Hurricane Valerie was the last named storm of the 2026 Atlantic hurricane season.
|Category 5 major hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)|
|Formed||December 16, 2026|
|Dissipated||December 26, 2026|
1-minute sustained: |
175 mph (280 km/h)
|Lowest pressure||899 mbar (hPa); 26.55 inHg|
|Damage||$2.3 billion (2026 USD)|
|Areas affected||US East Coast, Newfoundland, Greenland, Iceland, UK, Norway|
|Part of the 2026 Atlantic hurricane season|
Hurricane Valerie developed as a weak low pressure system near the Azores islands on December 16. The storm developed a warm core soon after its formation and no wind shear allowed it to strengthen into a depression just 4 hours later. The next day, a weak eyewall formed, allowing it to strengthen into a tropical storm. A weak trough moved it up to northern Jamaica, causing rapid intensification. The storm reached winds of 60 mph (95 km/h) and was named Valerie by the NHC. A weak eyewall replacement cycle happened the next day, causing it to strengthen to a Category 1. On December 18, the storm made landfall on Florida as a weak Category 1 with 80 mph (130 km/h) winds. After entering a warm-water environment, the storm managed to intensify and just 5 hours later, the storm rapidly intensified to a moderate Category 3 hurricane and a strong Category 5 just 2 hours later. Hurricane Watches were issued for a large part of the US East Coast and were replaced by warnings 1 day later. Due to usual December temperatures, the storm severely cooled down as it neared the US East Coast. On December 20, the hurricane managed to severely impact the US East Coast and the country's economy, causing around $1 billion in damage. On December 21, it moved out of the region. Just hours later, it became an extratropical cyclone and weakened, due to increased polar air. Winds were still peaking at around 150 mph (240 km/h) as it neared Newfoundland, Canada. 3 hours later, it made landfall as a strong category 4 with 140 mph (220 km/h) winds and heavy snow. After impacting Greenland, it eventually became too cold for the cyclone to survive and it dissipated and ended up as a snowstorm. The remnants of the storm made landfall on Iceland with 60 mph (95 km/h) winds and intensified as they moved towards the UK. The Met Office had given the remnants a 40% chance that they would merge and develop into a tropical cyclone, but they stayed around 220 miles (350 km) away from each other. After nearing Scotland, the storms managed to merge and form a large low pressure system which covered most of the country in cloud. Heavy snow and ice had brought the country to a standstill for most of the week. England was battered by fierce winds of up to 80 mph (130 km/h) and heavy rain. On December 24, the storm managed to break a flag off the Edinburgh Castle, throwing it into a car. No one was injured. On December 25, the storm moved out of the region into the North Sea and started rapidly dissipating. The next day, after invading Norway, the storm dissipated and ended up as a blizzard.
US East Coast
After noticing that Valerie has intensified from a tropical storm into a hurricane, NOAA issued hurricane warnings for most of Florida and Georgia. Large buildings were evacuated and had their windows boarded up. The highways were cleared before rush hour. Half the citizens of Miami, FL were evacuated before the storm actually impacted the area and half of them were evacuated during it. To prevent severe damage, like what happened during 2005's Hurricane Wilma, many public building were taken apart in Orlando and Miami. As Valerie intensified into a Category 5, a 1,200 km long stretch of the US East Coast was forced to be evacuated. New York City was evacuated first, followed by other cities. All of the highways were cleared and blocked with tall bricks so that the storm surge does not get past. The tall buildings, such as the Empire State Building were evacuated and boarded up with wood and metal. 7,000,000 people were evacuated.
As the storm transitioned into an extratropical cyclone, authorities in Newfoundland began issuing hurricane warnings. Hurricane Valerie's arrival forced many businesses, homes and schools to be evacuated and shut down.
As the remnants of the storm moved towards Scotland, the police and the Met Office began issuing amber alerts, which were later changed to red as the storm intensified. Many schools were shut down and factories were closed. People were advised to keep inside at home.
US East Coast
Valerie brought thunderstorms, hail and 120 mph (195 km/h) winds upon Florida as it transitioned into a category 3. A gust of 130 mph (210 km/h) brought down a train in Miami, sending it into an oil tanker. The driver's hands and feet were burned. Further north, the hurricane brought heavy snow and icy conditions. Due to the storm and usual December temperatures, New York experienced thundersnow, frozen conditions and winds up to 175 mph (280 km/h). A man was killed when his taxi drove into a tree. Two men were killed after a wave washed them away. Due to the winds and the storm surge, the Statue of Liberty collapsed into the ocean. Overall, 7 people died in New York. 1 person died on a freeway near Jersey City when a tree fell on top of the road, causing a pile-up.
12 people were injured after a tree destroyed the first floor of an apartment building in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Most of the impact was in Newfoundland.
The Cairngorm summit weather station in Scotland reported a wind gust of 133 mph (214 km/h). Populated areas, such as Glasgow and Edinburgh saw 109 mph (174 km/h) winds and heavy snow. A school was blown down in Edinburgh. Most of Scotland suffered from icy conditions, heavy snow and temperatures as low as -9°C (15°F). The storm also produced localized thundersnow in many areas. England suffered from flooding and 81 mph (130 km/h) winds. 13 people were injured when the River Mersey overflowed near Liverpool.
The remnants of the storm caused blizzards to sweep across mountainous areas of the country.
The hurricane cost approximately $2.3 billion (2026 USD). The President of the United States ordered a $120 million cleanup of Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and many other cities in Florida