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The 1851 Texas hurricane was the first recorded hurricane in NOAA's hurricane Database, also known as HURDAT.

Meteorological history

A small 90 mph (150 km/h) hurricane was first observed on June 25, about 75 miles (120 km/h) southeast of Freeport, Texas. It tracked westward, moving ashore near Matagorda Bay later that night near peak intensity, with an estimated minimum barometric central pressure of 977 mbar; due to lack of observations, it is possible the hurricane struck as the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. The cyclone slowly weakened as it turned northwestward, with hurricane force wind gusts reported 24 hours after landfall in current-day Medina County. It is estimated that the storm dissipated early on June 28 over central Texas.[1]

Preparations and impact

The hurricane produced heavy damage near where it moved ashore, having been described as the most disastrous experienced there to date. The winds destroyed every wharf and several houses in Port Lavaca. On Matagorda Island, the saltwater contaminated the fresh water supply, and in Matagorda Bay, heavy shipping losses were reported. As the cyclone progressed inland, it dropped light to moderate rainfall, peaking at around 3 inches (75 mm) in Corpus Christi. A fort near current day Laredo reported 2.48 inches (63 mm) of precipitation. Across its path, the winds downed several trees and houses, leaving two people injured and contributing to a death when a sick person was exposed to the storm.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Hurricane Research Division (2008). "Documentation of Atlantic Tropical Cyclones Changes in HURDAT". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2008-05-23.