Top 10 Hurricane- Prone States
These Atlantic and Gulf Coast states have the most hurricanes, according to NOAA.
About 120 hurricanes have struck Florida since record-keeping began in 1851, and 37 were a Category 3 or higher on the Saffir -Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which classifies hurricanes into five categories depending on the intensity of their winds. The last Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in Florida was Hurricane Michael in 2018. Florida ’s northwest section has been hit 66 times, more than any other area in the state.
The Sunshine State is known for severe hurricane damage. In 2017, Hurricane Irma, another Category 5 storm, caused catastrophic damage across the Caribbean and the Florida Keys. Category 5 storm Hurricane Andrew is the most destructive hurricane to ever hit Florida in terms of structural damage and was also the costliest in financial terms until Irma surpassed it.
Miami is the top city for hurricanes in the country, as it has a roughly 16 percent chance of experiencing a hurricane in any given year. A hurricane passes within 50 miles of Miami every six to eight years on average.
The Lone Star State has been hit by 65 hurricanes since 1851, with nearly a third registering as a Category 3 or higher. Hurricane Laura was a notable Category 4 hurricane that struck Texas in August 2020.
Further up the Atlantic Coast, North Carolina has been hit with 57 hurricanes since 1851, though only seven were Category 3 or higher. The last hurricane to hit the state was Hurricane Dorian.
Louisiana has suffered some historically devastating hurricanes, such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Laura, but the Pelican State actually sees far fewer hurricanes than Texas. There have been 56 hurricanes in Louisiana since 1851.
The Palmetto State has suffered 30 hurricanes since record-keeping began. It was impacted by wind and rain from Hurricane Dorian in 2019, although it didn’t make landfall.
Records show 24 hurricanes have struck Alabama since 1851, but only three were at least a Category 3 .
Since 1851, 22 hurricanes have hit Georgia. The last one was Hurricane Michael in 2018.
Just 19 hurricanes have hit Mississippi since record-keeping started, and eight were Category 3 or higher. One of them was Hurricane Laura in August 2020. Areas that Laura affected—mainly Gulf Coast states—were hit again six weeks later by Hurricane Delta.
New York is proof that you don’t have to live in the Southeast to be affected by hurricanes. New York has been struck by 15 hurricanes, including three that were Category 3 or higher, since 1851. One of the most noteworthy is Hurricane Sandy, which didn’t make landfall but still caused $20 billion in damages and killed nearly 50 people in 2012. Sandy had “weakened” to a tropical storm by the time it got to Maryland, New Jersey, and New York but still caused catastrophic destruction despite the lack of direct hits by hurricane-force winds.
Only one of the 12 hurricanes to have hit Massachusetts since 1851 was a Category 3 or higher. The state was affected by the remnants of Hurricanes Michael and Florence in 2018, but landfall hasn’t occurred in Massachusetts in nearly 30 years.
Why do these states suffer the brunt of hurricane damage? Because hurricanes need certain weather conditions to exist. The two most significant factors are warmth and humidity, weather conditions that coastal states are prone to.