Pre-1600 Atlantic hurricane seasons

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The pre-1600 Atlantic hurricane seasons talks about all known Atlantic tropical cyclones before to 1600. While info for every storm that happened is not available, some parts of the coastline had enough people to give info of hurricane happenings. Each season was an event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone formation in the Atlantic basin. Most tropical cyclone formation occurs between June 1 and November 30.

Observation info for years before 1492 is completely unavailable because record keeping was non-existent in the pre-Columbian era, and any records that may have once existed have long since been lost. Even info from the early years of the Columbian era is suspect and incomplete because the difference between a hurricane and an extratropical system was not drawn by Renaissance scientists and sailors and because European exploration and colonization of the regions affected by hurricanes did not begin in earnest until the mid-16th century.

However, paleotempestological research allows reconstruction of pre-historic hurricane activity trends on timescales of centuries to millennia. A theory has been postulated that an anti-phase pattern exists between the Gulf of Mexico coast and the Atlantic coast. During the quiescent periods, a more northeasterly position of the Azores High would result in more hurricanes being steered towards the Atlantic coast. During the hyperactive period, more hurricanes were steered towards the Gulf coast as the Azores High—controlled by the North Atlantic Oscillation—was shifted to a more southwesterly position near the Caribbean. In fact, few major hurricanes struck the Gulf coast during 30001400 BC and again during the most recent millennium; these quiescent intervals were separated by a hyperactive period during 1400 BC and 1000 AD, when the Gulf coast was struck frequently by catastrophic hurricanes and their landfall probabilities increased by 3–5 times.[1] On the Atlantic coast, chance of landfalling hurricanes has doubled in the recent millennium compared to the one and a half millennia before.[2]

Storms[change | change source]

Pre-1525[change | change source]

Year Location Date Deaths Damage/Notes
1494 Hispaniola June 16 N/A Possible hurricane; could have been the first hurricane in the Western Hemisphere observed and reported by Europeans.
1495 West Indies N/A N/A 3 ships sunk, earliest definite report of a hurricane, came from Christopher Columbus; "Nothing but the service of God and the extension of monarchy would expose me to such danger"
1500 Bahamas July N/A 2 ships destroyed
1502 Hispaniola July 1 N/A 20 ships, all on board perished
1502 Offshore Dominican Republic 11 July 500 N/A
1502 Honduras 16 September N/A 1 ship sunk, all drowned aboard
1504 North Coast of Colombia N/A 175 N/A
1508 Dominican Republic 12 August Many Destroyed entire population of Buenaventura
1509 Santo Domingo 29 July N/A Moderate damage
1515 Puerto Rico July Many natives N/A
1519 Jamaica N/A N/A Ship sunk, 18 survived
1520 Dominican Republic N/A N/A N/A
1523 Florida west coast N/A N/A 2 ships and their crews lost
1524 Cuba October 73 N/A

1525-1549[change | change source]

Year Location Date Deaths Damage/Notes
1525 Western Cuba Late October 73 N/A
1525 Honduras N/A N/A N/A
1526 Wilmington, North Carolina June N/A 1 Spanish ship lost
1527 Western Cuba October 70 Severe flooding
1527 near mouth of the Mississippi 23 October unknown possibly associated with previous storm; barges under Panifo de Narvaez tossed like driftwood
1527 Upper Texas Coast November 200 1 of only 2 November Texas hurricanes, Merchant fleet destroyed
1527 Dominican Republic N/A N/A made landfall at Santo Domingo
1529 Puerto Rico July 28–29 N/A made landfall at San Juan de Puerto Rico
1530 Puerto Rico Aug. 31 "Uncounted number of deaths by drowning" N/A
1533 Puerto Rico N/A Many slaves killed Possibly 3 hurricanes
1537 Puerto Rico N/A Many slaves drowned N/A
1537 Northwest Cuba N/A N/A 2 ships lost
1545 Dominican Republic Aug. 20 Many N/A
1545 Mexico N/A N/A 1 ship lost
1545 Cuba N/A N/A made landfall at Havana
1546 Dominican Republic N/A N/A N/A
1546 Puerto Rico Aug. 24 N/A made landfall at San Juan de Puerto Rico

1550-1574[change | change source]

Year Location Date Deaths Damage/Notes
1550 Florida Keys N/A N/A Ship lost near Havana
1551 Gulf of Honduras N/A Many One ship sunk, all drowned
1552 Dominican Republic Aug. 28–29 N/A made landfall at Santo Domingo
1552 Mexico Sep. 2–4 N/A made landfall at Vera Cruz
1552 Florida Sep. 3–6 N/A N/A
1553 Western Florida N/A 700 N/A
1553 Texas N/A Many drownings Sixteen ships lost
1554 Cuba November N/A One ship sank
1554 South Texas N/A N/A Three ships lost
1559 Western Florida August 20 500 N/A
1565 Offshore Eastern Florida September 22 N/A French ships lost at sea
1566 Eastern Florida September 13 N/A N/A
1566 Offshore Eastern Florida September 24 N/A N/A
1566 Gulf of Mexico N/A 5+ Four ships destroyed
1567 Near Dominica N/A N/A Six ships destroyed
1569 Bahamas Sep. N/A passed the Bahamas Channel
1571 Cuba/Jamaica Oct. 18–21 N/A N/A
1571 St. Augustine, Florida N/A N/A Heavy flooding, two ships lost

1575-1599[change | change source]

Year Location Date Deaths Damage/Notes
1576 Dominican Republic N/A N/A made landfall at Monte Cristi Province
1577 Cuba/Jamaica Aug./Sep. N/A N/A
1578 Dominican Republic N/A N/A made landfall at Ocoa
1578 Cuba/Jamaica Oct. N/A N/A
1579 Atlantic Ocean N/A N/A Spanish Armada's 600 ton Almirante sunk
1579 Jamaica N/A N/A N/A
1579 Bermudas Sep. 13 N/A N/A
1579 Bermudas Sep. 26 N/A N/A
1583 Dominican Republic Aug. 19 N/A made landfall at Santo Domingo
1586 Roanoke Island June 23- June 26 N/A First of many storms to hit the first colonial settlement
1586 Bahamas N/A N/A Nine ships lost, possibly related to above
1587 Roanoke Island August 31 N/A Sir Francis Drake took six days to regroup in Roanoke after the storm
1588 Roanoke Island N/A 116 Third of four hurricanes to hit the area in five years
1588 Cuba Sep. 20 N/A made landfall near Havanna
1588 Colombia Nov. 4–6 N/A made landfall near Cartagena de Indias
1589 Leeward Islands Aug. 7 N/A N/A
1589 Bahamas September 9 N/A four ships sank
1590 Gulf of Mexico "Early 1590" 1000 N/A
1591 Atlantic Ocean August 10 501 Waves and rain, twenty two ships lost
1591 Florida September N/A made landfall near Las Tortugas
1591 Puerto Rico September 21 N/A N/A
1591 Cuba September 24 N/A N/A
1594 Caribbean Sea N/A N/A One ship lost
1595 Cuba Aug. 29–30 N/A N/A
1599 Florida Sep. 22 N/A made landfall near St. Augustine

Other pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Liu, Kam-biu; Fearn, Miriam L. (2000). "Reconstruction of Prehistoric Landfall Frequencies of Catastrophic Hurricanes in Northwestern Florida from Lake Sediment Records". Quaternary Research 54 (2): 238–245. doi:10.1006/qres.2000.2166 .
  2. Scott, D. B.; et al. (2003). "Records of prehistoric hurricanes on the South Carolina coast based on micropaleontological and sedimentological evidence, with comparison to other Atlantic Coast records". Geological Society of America Bulletin 115 (9): 1027–1039. doi:10.1130/B25011.1 .

Further reading[change | change source]

  • Caviedes, César N. (1991). "Five hundred years of hurricanes in the Caribbean: Their relationship with global climatic variabilities". GeoJournal 23 (4): 301–310. doi:10.1007/BF00193603
     .
  • García-Herrera, Ricardo; et al. (2005). "New records of Atlantic hurricanes from Spanish documentary sources". Journal of Geophysical Research 110: D03109. doi:10.1029/2004JD005272
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  • Ludlum, David McWilliams (1963). Early American Hurricanes, 1492-1870. Boston: American Meteorological Society. OCLC 511649
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  • Millás, José Carlos (1968). Hurricanes of the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions, 1492-1800. Miami: Academy of the Arts and Sciences of the Americas. OCLC 339427
      .

Other websites[change | change source]