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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – On this day (May 15th) in 1951, what would eventually become the strongest hurricane outside of the Atlantic hurricane season formed about 300 miles South of Bermuda. Starting off as a trough of low pressure, the system strengthened into Hurricane Able as it moved over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. It attained hurricane status on May 17 off the coast of Florida.
Able's winds reached 115 mph about 70 mph off the North Carolina coast, near Cape Hatteras, but it was not a large enough storm to significantly impact inland areas.
In 1951, storms were not given names as they are today. Instead, names from the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet (Able, Baker, Charlie, etc.) were used to name storms at this time.
Able is one of only four May Atlantic hurricanes on record.