Author: Mary Knapp

As we talk of hurricanes, many are remembering Hurricane Mitch from 1998. Mitch was one of the 5 strongest hurricanes in the Atlantic basin during its lifetime. It was tracked from October 22 until it was declared extra-tropical on November 6. However, it caused most of its damage as a tropical storm, when it moved onshore along the northern coast of Honduras on October 28th. Its slow movement, and interaction with the mountains, produced tremendous rainfall. These rainstorms resulted in mud slides that left more than 7,000 dead and 8,000 missing in Honduras alone. Total deaths attributed to Mitch stand at 11,000 with an additional 11 to 18 thousand missing, making it the second deadliest hurricane on record in the western Hemisphere.

Figure 1. 3-D image of cloud structure of Hurricane Mitch (NASA)

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library