Good Tuesday morning. Today you are likely to hear a lot about Superstorm Sandy. But this day in tropical meteorology is also significant for another reason... on this day back in 1998... 15 years ago... Hurricane Mitch came ashore in Honduras and became one of the deadliest Atlantic hurricanes in recent history.
The late-season storm formed on the 22nd of October that year in the western Caribbean Sea and drifted slowly westward. On October 26... 1998 it achieved tropical cyclone perfection in the western Caribbean Sea with a peak intensity of 180 mph and a surface pressure of 905 mb.
It virtually stalled... taking five days to drift onto and across Honduras. Although the winds weakened down prior to landfall... the rain did kept falling. Up to 3 feet of rain fell in southern Honduras... but some unofficial local reports in Honduras were up closer to 6 feet of rain.
Mudslides and flooding were especially devastating in Honduras... where about 70% of the country lost power... fresh water... transportation and communication.
Mitch was responsible for around 19,000 deaths across ten countries... BUT the vast majority were in Honduras (14,600).
To this day... it remains the second deadliest hurricane in Atlantic history.
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