Prepare to be blown away with our 12 biggest hurricanes ever recorded in the world! We sure hope you haven’t experienced any of these.
In today’s world when we are surrounded by so many gadgets, and we got completely used to creature comforts, we (mistakenly) have the idea that people rule the world. We’ve conquered every part of this planet, from east to west. There’s isn’t a single spot in which a man hasn’t looked for Pokemon, or at least sent a robot to explore. We are deciding about the destiny of so many living creatures, and it feels righteous to say we are the rulers of the planet. The man is changing the Earth’s surface by constant drilling and digging, building new roads and houses, constructing dams and lakes, digging tunnels through mountains and even under the sea. You can’t help but feel powerful. The man is the king of the world. Or at least until disaster strikes.
That disaster comes more than often in the form of a hurricane. It is literally destroying everything the man has put so much effort to build: roads, homes, buildings… When a hurricane strikes, the man is again a humble creature hiding from nature’s (super) powers. With one gust, a whole home can be destroyed, and with it, all the family’s endeavor erased in one second! We’ll talk about the damage in our article, but now would be a time for some theoretical knowledge (hopefully you’ve escaped the practical part so far).
How do hurricanes form? They start rather modestly, with a simple tropical storm somewhere over the Atlantic and Pacific, near the equator. With the moisture evaporating, a hurricane rises until enormous amounts of heated air are twisted in the atmosphere. Strong winds begin to circulate counterclockwise north of the equator, or clockwise south of the equator. Officially, there’s no big problem until the winds move at speeds less than 74 miles per hour. However, while the hurricane hovers over the water which is 79F or warmer, it continues to grow in size and force since it’s pulling the moisture from the surface. That’s how eventually strong hurricanes are formed. Naturally, once a hurricane hits the ground, it begins to lose its strength, but that is often neglected. By the way, if a hurricane is formed near the Philippines and the China Sea, it’s called a typhoon. One of the strongest typhoons ever recorded on Earth is definitely Typhoon Haiyan which had hit the Philippines in 2013, with winds of 195mph. To make the matters clear, we’re talking here only about storms to the east of the International Date Line – hurricanes.
In order to answer the question: what was the biggest hurricane in the world, we inspected how you rank hurricanes. Natural Hurricane Center has the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale which has a rating system from 1 to 5, based on a hurricane’s sustained wind speed. Of course, all the hurricanes we’ll be mentioning belong to the 5 category, with winds of minimum speed 157 mph (252 km per hour). As defined, the catastrophic damage will occur in such cases. The next logical step in finding the strongest hurricanes ever was to check the hurricanes’ speed at WUWT, NBC News and Business Insider. The 1900 great Galveston hurricane was devastating with thousands of victims but is ranked as “only” category 4 hurricane. Since there were a lot of hurricanes with the same speed, we couldn’t decide on the strongest hurricane ever recorded on Earth with only speed as its criteria. Therefore, we decided to look for the most devastating hurricanes in history, i.e., the ones that created the biggest material damage. We checked for that information at several places — NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), Jamaica Observer, Hurricane Science, Cuba Hurricanes, Corozal, The Balance and SunSentinel.
To summarize, the hurricanes are ranked according to their speed, from the lowest to the highest. In cases when they were of the same speed, the one that caused greater demise came higher on the list. If you wish to know what is the largest hurricane ever recorded in the US, click on our 15 Biggest, Deadliest, Most Devastating Hurricanes To Hit The United States. By the way, you might wish to avoid these top 10 natural disaster prone countries with the worst most costly disasters in the world if you are to live a long and happy life.
Finally, here are 12 biggest hurricanes ever recorded in the world. Remember, stay safe!
Wind: 175 mph
Damage: $26.5 million
Hurricane Andrew was the worst hurricane in Florida. Even though it wasn’t the widest hurricane ever, so much territory was razed to the ground that people still shudder at the very thought of it. It caused massive evacuations: 517,000 left Miami-Dade County, 300,000 abandoned Broward County, and 315,000 escaped from Palm Beach County. 10,000 jobs were created to rebuild South Florida since hurricane Andrew tore down 25,524 homes and damaged another 100,000.