The Great Tampa Hurricane of 1848

Probably the most intense hurricane ever to hit Tampa occurred on Sept. 25th of 1848. An intense hurricane with estimated maximum winds of 101-135 mph moved NNW just off the west coast of Florida causing considerable damage at Charlotte Harbor as it passed to the west. As the storm moved northward along Florida’s west coast it appears to have turned to the NE and then ENE making landfall near Clearwater during the early afternoon of Sept. 25, 1848 with an estimated minimum pressure of about 945mb. At landfall it is estimated that the radius of maximum winds were about 15 miles and the center was moving from SW to NE at about 10 Knots.


Ocean Weather Services

Tampa Before the Civil War. By Canter Brown Jr. Tampa Bay History Center Reference Library Series, No. 8. (Tampa, Fla: University of Tampa Press, 1999. Pp. [x], 197. $25.00, ISBN 1-879852-64-0.) Canter Brown Jr., currently based at the Tampa Bay History Center, is a prolific scholar. By “prolific,” I mean not only that he writes many books but also that he writes many good books. Having produced a history of a southern subregion in Florida’s Peace River Frontier (Orlando: University of Central Florida Press, 1991) and a well-received biography in Ossian Bingley Hart: Florida’s Loyalist Reconstruction Governor (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1997), he has now turned his efforts to a series of short surveys of various aspects of the Tampa Bay region’s history. Like most of Florida, Tampa and the surrounding region remains a lacuna in southern historiography.

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