The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season broke an 1893 record — 4 simultaneous storms

On this day in weather history, four hurricanes were active in the Atlantic.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features stories about people, communities, and events and how weather impacted them.


The 1893 Atlantic hurricane season was moderately active, with a total of 12 tropical storms forming. In the United States, it was the deadliest season to date, with over 2,000 deaths.

On Tuesday, Aug. 22, 1893, there were four hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin, which didn't happen again until 1998.

The first of these hurricanes formed on Aug. 13. near the Lesser Antilles. It strengthened to hurricane status over the Leeward Islands. On Aug. 16, it approached Puerto Rico, making landfall at Patillas. It travelled across the island, producing heavy rains and damaging crops, including coffee.

The second hurricane of the group formed on Aug. 15 in central tropical Atlantic. It reached Category 3 strength but weakened as it moved toward New York City. However, the storm maintained hurricane status as it hit the city, with winds up to 137 km/h. It's one of two hurricanes in the 19th century to hit New York City (the other one is the 1821 Norfolk and Long Island hurricane).

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2560px-1893 Atlantic hurricane season summary map

"This map shows the tracks of all tropical cyclones in the 1893 Atlantic hurricane season. The points show the location of each storm at 6-hour intervals. The colour represents the storm's maximum sustained wind speeds as classified in the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale (see below), and the shape of the data points represent the type of the storm." Courtesy of Wikipedia

The third hurricane (fifth overall in the season) formed near Bermuda on Aug. 15. It moved northwestward and strengthened into a Category 2. The hurricane travelled across Sable Island and hit Newfoundland on Aug. 18. with wind speeds of 145 km/h.

The final hurricane formed near Cape Verde on Aug. 15. During its first 11 days of inception, it turned into a Category 3 storm. The hurricane made landfall near Savannah, Ga., killing around 2,000 people. It moved northeastward and dissipated on Aug. 31.

This was the first time that three storms formed on the same day (Aug. 15, 1893). This record was broken during the 2020 hurricane season, when Wilfred, Alpha, and Beta formed on the same day.

To learn more about the 1893 Atlantic hurricane Season, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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Thumbnail: Courtesy of Pixabay/NOAA