Facts + Statistics: Hurricanes

The official Atlantic hurricane season runs from June through November, but occasionally storms form outside those months. September is the most common month for hurricanes making landfall in the U.S., followed by August and October, according to an analysis of 1851 to 2015 data by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. No hurricanes made U.S. landfall before June and after November during the period studied.

2018 Hurricane Forecast: Dr. Philip Klotzbach and Michael Bell of Colorado State University (CSU) released CSU’s first extended range forecast for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season in early April. The CSU team envisions a slightly above-average season with 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes. A typical year has 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher) have sustained wind speeds of at least 111 miles per hour.

 
The 2017 Hurricane Season

The hurricane season of 2017 broke several records, as 17 tropical storms formed in the Atlantic Basin, 10 of which, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate and Ophelia, became hurricanes. Six hurricanes became major storms, Category 3 and above—Harvey, Irma, Jose, Lee, Maria and Ophelia. Two hurricanes, Irma and Maria, reached Category 5 strength. The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was the first time three Category 4 hurricanes—Harvey, Irma and Maria—made landfall in the United States and its territories in one year, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

On August 25 Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas as a Category 4 storm. Harvey was the first major hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, and the first Category 4 hurricane to affect Texas since Hurricane Carla in 1961. The last time a hurricane made landfall in Texas was in 2008 when Hurricane Ike, a Category 2 storm, struck the state. Harvey brought unprecedented flooding from rainfall to Southeast Texas and Southwestern Louisiana. About 50 inches of rain fell in portions of the Greater Houston area and the upper Texas coast, breaking records. On August 30 Harvey made landfall west of Cameron, Louisiana, as a tropical storm, continuing to bring rain to Southeastern Texas and Southwestern Louisiana. Tens of thousands of people were displaced due to flood waters, with thousands of homes and businesses destroyed. At least 68 direct deaths related to Hurricane Harvey have been reported in Texas. Harvey was the deadliest U.S. hurricane in terms of direct deaths since Sandy in 2012, and the deadliest to hit Texas since 1919, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). RMS estimates that insured wind, storm surge and inland flooding losses in Texas and Louisiana from Hurricane Harvey will total $25 billion to $35 billion, including National Flood Insurance Program losses of $7 billion to $10 billion. CoreLogic reports that total economic flood loss will range between $25 billion to $37 billion with only $6.6 billion to $9.5 billion insured. It estimated total insured losses as falling between $7.5 billion and $11.5 billion, including flood and wind.

Hurricane Irma made landfall at Cudjoe Key in the Lower Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane on September 10, and a second landfall in Florida in Marco Island in Southwest Florida as a Category 3 hurricane. The storm brought high storm surge to Naples and widespread damaging winds across most of Florida. Hurricane Irma was the most powerful hurricane to form in the Atlantic Ocean, and the first major hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. At its peak it was a Category 5 storm, and was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since Katrina in 2005. Complete devastation was reported in the Northern Leeward Islands and Virgin Islands. According to NOAA, the Florida Keys were heavily impacted, with 25 percent of buildings destroyed, and 65 percent significantly damaged. Irma brought record storm surge to parts of the Southeast coast, including Jacksonville, Florida, with significant coastal flooding extending into the Carolinas. Irma caused seven direct deaths in the United States, three in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the remainder on mainland United States, according to NOAA. Karen Clark & Co. estimates that insured losses from Irma would be $18 billion in the United States, mainly from Florida, but also Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. RMS estimates that insured losses from Irma will be between $25 billion and $35 billion, including wind, storm surge and inland flooding in Florida and the Southeast United States. These figures include losses to the National Flood Insurance Program, which range from $2.5 billion to $5.5 billion. CoreLogic estimates that insured losses to residential and commercial properties from wind will total between $13.5 billion and $19 billion.

Maria became a Category 5 hurricane on September 18, passing over St. Croix in the Virgin Islands and later made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in Puerto Rico. Maria was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in Puerto Rico since a Category 5 hurricane hit the island in 1928, causing 50 deaths and catastrophic damage to much of the island. Irma brought extreme rainfall, up to 37 inches, causing widespread flooding and mudslides across the island, according to NOAA. AIR Worldwide estimates that insured losses from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico are between $25 billion and $43 billion. Karen Clark and Co. puts insured losses from Maria at $28.35 billion in Puerto Rico and $789 million in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Hurricane Nate made a first landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on October 7 near the mouth of the Mississippi River, and a second landfall near Biloxi, Mississippi, on October 8. Nate was the fourth hurricane to make landfall in the United States in 2017, the first year the United States has had four landfalls since 2005. Karen Clark & Company reported that insurance and reinsurance industry loss from Hurricane Nate will be almost $500 million. RMS expects losses from Nate, including wind and coastal flooding, not to exceed $500 million.

Ophelia became a Category 3 storm on October 14, making it the sixth major hurricane of the 2017 season.

 
Catastrophic Hurricane Losses In The United States, 2007-2016

($ billions)

    Estimated insured loss     Estimated insured loss
Year Number of
catastrophic
hurricanes (1)
Dollars when
occurred
In 2016
dollars (2)
Year Number of
catastrophic
hurricanes (1)
Dollars when
occurred
In 2016
dollars (2)
2007 0 (3) NA NA 2012 2 $19.7 $20.8
2008 3 $15.2 $17.0 2013 0 (3) NA NA
2009 0 (3) NA NA 2014 0 (3) NA NA
2010 0 (3) NA NA 2015 0 (3) NA NA
2011 1 4.3 4.6 2016 2 2.9 2.9

(1) Hurricanes causing insured property losses of at least $25 million in 1997 dollars and affecting a significant number of policyholders and insurers. Exclude losses covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program.
(2) Adjusted for inflation through 2016 by ISO using the GDP implicit price deflator.
(3) No hurricane met the PCS definition of a catastrophe.

Source: The Property Claim Services® (PCS®) unit of ISO®, a Verisk Analytics® company.

View Archived Tables

 
Costliest U.S. Hurricanes

The following chart from PCS ranks historic hurricanes based on their insured losses, adjusted for inflation. The chart beneath it, from AIR Worldwide Corporation, estimates insured property losses from notable hurricanes from past years, if they were to hit the nation today with the same meteorological parameters.

 
Top 10 Costliest Hurricanes In The United States (1)

($ millions)

        Estimated insured losses (2)
Rank Date Location Hurricane Dollars when
occurred
In 2016
dollars (3)
1 Aug. 25-30, 2005 AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TN Hurricane Katrina $41,100 $49,793
2 Aug. 24-26, 1992 FL, LA Hurricane Andrew 15,500 24,478
3 Oct. 28-31, 2012 CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME,
NC,NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA,
RI, VA, VT, WV
Hurricane Sandy 18,750 19,860
4 Sep. 12-14, 2008 AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, OH, PA, TX Hurricane Ike 12,500 14,036
5 Oct. 24, 2005 FL Hurricane Wilma 10,300 12,479
6 Aug. 13-14, 2004 FL, NC, SC Hurricane Charley 7,475 9,348
7 Sep. 15-21, 2004 AL, DE, FL, GA, LA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV Hurricane Ivan 7,110 8,891
8 Sep. 17-22, 1989 GA, NC, PR, SC, UV, VA Hurricane Hugo 4,195 7,260
9 Sep. 20-26, 2005 AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, TN, TX Hurricane Rita 5,627 6,817
10 Sep. 3-9, 2004 FL, GA, NC, NY, SC Hurricane Frances 4,595 5,746

(1) Includes hurricanes occurring through 2016.
(2) Property coverage only. Excludes flood damage covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program.
(3) Adjusted for inflation through 2016 by ISO using the GDP implicit price deflator.

Source: The Property Claim Services® (PCS®) unit of ISO®, a Verisk Analytics® company.

View Archived Tables

 
Estimated Insured Losses For The Top 10 Historical Hurricanes Based On Current Exposures (1)

($ billions)

Rank Date Event Category 2015 insured loss
1 Sep. 18, 1926 Great Miami Hurricane 4 $119
2 Sep. 17, 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane 4 72
3 Sep. 17, 1947 Fort Lauderdale Hurricane 3 60
4 Aug. 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina 3 58
5 Sep. 9, 1965 Hurricane Betsy 4 53
6 Aug. 24, 1992 Hurricane Andrew 5 52
7 Sep. 10, 1960 Hurricane Donna 4 46
8 Sep. 21, 1938 The Great New England Hurricane 3 44
9 Sep. 9, 1900 Galveston Hurricane 4 44
10 Sep. 15, 1950 Hurricane Easy 2 28

(1) Modeled loss to property, contents and business interruption and additional living expenses for residential, mobile home, commercial and auto exposures as of end-2015. Losses include demand surge.

Source: AIR Worldwide Corporation.

 
Hurricanes And Related Deaths In The United States, 1998-2017

Year Total
hurricanes (1)
Made landfall
as hurricane
in the U.S.
Deaths (2)
1998 10 3 23
1999 8 2 60
2000 8 0 4
2001 9 0 42
2002 4 1 5
2003 7 2 24
2004 9 6 (3) 59
2005 15 7 1,518
2006 5 0 0
2007 6 1 1
2008 8 4 (4) 41
2009 3 1 (5) 6
2010 12 0 11
2011 7 1 44
2012 10 1 (6) 83
2013 2 0 1
2014 6 1 2
2015 4 0 3
2016 7 3 36
2017 10 4 147

(1) Atlantic Basin.
(2) Includes fatalities from high winds of less than hurricane force from tropical storms.
(3) One hurricane (Alex) is considered a strike but not technically a landfall.
(4) Includes one hurricane (Hanna) which made landfall as a tropical storm.
(5) Hurricane Ida, which made landfall as a tropical storm.
(6) Excludes Hurricane Sandy which made landfall as a post-tropical storm.

Source: Insurance Information Institute from data supplied by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Hurricane Center.

View Archived Tables

 
Estimated Value Of Insured Coastal Properties Vulnerable To Hurricanes By State, 2015 (1)

($ billions)

Rank State Commercial Residential Total Coastal Total exposure (2) Coastal as a percent of total
1 New York  $2,093 $1,272 $3,365 $5,571 68%
2 Florida  1,483 1,718 3,200 4,058 79
3 Virginia  92 106 1,993 2,078 10
4 Texas  725 638 1,363 5,358 28
5 Massachusetts  441 511 953 1,765 54
6 New Jersey  373 422 795 2,453 32
7 Connecticut  290 385 675 1,025 64
8 Louisiana  182 147 329 896 38
9 South Carolina  112 126 239 931 26
10 Maine  73 111 184 321 53
11 North Carolina  69 109 178 2,014 8
12 Alabama  63 65 128 1,014 13
13 Georgia  53 56 109 2,171 5
14 Delaware  34 59 93 241 29
15 New Hampshire  32 42 74 328 23
16 Mississippi  36 35 71 527 14
17 Rhode Island  25 46 71 241 22
18 Maryland  8 10 18 1,476 1
  All states above  $6,184 $5,858 $13,838 $32,468 38%
  Total, United States $6,184 $5,858 $13,838 NA 16%

(1) Includes residential and commercial Gulf and East Coast properties, as of December 31, 2015. Ranked by value of total insured coastal property.
(2) Total exposure is an estimate of the actual total value of all property in the state that is insured or can be insured, including the full replacement value of structures and their contents, additional living expenses and the time value of business interruption coverage.

NA=Data not available.

Source: AIR Worldwide.

View Archived Tables

  • The insured value of properties in coastal areas in the United States totaled $10.6 trillion in 2012, according to AIR Worldwide.

 

 
Top Three States By Inflation-Adjusted Insured Catastrophe Losses, 1987-2016 (1)

(2016 $ billions)

(1) Adjusted for inflation through 2016 by ISO using the GDP implicit price deflator. Excludes catastrophes causing direct losses less than $25  million in 1997 dollars. Excludes flood damage covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program.
(2) Includes the other 47 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Source: The Property Claim Services® (PCS®) unit of ISO®, a Verisk Analytics® company.

View Archived Graphs

 
Top 10 States, By Population Change In Coastal Counties, 1960-2010

  By number change    By percent change 
Rank State Number change Rank State Percent change
1 California 13,130,000 1 Florida 270.1%
2 Florida 10,360,000 2 Alaska 239.8
3 Texas 3,732,000 3 New Hampshire 198.0
4 Washington 2,578,000 4 Texas 161.9
5 Virginia 1,903,000 5 Virginia 150.8
6 New York 1,400,000 6 Washington 144.4
7 New Jersey 1,275,000 7 South Carolina 125.1
8 Maryland 938,000 8 Hawaii 115.2
9 Massachusetts 826,000 9 North Carolina 114.4
10 Hawaii 728,000 10 California 107.2

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau (www.census.gov/dataviz/visualizations/039/508.php).

View Archived Tables

  • The Atlantic Coast, the Gulf of Mexico and the Hawaiian Islands are home to the U.S. counties most vulnerable to hurricanes. These counties accounted for nearly two-thirds of the nation’s coastline population in 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

 
Top Coastal Counties Most Frequently Hit By Hurricanes: 1960-2008

County  State Coastline region Number of hurricanes Percent change
in population,
1960-2008
Monroe County Florida Gulf of Mexico 15 50.8%
Lafourche Parish Louisiana Gulf of Mexico 14 67.2
Carteret County North Carolina Atlantic 14 104.3
Dare County North Carolina Atlantic 13 465.9
Hyde County North Carolina Atlantic 13 10.1
Jefferson Parish Louisiana Gulf of Mexico 12 108.9
Palm Beach County Florida Atlantic 12 454.7
Miami-Dade County Florida Atlantic 11 156.5
St. Bernard Parish Louisiana Gulf of Mexico 11 17.2
Cameron Parish Louisiana Gulf of Mexico 11 4.8
Terrebonne Parish Louisiana Gulf of Mexico  11 78.7

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Decennial Census of Population and Housing: 1960 to 2000; Population Estimates Program: 2008.

  • Of the 11 most hurricane-prone counties, five are in Louisiana, three are in Florida and two are in North Carolina.
  • 75.7 percent of the Florida population resides in coastal counties, compared with 32.3 percent in Louisiana, 9.9. percent in North Carolina and 47.7 percent for the total United States.

 
Hurricane-Related Flooding

A 2013 study of coastal areas by CoreLogic found that 4.2 million homes with $1.1 trillion in total property exposure are at risk of damage caused by hurricane storm surge flooding. In the Atlantic Coast region alone, there are approximately 2.4 million homes at risk, valued at more than $793 billion. Total exposure along the Gulf Coast is $354 billion, with 1.8 million homes at risk for potential storm-surge damage. Standard homeowners insurance does not cover property damage from storm surge. However, such coverage is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and some private insurers.

 
Total Potential Residential Exposure To Hurricane Storm-Surge Damage In Coastal States, 2013 (1)

Rank (2) State Total exposure
to damage
($ billions)
Number
of homes
1 Florida $386.5 1,478,858
2 New York 135.0 270,458
3 New Jersey 118.8 350,577
4 Virginia 78.0 329,234
5 Louisiana 72.0 411,052
6 South Carolina 65.6 196,784
7 North Carolina 65.2 232,212
8 Texas 50.9 369,071
9 Massachusetts 50.3 107,657
10 Connecticut 35.0 53,614
11 Maryland 22.4 75,262
12 Georgia 20.5 118,004
13 Delaware 15.9 42,178
14 Mississippi 10.3 78,992
15 Rhode Island 7.2 16,722
16 Alabama 4.7 34,854
17 Maine 3.1 10,535
18 New Hampshire 2.7 5,854
19 Pennsylvania 2.6 20,198
20 D.C. 0.1 247
  United States $1,146.9 4,202,363

(1) Exposure to potential hurricane-driven storm-surge damage to single family homes in states along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Based on estimated property values as of April 2013, as calculated by CoreLogic. Results are not comparable to previous years, as CoreLogic’s methodology has changed.
(2) Ranked on dollar value of exposure to damage.

Source: CoreLogic (www.corelogic.com).

View Archived Tables

  • Residential properties in Florida have the most exposure to hurricane storm surge damage, followed by New York, New Jersey, Virginia and Louisiana, according to CoreLogic.
  • Among the most densely populated metropolitan areas, the New York City metro area, which includes Long Island and the New Jersey coast, has the highest exposure to potential storm surge damage ($206 billion). The next four areas in terms of exposure were Miami ($100 billion), Virginia Beach ($73 billion), Tampa ($55 billion) and New Orleans ($43 billion).

 

 
Top 10 Most Significant Flood Events By National Flood Insurance Program Payouts (1)

 

Rank Date Event Location Number of paid losses Amount paid ($ millions) Average paid loss
1 Aug. 2005 Hurricane Katrina AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TN 166,788 $16,258 $97,475
2 Oct. 2012 Superstorm Sandy CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH,
NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VA, VT, WV
131,863 8,703 65,997
3 Aug. 2017 Hurricane Harvey AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, TX 74,065 8,367 112,964
4 Sep. 2008 Hurricane Ike AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, OH, PA, TX 46,683 2,700 57,837
5 Aug. 2016 Louisiana severe storms and flooding LA 27,024 2,452 90,725
6 Sep. 2004 Hurricane Ivan AL, DE, FL, GA, LA, MD, MS, NJ, NY,
NC, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV
28,153 1,607 57,097
7 Aug. 2011 Hurricane Irene CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH,
NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA, VT
44,311 1,346 30,366
8 Jun. 2001 Tropical Storm Allison FL, LA, MS, NJ, PA, TX 30,671 1,105 36,028
9 Sep. 2017 Hurricane Irma FL, GA, SC 20,977 953 45,421
10 Oct. 2016 Hurricane Matthew FL, GA, NC, SC, VA 16,493 642 38,941

(1) Includes events from 1978 to February 28, 2018, as of April 30, 2018. Defined by the National Flood Insurance Program as an event that produces at least 1,500 paid losses. Stated in dollars when occurred.

Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency; U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Hurricane Center.

View Archived Tables

Back to top

Hurricane Sandy Fact File - October 2014