Hurricane Ian hit Florida as a Category 4. Only 4 storms in US history have made landfall as a Category 5.


Hurricane Ian landed in Florida on Wednesday as a strong Category 4 storm — just a few miles per hour ahead of Category 5. Only five hurricanes that made landfall in the US were designated Category 5.

Hurricane strength is measured on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration explains, the scale moves from a Category 1 — which has winds of 75 to 95 mph and can cause damage to exteriors of homes, trees and power lines — to a “catastrophic” Category 5.

A Category 5 hurricane has winds of 157 mph or higher. While less powerful hurricanes could rip shingles or chunks off roofs, a Category 5 has a high risk of total home destruction with complete roof failure and wall collapse.

Here are the only Category 5 hurricanes on record that landed in the US:

Labor Day Hurricane, 1935

The first recorded Category 5 hurricane hit the US in 1935, before hurricanes had human names. This storm, known as the Labor Day Hurricane, strengthened as it made its way from the Bahamas to Florida, where it reached the center of the Florida Keys as a Category 5 on September 2. She later made landfall near Cedar Key, Florida. Category 2

Hurricane Camille, 1969

Camille first hit the Cayman Islands and Cuba before moving across the Gulf of Mexico to become a Category 5 hurricane. It maintained this intensity when it made landfall on the Mississippi coast on August 17, 1969.

Camille was so strong that it destroyed all land-based wind recording instruments, so its true wind strength will never be known — but according to NOAA, its winds were estimated at nearly 200 mph.

Hurricane Andrew, 1992

Hurricane Andrew traveled between Bermuda and Puerto Rico, turning west and escalating to a Category 4. It briefly weakened over the Bahamas but re-strengthened over Florida on August 24, 1992. It then reached the central Louisiana coast as a category. 3.

Andrew also destroyed wind instruments, but some gusts were measured. An instrument at a private home measured gusts of 177 mph, according to NOAA. In 2004, researchers published a reanalysis on the intensity of Hurricane Andrew, when the storm was detected landed in lower florida as category 5.

As a result of Andrew, 23 people died in the US and three in the Bahamas. The storm caused $26.5 billion in damage—$1 billion in Louisiana and the rest in southern Florida, with the vast majority caused by winds.

Hurricane Michael, 2018

Hurricane Michael started out as a tropical storm with 50mph winds – but just 72 hours later it was upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane. Landed in Florida on October 10, 2018 with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph, according to weather channel.

All four of those hurricanes were considered tropical storms just three days before they hit and were rapidly intensifying, according to The Weather Channel.

Storms below Category 5 can also be dangerous and deadly. For example, Hurricane Harvey was a Category 4 when it made landfall in Texas on August 25, 2017. Harvey killed 68 people, making it the deadliest storm in the US since Superstorm Sandy in 2012, which killed 72 people. National Hurricane Center report.



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