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1783 Devastating Hurricane
Category 5 major hurricane (SSHS)
Temporary cyclone north

Because the hurricane took place around 1183, no images exist.
Formed September 1 1783
Dissipated September 29 1783
Accumulated Cyclone Energy {{{accumulated cyclone energy}}}
Highest winds > 205 mph
(1-minute sustained)
Lowest pressure < 860 mbar
Damages Unknown (no known currency at the time)
Direct Fatalities > 10,000
Indirect Fatalities {{{indirect fatalities}}}
Missing {{{missing}}}
Areas affected Islands now known as Cape Verde, Islands now known as Lesser Antilles, Continent now known as North America
Part of the
1783 Atlantic hurricane season

Analysis of historical meteorological records shows that an extremely strong hurricane formed in the Atlantic basin in September 1783, which took an extreme track that affected most of the United States Eastern Seaboard. This hurricane, now known as The Devastating Hurricane of 1783, caused at least 10,000 fatalities throughout the continent that would eventually come to be known as North America. It formed at the height a great warm period, a period of warming in the early 1780s that preceded a Little Ice Age and the Current Warm Period.

There is some question about the year of the storm's formation, although it is estimated that the storm formed sometime in the early-mid 1780s, most likely in September based off the historical records.


Meteorological History Edit

The hurricane is believed to have formed from a tropical wave, like most strong Atlantic hurricanes, near the archipelago now known as the Cape Verde Islands, between September 1 and 7. Extremely low wind shear and water temperatures of at least 85 degrees Fahrenheit likely existed at the time of the storm's formation, although the specifics are unknown. It is estimated that the hurricane became a Category 5 just 48 hours after formation due to the extremely favorable conditions. After passing north of the islands currently known as the Lesser Antilles, it is estimated that the storm produced maximum sustained winds of at least 205 mph. The storm began to weaken to a lower-end category 5 storm by the time it reached the east coast of what would become North America. The hurricane slowly moved up the coast from the area now known as Florida to the area now known as Maine. Surprisingly, this hurricane is not believed to have made a landfall, although it may have brushed the area now known as the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The hurricane dissipated in late September, most likely completing an extratropical transition first.

Impact Edit

The hurricane caused over 10,000 deaths. The exact number is unknown, but since the system stayed very close to the coast, the death toll could be even higher.

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