Puneet Varma (Editor)

1944 Atlantic hurricane season

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First system formed  July 13, 1944
Name  "Great Atlantic"
Total storms  14
Last system dissipated  November 3, 1944
Total depressions  21
Hurricanes  8
1944 Atlantic hurricane season

The 1944 Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 16, 1944, and lasted until October 31, 1944. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin.


The 1944 season was an active season: the accumulated cyclone energy index was 104, and the season featured eight hurricanes, of which three were major storms. A major August hurricane struck near Kingston, Jamaica, causing severe damage as it crossed the island to Montego Bay. A large and potent hurricane, known as the Great Atlantic hurricane, attained Category 4—possibly even Category 5—intensity and then struck the Eastern Seaboard, though only at Category 2 strength, in September. Another large and intense hurricane in October destroyed many coastal villages as it made landfall in Cuba, bringing sustained winds of 140 miles per hour (230 km/h) to Havana, though it greatly weakened by the time it struck the United States near the Dry Tortugas and Sarasota, Florida.

Hurricane One

A tropical depression formed early on July 13 just north of the Dominican Republic. Moving generally northwestward, the newly formed cyclone became a tropical storm at 00 UTC the next day, while centered about 50 mi (80 km) north of Grand Turk Island in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Paralleling The Bahamas, the cyclone slowly strengthened over the next few days, its track gradually bending more to the north. At 06 UTC on July 16, the storm attained hurricane intensity about 220 miles (350 km) south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Once over the Gulf Stream off the Georgia coast, it then recurved, peaking at 80 mph (130 km/h) at 00 UTC on August 17. The storm passed between the U.S. and Bermuda and became extratropical as it entered the North Atlantic.

Tropical Storm Two

A tropical storm moved through the Lesser Antilles on July 24. It continued through the Caribbean Sea, and dissipated on July 28 over the Western Caribbean. The storm caused some damage on southern Hispaniola, but no deaths were reported.

Hurricane Three

On July 30, a tropical storm was located in the eastern Bahamas. It moved northwestward, becoming a hurricane the next day. The hurricane moved inland over southern North Carolina on August 2, and continued northeastward until dissipation on August 4. The hurricane caused $2 million in damage (1944 dollars) but no deaths.

Hurricane Four

A small tropical storm existed east of Barbados on August 16. It passed through the islands, and steadily intensified to a major hurricane as it passed through the Caribbean. The major hurricane struck eastern Jamaica on August 20, causing major damage to crops from flooding. It continued westward across the Caribbean, hitting the eastern Yucatán Peninsula on August 22. Hurricane Four moved across the Bay of Campeche, and hit the Mexican port of Tuxpan, Veracruz, on August 24 just before dissipating. The hurricane caused several million dollars in damage and left 216 people dead.

Tropical Storm Five

A tropical storm hit northeastern Mexico on August 22, causing little damage after it dissipated on the 22rd.

Tropical Storm Six

A tropical storm hit southeastern Louisiana on September 10. It dissipated the next day, after causing minor damage in Mobile, Alabama.

Hurricane Seven

An intense Cape Verde-type hurricane, the Great Atlantic hurricane probably began earlier than September 9, though due to World War II restrictions on observations at sea, the storm remained undetected until that date. It traveled generally north of due west, becoming a hurricane at 06 UTC on September 10. Early the next day, the storm slowed down and intensified rapidly, becoming a major hurricane at 00 UTC on September 12. An unknown ship or aircraft may have reported a barometric low of 943 mb (27.8 inHg) twelve hours later, when the storm strengthened further to 130 mph (210 km/h). By 00 UTC on September 13, the cyclone sharply turned more northward and began moving up the Eastern Seaboard, reaching its peak intensity of 145 mph (233 km/h) twelve hours later—equal to the modern-day Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. A ship near the center reported a pressure of 933 mb (27.6 inHg), though the actual central pressure may have been as low as 909 mb (26.8 inHg). The storm accelerated up the coast, bypassing Cape Hatteras to the east at about 12 UTC on September 14. In 14 hours, the eye of the storm made landfall at East Hampton, Long Island, as a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 105 mph (169 km/h). Along the entire Eastern Seaboard, the hurricane eroded beaches, sunk ships, and threw wave-watchers into the sea. The entire coastline from Cape Lookout to Cape Cod was raked with hurricane-force winds. The hurricane caused several millions of dollars in damage, as well as 390 deaths.

Hurricane Eight

A tropical wave developed into a tropical storm in the western Caribbean Sea on September 19. It became a hurricane later that day, and hit the Yucatán Peninsula on September 20. The hurricane turned southward in the Bay of Campeche, making landfall near Campeche, Campeche, on September 22. The hurricane dissipated later that day, after resulting in extensive damage from flooding as well as 200-300 fatalities.

Hurricane Nine

A tropical disturbance from the Cape Verde region developed into a tropical storm in the south-central Atlantic on September 21. The storm made a broad turn to the north and slowly strengthened. It became a hurricane while well east of Bermuda and continued its journey north. The storm was briefly a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 100 mph (160 km/h) before weakening in the cooler waters of the north Atlantic. The storm was able, however, to maintain hurricane status until it became extratropical in the far north Atlantic south of Greenland.

Tropical Storm Eleven

The tenth storm was a weak tropical storm that formed to the immediate northeast of Barbados in early October. The storm turned north with peak winds of 45 mph (72 km/h). It never got any stronger. After moving north for a little ways, the storm turned away from the islands and dissipated causing nothing but rain showers.

Hurricane Thirteen

A tropical storm formed in the western Caribbean Sea on October 12. It headed northward, becoming a hurricane at 18 UTC the next day. It then drifted westward and strengthened to 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) at 12 UTC on October 15. It then reached major hurricane strength. It crossed Cuba at this intensity on October 18, and continued northeastward where it made landfall on Sarasota, Florida, on October 19. The hurricane continued northeastward over the southeast United States, and became extratropical on October 21. The hurricane caused $100 million in damage (1944 dollars), as well as 300 casualties.


1944 Atlantic hurricane season Wikipedia