2016 Atlantic hurricane season summary

Season summary

The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season was an above-average season. 20 depressions formed, of which 18 became named storms. 9 of the named storms became hurricanes, and 4 became majors. Many of the storms affected land. A large majority of the storms formed from tropical waves. The most destructive storm was Hurricane Karl, which caused destruction in Haiti, Cuba, the Yucatan, and the US Gulf Coast. Karl caused $20 billion in damage and killed 435. Another destructive storm was Bonnie, which made landfall on the US Gulf Coast at C3 intensity in early July. It was one of the earliest major hurricane landfalls in the US on record. Bonnie caused $7.5 billion in damage and killed 41. The strongest storm was Gaston, which reached 150 mph. There were no Category 5 hurricanes this season.

Season summary

The first storm, Alex, formed on June 2, a day after the start of the season. Bonnie followed and made an unusually early major hurricane landfall in the US. It was one of 4 storms to exist in July, the others being Colin (which was one of the easternmost July storms on record), Danielle, and Earl. 6 storms existed in August, including Danielle and Earl which crossed over from the previous month. In September, 5 storms existed. 4 storms existed in October. 2 storms, Hurricane Richard and Subtropical Storm Shary, existed in November. The last storm was a post-season depression that made landfall in Nicaragua in December. Over all, there were 20 storms in this season, making it above-average.


List of storms

Tropical Storm Alex

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Storm Alex June 4 2016 Alex 2016 track
DurationJune 2 – June 5
Peak intensity65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  991 mbar (hPa)
Formed from an area of low pressure in the western Caribbean and impacted the Yucatan as a TS. It dissipated over land. Alex caused $25 million in damage and killed 15 people.

Hurricane Bonnie

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Andrew Bonnie 2016 track
DurationJune 26 – July 5
Peak intensity125 mph (205 km/h) (1-min)  952 mbar (hPa)
Formed from a tropical wave north of the Lesser Antilles. It tracked westward, and passed through the Bahamas as a TS. It then impacted the Florida Keys as a C1. After that, it entered the Gulf of Mexico and quickly strengthened into a C3. Bonnie peaked at 125 mph and made landfall near Lake Charles, LA as a 120 mph storm. It weakened over land and dissipated near Iowa. Bonnie caused $7.5 billion dollars in damage and killed 41 people. It was the 2nd earliest major hurricane landfall in the US, after Audrey in 1957. It made landfall late on July 3.

Tropical Storm Colin

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Storm Ernesto (2000) Colin 2016 track
DurationJuly 14 – July 19
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  994 mbar (hPa)
On July 11, a tropical wave moved off Africa. It impacted the Cape Verdes before it gradually organized. It became a depression hundreds of miles west of the islands on July 14. It then strengthened into TS Colin and gradually turned north before wind shear caused it to die on July 19. It was not a threat to land. It was also one of the easternmost July tropical storms on record.

Tropical Storm Danielle

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Fran 13 August 1990 Danielle 2016 track
DurationJuly 21 – August 1
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  995 mbar (hPa)
A depression formed in the Central Atlantic from a tropical wave that went off the coast of Africa behind Colin's wave. It then strengthened into TS Danielle. Originally predicted to possibly reach hurricane status, it degenerated back into a tropical wave before reaching the Windward Islands. The wave moved through the Caribbean before it regenerated in the western Caribbean and impacted Belize. It dissipated over land. Danielle caused $53 million in damage and killed 21 people.

Hurricane Earl

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane kate 2003 Earl 2016 track
DurationJuly 28 – August 10
Peak intensity130 mph (215 km/h) (1-min)  947 mbar (hPa)
On July 26, a strong tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa. It became a depression on July 28. It strengthened into TS Earl and moved westward. It reached hurricane intensity while in the Central Atlantic. Then it started to strengthen faster, and peaked as a 130 mph C4 southeast of Bermuda. Earl then brought near hurricane force winds to Bermuda as it passed southeast of the island as a C3. It moved northeast and then north and died out on August 10. Damage was $35 million and there were 3 deaths.

Tropical Storm Fiona

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Arlene 19 June 1993 Fiona 2016 track
DurationAugust 3 – August 4
Peak intensity40 mph (65 km/h) (1-min)  1002 mbar (hPa)
Formed from an area of disturbed weather near Texas on August 3. It made landfall near Corpus Christi and dissipated the next day. Fiona caused minimal damage.

Hurricane Gaston

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
James 1981 Gaston 2016 track
DurationAugust 10 – August 22
Peak intensity150 mph (240 km/h) (1-min)  927 mbar (hPa)
A vigorous tropical wave moved off Africa on August 9. It became a depression the next day near the Cape Verdes. The depression strengthened into TS Gaston. Gaston gradually strengthened as it moved westward. It became a hurricane late on August 12. It strengthened further to a C2 hurricane in the Central Atlantic. However, wind shear caused it to weaken to a C1 northeast of the Lesser Antilles. The wind shear weakened, and it restrengthened into a C2. Gaston started to strengthen more quickly, and it peaked as a 150 mph C4 southwest of Bermuda. It then started to weaken as it brought heavy rain and tropical storm force winds to Bermuda. It eventually dissipated as it made landfall in Newfoundland. Gaston caused $84 million dollars in damage and 8 deaths.

Tropical Storm Hermine

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Storm Emily Aug 4 2012 Hermine 2016 track
DurationAugust 16 – August 20
Peak intensity65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  990 mbar (hPa)
A tropical wave just behind Gaston developed into a depression close to the Windward Islands. It crossed the islands and strengthened into a TS. Hermine gradually strengthened as it skirted Puerto Rico and made landfall in the Dominican Republic as a 65 mph storm on August 20. It rapidly weakened over the mountains and dissipated that night. Its remnants survived to Cuba before it dissipated completely. Hermine caused $71 million dollars in damage and 63 deaths.

Hurricane Ian

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Fefa 02 aug 1991 1534Z Ian 2016 track
DurationAugust 24 – August 31
Peak intensity105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min)  964 mbar (hPa)
A tropical wave became a depression between Africa and the Cape Verdes. It became Tropical Storm Ian just south of the Cape Verdes. It moved westward while it gradually strengthened, and it became a hurricane hundreds of miles west of the islands. Ian strengthened further into a C2 as it moved northwestward. Wind shear started to weaken it, and it became a C1 as it turned north. It dissipated on August 31 nearly halfway between the Azores and Bermuda. It did not affect land, except for some rain in the Cape Verdes as it was developing.

Tropical Storm Julia

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Storm Ernesto (1994) Julia 2016 track
DurationSeptember 2 – September 5
Peak intensity50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  997 mbar (hPa)
Another tropical wave developed into a depression on September 2, which became a TS hundreds of miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. It moved northward, peaked at 50 mph, and then strong upper level winds caused it to dissipate on September 5. It was never a threat to land.

Hurricane Karl

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Georges 28 sept 1998 2043Z Karl 2016 track
DurationSeptember 5 – September 18
Peak intensity145 mph (230 km/h) (1-min)  931 mbar (hPa)
A depression formed east of the Windward Islands from a tropical wave. It became a tropical storm and crossed the islands. Karl then reached hurricane intensity before making landfall in the Dominican Republic. It weakened into a TS over the mountains of the Dominican Republic, but reemerged into the Caribbean. It strengthened back into a C1 hurricane just south of eastern Cuba, and then it started to quickly intensify. Karl made landfall on the northern tip of the Yucatan as a C3 hurricane, and weakened back into a C1 as it emerged into the Gulf of Mexico. Karl then turned towards the Gulf Coast, and made landfall near Mobile, Alabama as a C4 hurricane on September 13. Despite its intensity, it barely had an eye at landfall. Karl weakened over land as it passed through Alabama and Georgia, and emerged over the Atlantic as a C1. It strengthened back into a C2 before it started to weaken again. Karl dissipated on September 18. It caused $20 billion dollars in damage and 435 deaths throughout its path, ranking it among the most costliest hurricanes.

Hurricane Lisa

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Nick Lisa 2016 track
DurationSeptember 12 – September 18
Peak intensity90 mph (150 km/h) (1-min)  970 mbar (hPa)
Formed northeast of the Lesser Antilles from another tropical wave on September 12. It moved to the north and then northeast, and strengthened into a hurricane. Lisa peaked at 90 mph before it started to weaken and turn back to the north. It dissipated on September 18. Lisa did not affect anyone.

Tropical Storm Matthew

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Nana 19 October 1990 Matthew 2016 track
DurationSeptember 18 – September 25
Peak intensity70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  986 mbar (hPa)
A tropical wave developed a depression in the central Atlantic on September 18 as Karl and Lisa were dissipating. It strengthened into TS Matthew later that day. It moved northward and peaked at 70 mph, just below hurricane intensity. Upper level winds started to weaken it, and it dissipated on September 25 hundreds of miles southwest of the Azores. Matthew wasn't a threat to land.

Hurricane Nicole

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Kate 1981 Nicole 2016 track
DurationSeptember 30 – October 8
Peak intensity100 mph (155 km/h) (1-min)  966 mbar (hPa)
Nicole formed on September 30 from yet another tropical wave. It moved northwestward and affected Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic before strengthening to a hurricane near the Turks and Caicos and turning north. It then turned northeastward and strengthened into a C2. Nicole's center went extremely close to Bermuda, raking it with heavy rain and hurricane force winds. It weakened into a C1 as it started to move away from Bermuda, and it turned east. Weakening continued, and it became a TS as it turned back to the northeast. Nicole dissipated on October 8. The storm caused $345 million dollars in damage and 32 deaths, mainly in Bermuda. Despite the damage it caused to Bermuda, Nicole wasn't retired.

Hurricane Otto

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Ernesto oct 1 1982 1854Z Otto 2016 track
DurationOctober 7 – October 14
Peak intensity85 mph (140 km/h) (1-min)  972 mbar (hPa)
On October 7, a tropical wave in the eastern Caribbean was immediately declared Tropical Storm Otto. It took a similar track to Nicole, affecting Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and moving northwestward. It strengthened into a hurricane, turned northeastward, and reached its peak intensity of 85 mph as it skirted southeast of Bermuda. It became the second storm in a row to affect the island, however it was much less destructive than Nicole. Otto then weakened into a TS and dissipated on October 14. Otto caused $31 million in damages and killed 3 people.

Tropical Storm Paula

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Odessa 1979 Paula 2016 track
DurationOctober 20 – October 24
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  993 mbar (hPa)
An area of disturbed weather in the western Caribbean became a depression on October 20, becoming the first storm since Fiona not to develop from a tropical wave. It strengthened into TS Paula later that day. Paula moved westward toward Belize. It then made landfall in that country at its peak intensity of 60 mph late on October 23. Over land, it weakened into a depression, and dissipated on October 24. Paula caused $157 million dollars in damage. It also caused 149 deaths, mainly due to flash floods and deadly mudslides. Despite the death toll, the name Paula wasn't retired.

Tropical Depression Seventeen

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Bret Seventeen 2016 track
DurationOctober 29 – October 30
Peak intensity35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1003 mbar (hPa)
On October 28, a tropical wave spawned an area of low pressure in the southwest Gulf of Mexico. It became a depression on October 29. However, before it could strengthen into a tropical storm, it made landfall north of Veracruz, Mexico. The depression dissipated over land. It caused minimal damage and 1 death.

Hurricane Richard

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Bonnie Richard 2016 track
DurationNovember 2 – November 10
Peak intensity100 mph (155 km/h) (1-min)  960 mbar (hPa)
A tropical wave developed a depression in the eastern Caribbean on November 2nd. It then strengthened into TS Richard. It later strengthened into a hurricane between Jamaica and Haiti. The hurricane made landfall in Cuba at C1 intensity. It weakened a little over land, but was still a hurricane when it emerged into the Atlantic. Richard crossed the Bahamas at C1 intensity, and then strengthened into a C2 as it turned northeastward. It remained at that intensity for a day before it weakened back into a C1. Richard passed just west of Bermuda while weakening into a tropical storm. It then dissipated on November 10. Richard caused $646 million dollars in damage and 45 deaths. Despite the damage it caused, Richard wasn't retired.

Subtropical Storm Shary

Subtropical storm (SSHWS)
TS 32W 09 nov 2000 0230Z Shary 2016 track
DurationNovember 21 – November 24
Peak intensity50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  999 mbar (hPa)
An extratropical cyclone gradually acquired subtropical characteristics, and was declared Subtropical Storm Shary hundreds of miles southeast of Bermuda on November 21, skipping depression status. It moved north, and dissipated on November 24 without affecting land.

Tropical Depression Twenty

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Katrina1999sat Twenty 2016 track
DurationDecember 9 – December 11
Peak intensity35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1002 mbar (hPa)
An area of disturbed weather developed in the central Caribbean, and moved west. It became a depression on December 9, 9 days after the end of the season. It was originally expected to become a tropical storm and be named Tobias. However, it made landfall in Nicaragua, without ever reaching tropical storm strength. The depression dissipated on December 11. It caused minimal damage and 6 deaths.

Storm names

The following names were used to name tropical cyclones this year. This is the same list used in the 2010 season, expect for Ian and Tobias, which replaced Igor and Tomas. The name Ian was used for the first time this year. Three names; Tobias, Virginie, and Walter, were not used during the course of the year.

  • Alex
  • Bonnie
  • Colin
  • Danielle
  • Earl
  • Fiona
  • Gaston
  • Hermine
  • Ian
  • Julia
  • Karl
  • Lisa
  • Matthew
  • Nicole
  • Otto
  • Paula
  • Richard
  • Shary
  • Tobias (unused)
  • Virginie (unused)
  • Walter (unused)

Greek Alphabet

If this season exhausted the main list, the Greek alphabet would have been used. These are the first six letters of the Greek alphabet:

  • Alpha (unused)
  • Beta (unused)
  • Gamma (unused)
  • Delta (unused)
  • Epsilon (unused)
  • Zeta (unused)


Due to extensive damage and deaths, the names Bonnie and Karl were officially retired, and will never be used again for an Atlantic hurricane. They were replaced by Becky and Kenny for the 2022 season.

List for 2022:

  • Alex
  • Becky
  • Colin
  • Danielle
  • Earl
  • Fiona
  • Gaston
  • Hermine
  • Ian
  • Julia
  • Kenny
  • Lisa
  • Matthew
  • Nicole
  • Otto
  • Paula
  • Richard
  • Shary
  • Tobias
  • Virginie
  • Walter

Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE)

ACE (104 kt2) – Storm: Source
1 25.4 Gaston 12 0.69 Alex
2 24.3 Karl 13 0.57 Danielle
3 19.2 Earl 14 0.46 Colin
4 17.5 Bonnie 15 0.38 Paula
5 12.9 Ian 16 0.26 Julia
6 11.0 Nicole 17 0.12 Fiona
7 10.5 Richard
8 6.46 Lisa
9 5.14 Otto
10 2.93 Matthew
11 0.81 Hermine

ACE is the result of a storm's winds multiplied by how long it lasted for, so storms that lasted a long time, as well as particularly strong hurricanes, have higher ACE totals. 2016 was active in these terms; with an ACE total of 139. Tropical depressions and subtropical storms, namely Subtropical Storm Shary, are not included in season totals.

Season effects

This is a table of the storms and their effects in the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season. This table includes the storm's names, duration, peak intensity, Areas affected, damages, and death totals. Damage and deaths include totals while the storm was extratropical, a wave or a low. All of the damage figures are in 2016 USD (the listed damage figure is in millions).

Tropical cyclones in the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season

Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale
TD TS C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

2016 North Atlantic tropical cyclone statistics
Dates active Storm category

at peak intensity

Max 1-min
mph (km/h)
Areas affected Damage
Alex June 2 – June  5 Tropical storm 65 (100) 991 Yucatan peninsula 25 15
Bonnie June 26 – July 5 Category 3 hurricane 125 (205) 952 Turks @ Caicos, Bahamas, Cuba, Florida, US Gulf Coast, Midwest US 7,500 41
Colin July  14 – July 19 Tropical storm 60 (95) 994 Cape Verde (as a wave) None 0
Danielle July 21 – August  1 Tropical storm 60 (95) 995 Windward Islands (as a wave), Yucatan Peninsula, Belize 53 21
Earl July 28 – August 10 Category 4 hurricane 130 (215) 947 Bermuda 35 3
Fiona August  3 – August 4 Tropical storm 40 (65) 1002 Texas Minimal 0
Gaston August 10 – August 22 Category 4 hurricane 150 (240) 927 Bermuda, Newfoundland 84 8
Hermine August 16 – August 20 Tropical storm 65 (100) 990 Windward Islands, Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola 71 63
Ian August 24 – August 31 Category 2 hurricane 105 (165) 964 Cape Verde None 0
Julia September 2 – September 5 Tropical storm 50 (85) 997 None None 0
Karl September 5 – September 18 Category 4 hurricane 145 (230) 931 Windward Islands, Hispaniola, Cuba, Yucatan Peninsula, US Gulf Coast, Florida, Georgia, The Carolinas 20,000 435
Lisa September 12 – September 18 Category 1 hurricane 90 (150) 970 None None 0
Matthew September 18 – September 25 Tropical storm 70 (110) 986 None None 0
Nicole September 30 – October 8 Category 2 hurricane 100 (155) 966 Windward Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Turks @ Caicos, Bermuda 345 32
Otto October 7 – October 14 Category 1 hurricane 85 (140) 972 Windward Islands (as a wave), Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Bermuda 31 3
Paula October 20 – October 24 Tropical storm 60 (95) 993 Honduras, Belize, Mexico 157 149
Seventeen October 29 – October 30 Tropical depression 35 (55) 1003 Mexico Minimal 1
Richard November 2 – November 10 Category 2 hurricane 100 (155) 960 Windward Islands (as a wave), Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, Bahamas, Bermuda 646 45
Shary November 21 – November 24 Tropical storm 50 (85) 999 None None 0
Twenty December 9 – December 11 Tropical depression 35 (55) 1002 Nicaragua Minimal 6
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