Hurricane Camille made landfall on the Gulf Coast as a Category 5 on this day 50 years ago.
Camille devastated much of coastal Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana with estimated sustained winds of 175 miles per hour and a storm surge of more than 24 feet. The actual maximum sustained winds will never be known, however, because Camille destroyed all of the wind recording instruments in coastal Mississippi at the time.
Over 250 people were killed in the storm. NOAA said damage was estimated at about $10 billion in 2019 dollars.
NOAA scientists who studied the archived satellite and radar data found that Camille was the second-most intense hurricane to hit the continental U.S. in recorded history.
In 1969 weather satellites were still fairly new technology. NOAA said the first successful weather satellite launched into orbit just nine years before Camille.
Satellite technology has advanced significantly for predicting hurricanes today.
NOAA plans to add to its fleet of advanced geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites in 2020.