National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

National Weather Service, Mobile-Pensacola


July 5th Hurricane of 1916

On the afternoon of July 5th in 1916, a Category 3 Hurricane struck near Pascagoula, MS. The maximum winds at landfall were 105 knots or approximately 121 mph. This hurricane produced the record-setting surge for the Mobile, AL area of 11.6 feet with 5.0 feet measured in Pensacola, FL and 6.3 feet measured on Fort Morgan, AL. According to the Monthly Weather Review, "On the morning of the 5th the storm center had moved across the Gulf with unusual rapidity and was near to and approaching the middle Gulf coast, and apparently somewhere between Mobile Bay and the mouth of the Mississippi River."

More from the Monthly Weather Review (link at the bottom of the page):

"In taking readings for special observations from roof apparatus at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., and 3 p.m., a rope was tied to the observer, W.F. Reed, jr.; no attempt was made to get to the instrument shelter or raingage at 1 p.m. when a 92-mile gale with severe puffs from the southeast was blowing..."

"Unfortunately, several lives were lost along the middle Gulf coast, mainly persons in small boats. Marine casualties were of a minor character but the aggregate losses amounted to several millions of dollars, distributed principally between the cities of Pensacola and Mobile and the agricultural sections of southeastern Mississippi and southwestern Alabama. The high tides were responsible for the major portion of the coast damage. At Mobile the tide was somewhat more than 2 feet above the previous highest tide of 9.87 feet about mean tide in September, 1906, and the entire business district was inundated. At Pensacola the tide was 5 feet above normal high tide, or 3 1/2 feet lower than the highest reached during the storm of September, 1906."

NOTE: The hurricane was reanalyzed to retain the Category 3 impact for both Alabama and Mississippi.



Additional Information

Monthly Weather Review - July 1916


Acknowledgements: Page created by Morgan Barry (forecaster). 

LAST UPDATED: September 2019