Worst Weather of the Twentieth Century

Updated August 31, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Climatologists, meteorologists, and hydrologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) compiled a list of the world's most notable weather, water, and climate events in the twentieth century. Criteria for selection included an event's magnitude, meteorological uniqueness, as well as its economic impact and death toll. Events are listed in chronological order.

United States

Date(s) Event
1900 Galveston Hurricane
1925 Tri-state Tornado
1928 Great Okeechobee Hurricane and Flood
1930s Dust Bowl
1935 Florida Keys Hurricane
1938 New England Hurricane
1950 “Storm of the Century”
1969 Hurricane Camille
1974 Super Tornado Outbreak
1978 New England Blizzard
1982–83 & 1997–98 El Niño Episodes
1992 Hurricane Andrew
1993 Great Midwest Flood
1993 “Superstorm”
1999 Okla./Kan. Tornado Outbreak
Source: consensus of climate and weather experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For background on individual events, see www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories/s334c.htm .


Date(s) Event
1910–1914, 1940–44, 1970–85 Sahel Drought, Africa
India: 1900, 1907, 1965–67; China: 1907, 1928–30, 1936, 1941–42; Soviet Union: 1921–22 Asian Droughts
1912, 1922 China Typhoons
1931 Yangtze River Flood, China
1952 Great Smog of London
1953 Europe Storm Surge
1954 Great Iran Flood
1958 Typhoon Vera, Japan
1970 Bangladesh Cyclone
1971 North Vietnam Flood
1972 Iran Blizzard
1982–83 El Niño
1991 Typhoon Thelma, Philippines
1991 Bangladesh Cyclone
1998 Hurricane Mitch, Honduras and Nicaragua



Retired Hurricane Names Weather El Niño



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