According to NOAA records, there were 794 hurricanes and tropical storms in the Atlantic region between 1899 and 1992. From Texas to Maine, 161 hurricanes and 141 tropical storms have made landfall or passed directly offshore. Of the 161 hurricanes, 55 were in Florida, with over half of them hitting the state's southern coast.
The most recent hurricane to hit Florida was Frances in September 2004. This is the second-most hurricanes to hit the state behind the 1935 Florida hurricane season that produced 11 hurricanes from Mexico to Canada that killed 695 people in total.
Before 1935, no major hurricane had ever struck Florida. With at least one hurricane per year since then, Florida is considered a hurricane state. However, since the creation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1958, no major hurricane has ever reached Florida.
Currently, the safest place in Florida during a hurricane is somewhere inside your home. If you are outdoors during a hurricane: stay away from windows, avoid crossing streets, and take cover in a safe room if available. The safest place during a hurricane is usually not going to be in your house; instead, try to find an indoor area such as a basement or closet where you will be safe from wind-blown debris.
It is important to note that coastal flooding is also a danger during hurricanes.
Since then, there have been 97 big storms, with 88 percent of them hitting either Florida or Texas. Miami, Miami has been battered by 31 hurricanes, whereas Naples, on the opposite coast, has had 20 storms make landfall.
The average is one hurricane every other year. But since 1900, there have been about six a decade on average.
A category 4 storm is considered extremely dangerous. The most recent one to do so was Irma in 2017. It destroyed entire towns and caused over 50 deaths. Before that, Wilma in 2005 killed 32 people and caused $40 billion in damage.
These are the most deadly hurricanes in history. There have been others that were not as destructive but still caused significant damage. For example, Frances in 2004 killed 68 people mostly due to flooding. And Aaron in 2007 caused $75 million in damage when it blew out windows in New York City.
Geographically, hurricanes are divided into three categories based on how intense they are: tropical depression, tropical storm, and hurricane. A tropical depression has sustained winds of 39 mph or less while a tropical storm is defined as having winds of 40-73 mph. If a hurricane reaches category 4 strength or greater, it is called a "major hurricane".
Hurricanes, on the other hand, may and have hit the Texas coast throughout every month of the hurricane season. The Texas coast has been hit by 64 storms since 1851. On average, one every three years. However, the frequency varies from year to year depending on the strength of various hurricanes and how close they come to land.
The strongest hurricane to ever strike Texas was Carla in 1961. It had winds of 165 miles per hour when it made landfall near Port Arthur. Three people died and over $100 million in damages were done to coastal property. Since then, several stronger storms have struck the state.
Tropical storms and hurricanes are common in ocean cycles called El Nino and La Nina. These are changes in the Pacific Ocean's water temperature that can last for several months. They can cause change in wind patterns that lead to more tropical storm activity in the Atlantic Basin. Sometimes these storms reach the Texas coast but most times they don't. When they do, they usually don't affect us in a negative way. In fact, since 1950, only four hurricanes have reached Texas and only one caused any damage.
Texas is very vulnerable to hurricane damage because we have so much oil and gas infrastructure in harm's way. There are about 500,000 vehicles on the Texas road system and almost all of them need to be off the roads during a hurricane.