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First Tropical Storms/Hurricanes: How Many Reach Category 5 Strength?

7 May 2014, 11:10 am

While we watch a system brewing/circulating in the eastern Pacific… it got me wondering: How many *first* hurricanes/named storms of the season (both Pacific & Atlantic) have reached the strongest category 5 level on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

Let’s look at the Pacific first… and remember, we’re look for the “A” storms – or the first named storm of the season that made it up to category 5 levels.


Pacific 1st named storms reaching Category 5 level:

Hurricane Ava – 1973 – June 2-12


Satellite Image of Hurricane Ava - 1973
Satellite Image of Hurricane Ava – 1973


That’s it.  A short list.  There were far more Pacific category 5 storms, but this is the one that was the first storm of the season.  It was


How about the Atlantic hurricanes?  There are a few more commonly known storms that come to mind: Hurricane Andrew is one of the more prominent ones.

Here is the list of 1st named storms of the season in the Atlantic that reached Category 5 levels (hint: it’s not a long list either):


Hurricane Anita – 1977 – August 29 to Sept 4th

Hurricane Allen – 1980 – July 31 to August 11th

Hurricane Andrew – 1992 – August 16 to August 28th


Many of you likely recall Hurricane Andrew – it ended up being the 5th costliest hurricane in U.S. history at $26.5 billion.


Hopefully we continue the trend of below-average hurricane years this year – but we’ll be watching in the meantime.

Stay tuned!

WeatherNation Meteorologist Aaron Shaffer @ashafferWNTV

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