Support Our Work

Top 10 Videos of Recent Major Hurricanes to Hit the U.S.

It’s been 20 years since Hurricane Andrew struck the coast of Florida as a Category 5 storm and made history as America’s most expensive natural disaster — a record that held until Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Here’s a look at 10 recent major hurricanes (storms of at least Category 3 intensity) to make landfall in the U.S. 

Click the video links to see these storms in action. The videos (provided by NOAA) combine satellite imagery with wind-speed data to show how a hurricane's strength changes over time. Hurricanes feed off the heat contained in tropical ocean waters, and these storms lose their intensity when they move over cooler waters, cross over land, or encounter unfavorable conditions in the atmosphere. In the videos, watch how the wind speed dies down as soon as the hurricane moves over land. This is why the most damage done by hurricane winds is always near the coast. Hurricanes may hit the coast with a punch, but after a few days of moving inland, the winds are no longer the main concern. Instead, hurricanes can do damage to inland areas by dumping large amounts of rainfall, which can lead to deadly flooding.

Hurricane Andrew, August 1992

Hurricane Charley, August 2004

Hurricane Dennis, July 2005

Hurricane Frances, Aug-Sept 2004

Hurricane Ike, September 2008

Hurricane Ivan, September 2004

Hurricane Jeanne, September 2004

Hurricane Katrina, August 2005

Hurricane Rita, September 2005

Hurricane Wilma, October 2005