10 Largest Hurricanes Ever Recorded - Largest.org (2023)

Hurricanes cause great devastation whenever they strike, so then, we tend to think of the largest hurricanes as the one that causes the most damage. However, hurricanes don’t have to be massive to cause great losses in lives and property.

Hurricanes have been with humanity forever, but we haven’t always had the capacity to understand them or record their strength and size. So our records on the largest storms may be incomplete.

Scientists believe we are seeing more intense storms if not necessarily larger or more frequent storms.

In this list of largest hurricanes, we will include records for all cyclonic storms including typhoons and we will judge size based on the storm’s radius, not damage or wind speed.

  1. Hurricane Yolanda

Year Formed: 2013
Storm Type: Category 5 Super Typhoon
Highest Wind Speed: 195 mph
Diameter: 800 km

10 Largest Hurricanes Ever Recorded - Largest.org (1)
Source: By NASA – [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons

While Yolanda, also known as Typhoon Haiyan, is the smallest on this list, it is one of the strongest storms ever. It is by far the deadliest storm to hit the Philippines, accounting for over 6,000 fatalities and two billion USD in damage in that country.

Yolanda also caused great damage in several other nations in the region as well as South China and Vietnam in Southeast Asia.

Did You Know?

The Fast and Furious actor Paul Walker was at an event to raise money for relief efforts on the day he died in an auto accident.

  1. Typhoon Usagi

Year Formed: 2013
Storm Type: Category 4 Super Typhoon
Highest Wind Speed: 155 mph
Diameter: 1110 km

10 Largest Hurricanes Ever Recorded - Largest.org (2)
Source: NASA [Public Domain]

This storm was first identified as a tropical depression off the coast of the Philippines in early September 2013. Within three days, the storm formed a 17-mile wide eye and was upgraded to a category 5 hurricane before making landfall on the Chinese coast.

The storm caused $4.3 billion total across the Philippines and China. There were 33 fatalities in China, with thousands of people made homeless by the storm and billions of dollars worth of crops destroyed. Usagi caused approximately 30 fatalities.

Did You Know?

Usagi is a Japanese word which translates to rabbit in English.

  1. Typhoon Morakot

Year Formed: 2009
Storm Type: Category 1 typhoon
Highest Wind Speed: 90 mph
Diameter: 1200 km

10 Largest Hurricanes Ever Recorded - Largest.org (3)
Source: NASA [Public Domain]

Morakot was one of the costliest and deadliest typhoons to hit Taiwan. Its 90 mph wind speed may not seem that dangerous. However, it was the slow moving pace of the storm’s eye that allowed the storm to cause so much damage. It dropped over 100 feet of rain into the country’s waterways, causing extensive flooding. The storm also affected other Southeast Asian countries, including China and Japan. All told, Morakot caused over $6 billion (not inflation adjusted) in damage.

Did You Know?

The Taiwanese government was criticized for its response to the storm, which some argued was inadequate.

  1. Hurricane Karl

Year Formed: 2004
Storm Type: Category 3 Major Hurricane
Highest Wind Speed: 145 mph
Diameter: 1255 km

10 Largest Hurricanes Ever Recorded - Largest.org (4)
Source: NOAA via Wikimedia Commons

Karl was a large hurricane force tropical storm that formed off the coast of Cape Verde. It flowed north towards Europe, gaining strength further out into the Atlantic Ocean. Eventually it became a Cat 3 storm with peak sustained winds of 145 mph. The storm weakened to a Cat 1 hurricane before making landfall on the Faroe Islands.

Karl was not responsible for any damages or fatalities on record.

Did You Know?

Karl is the sixth-largest Atlantic hurricane ever.

  1. Hurricane Nicole

Year Formed: 2016
Storm Type: Cat 4 Major Hurricane
Highest Wind Speed: 140 mph
Diameter: 1285 km

10 Largest Hurricanes Ever Recorded - Largest.org (5)
Source: NASA via Wikimedia Commons

Nicole’s path forced landfall only on the island of Bermuda, where it caused substantial damage. That doesn’t mean the storm didn’t affect other areas. In the United States, the huge waves created by the storm affected the ocean animal life on the South Florida beaches.

In Bermuda, the storm destroyed homes, farms and the valuable commercial coastal properties on the island.

Did You Know?

Storm observers were much more concerned about the more violent storm, Hurricane Matthew, which hit nearly at the same time as Nicole.

  1. Hurricane Lili

Year Formed: 1996
Storm Type: Category 3 major hurricane
Highest Wind Speed: 115 mph
Diameter: 1345 km

10 Largest Hurricanes Ever Recorded - Largest.org (6)
Source: NOAA [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Beginning as a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico and ending after hitting London, this wide-berth, slow-moving storm was responsible for substantial flood damage on two continents. The storm caused fatalities in several Central American countries, Cuba and the Bahamas.

Did You Know?

Some aid to storm victims in Cuba caused an international controversy. Some Cuban exiles were so concerned about helping Fidel Castro’s government that they refused to send supplies.

  1. Hurricane Igor

Year Formed: 2010
Storm Type: Cat 4 hurricane
Highest Wind Speed: 155 mph
Diameter: 1335 km

10 Largest Hurricanes Ever Recorded - Largest.org (7)
Source: NOAA [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Fortunately, for the people of the Caribbean and the United States, Igor weakened from a category 4 storm to a category 3 before entering the Gulf region. Igor moved up the East Coast of the United States after causing a relatively small amount of damage to Bermuda.

Newfoundland in Canada suffered the greatest damage. Flooding caused about 200 million USD in damages in that area of the country.

Did You Know?

Canadians raised $400 million in relief money for victims with a relief concert.

  1. Hurricane Sandy

Year Formed: 2012
Storm Type: Category 3 hurricane
Highest Wind Speed: 115 mph
Diameter: 1,380km

10 Largest Hurricanes Ever Recorded - Largest.org (8)
Source: Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen-New Jersey National Guard [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Sandy is the third-most destructive hurricane ever to hit the United States. The wind and rain caused destruction costing almost $70 billion and the loss of over 200 lives. The carnage began as Sandy, still a tropic storm, hit the Caribbean Sea. From there, it ran along the East Coast of the United States. In total, 24 states received damage from the storm.

Did You Know?

An artic front caused the intense rain produced by Sandy to turn into snow. Some areas in West Virginia and Kentucky experienced blizzard-like conditions.

  1. Hurricane Olga

Year Formed: 2001
Storm Type: Cat 1 hurricane
Highest Wind Speed: 90 mph
Diameter: 1,595 km

10 Largest Hurricanes Ever Recorded - Largest.org (9)
Source: NASA

Olga is the largest Atlantic hurricane when measuring the diameter of gale force winds. It was not a particularly strong storm, only reaching category 1 in strength. It caused no personal or commercial damage on land as it never made landfall. Olga vacillated between hurricane strength and tropical storm strength, rocking a few boats with high waves but only causing physical damage to one ship (that was reported).

Did You Know?

Olga was the final storm of the 2001 hurricane season.

  1. Typhoon Tip

Year Formed: 1979
Storm Type: Category 5 Super Typhoon
Highest Wind Speed: 190 mph
Diameter: 2,220 km

10 Largest Hurricanes Ever Recorded - Largest.org (10)
Source: By GMS-1 Satellite – [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Typhoon Tip is the largest storm by diameter in world history. The storm is also the second most intense Pacific typhoon ever. The storm’s gale winds would cover the Western United States from the Pacific Coast to the western border of Missouri.

Tip formed over the Marshall Islands near the Philippines. It gained strength as it moved over the ocean, eventually reaching a category 5 rating with extremely violent winds. By the time it neared Japan, the storm was weaker. However, it still caused significant damage to Okinawa and Tokyo. Many fishermen died, ships sank and flooding left tens of thousands of Japanese homeless.

Did You Know?

The storm was violent enough that it caused a Chinese ship to break in half.


What is the largest hurricane ever recorded in the world? ›

Typhoon Tip was the largest tropical cyclone on record, with a diameter of 1,380 mi (2,220 km)—almost double the previous record of 700 mi (1,130 km) in diameter set by Typhoon Marge in August 1951. At its largest, Tip was nearly half the size of the contiguous United States.

What are the top 10 hurricanes to hit the United States? ›

Here are 10 of the worst hurricanes to hit the US
  • The Cheniere Caminada Hurricane 1893. ...
  • Galveston Hurricane 1900. ...
  • San Felipe-Okeechobee Hurricane 1928. ...
  • The Great Labor Day Hurricane 1935. ...
  • Hurricane Camille 1969. ...
  • Hurricane Andrew 1992. ...
  • Hurricane Katrina 2005. ...
  • Hurricane Sandy 2012.
Sep 28, 2022

What are the 3 biggest hurricanes in history? ›

The 30 Deadliest U.S. Mainland Hurricanes
1.Great Galveston Hurricane (TX)8,000
2.Lake Okeechobee (FL)2,500
3.Katrina (LA/MS/FL/GA/AL)1,200
4.Cheniere Caminanda (LA)1,100-1,400
26 more rows

What was the baddest hurricane in history? ›

The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 was, and still is, the deadliest hurricane to hit the United States. The hurricane hit Galveston, Texas, on September 8, 1900, as a Category 4 hurricane.

Has there ever been an F6 hurricane? ›

There is no such thing as an F6 tornado, even though Ted Fujita plotted out F6-level winds. The Fujita scale, as used for rating tornados, only goes up to F5. Even if a tornado had F6-level winds, near ground level, which is *very* unlikely, if not impossible, it would only be rated F5.

What is the number 1 deadliest hurricane? ›

The 31 Deadliest Atlantic Hurricanes
RankName/Areas of Largest LossDeaths
1.Great Hurricane (Martinique, Barbados, St. Eustatius)22,000
2.Great Galveston Hurricane8,000-12,000
3.Mitch (Honduras, Nicaragua)9,086
4.Fifi (Honduras)8,000-10,000
27 more rows

What is the number 1 strongest hurricane? ›

With a wind speed of 185 mph at landfall, the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 is the strongest hurricane ever to hit the United States. It was also the first recorded Category 5 storm in the country's history.

What's the worst hurricane to hit United States? ›

1. Galveston Hurricane of 1900. The “Great” Galveston Hurricane of 1900 is by far the deadliest natural disaster to impact the United States.

Has there ever been a Category 7 hurricane? ›

Only one hurricane in world history would rank as a category 7: Hurricane Patricia of 2015, which peaked with 215-mph sustained winds off the Pacific coast of Mexico.

What is the oldest hurricane? ›

The 1899 San Ciríaco hurricane, also known as the 1899 Puerto Rico Hurricane or The Great Bahamas Hurricane of 1899, was the longest-lived Atlantic hurricane on record, and the second-longest-lived tropical cyclone globally on record (in terms of tropical duration) after 1994's Hurricane John in the Pacific.

Has there ever been a hurricane stronger than a Category 5? ›

Only four hurricanes have ever hit the mainland US with winds stronger than Ian's and all were deadly Category 5 storms -- the most powerful on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

What is an F12 tornado? ›

The original Fujita Scale actually goes up to F12. An F12 tornado would have winds of about 740 MPH, the speed of sound. Roughly 3/4 of all tornadoes are EF0 or EF1 tornadoes and have winds that are less than 100 MPH.

Has there ever been a Category 8 hurricane? ›

A Category 8 is a hypothetical Saffir-Simpson rating beyond the Category 5 rating which has never officially been recorded in human history.

Could a hurricane form in the Great Lakes? ›

Scanning over 80 years (since 1921) worth of hurricane track data suggests that remnants of a hurricane or tropical storm make their way into the Great Lakes region on an average of twice a decade, especially the southern Great Lakes area (see Table-1).

Has Category 5 hurricane ever hit United States? ›

Only four Category 5 hurricanes have ever made landfall in the mainland U.S., according to records from the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Weather Channel and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

What was the most powerful storm on earth? ›

The strongest tropical cyclone recorded worldwide, as measured by minimum central pressure, was Typhoon Tip, which reached a pressure of 870 hPa (25.69 inHg) on October 12, 1979.

What category hurricane was Katrina? ›

The storm made landfall in Florida on August 25 as a Category 1 hurricane, then moved into the Gulf of Mexico where it intensified into a Category 5. When it made landfall in southeast Louisiana on August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina was classified as a Category 3, with recorded wind speeds of 140 miles per hour.

What state has never been hit by a hurricane? ›

If you stare at a map of where hurricanes have made landfall in the United States since 1851, you'll notice an enormous void over the Mid-Atlantic coast. Virginia, Maryland and Delaware have never been directly struck. Southern New Jersey has only been hit once.

What happens to alligators in a hurricane? ›

“Alligators likely hunker down to weather a storm by finding easy to get in and out of places,” he adds. Some smaller gators may get swept away by hurricanes; others might change their foraging patterns altogether to stay safe. Other species may be less lucky.

Has there ever been a 200 mph hurricane? ›

Most Poweful Hurricane EVER Recorded – Over 200 mph-typhoon-haiyan. It is the most powerful weather storm ever recorded in our history. Super Typhoon (called Hurricanes in the U.S.) Haiyan just hit the Philippines with winds over 220 miles per hour!

What hurricane names will never be used again? ›

According to the WMO's initial policy established in 2006, Greek-letter named storms could never be retired, "lest an irreplaceable chunk be taken out of the alphabet." Therefore, devastating 2020 hurricanes Eta and Iota would have been retired as "Eta 2020" and "Iota 2020" respectively, but the letter names themselves ...

What hurricane names are no longer used? ›

Since the naming of Atlantic tropical cyclones ditched the phonetic alphabet in 1953, 94 Atlantic tropical cyclone names have been retired, including 2021's Ida, 2020's Laura, 2019's Dorian, 2018's Florence and Michael, and 2017's Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate.

Has there ever been a 300 mph hurricane? ›

The storm then hit Cozumel as a 1,000-mile-wide storm, with a 30-mile-wide eye, 37.5-mile-wide eyewall, and 300 mph (480 km/h) winds and a pressure of 750 millibars.

Has a Category 5 hurricane ever hit land? ›

In total, NOAA says only 37 recorded Atlantic hurricanes since 1924 have reached Category 5 wind speeds at some time in their lifetime. All but one of these storms, Lorenzo in 2019, made landfall, but only four maintained Category 5 winds as they came ashore in the mainland U.S.

Is has a giant hurricane that is larger than the Earth? ›

The Great Red Spot is a giant, spinning storm in Jupiter's atmosphere. It is like a hurricane on Earth, but it is much larger. Jupiter's Great Red Spot is more than twice the size of Earth! Winds inside this storm reach speeds of about 270 miles per hour.

What wind speed will lift a human? ›

An average person could be moved by a 67 mph wind, and an average car can be moved by a 90 mph wind. Isn't it great how math can help us with so many questions?

What hurricane lasted the longest on land? ›

Hurricane John, also known as Typhoon John, was both the longest-lasting and the farthest-traveling tropical cyclone ever observed.
Hurricane John (1994)
Category 5 major hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)
Hurricane John near peak intensity to the south of Hawaii on August 23
Highest winds1-minute sustained: 175 mph (280 km/h)
17 more rows

What was the longest lasting hurricane on land? ›

Hurricane/Typhoon John — 1994 (East Pacific)

Hurricane/Typhoon John holds the Guinness World Record for longest lasting tropical cyclone at 31 full calendar days, lasting from Aug. 11 - Sept. 11, 1994.

Was Katrina a Category 5? ›

Katrina was a large storm with a very distinct eye. Early on the 28th, Katrina reached a minimum central pressure of 902mb (at the peak) - ranking 7th lowest on record for all Atlantic Basin hurricanes - and rapidly intensified to a Category 5 (175mph).

What category was Katrina? ›

What was the deadliest US hurricane to hit the US? ›

Galveston, Texas Hurricane of 1900

Considered the deadliest U.S. natural disaster, the Category 4 hurricane in Galveston, Texas, destroyed more than 3,600 buildings with 135 mph winds, according to the History Channel. The estimated death toll is in a range from 6,000 to 12,000.

What is Jupiter's Earth size hurricane called? ›

Great Red Spot, a long-lived enormous storm system on the planet Jupiter and the most conspicuous feature of its visible cloud surface. It is generally reddish in colour, slightly oval in shape, and approximately 16,350 km (10,159 miles) wide—large enough to engulf Earth.

What planet has a giant hurricane? ›

Jupiter is well-known for being the biggest planet in our solar system, and it's also home to the biggest storm. It's called the Great Red Spot, an enormous vortex that has been swirling for centuries.

What planet has the most violent weather? ›

At the other end of our solar system you have gas giant planets Uranus and Neptune. The latter, our most distant planet, is home to frozen methane clouds and the most violent winds in the solar system.

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