Tropical Cyclone History In T&T

Trinidad and Tobago has a long history of tropical cyclones affecting the country, dating back to the early 1800s.

This is not an exhaustive list of systems that have affected Trinidad and Tobago, as the country is regularly affected by periphery effects from these powerful low-pressure systems.

Note that this article will be periodically updated to include newer storms, links to in-depth reviews of impactful tropical cyclones to the country, inclusions of impactful periphery effects of further tropical cyclones that may have affected T&T as direct, indirect hits and strikes.

We defined a near-miss of a tropical cyclone as the center of circulation (as defined by the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) post-season reports within 62.5 nautical miles away from the coastlines of Trinidad and Tobago. This is in line with a strike, according to the NHC.

An indirect hit, according to the NHC, generally refers to locations that do not experience a direct hit from a tropical cyclone but do experience hurricane-force winds (either sustained or gusts) or tides of at least 4 feet above normal.

A landfall is defined as the center of circulation, as defined by the NHC, moving across the land. According to the NHC, a landfall is “the intersection of the surface center of a tropical cyclone with a coastline. Because the strongest winds in a tropical cyclone are not located precisely at the center, it is possible for a cyclone’s strongest winds to be experienced over land even if landfall does not occur. Similarly, it is possible for a tropical cyclone to make landfall and have its strongest winds remain over the water.”

Tropical Depressions

Tropical Cyclone History: Tropical Depressions within 30 nautical miles of Trinidad and Tobago since 1842. Data: NOAA National Hurricane Center HURDAT2 and NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information IBTrACS data sets.
Tropical Cyclone History: Tropical Depressions within 30 nautical miles of Trinidad and Tobago since 1842. Data: NOAA National Hurricane Center HURDAT2 and NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information IBTrACS data sets.

To date, ten tropical depressions made landfall or passed within 30 nautical miles of Trinidad and Tobago’s coasts (what we consider to be near misses). These included:

  • 25th July 2020Tropical Storm Gonzalo made landfall across Trinidad, dissipating as it moved across the island.
  • 4th July 2005 – Formed north of Tobago, a near miss. This tropical depression eventually formed Category 4 Hurricane Dennis.
  • 9th August 2004 – Passing north of Tobago, a near miss. This tropical depression eventually formed Category 4 Hurricane Charley.
  • 15th September 2002 – Made landfall across Southern Trinidad. This tropical depression eventually formed Category 3 Hurricane Isidore.
  • 11th September 1985 – This unnamed tropical depression formed north of Tobago, a near miss.
  • 5th-6th September 1971 – Passed north of Tobago, a near miss. This tropical depression eventually formed Category 5 Hurricane Edith.
  • 16th September 1933 – Passed north of Tobago, a near miss. This tropical depression eventually formed into an unnamed Category 5 Hurricane.
  • 7th August 1928 – Formed north of Tobago, a near miss. This tropical depression eventually formed into an unnamed Category 1 Hurricane.
  • 19th August 1888 – Formed north of Trinidad, a near miss. This tropical depression eventually formed into an unnamed Category 1 Hurricane.
  • 20th August 1857 – This unnamed tropical cyclone formed east of Trinidad, strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane, weakened into a tropical storm, making landfall across Southeastern Trinidad. This system weakened into a tropical depression in the Gulf of Paria.

Tropical Storms

Tropical Cyclone History: Tropical Storms within 30 nautical miles of Trinidad and Tobago since 1842. Data: NOAA National Hurricane Center HURDAT2 and NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information IBTrACS data sets.
Tropical Cyclone History: Tropical Storms within 30 nautical miles of Trinidad and Tobago since 1842. Data: NOAA National Hurricane Center HURDAT2 and NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information IBTrACS data sets.

To date, 22 tropical storms made landfall or passed within 30 nautical miles of Trinidad and Tobago’s coasts (what we consider to be near misses). These included:

  • 25th July 2020Tropical Storm Gonzalo made landfall across Trinidad, dissipating as it moved across the island.
  • 22nd September 2019Tropical Storm Karen formed northeast of Tobago, with its center of circulation remaining north of T&T, a near miss.
  • 20th June 2017Tropical Storm Bret made landfall across Southeastern Trinidad.
  • 13th-14th July 2005Tropical Storm Emily moved north of Tobago, a near miss, strengthening into a Category 1 hurricane as it moved towards the north-northwest. This cyclone reached peak strength as a Category 5 Hurricane in the Caribbean Sea.
  • 15th August 2004Tropical Storm Earl remained north of Tobago, a near miss.
  • 1st October 2000Tropical Storm Joyce made landfall across Central Tobago. This system weakened from Category 1 hurricane in the Atlantic, before landfall.
  • 7th August 1993Tropical Storm Bret made landfall near Cumana, Northeastern Trinidad.
  • 14th August 1990Tropical Storm Fran made landfall across Southeastern Trinidad, dissipating over the island as it moved northwest.
  • 24th-25th July 1990Tropical Storm Arthur made landfall across the northeastern-most tip of Tobago.
  • 14th October 1988Tropical Storm Joan moved just north of Tobago, a new miss for the country. Joan eventually became a Category 4 Hurricane in the Atlantic before moving into the Pacific Ocean. being renamed as Miriam.
  • 1st October 1988Tropical Storm Isaac moved just of Tobago, weakening into a tropical depression as it neared Grenada, considered a near miss.
  • 11th August 1978Tropical Storm Cora, weakened from a Category 1 Hurricane, moved well north of Tobago, considered a near miss.
  • 14th August 1974Tropical Storm Alma made landfall across Southeastern Trinidad.
  • 19th-20th July 1961Tropical Storm Anna formed northeast of Tobago, classified as a near miss. This cyclone eventually strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane in the Caribbean Sea.
  • 10th August 1938 – This unnamed tropical cyclone remained north of Tobago, a near miss, eventually strengthening into a Category 2 hurricane in the Caribbean Sea.
  • 27th November 1896 – This unnamed tropical storm formed north of Trinidad, a near miss.
  • 6th October 1892 – This unnamed tropical cyclone moved south of Tobago, as a strong tropical storm, strengthening into a Category 1 hurricane north of Trinidad, a near miss. It eventually strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane in the Caribbean Sea.
  • 21st-22nd September 1877 – This unnamed tropical cyclone moved north of Tobago, as a strong tropical storm, strengthening into a Category 1 hurricane, a near miss. It eventually strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • 24th September 1876 – This unnamed tropical cyclone formed northeast of Tobago, remaining a tropical storm, a near miss. It eventually strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane.
  • 25th July 1860 – This unnamed tropical cyclone formed east of Tobago, remaining a near miss as it moved north of Tobago at tropical storm strength. It eventually strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • 20th August 1857 – This unnamed tropical cyclone formed east of Trinidad, strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane, weakened into a tropical storm, making landfall across Southeastern Trinidad. This system weakened into a tropical depression in the Gulf of Paria.
  • 26th-27th August 1853 – This unnamed tropical storm made landfall across the northeastern-most tip of Tobago.

Subtropical Depressions & Subtropical Storms

Subtropical Storm Andrea in the Western Atlantic on May 20, 2019, starting off the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season early for the 5th year in a row (at that date). Image: NASA Worldview/VIIRS
Subtropical Storm Andrea in the Western Atlantic on May 20, 2019, starting off the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season early for the 5th year in a row (at that date). Image: NASA Worldview/VIIRS

Generally, these systems form well north of our area. No subtropical cyclones have directly affected Trinidad and Tobago, or are considered near misses based on our definition (within 20-nautical miles) in recorded history.

Category 1 Hurricane

Category 1: Very dangerous winds will produce some damage.

Tropical Cyclone History: Category 1 hurricanes within 30 nautical miles of Trinidad and Tobago since 1842. Data: NOAA National Hurricane Center HURDAT2 and NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information IBTrACS data sets.
Tropical Cyclone History: Category 1 hurricanes within 30 nautical miles of Trinidad and Tobago since 1842. Data: NOAA National Hurricane Center HURDAT2 and NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information IBTrACS data sets.

To date, seven Category 1 hurricanes made landfall or passed within 30 nautical miles of Trinidad and Tobago’s coasts (what we consider to be near misses). These included:

  • 13th-14th July 2005Hurricane Emily strengthened from a tropical storm north of Tobago, a near miss, strengthening into a Category 1 hurricane as it moved towards the north-northwest. This cyclone reached peak strength as a Category 5 hurricane in the Caribbean Sea.
  • 30th September 1963Hurricane Flora made landfall across southwestern Tobago at a Category 2 Hurricane, strengthening from a Category 1 system. Flora reached peak intensity at Category 4 in the Caribbean Sea.
  • 27th-28th September 1933 – This unnamed Category 1 hurricane made landfall across Southeastern Trinidad, remaining Category 1 strength as it traversed the island. It eventually reached peak intensity at Category 2 in both the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.
  • 8th September 1921 – This unnamed hurricane moved north of Tobago, a near miss. It eventually reached peak intensity at a Category 3 in the Caribbean Sea and Western Atlantic Ocean.
  • 6th October 1892 – This unnamed tropical cyclone moved south of Tobago, as a strong tropical storm, strengthening into a Category 1 hurricane north of Trinidad, a near miss. It eventually strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane in the Caribbean Sea.
  • 1st-2nd September 1878 – This unnamed tropical cyclone moved just north and east of Tobago, a near miss as a Category 1 hurricane. It eventually reached peak intensity in the Gulf of Mexico as a Category 2 hurricane.
  • 21st-22nd September 1877 – This unnamed tropical cyclone moved north of Tobago, as a strong tropical storm, strengthening into a Category 1 hurricane, a near miss. It eventually strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.

Category 2 Hurricane

Category 2: Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage

Tropical Cyclone History: Category 2 hurricanes within 30 nautical miles of Trinidad and Tobago since 1842. Data: NOAA National Hurricane Center HURDAT2 and NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information IBTrACS data sets.
Tropical Cyclone History: Category 2 hurricanes within 30 nautical miles of Trinidad and Tobago since 1842. Data: NOAA National Hurricane Center HURDAT2 and NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information IBTrACS data sets.

To date, one Category 2 hurricane made landfall or passed within 30 nautical miles of Trinidad and Tobago’s coasts (what we consider to be near misses). These included:

  • 30th September 1963 – Hurricane Flora made landfall across southwestern Tobago at a Category 2 Hurricane, strengthening from a Category 1 system. Flora reached peak intensity at Category 4 in the Caribbean Sea.

Major Category 3 Hurricane

Category 3: Devastating damage will occur

Tropical Cyclone History: Category 3 hurricanes within 30 nautical miles of Trinidad and Tobago since 1842. Data: NOAA National Hurricane Center HURDAT2 and NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information IBTrACS data sets.
Tropical Cyclone History: Category 3 hurricanes within 30 nautical miles of Trinidad and Tobago since 1842. Data: NOAA National Hurricane Center HURDAT2 and NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information IBTrACS data sets.

To date, one Category 3 hurricane made landfall or passed within 30 nautical miles of Trinidad and Tobago’s coasts (what we consider to be near misses). These included:

  • 7th September 2004 – Hurricane Ivan remained north of Tobago as a Category 3 hurricane, strengthening into a Category 4 Hurricane as it entered the Caribbean Sea west of Grenada. This is considered a near miss. Ivan reached peak intensity in the Caribbean Sea at Category 5.

Major Category 4 Hurricane

Category 4: Catastrophic damage will occur

No Category 4 Hurricanes have directly affected Trinidad and Tobago, or are considered near misses based on our definition (within 20-nautical miles) in recorded history.

Major Category 5 Hurricane

Category 5: Catastrophic damage will occur

No Category 5 Hurricanes have directly affected Trinidad and Tobago, or are considered near misses based on our definition (within 20-nautical miles) in recorded history.

Facebook Comments