1960 Atlantic hurricane season

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1960 Atlantic hurricane season
Season summary map
Season summary map
First storm formed: June 22, 1960
Last storm dissipated: Sept. 27, 1960
Strongest storm: Donna - 932 mbar (27.52 inHg), 140 knots (160 mph)
Total storms: 7
Major storms (Cat. 3+) 2
Total damages: $409.76 million
(1960 USD)
Total fatalites: 185
Atlantic hurricane seasons
1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962

The 1960 Atlantic hurricane season was an ongoing event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone formation. It officially started June 1, 1960, and lasted until November 30, 1960.

The most notable storm of the season was Hurricane Donna, a Category 5 for a time in the open Atlantic. It was the worst storm to strike Florida in ten years, causing six direct deaths, and causing $387 million in damage ($2.4 billion in 2000 dollars).

Also, Ethel reached Category 5 strength very briefly before falling apart prior to landfall in Mississippi. This marks the first of only three seasons that two or more Category 5 hurricanes have formed (the others being the 1961 and 2005 seasons); it remains the only season with two consecutive Category 5 hurricanes. Miraculously however, it weakened to a tropical storm within 24 hours of hitting land in Mississippi.



Hurricane Abby

The tropical depression that became Hurricane Abby developed east of the Lesser Antilles on July 10th, likely from a tropical wave. As it crossed the islands, it rapidly strengthened to hurricane strength that night. Abby remained disorganized while crossing the Caribbean Sea, and weakened back to a tropical storm on the 13th. It became better organized while approaching the coast of Belize, and reached a peak of 85 mph before hitting the country on the 15th. Abby dissipated the next day over Mexico, after causing around $600,000 in damage, and killing six in St. Lucia.

Tropical Storm Brenda

A weak circulation in the eastern Gulf of Mexico developed into a tropical depression on July 28. It moved rapidly northeastward, becoming a tropical storm the next day while over southeastern Georgia. Brenda reached her peak of 60 mph on the 30th while paralleling the eastern seaboard. It moved northward through New England, where it became extratropical on the 31st.

Tropical Storm Brenda, which caused an estimated $5 million (1960 dollars) in damage to western Florida;

Hurricane Cleo

The precursor to Hurricane Cleo was a trough of low pressure that developed into a tropical cyclone on August 17th. Cleo, a small storm, became a hurricane on the 18th as it moved northeastward. After reaching a peak of 90 mph, cooler waters and upper level winds weakened it steadily until its dissipation on the 21st.

Hurricane Donna

Main article Hurricane Donna

Hurricane Donna was the most destructive hurricane of the 1960 season. After reaching Category 5 strength in the open ocean in early September, it passed north of the Greater Antilles as a Category 4. Donna hit the Florida Keys, Fort Myers, Florida, the Outer Banks, and finally Long Island, New York on September 12th. Donna caused $400,000,000 in damage (1950 dollars, $3.3 billion in 2005 dollars), and caused 164 deaths, of which 148 were directly caused by the storm.

Hurricane Ethel

Main article Hurricane Ethel

Hurricane Ethel rapidly developed in the Gulf of Mexico on September 14th, reaching Category 5 strength the next day. Luckily, it weakened to a tropical storm at the time of its southern Mississippi landfall, causing $1,060,000 in damage.

Tropical Storm Florence

A large area of shower activity north of Puerto Rico developed into a tropical depression on September 17th. It became a tropical storm the next day, but unfavorable conditions weakened Florence back to a depression. It looped over Cuba on the 22nd, and moved northeastwards over Florida. A ridge of high pressure forced Florence back westward where, after moving across the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, it dissipated over Mississippi on the 27th.

Other Storms

Tropical Storm One

The southern portion of a strong westerly trough developed into a tropical depression in the Bay of Campeche on June 22nd. It moved northwestward, strengthening into a tropical storm the next day and hitting 30 miles south of Corpus Christi, Texas as a 45 mph storm. The storm looped over southern Texas, dumping heavy rain over the area. It moved slowly northward, and eventually dissipated over Illinois on the 29th. Though weak, the storm caused $3,600,000 in damage (1960 dollars) and 15 deaths.

1960 storm names

The following names were used for named storms (tropical storms and hurricanes) that formed in the North Atlantic in 1960. The name Donna was later retired.

  • Abby
  • Brenda
  • Cleo
  • Donna
  • Ethel
  • Florence
  • Gladys (unused)
  • Hilda (unused)
  • Isbell (unused)
  • Janet (unused)
  • Katy (unused)
  • Lila (unused)
  • Molly (unused)
  • Nita (unused)
  • Odette (unused)
  • Paula (unused)
  • Roxie (unused)
  • Stella (unused)
  • Trudy (unused)
  • Vesta (unused)
  • Wesley (unused)

See also

External link

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