The Great Hurricane of 1780, also known as Hurricane San Calixto II, is one of the most powerful and deadliest North Atlantic hurricanes on record. Often regarded as a cataclysmic hurricane, the storm's worst effects were experienced on October 10, 1780. In The Great Hurricane of 1780, author Wayne Neely chronicles the chaos and destruction it brought to the Caribbean. This storm was likely generated in the mid Atlantic, not far from the equator; it was first felt in Barbados, where just about every tree and house on the island was blown down.
The storm passed through the Lesser Antilles and a small portion of the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean between October 10 and October 16 of 1780.Because the storm hit several of the most populous islands in the Caribbean, the death toll was very high. The official death toll was approximately 22,000 people but some historians have put the death toll as high as 27,500.
Specifics on the hurricane's track and strength are unclear since the official North Atlantic hurricane database only goes back as far as 1851. Even so, it is a fact that this hurricane had a tremendous impact on economies in the Caribbean and parts of North America, and perhaps also played a major role in the outcome of the American Revolution.
This thoroughly researched history considers the intense storm and its aftermath, offering an exploration of an important historical weather event that has been neglected in previous study.