1996 Atlantic hurricane season
First system formed June 17, 1996
Last system dissipated November 24, 1996
Strongest storm Edouard - 933 mbar, 145 mph (1-minute sustained)
Total depressions 13
Total storms 13
Hurricanes 9
Major hurricanes 6
ACE index 166
Total fatalities 253 Direct, 3 Indirect
Total damage $4.71 Billion (1996 USD)

The 1996 Atlantic hurricane season was a slightly above active season, and quite destructive. This season featured a total of 13 tropical cyclones all of which became named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 6 major hurricanes.


Hurricane MarcoHurricane Lili (1996)Tropical Storm Kyle (1996)Tropical Storm Josephine (1996)Hurricane Isidore (1996)Hurricane HortenseTropical Storm Gustav (1996)Hurricane FranHurricane Edouard (1996)Hurricane Dolly (1996)Hurricane Cesar-DouglasHurricane Bertha (1996)Tropical Storm Arthur (1996)


Tropical Storm Arthur

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
1996170N27282.ARTHUR.1996.06.21.1058.031.NOAA-12.44.AVHRR-VIS.png Arthur 1996 track.png
Duration June 17 – June 21
Peak intensity 45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  1004 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Tropical Storm Arthur (1996)

Arthur was a minimal tropical storm that brought locally heavy rains to coastal areas of the Carolinas. There was no significant damage.[1]

Hurricane Bertha

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Bertha 9 July 1996.jpg Bertha 1996 track.png
Duration July 5 – July 14
Peak intensity 115 mph (185 km/h) (1-min)  960 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Bertha (1996)

Bertha was an early-season Cape Verde Hurricane that moved across the islands of the northeastern Caribbean Sea as a Category 1 Hurricane on the Saffir/Simpson Scale and made landfall on the North Carolina coast near Wilmington as a Category 2 Hurricane. Bertha's one-minute winds reached their maximum peak of 115 MPH/100 Knots on the 9th of July, while located to the north of Puerto Rico. The last Hurricane to reach this strength, this early in the season, was Alma of 1966 in the eastern Gulf of Mexico with 125 MPH/110 Knots. Bertha is responsible for an estimated 12 deaths and $270 million in U.S. damages.[2]

Hurricane Cesar

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Cesar 28 july 1996 1217Z.jpg Cesar 1996 track.png
Duration July 24 – July 28
Peak intensity 85 mph (140 km/h) (1-min)  985 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Cesar-Douglas

Hurricane Cesar caused 113 deaths and considerable destruction along its path through the southern Caribbean Sea and Central America.[3]

Hurricane Dolly

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
1996232N17280.DOLLY.1996.08.23.1308.062.NOAA-12.42.AVHRR-VIS.png Dolly 1996 track.png
Duration August 19 – August 25
Peak intensity 80 mph (130 km/h) (1-min)  989 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Dolly (1996)

Hurricane Edouard

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Edouard 26 aug 1996 1744Z.jpg Edouard 1996 track.png
Duration August 19 – September 3
Peak intensity 145 mph (230 km/h) (1-min)  933 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Edouard (1996)

Edouard, the strongest tropical cyclone of the 1996 Atlantic season, was a prototypical Cape Verde hurricane. It had a very long track, and maintained category three or greater intensity on the Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Scale for nearly eight days. Edouard brushed southeastern New England as it recurved out to sea.[4]

Hurricane Fran

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Fran sept 1996.jpg Fran 1996 track.png
Duration August 23 – September 8
Peak intensity 120 mph (195 km/h) (1-min)  946 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Fran

Fran was a Cape Verde hurricane that moved across the Atlantic during the peak of the hurricane season. It made landfall on the North Carolina coast as a category three hurricane on the Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Scale, resulting in significant storm flooding on the North Carolina coast, widespread wind damage over North Carolina and Virginia, and extensive flooding from the Carolinas to Pennsylvania.[5]

Tropical Storm Gustav

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Gustav 1996 gibbsimage.jpg Gustav 1996 track.png
Duration August 26 – September 2
Peak intensity 45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  1005 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Tropical Storm Gustav (1996)

Hurricane Hortense

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Hortense 12 sept 1996 1800Z.jpg Hortense 1996 track.png
Duration September 3 – September 16
Peak intensity 140 mph (220 km/h) (1-min)  935 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Hortense

Hortense became the second category four hurricane and the fourth category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale (SSHS) of the season. Hortense was a wet hurricane and most of the damage was caused by its accompanying torrential rains. Hortense crossed the southwestern tip of Puerto Rico and the eastern top of the Dominican Republic as a category one hurricane and he associated floods killed at least 21 people. Hortense moved northward over the western Atlantic and crossed Nova Scotia as a weakening hurricane.[6]

Hurricane Isidore

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Isidore (1996).jpg Isidore 1996 track.png
Duration September 24 – October 1
Peak intensity 115 mph (185 km/h) (1-min)  960 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Isidore (1996)

Tropical Storm Josephine

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Storm Josephine 1996-10-07 1500Z.png Josephine 1996 track.png
Duration October 4 – October 8
Peak intensity 70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  981 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Tropical Storm Josephine (1996)

Josephine made landfall in the eastern Apalachee Bay, Florida area as a 70 MPH/60 Knot tropical storm.[7]

Tropical Storm Kyle

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Storm Kyle 11 Oct 1996 1934z.png Kyle 1996 track.png
Duration October 11 – October 12
Peak intensity 50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  1001 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Tropical Storm Kyle (1996)

Kyle was a small, short-lived tropical storm that formed over the northwestern Caribbean Sea in mid-October. It moved onshore near the border of Guatemala and Honduras as a weakening tropical depression and quickly dissipated. There were no significant effects on land associated with this system.[8]

Hurricane Lili

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Lili (1996).jpg Lili 1996 track.png
Duration October 14 – October 27
Peak intensity 115 mph (185 km/h) (1-min)  960 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Lili (1996)

Lili was the sixth category 3 Atlantic hurricane on the Saffir/Simpson hurricane scale during 1996. It moved across central Cuba and the central Bahamas with sustained winds in the 90 to 105 MPH/80 to 90 Knot range.[9]

Hurricane Marco

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
1996319N11283.MARCO.1996.11.20.1224.057.NOAA-12.43.AVHRR-VIS.png Marco 1996 track.png
Duration November 16 – November 24
Peak intensity 75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min)  983 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Marco

Hurricane Marco drifted aimlessly over the western Caribbean Sea for about a week threatening several land areas but never making landfall.[10]

Storm names

  • Arthur
  • Bertha
  • Cesar
  • Dolly
  • Edouard
  • Fran
  • Gustav
  • Hortense
  • Isidore
  • Josephine
  • Kyle
  • Lili
  • Marco
  • Nana (unused)
  • Omar (unused)
  • Paloma (unused)
  • Rene (unused)
  • Sally (unused)
  • Teddy (unused)
  • Vicky (unused)
  • Wilfred (unused)


In the spring of 1997, the WMO retired the names: Cesar, Fran, and Hortense. Replacing them with: Cristobal, Fay, and Hanna. The remaining named were re-used for the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season