National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
2005 Hurricane Season Records

The 2005 Hurricane season set a massive number of records. While this list is not meant to be all inclusive, it gives some perspective on the tremendous amount of activity seen in the 2005 hurricane season. Since the previous most active season of 1933, we have come a long way in the technology we use to sense tropical cyclones. It is entirely possible that some of these records set in the 2005 season occurred previous or were exceeded by tropical cyclones in prior seasons.


  • 28 named storms. Broke the previous record of 21 set in 1933
  • 15 hurricanes in a season. Broke the previous record of 12 set in 1969.
  • Four intense hurricanes making landfall in the USA. Broke the previous record of three set in 2004.
  • Four category five hurricanes. Broke the record of two set in 1960 an 1961.
  • Earliest Category 5 Hurricane in the Atlantic Basin (Emily)
  • Seven Tropical Storms prior to August 1, 2005. Broke previous record of five set in 1997
  • Latest end to a hurricane season. The 2005 season officially ended on January 6th.
  • The previous record was January 5th set in the 1954 season.
  • Most damaging hurricane ever. Hurricane Katrina insured damages exceeded 100 billion dollars. Old record belonged to Hurricane Andrew (1992) of 50 billion in 2005 dollars.
  • Highest storm surge from an Atlantic Basin hurricane. 28-30 feet from Katrina. Previous record was Camille (1969) when 24.6 feet was recorded.
  • Dennis was the most intense hurricane on record in July before Emily eclipsed that record a few days later. Minimum pressures of 930mb and 929mb respectively.
  • Vince was the first tropical cyclone in recorded history to make landfall on the Iberian peninsula (Spain/Portugal).
  • Delta was the first tropical cyclone on record to affect the Canary Islands.
  • First season that the Greek Alphabet had to be used.
  • 125.5 named storm days were recorded in the 2005 season. This breaks the record of 120.5 named storm days set back in 1995.

Records set over the last two or three hurricane seasons

  • Two-Year Consecutive Total of Tropical Storms: 42 (previous record: 32 most recently in 1995-96)
  • Two-Year Consecutive Total of Hurricanes: 25 (previous record: 21 in 1886-87)
  • Two-Year Consecutive Total of Major Hurricanes: 13 (ties record in 1950-51)
  • Two-Year Consecutive Major Hurricane Landfalls: Seven (previous record: five in 1954-55)
  • Two -Year Consecutive Florida Major Hurricane Landfalls: Five (previous record: three in 1949-50)
  • Three-Year Consecutive Total of Tropical Storms: 58 (previous record: 43 most recently in 2002-04)
  • Three-Year Consecutive Total of Hurricanes: 31 (previous record: 27 in 1886-88)
  • Three-Year Consecutive Total of Major Hurricanes: 16 (ties record in 1949-51 and 1950-52)

Records for individual months


  • Five named storms formed.
  • Two major hurricanes formed.
  • 25.25 named storm days.
  • 11.75 hurricane days
  • 5.75 intense hurricane days


  • Five hurricanes formed. This ties the record for most hurricanes in September set in 1955, 1969, 1981, 1998, and 2000.


  • Seven named storms formed. This breaks the record for most named storms in October, previously six in 1950.
  • Two intense hurricanes formed. This ties the record for most intense hurricanes set in 1950, 1961, 1964, and 1995.


  • Three named storms formed in November.


  • Epsilon was a hurricane for five days, making it the longest lived December hurricane on record.


  • Zeta was the longest lived January storm.
  • January had the greatest number of named storm days.

Earliest storm formation records

  • Earliest formation of a season's 4th-11th storms
  • Earliest formation of a season's 13th-27th storms

Individual Storm Records

  • Katrina's pressure at landfall was 918mb. This is the third lowest pressure recorded at landfall. Only the Labor Day 1935 storm (892mb) and Camile, 1969 (909mb) had lower pressures.
  • Wilma set the record for lowest pressure ever measured in the Atlantic Basin. 882mb in Wilma broke the old record of 888mb measured in Gilbert in 1988.
  • Wilma was the fastest deepening hurricane ever on record in the Atlantic Basin. In 6 hours, Wilma deepened 54mb. In 12 hours, Wilma deepened 83mb, and in 24 hours, Wilma deepened 97mb. These totals were taken from observations from 12Z, October 18th to 12Z, October 19th. Data on this record goes back to 1851.
  • Wilma came in second for the fastest deepening tropical cyclone ever globally. Typhoon Forrest in the Western Pacific deepened 100mb in 24 hours.
  • Wilma had the greatest change in wind speed ever recorded in any tropical system. In 24 hours winds increased 95 knots. (65 knots to 160 knots).
  • Hurricane Vince was the furthest north and east that a storm had ever developed in the Atlantic basin.


Data for records was compiled based on observations from the 2005 hurricane season, data from the National Hurricane Center, The Atlantic Oceanographic Meteorological Laboratory, and Colorado State University.