The 1880 Atlantic hurricane season ran through the summer and fall of 1880. This is the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin. In the 1880 Atlantic season there were two tropical storms, seven hurricanes, and two major hurricanes (Category 3+). However, in the absence of modern satellite and other remote-sensing technologies, only storms that affected populated land areas or encountered ships at sea were recorded, so the actual total could be higher. An undercount bias of zero to six tropical cyclones per year between 1851 and 1885 and zero to four per year between 1886 and 1910 has been estimated. Of the known 1880 cyclones, Hurricane Six was first documented in 1995 by Jose Fernandez-Partagas and Henry Diaz. They also proposed large changes to the known tracks of several other storms for this year and 're-instated' Hurricane Ten to the database.
The Atlantic hurricane database (HURDAT) recognizes eleven tropical cyclones for the 1880 season. In the 1880 there were two tropical storms, seven hurricanes, and two major hurricanes in the Atlantic basin. Several of the storms caused considerable loss of life. Tropical Storm One impacted the Texas coast in late June. Hurricane Two was, at one point, an intense Category 4 hurricane. It caused extensive destruction and loss of life at Matamoros, Mexico and at Port Isabel, Texas. Hurricane Three impacted Cuba, Jamaica and the Bahamas; it caused thirty deaths in Jamaica. Hurricane Four made two landfalls, both in Florida. The first was near St.Augustine on August 29 as a Category 2 hurricane and the second was on the Panhandle as a tropical storm. The storm caused a shipwreck resulting in several deaths. Hurricane Five was a Category 1 hurricane active between August 26 and September 4, which remained at sea. Hurricane Six originated as a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico, which having crossed the Florida peninsula developed into a Category 1 hurricane off the coast of South Carolina on September 9. Hurricane Seven was a Category 1 hurricane first seen on September 8 off the coast of Georgia. It moved northwards and on September 10 hit Newfoundland as a tropical storm. Hurricane Eight was an intense Category 4 hurricane active at the end of September and start of October. It did not make landfall anywhere but was responsible for several shipwrecks. Hurricane Nine developed from a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico. It impacted both the Yucatán Peninsula and Florida and brought violent gales along the Florida coast between Cape Hatteras and Jacksonville. Hurricane Ten was a Category 1 hurricane that formed south of Bermuda on October 10. Although it never made landfall and weakened first to a tropical storm then to an extratropical storm within a week, it did strike several ships. The last storm of the year was Tropical Storm Eleven which is known to have existed for three days in October to the north-east of the Abaco Islands.
A tropical storm formed in the Gulf of Mexico on June 21. It lasted for a few days before making landfall on the Texas coastline, south of Galveston, on June 25. It caused a minimal amount of damage and dissipated shortly afterwards.
A tropical storm formed over the northeastern Lesser Antilles on August 4. It moved westward through the Caribbean Sea, reaching hurricane strength on the August 6, east of Jamaica. It passed to the south of the island, and strengthened further to a Category 2 hurricane, but a landfall on the Yucatán Peninsula weakened it to a tropical storm. While moving across the Gulf, the storm intensified back to a hurricane on the 11th, followed by a period of rapid intensification to a 150 mph (240 km/h) hurricane with an estimated minimum pressure of 931 millibars. It made landfall south of the United States-Mexico border near Brownsville, Texas on August 13. Before it dissipated rapidly over land on the 14th, it caused extensive destruction in both Matamoros, Mexico and Port Isabel, Texas. It caused 30 deaths near the Yucatán Peninsula, and at least 5 deaths in Brownsville, Texas.
A tropical storm formed just northeast of Barbados on August 15. It moved quickly through the islands, and reached hurricane strength on the 18. It passed over Jamaica the next day, followed by a Cuban landfall later that day. The circulation was disrupted over Cuba, and dissipated on August 20 over the Bahamas.The hurricane was responsible for 30 deaths in Jamaica.
A tropical storm formed over the central Atlantic on August 24. It moved steadily westward, reaching hurricane strength on the 26th. The next day it reached its peak of 100 mph (160 km/h) winds. The storm would retain that intensity until its landfall near St. Augustine, Florida on August 29. It passed over the peninsula, weakening to a tropical storm, but managed to become a hurricane prior to its second Florida landfall on the 31st. The storm continued northwestward, dissipating over Mississippi on the September 1. The hurricane caused 68 deaths when, near St. Augustine, it caused a steamship, the Veracruz, to be wrecked.
This minimal hurricane formed in the mid-Atlantic on August 26. It came close to Bermuda and reached peak windspeeds of nearly 80 knots. The system was picked up by a frontal system on August 30 and recurved east-northeastward, before dissipating on September 4.
A tropical storm formed in the Gulf of Mexico on September 6. It travelled eastward to cross the Florida panhandle, north of Tampa on September 8 before developing into a Category 1 hurricane off the coast of South Carolina on September 9. This hurricane continued to move up the Mid-Atlantic coastline before becoming an extratropical storm on September 11 off Nova Scotia.
A Category 1 hurricane was first observed on September 8 off the coast of Georgia. It moved northwards and on September 10 hit Newfoundland as a tropical storm.
A tropical storm formed in the mid-Atlantic on September 27. Over the next few days it moved slowly westward as it grew in strength. By October 1 it was 500 miles south of Bermuda and had reached Category 4 strength. It maintained that strength throughout October 2 but began weakening as it started to move north on October 3. By October 4 it was a Category 2 storm and had curved eastward. It was last seen as a Category 1 hurricane on October 4. It never made landfall but did cause several ships to sink. On October 2, a number of ships that encountered the storm as a Category 4 hurricane recorded central pressure readings of 27.40 inches.
On October 5, a tropical storm formed in the western Caribbean. It passed over the Yucatán Peninsula the following day, and while moving northeastward through the Gulf of Mexico, developed into a Category 1 hurricane. It weakened to a tropical storm as it moved over Florida on October 8, having made landfall south of Cedar Key and passed out to sea near St. Augustine. Violent gales were reported between Cape Hatteras and Jacksonville. The maximum wind recorded at Jacksonville was 36 mph from the SE, and 52 mph was noted at Savannah. The storm regained Category 1 strength in the Atlantic before dissipating south of Bermuda on October 10.
A minimal, Category 1 hurricane was first seen south of Bermuda on October 10. It remained at that intensity while curving eastward. Still south of Bermuda it weakened into a tropical storm and began travelling north. It was last seen on October 16, east of Newfoundland, as an extratropical storm. A number of ships were struck and damaged by the hurricane. A bark, "Witch" was abandoned and her crew rescued by another ship while a report was received from North Sydney, Cape Breton that a schooner, the "Anne Linwood", had capsized off Cape Smokey.
A tropical storm formed north-east of the Abaco Islands on October 20. It travelled due north for three days and became extratropical on October 24, prior to reaching the New England coast.