property damage to the United States was estimated at $400 million (1994 dollars), and was severe in Haiti and Cuba as well.

Three November hurricanes have hit the U.S.-an unnamed 1916 Category 1 hurricane that hit the Florida Keys, an unnamed 1925 Category 1 hurricane that struck Sarasota, Florida, and Hurricane Kate, which struck the Florida Panhandle on November 22, 1985.
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