National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Hurricane Audrey
June 24-28, 1957


Above: Mosaic of MPS-7 23-cm weather radars from Ellington Air Force Base in Houston TX, England Air Force Base in Alexandria, LA, and Houma, LA on June 27, 1957 at  6 AM CST. (Imagery courtesy of Texas A&M).

Just about everyone who lives in or grew up across Southern Louisiana and Southeast Texas knows the story of Hurricane Audrey, whether it was stories their parents or grandparents passed on, or literature they read within the history books.

Audrey formed in the Bay of Campeche early on June 24th, and attained tropical storm strength later that afternoon. This is based on the re-analysis data obtained by the ongoing Hurricane Re-Analysis Project of the Hurricane Research Division. Weather satellites were not launched yet, so the area and time of exact formation had to be estimated by ship reports and surface weather map analysis. When these reports were received by the U.S. Weather Bureau stations, reconnaissance aircraft investigated the system around noon June 25th, and found it was already a minimal hurricane. Hurricane Audrey slowly strengthened the next 24 hours reaching maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (80 knots), located some 200 miles east of Brownsville, TX around noon June 26th.

Audrey began the process of rapid intensification during the afternoon of June 26th, as well as increased northerly speed, as it approached the northern Gulf Coast. Maximum sustained winds increased to 105 mph (90 knots) by 6 PM CST, 115 mph (100 knots) by Midnight, and 125 mph (110 knots) by 6 AM CST June 27th while Audrey was just off the Southwest Louisiana coast. 

Audrey made landfall between Sabine Pass and Johnsons Bayou, Louisiana around 7 AM CST June 27, 1957 as a strong category three hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph (110 knots) and a minimum central pressure of 946 millibars (27.94 inches). Audrey spread a massive storm surge across most of Cameron parish, and across the southern halves of Calcasieu, Vermilion, Iberia, and St. Mary parishes, causing total devastation in property and many lives lost. Click here for an interactive map of Hurricane Audrey.

Hurricane Audrey ranks as the 7th deadliest hurricane to strike the United States (3rd deadliest within Louisiana) in modern record keeping, with at least 500 deaths. The exact number will never be known, as many perished in the storm surge in Cameron and Vermilion parishes, and many missing persons were never found. Hurricane Audrey is also noted as being the strongest June hurricane, and earliest major hurricane to make landfall within the United States.

The city of of Cameron and Cameron Parish government hosted a memorial service on June 27th, 2007, dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Audrey. The National Weather Service Lake Charles, LA participated in this event with an informative booth highlighting various meteorological data from Hurricane Audrey.

Many have compared the impacts of Hurricane Audrey with Hurricane Rita. Click here to see a meteorological comparison of these two historic hurricanes. Listed below are all available meteorological data gathered for Audrey.

Map of Hurricane Audrey's storm surge inundation across Southern Louisiana and Southeast Texas. Click here for a high resolution version of this map.

AudreyStormSurgeInundationMap


SLOSH Model of Hurricane Audrey's storm surge inundation across Southern Louisiana and Southeast Texas. Click here for an animation. 

AudreySLOSH-EOHW


Mosaic of MPS-7 23-cm weather radars from Ellington Air Force Base in Houston TX, England Air Force Base in Alexandria, LA, and Houma, LA on June 27, 1957 at  1 PM CST. Even several hours after landfall, Audrey's eye is still intact over Beauregard Parish, some 60 miles inland. Click here for an hourly animation. (Imagery courtesy of Texas A&M).

AudreyRadar

The table below contains radar animations of Hurricane Audrey June 26-27, 1957. The original source was a 16 mm film made directly from photographs of the Plan Position Indicator (PPI) scopes of WSR-(1-3) radars from the Lake Charles, Beaumont, Galveston, Baton Rouge, and Houston Weather Bureau stations.

Radar Animated Imagery (Archived from 16 mm Film)
(NWS LCH YouTube)

Radar Imagery: Lake Charles, LA Beaumont, TX Galveston, TX
Baton Rouge, LA Houston, TX  


Summary of minimum pressures and highest winds recorded across Louisiana and Southeast Texas:

Wind and Pressure Reports
Location Minimal Sea Level Pressure Maximum Sustained Wind Peak Wind Gust
Lake Charles, LA (WBAS) 28.69" / 971.4 mb
@ 11:47 AM CST
75 mph / 65 knots
@ 10:30 AM CST
97 mph / 84 knots
@ 9:30 AM CST
Port Arthur, TX (WBAS) 28.67" / 970.9 mb
@ 10:33 AM CST
72 mph / 63 knots
@ 10:36 AM CST
85 mph / 74 knots
@ 10:33 AM CST
Lafayette, LA (FAA) 29.34" / 993.6 mb
@ 10:30 AM CST
58 mph / 50 knots
@ 2:58 PM CST
86 mph / 75 knots
@ 2:17 PM CST
Alexandria, LA (England AFB) 29.00" / 982.1 mb
@ 3:58 PM CST
48 mph / 42 knots
@ 1:57 PM CST
64 mph / 56 knots
@ 2:58 PM CST
Galveston, TX (WBAS) 29.13" / 986.5 mb
@ 5:58 AM CST
58 mph / 50 knots
@ 4:20 AM CST
76 mph / 66 knots
@ 4:15 AM CST
Baton Rouge, LA (WBAS) 29.54" / 1000.3 mb
@ 12:58 PM &
2:58 PM CST
40 mph / 35 knots
@ 11:25 AM
through 1:44 PM CST
69 mph / 60 knots
@ 1:37 PM CST
New Orleans, LA (WBAS) 29.65" / 1004.2 mb
@ 4:55 PM CST
35 mph / 30 knots
@ 1:30 PM CST
53 mph / 46 knots
@ 10:30 AM CST
Burrwood, LA (WBO) 29.74" / 1007.1 mb
@ 3:50 AM CST
40 mph / 35 knots
@ 3:50 AM CST
52 mph / 45 knots
@ 3:50 AM CST
Lufkin, TX (FAA) 29.34" / 993.6 mb
@ 12:58 PM through
1:58 PM CST
20 mph / 17 knots
@ 7:38 AM CST
32 mph / 28 knots
@ 8:58 AM CST
Shreveport, LA (WBAS) 29.28" / 991.3 mb
@ 4:55 PM CST
30 mph / 26 knots
@ 1:59 PM &
3:57 PM CST
51 mph / 44 knots
@ 4:16 PM CST
Bossier City, LA (Barksdale AFB) 29.27" / 991.1 mb
@ 4:58 PM through
5:57 PM CST
28 mph / 24 knots
@ 3:05 PM CST
36 mph / 31 knots
@ 4:40 PM CST
Monroe, LA (FAA) 29.07" / 984.4 mb
@ 9:00 PM CST
35 mph / 30 knots
@ 5:20 PM &
7:00 PM CST
63 mph / 55 knots
@ 5:20 PM CST
Additional unofficial reports: 
Sulphur, LA City Services reported wind gust of 105 mph at 9:40 AM CST.
Sulphur, LA City Police reported light wind (eye) at 11:05 AM CST.
Westlake, LA public call reported light wind (eye) at 11:05 AM CST.
Orange, TX (Sabine River Authority) reported peak wind gusts of around 100 mph (eyewall).
Orange, TX (Sabine River Authority) later reported calm winds (eye).
Sabine Pass, TX reported sustained winds of 85 mph gusting to 100 mph (eyewall).
Morgan City, LA reported peak sustained winds of around 50 mph.
Cameron, LA reported a minimum pressure of 959 mb (28.32" of Hg).



Hurricane Audrey estimated maximum wind gusts map (click image for larger map) Wind map estimated based on surface observations.

Audrey Wind Gust Map


Storm total rainfall recorded from June 26-28, 1957 across Louisiana and Southeast Texas.

Storm Total Rainfall: June 26-28, 1957
Location    June 26 June 27 June 28 Storm Total
Lake Charles, LA (WBAS) 0.22" 7.35" 0.00" 7.57"
Port Arthur, TX (WBAS) 0.14" 6.76" 0.00" 6.90"
Lafayette, LA (FAA) 0.00" 3.69" 0.00" 3.69"
Alexandria, LA (England AFB) 0.18" 3.52" 0.00" 3.70"
Galveston, TX (WBAS) 0.84" 1.01" 0.00" 1.85"
Baton Rouge, LA (WBAS) 0.00" 1.49" 0.02" 1.51"
New Orleans, LA (WBAS) Trace 0.14" 0.01" 0.15"
Burrwood, LA (WBO) 1.73" Trace 0.00" 1.73"
Lufkin, TX (FAA) 0.00" 0.27" 0.00" 0.27"
Shreveport, LA (WBAS) 0.00" 0.45" 0.00" 0.45"
Bossier City, LA (Barksdale AFB) 0.00" 0.38" 0.00" 0.38"
Monroe, LA (FAA) 0.00" 2.84" 0.01" 2.85"