On September 2, 1935, a disaster was unfolding in the Florida Keys as a category 5 hurricane with winds estimated near 185 mph made landfall on Long Key in Monroe County. As the storm’s center moved on shore, the barometric pressure was recorded at 892 millibars, the lowest on record in the U.S. The storm devastated the Keys and killed hundreds, including over 250 WWI veterans who were helping to build a new railroad across the Keys.
The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 remains the strongest on record to ever strike the United States with an estimated pressure of 982 millibars and winds over 185 miles per hour. The storm killed over 400 as it swept across the Florida Keys on Labor Day in 1935. Dr. Steve Lyons says we need a new way to classify the threats of hurricanes and hopes NOAA will retire the Saffir Simpson rating scale and instead use a threat scale based on each individual storm.