Hurricane Walter
Category 3 major hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)
Hurricane Ivan in Gulf Coast
Hurricane Walter at peak strength in the Gulf of Mexico.
Formed December 14
Dissipated December 26
(Remnant low after December 25)
Highest winds 1-minute sustained:
120 mph (195 km/h)
Lowest pressure 946 mbar (hPa); 27.94 inHg
Fatalities 5 reindeers, 16 elves on the shelf
Damage $250 million (2016 USD)
Areas affected Cape Verde, Lesser Antilles, Southeastern United States (Florida, Alabama, Georgia)
Part of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season

Hurricane Walter, nicknamed Hurricane Grinch, Hurricane Ebenezer and Hurricane Scrooge by many, became the first December Atlantic major hurricane in recorded history. The final storm of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Walter was known for its large-scale power outages across the Southeastern United States on Christmas Day.

Walter did not cause any HUMAN deaths (16 elves on the shelves and 5 reindeer died), but its impact on several Christmases across the Southeast caused its name to be retired and replaced with Wilbur for the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Due to Walter, Santa Claus was forced to skip over 10 million children across the Southeast. This resulted in a lot of children being very upset and complaining to their parents the next day, which was known as "the worst Christmas ever" by many.

Meteorological History

For a more serious version, see Meteorological History of Hurricane Walter.

Walter formed from a seemingly innocent little tropical wave near the Cape Verde Islands on December 14. Tropical Depression Twenty Three formed. The little children had no clue. Shortly afterward, TD 23 strengthened into Tropical Storm Walter.

Walter battled cold waters, but managed to stay intact despite water temperatures of just 63 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Celsius). Walter was determined to ruin Christmas. Walter topped out at 40 MPH winds briefly, but weakened to a depression three times before reaching the Lesser Antilles. Walter remained very weak until it reached the Gulf of Mexico where it intensified from 45 mph winds at 5AM on December 22 to 120 mph winds at 5AM on December 23. Walter weakened near the Florida coast, and made a small loop as a Category 3 before pummeling into the eastern Florida panhandle, cutting out power in some 120,000 households in Florida, Alabama and Georgia. Walter dumped heavy rains over the east coast, causing many traffic accidents. Most notably, Santa Claus' sleigh broke down near Jacksonville, causing the deaths of his reindeer Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet and of course Rudolph, the red nosed reindeer. Santa Claus, who only broke his arm, went to Thrifty Rent A Car to rent a car to deliver gifts from. Over 20 million people claimed they saw Santa on that Saturday night, Christmas Eve.

Walter dissipated on December 26 off the North Carolina coast, never to be seen again. His name was retired for the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season because he was such a jerk to the kids.