The 1936 Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 12, 1936, and lasted until December 6, 1936. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin.
The 1936 season was fairly active, with 20 tropical cyclones including 3 tropical depressions. Seven storms became hurricanes, of which one became a major hurricane. In addition, the season was unusual in the fact that no storms moved across large portions of the Caribbean Sea. Seven storms, including three hurricanes, struck the United States. The season also set many records for the earliest date for a numbered storm, though all were surpassed by the extreme activity of the 2005 season.
made landfall on the Pacific coast of Guatemala. It moved northeastward across Central America, but dissipated before reaching the western Caribbean Sea on June 12. The storm quickly re-organized, and again developed into a tropical storm on June 12. It moved north-northeastward, resulting in light winds as it paralleled the eastern coasts of Belize and the Yucatán Peninsula. After reaching the Gulf of Mexico with peak winds of 45 miles per hour (72 km/h), the storm turned to the northeast, then to the east. On June 15, the tropical storm made landfall about 20 miles (32 km) to the south of Fort Myers, Florida, and after crossing the state it passed over Miami before entering the Atlantic Ocean. It weakened as it accelerated northeastward through the Bahamas, and on June 17 the system dissipated to the north of Bermuda.
While crossing Central America, the storm produced heavy rainfall. In southern Florida, winds from the storm ranged from 30 miles per hour (48 km/h) to a peak of 39 miles per hour (63 km/h) in Miami. The storm produced heavy rainfall in southern Florida, ranging from 8 to 15 inches (200 to 380 mm). The rainfall caused flooding of highways and lowlands, drowned several livestock, and some damage. The storm caused three indirect deaths when a Coast Guard airplane crashed in Tampa Bay while in search of small boats.
An area of disturbed weather was first detected near the Yucatán Peninsula on June 18. It tracked west-northwestward, and developed into a tropical storm the following day. The storm continued to the west-northwest until June 21, when the storm turned to the west-southwest. Having remained a minimal tropical storm for all of its lifetime, the 40-mph (70-km/h) storm struck northeast Mexico on June 21, and dissipated the next day. The storm caused higher than normal tides along the Texas coastline, and no damage or deaths were reported.
A small tropical storm developed on June 26 while located 125 miles (201 km) east of Brownsville, Texas. It moved northwestward and rapidly strengthened almost immediately after formation (similar to Humberto of 2007), attaining hurricane status with peak winds of 80 miles per hour (130 km/h) by early on June 27. Later on June 27, the hurricane made landfall near Port Aransas with a pressure of 987 millibars (29.15 inHg)
Upon making landfall, the storm caused a 3.8-foot (1.2-m) storm tide, and many small boats were capsized or driven ahore. The hurricane produced wind gusts of up to 90 miles per hour (140 km/h) in Ingleside and up to 80 miles per hour (130 km/h) in Port Aransas, destroying cooling towers at a local oil refinery and damaging a few houses. Along its path, the storm produced heavy rainfall, though specifics are unknown. Severe crop damage was reported in San Patricio and Nueces Counties. In all, the hurricane caused $550,000 in damage (1936 USD, $8 million 2006 USD), primarily to oil refinery property, though no deaths or injuries were reported.
On July 26, a small tropical storm formed near the western tip of Cuba from a tropical disturbance. It moved quickly northwestward, then turned northward, reaching a peak intensity of 45 miles per hour (72 km/h). On July 27, the storm accelerated northeastward and made landfall on southeastern Louisiana with a pressure of 1003 mbar. The storm rapidly weakened over land and dissipated late on the 27th. The Weather Bureau office issued a storm warning for the Louisiana coastline, advising those potentially affected to prepare for strong winds and rising tides. However, the storm caused no serious damage, and no casualties are associated with the storm.
A tropical storm was first observed over the southern Bahamas on July 27. It tracked to the west-northwest, and made landfall a short distance south of Homestead, Florida, with winds of 65 miles per hour (105 km/h). After crossing the state, it intensified over the eastern Gulf of Mexico and became a hurricane on July 30. The hurricane continued to strengthen, and on July 31 hit the western Florida Panhandle near Camp Walton with peak winds of 105 miles per hour (169 km/h). It weakened rapidly over land, and dissipated over western Alabama on August 1.
In south Florida, the storm caused a storm tide of 5.5 feet (1.7 m) when it made landfall, causing flooding of up to 1.5 feet (0.46 m) in coastal areas. Though winds reached 60 miles per hour (97 km/h), damage was minimal there. In Valparaiso in the Florida Panhandle, the hurricane produced wind gusts of up to 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), along with a storm tide of 6 feet (1.8 m). Damage from the storm was relatively minor, totaling to $123,000 (1936 USD, $1.78 million 2006 USD). The hurricane indirectly killed four people when a boat capsized in the Gulf of Mexico.
The sixth tropical storm of the season was first spotted on August 4 while located 155 miles (249 km) east-northeast of Barbuda. It tracked northwestward, and reached a peak intensity of 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) on August 5. It retained that intensity throughout its lifetime (although it is possible it remained a tropical depression but data was conflicting), which was followed by a turn to the northeast on August 8. On August 9, the storm passed 160 miles (260 km) to the west of Bermuda, and early on August 10 the storm became extratropical over the open Atlantic Ocean. The extratropical storm continued northeastward until dissipating late on August 10 while 280 miles (450 km) south of the eastern tip of Nova Scotia. The storm never affected land.
A weak tropical storm formed on August 7 in the eastern Gulf of Mexico west-northwest of the Dry Tortugas. The system moved northwest towards the northwest Gulf of Mexico through August 9 while maintaining its peak of 40 miles per hour (64 km/h). It is possible it weakened to a tropical depression at times, but there is no data supporting or denying such. The storm then began to curve more to the west-southwest on August 10 while located just south-southwest of Port Eads, Louisiana, while maintaining intensity. The storm continued moving southwest through August 11, weakening to a tropical depression shortly before making landfall near Tampico on August 12. The system weakened quickly after moving inland, and dissipated shortly afterwards.
Advisories were issued early on August 12 from the U.S. Weather Bureau in New Orleans for the system as it neared Mexico shortly before making landfall, but little damage and no deaths were reported in Mexico.
A tropical disturbance was detected in the western to northwest Caribbean Sea near Cancún on August 15. The system moved northwest into the southwest Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm on August 16 while slowly strengthening. The system reached hurricane intensity as a Category 1 on August 17, and reached its peak of 75 miles per hour (121 km/h) shortly afterwards. The hurricane began to move west-southwest late on August 17 and through August 18, eventually making landfall near Tampico, Tamaulipas, on August 19 as a minimal hurricane or strong tropical storm. The system quickly weakened just after moving inland and dissipated on the same day.
The hurricane brought heavy rains to mainland Mexico, while the highest winds recorded at Tampico were 30 miles per hour (48 km/h) on August 19 as the center passed nearby just to the north. Storm warnings were issued on August 17 and 18 as the system initially approached the upper Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Texas, but the system's west-southwest turn prevented a direct United States landfall.
A weak tropical storm formed on August 20 near the eastern Bahamas. Moving slowly west-northwest through August 21, the system strengthened to its peak of 50 miles per hour (80 km/h) later on August 21, and made landfall on August 22 near Daytona Beach at its peak intensity. The system maintained tropical storm intensity inland while slowly weakening and moving westward, and the storm eventually weakened to a depression on August 23 while entering the eastern Florida Panhandle, and the system dissipated shortly afterwards near as it drifted over eastern Mississippi.</div> The storm caused heavy rains across northern and central Florida, and winds of 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) were recorded near Titusville. Overall damage was minimal.
This Cape Verde-type hurricane was first detected in the eastern tropical Atlantic on August 25. Moving northwest on August 29, the system continued to strengthen, eventually reaching a peak of 110 miles per hour (180 km/h) as a Category 2 hurricane in the central North Atlantic on September 1. The hurricane then began to curve northeast late on September 1 while maintaining intensity, eventually weakening to a 90 miles per hour (140 km/h) Category 1 hurricane on September 5. The system became extratropical on September 6, and the system dissipated while nearing the British Isles. As the system never affected land, no damage or casualties were reported.
A tropical storm was detected on August 28 in the far western Caribbean Sea. The system moved steadily west-northwest, making landfall shortly afterwards on the Yucatán Peninsula as a 45 miles per hour (72 km/h) tropical storm. The system weakened slightly to a 40-mph (65-km/h) tropical storm as it steadily crossed the Yucatán, entering the Bay of Campeche late on August 28. The system then began to slow down on August 29 while reintensifying, peaking as an 80-mph (130-km/h) Category 1 shortly afterwards. The hurricane then began to move to the west-southwest, making a final landfall near Tuxpan as a 75-mph (120-km/h) minimal hurricane on August 30. The system quickly weakened to a tropical storm shortly after moving inland, and the weakening storm dissipated shortly afterwards.
Although advisories were issued for Mexico on August 29 and early on August 30 from the U.S. Weather Bureau in New Orleans, little overall damage was reported in mainland Mexico.
On September 7, a ship reported southwest winds at a location about 405 miles (652 km) northeast of Antigua, indicating the presence of a tropical cyclone. The storm tracked to the west-northwest without strengthening, and the following day no circulation was reported. It is estimated the storm weakened to a tropical depression and dissipated on September 8 while located about 235 miles (378 km) north-northeast of Saint Martin, although it may have remained a tropical depression throughout its short lifespan. The storm never affected land.
A tropical storm was first observed by a ship on September 8 while located about 750 miles (1,210 km) east of Barbados. The storm moved northwestward, and slowly intensified to attain hurricane status on September 10 about 425 miles (684 km) northeast of Barbados. The hurricane continued to slowly strengthen as it decelerated its forward motion, and on September 15 it reached its peak intensity of 120 miles per hour (190 km/h) while located 375 miles (604 km) south-southwest of Bermuda. By the morning of September 15, the hurricane had winds exceeding 25 miles per hour (40 km/h) in a diameter of about 1,000 miles (1,600 km), among the largest tropical cyclones on record. It slowly weakened as it approached the East Coast of the United States, and early on September 17 local weather bureaus began issuing storm warnings from Beaufort, North Carolina, to the Virginia capes. Late on September 18, the hurricane passed within 45 miles (72 km) of the Outer Banks before it accelerated and turned to the northeast. It remained close to the Mid-Atlantic and New England coastline, and passed near Nantucket before turning to the east-northeast. The hurricane remained south of Atlantic Canada by a short distance, and became extratropical on September 21 while located about 480 miles (770 km) east of Cape Race, Newfoundland. The extratropical storm decelerated as it turned northeastward, and the system dissipated on September 25.
In North Carolina, the hurricane produced winds of up to 90 miles per hour (140 km/h) in Manteo. Described as one of the worst hurricanes in record in Hatteras, the storm resulted in $25,000 in damage (1936 USD, $360,000 2006 USD) to roads and bridges and $30,000 in damage (1936 USD, $440,000 2006 USD) to buildings and piers. Very high tides were reported along the Outer Banks, with Nags Head losing about 35 feet (11 m) of beach. The hurricane destroyed the highway bridge along the Currituck Sound, and resulted in heavy crop damage in northeastern North Carolina. The hurricane was also considered among the worst hurricanes on record in the Norfolk, Virginia, area. Winds of up to 84 miles per hour (135 km/h) at Cape Henry destroyed windows, roofs, and some entire buildings, resulting in around $500,000 in damage (1936 USD, $7.3 million 2006 USD). The hurricane produced a storm tide of 9.3 feet (2.8 m) in Sewell's Point, Virginia, the second highest on record at that location. Two locations along the James River experienced record crest levels of over 20 feet (6.1 m). Rough seas washed several boats ashore, and shipping was cancelled in and out of Norfolk. The hurricane resulted in cancelled train service and increased traffic. The hurricane was indirectly responsible for two casualties. The first fatality occurred when debris from the hurricane struck a person in the head and later died. Another person drowned in the Elizabeth River in an effort to recover a rowboat blown adrift. Though hurricane warnings were posted for the northeast United States and hurricane force winds occurred there, damage, if any, is unknown.
A tropical storm moved northward into Acapulco in the middle of September. Its large area of disturbed weather organized in the Bay of Campeche and developed into a tropical storm on September 10 a short distance off the coast of Tabasco. The storm initially moved westward, then turned to the north. It remained a minimal tropical storm for its entire lifetime, and after turning to the north west it made landfall near Brownsville, Texas, on September 13 with winds of 50 miles per hour (80 km/h). The system weakened over Texas, and dissipated over northern Coahuila on September 14. Winds were generally minor from the storm, and tides were not much above normal. The storm resulted in heavy rainfall totaling 30.00 inches (762 mm) at Broome, Texas, between September 15 and 17. Anticipating further intensification, one bulletin from the local weather bureau recommended citizens on offshore islands to evacuate inland.
A tropical storm was first observed about 140 miles (230 km) north of Anguilla on September 19. The storm moved northwestward and quickly attained hurricane status on September 20. After turning to the northeast, the hurricane reached a peak intensity of 105 miles per hour (169 km/h) on September 21 while located about 500 miles (800 km) southwest of Bermuda. It turned to the north and slowly weakened. A cold front turned the hurricane to the northeast, and the system became extratropical on September 25 a short time before making landfall on southern Nova Scotia. Hours after hitting land, the extratropical remnant was absorbed by the approaching cold front. Impact, if any, is unknown.
A tropical depression formed in the western Atlantic Ocean on September 25. It moved west-northwestward, making landfall on eastern Florida before entering the Gulf of Mexico on September 28. The depression turned to the northwest, and struck land near Apalachicola as a minimal system. It dissipated over land on October 1. The minimum central pressure in the depression was 1006 mbar. The depression produced winds of up to 35 miles per hour (56 km/h) in Tarpon Springs. Effects were minimal.
An area of disturbed weather persisted across the northwestern Caribbean Sea in early October. It tracked northwestward over the Yucatán Peninsula, and subsequent to the development of a low-level circulation the system organized into a tropical storm on October 9 while located about 60 miles (97 km) northwest of the capital of Campeche. After moving northward, the storm turned sharply southward, and made landfall in northern Tabasco as a minimal tropical storm on October 10. The system quickly weakened over land, and dissipated over Chiapas on October 11. The system dropped heavy rainfall across southeastern Mexico, though damage, if any, is unknown.
Toward the end of November, a cold front was moving eastward across the central Atlantic Ocean. A broad low formed on November 28, but it was not evident by two days later. Another low formed on December 2 to the west-southwest of the Canary Islands, which was an occluded low. It moved to the west-northwest and became more tropical, finally transitioning into a tropical storm by December 4. The transition to a tropical cyclone was determined on ships reporting gale-force winds near the center, although it is possible the system was a subtropical cyclone instead. On December 6, the storm turned to the west-southwest and reached its peak winds of 65 mph (100 km/h). An approaching cold front caused the storm to become extratropical early on December 7. After reaching a position to the northeast of the Lesser Antilles, the extratropical storm turned to the northwest on November 10, later turning to the northeast on December 14. A larger extratropical low absorbed the storm on December 16.
Accumulated Cyclone Energy Rating (ACE)
The table below shows the ACE for each storm in the season. Broadly speaking, the ACE is a measure of the power of the hurricane multiplied by the duration of its lifetime; thus, hurricanes that lasted a long time (such as Thirteen) have higher ACEs. Despite the high number of storms, most were relatively short-lived and weak, and the ACE only suggested a near-normal season. The ACE rating is only calculated for full advisories on tropical systems at or exceeding 35 knots (40 mph; 65 km/h) or tropical storm strength.