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The path of Hurricane Frederic

Hurricane Camille made landfall along the Mississippi Gulf Coast near Waveland in the late evening of August 17, 1969

Frederic formed on August 29, as a tropical depression over the far eastern Atlantic and became a hurricane on September 10, over the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane Frederic strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane over the central Gulf of Mexico with maximum sustained winds near 132 mph.

On Wednesday, September 12, 1979 at 5:00 am, the NWS issued Hurricane Warnings from Panama City, Florida to Grand Isle, Louisiana. Frederic continued to strengthen with highest winds estimated at 130 mph and central pressure of 28.05 inches of mercury. Frederic continued moving northwest with a slightly increased forward speed at 12:00 mph located about 220 miles south of the Alabama Coast. Hurricane Frederic was expected to produce a storm surge of 10-15 feet above normal in the area where the center made landfall.

By 11:00 am on September 12, Frederic was located 175 miles south of Pensacola moving north-northwest at 12-15 mph. The diameter of the hurricane eye was reported to be about 10 miles. Reports from hurricane hunter reconnaissance aircraft and coastal weather radar networks indicated the eye of Frederic would cross the coast between Gulfport, Mississippi and Pensacola, Florida. Evacuation of the Gulf Coast was nearing completion at that time.

By 5 pm on September 12, the center of Hurricane Frederic was about 80 miles south of Gulf Shores, Alabama moving north at 15 mph.


​Conditions began to rapidly deteriorate during the afternoon of September 12, as Frederic approached the Alabama Gulf Coast. Hurricane Frederic approached the coast with a forward speed of 15 mph. The eye of the Frederic measured 50 miles in diameter east to west and 40 miles north to south. In the opinion of some weather forecasters at the time, Frederic had the largest storm center they had ever recorded.


Shortly before 10:00 pm on September 12, the northern eyewall of Frederic move ashore on Dauphin Island, AL. As the eye moved inland, it decreased in size to about 15 miles in diameter. The storm center crossed over the western end of Dauphin Island at 10:00 pm. An automated wind gust recorder (located at the top of the Dauphin Island Bridge), recorded a peak wind gust of 145 mph around 9:40 pm. At landfall, Frederic was as strong Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Intensity Scale, raking the Mobile Bay area with winds gusting from 100-145 mph for several hours on the evening of September 12 through the early morning of September 13. Hurricane wind gusts were experienced as far inland as Choctaw County, Alabama during the early morning hours of September 13.


​The damage cost from Frederic was $2.3 billion. Five deaths were directly attributable to the storm. A storm surge of 12-15 feet on the Gulf beaches and 8-10 feet in northern Mobile Bay destroyed numerous coastal buildings. Storm surge damage was documented for 80 miles along the coast.


The winds from Hurricane Frederic damaged or destroyed many homes and businesses. Many homes and businesses well inland suffered severe damage when large pine trees fell onto them or the roof structures failed. Along with peak wind gusts of 145 mph at the Dauphin Island Bridge, wind gusts of 97 mph from the east were recorded at Mobile Regional Airport at 11:07 pm. At midnight, Mobile County Civil Defense also reported measured wind gusts at 97 mph, along with massive damage in Mobile and surrounding areas. At midnight, wind gusts from the north at 98 mph were reported by Biloxi Civil Defense with north winds gusting to 127 mph at Ingall's Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

​At 2:00 am on Thursday, September 13, the NWS issued an intermediate advisory reporting the center of Hurricane Frederic had passed just west of Mobile and the hurricane force winds began to slowly subside in the Mobile area as Frederic continued to move north along the Alabama/Mississippi border. Extensive reports of damage in the Mobile metropolitan area were beginning to come in to the NWS. After moving inland from the coast, the hurricane moved north and then northeast, increasing its forward speed to 23 mph. It did not lose hurricane intensity until it was in the vicinity of Meridian, Mississippi at about 7:00 am!

By 8:00 am on September 13, Frederic was downgraded to a tropical storm. Frederic maintained that intensity as it moved north through Mississippi, crossing back into Alabama west of Tuscaloosa. Late that afternoon, Frederic was further downgraded to a tropical depression as it moved north through Alabama.

​Numerous large swaths of significant wind damage were documented in the days immediately following the landfall of Frederic. Fallen trees were a significant impact to residents, bringing down thousands of power lines and blocking roads for several days. Some areas of Mobile County experienced electric power outages for five weeks.


Frederic moved north along the Alabama/Mississippi border dropping three to 11 inches of rain along its path. The highest rainfall total of 11 inches was reported in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Hurricane Frederic

Hurricane Frederic

September 12, 1979

Mississippi Retro Apparel

Mississippi Retro Apparel are wearable flashbacks from years gone by.

They are for the crowd that knew the bars, clubs, restaurants and music of the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's. They are reminders of the best of times spent with family and friends at the best places, those places, back then.


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