The History of Hurricanes in July


The month of July is the most inactive month on record for the amount of storms generated during the 5 month season from June to October.

Destin, Florida has been hit by a hurricane 4 times in the month of July, in 1887, 1896, 1936, and 2005.

  • 1886 July 1st heavy flooding reported with winds at 80mph and gusts over 100mph.
  • 1886 July 18th with winds at 75mph.
  • hurricane41887 July 21st with winds at 75mph coming from the south.
  • 1887 July 27th with winds at 85mph from the southeast.
  • 1896 July 7th with winds at 95mph from the southeast while turning northeast.
  • 1926 July 27/28th with winds at 80mph. It was a quick moving hurricane from the SSE. Causing $2 million in damage and effecting several coastal towns including Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Pierce, Melbourne,Palm Beach, and Cocoa Beach.
  • 1928 July 8th with winds at 95mphfrom the southeast.
  • 1933 July 30th with winds at 80mph moving in from the east.
  • 1936 July 31st with winds at 90 mph coming from the southeast.
  • 2005 July 10th Hurricane Dennis hit with 120mph winds. It made landfall on Santa Rosa Island. It reached cat 3 winds topping out at 150mph. This hurricane was responsible for 930 deaths and caused over $2.5 billion in damage.  The areas hit hardest by this storm were Destin, Ft. Walton, and Pensacola.


On July 29th, there were at least 9 hurricanes or major storms that crossed into Florida throughout the years, including:

  • 1926  A hurricane roars into Cocoa Beach, killing at least one person. It causes over $3 million in crop damages.
  • 1933  A small hurricane begins to come ashore on the beaches at Ft. Pierce and eventually causes minor damage throughout the area.
  • 1936  Pensacola gets hit with a moderately sized hurricane, causing rain, flooding and minor damage. 4 people die on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • 1937  Clearwater gets the first storm of this season and it brings in over 8 inches of rain with lots of flooding.
  • 1960  Brenda hits near Yankee Town dropping over 13 inches of rain in Tampa. Over $5 million damages.
  • 1975  A tropical depression in Mississippi drops over 20 inches of rain throughout the Florida panhandle, causing $8.5 million in damages.
  • 1985  Hurricane Bob finally makes his exit from the state after dropping 21.5 inches near Everglades City.
  • 1995  The beginnings of what will be Tropical storm Dean pelts west Florida with rains and winds.
  • 2003  Tropical Storm Steve drops some rain into east Florida with moderate winds.

Only three hurricanes have struck Florida in July since 1900. The three incidents include Dennis, a Category 3 when it struck near Pensacola in 2005; a Category 2 system that hit near Cocoa Beach in 1926, and a Category 1 storm that struck Central Florida in 1933. Numerous tropical storms also have hit the state in July, with the latest being Bonnie in 2010. Most hurricanes swerve south or west of Florida in July because of prevailing steering currents, Blake said, explaining the currents “are more favorable for something to hit South Florida later in the season.” When tropical systems do form in June or July, they usually pop up in theGulf of Mexico — as did Tropical Storm Arlene on June 28 — or the Caribbean because their waters heat up quickly by early summer, while the Atlantic remains relatively cool.

June and July hurricanes tend to be weaker than those spawned in the eastern Atlantic during August, September and October. Peak season storms tend to travel across more water, giving them more time to strengthen. On the other hand, in the past 30 years, four July hurricanes have intensified into major systems with sustained winds greater than 110 mph. The strongest one: Hurricane Emily, which burgeoned into a Category 5 with sustained winds of 160 mph while it was in the central Caribbean in 2005. It hit northeast Mexico as a Category 3 system. The other two major July hurricanes were both named Bertha; one grew to Category 3 status before striking North Carolina as a Category 2 in 1996; the other intensified to Category 3 status while in the central Atlantic before dying at sea in 2008.


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