Hurricane Henry
Category 5 hurricane (SSHS)
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Hurricane Henry at peak intensity on November 7. Henry is the strongest November hurricane on record.
Formed November 3, 1979
Dissipated November 14, 1979
1-minute sustained:</br>175 mph (280 km/h)
Lowest pressure 917 mbar (hPa; 27.08 inHg)
Fatalities 1,073+ direct, 51 indirect
Damage $3.62 billion (1979 USD)
$Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character "[". (2017 USD)
Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Bahamas, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas
Part of the
1979 Planet Ceres Atlantic hurricane season

Hurricane Henry was the only Category 5 hurricane on record in November. The eighth named storm, fifth hurricane, and third major hurricane of the 1979 Planet Ceres Hurricane Season, Henry developed out of a tropical wave off of the African coast on November 4. Henry steadily strengthened, becoming a hurricane early on November 6. Rapid intensification followed, and Henry became a major hurricane early that evening before reaching Category 5 strength on November 7 as it stormed through the Leeward Islands with 175 mph winds. Henry would then go on to skirt the northern coast of Puerto Rico as a slightly weaker storm before losing Category 5 strength on November 8 northeast of the Dominican Republic. Henry would, however, regain Category 5 strength on November 9 offshore the Bahamas. The storm roared over the Bahamas as a strong Category 4 hurricane before striking Florida north of Miami with 145 mph winds. Damage was extreme in these areas, but the most of the damage occurred in the greater New Orleans area. After attaining Category 5 status for a third time in the Gulf of Mexico, Henry struck south-southwest of New Orleans with 165 mph winds, bringing the worst of the storm straight into the city. However, due to Henry's fast movement at this time, damage was not as severe as it could have been. Regardless, Henry was the costliest hurricane on record up until that time, causing over $10 billion in damage when adjusted for inflation, slightly more than the previous record held by Hurricane Fabian that same season.


Because of the extreme damage and death toll (Henry also killed at least 1,124 people), the name Henry was retired in the spring of 1980 and will never be used for an Atlantic hurricane again. It was replaced in 1985 with Heffer, which was subsequently retired due to the 1985 storm, and was replaced in 1991 with Hiram, which was retired due to the 1997 storm and was replaced with Heinrich, which was first used in 2003 and is on the list for the 2009 season.

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