15 September 1961

Hurricane Carla, Galveston, TX, 1961

Hurricane Carla hits land in Texas with winds of 175 miles per hour.

Hurricane Carla ranks as the most intense U.S. tropical cyclone landfall on the Hurricane history. Carla developed from an area of squally weather in the southwestern Caribbean Sea on September 3. Initially a tropical depression, it strengthened slowly while heading northwestward, and by September 5, the system was upgraded to Tropical Storm Carla. About 24 hours later, Carla was upgraded to a hurricane. The storm curved northward while approaching the Yucatán Channel. Carla entered the Gulf of Mexico while passing just northeast of the Yucatán Peninsula. By early on the following day, the storm became a major hurricane after reaching Category 3 intensity. Resuming its northwestward course, Carla continued intensification and on September 11, it was upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane. Rapidly moving northeastward, Carla’s remnants reached the Labrador Sea, Canada and dissipated on September 17, 1961.