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1998 Atlantic hurricane season
First system formed July 27, 1998
Last system dissipated December 1, 1998
Strongest storm Mitch - 905 mbar, 180 mph (1-minute sustained)
Total depressions 14
Total storms 14
Hurricanes 10
Major hurricanes 3
ACE index 182
Total fatalities 19,958 Direct, 3 Indirect
Total damage $17.54 Billion (1998 USD)

The 1998 Atlantic hurricane season was an above-average season. This season featured a total of 14 tropical cyclones, 14 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. The two most notable storms were Georges, and Mitch. Georges, the costliest storm of the season, devastated the Caribbean and Gulf Shore causing 604 direct deaths, and $9.72 Billion 1999 USD in damage. While Mitch, dropped torrential rainfall over Honduras and Nicaragua, causing over $6.2 Billion 1999 USD in damage, and killing 19,325 people, leaving Mitch known as one of the deadliest storms on record.

Timeline

Hurricane Nicole (1998)Hurricane MitchHurricane Lisa (1998)Hurricane Karl (1998)Hurricane Jeanne (1998)Hurricane Ivan (1998)Tropical Storm Hermine (1998)Hurricane GeorgesTropical Storm Frances (1998)Hurricane Earl (1998)Hurricane Danielle (1998)Tropical Storm Charley (1998)Hurricane Bonnie (1998)Tropical Storm Alex (1998)

Storms

Tropical Storm Alex

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
TS Alex 31 july 1998 0923Z.jpg Alex 1998 track.png
Duration July 27 – August 2
Peak intensity 60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  1000 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Tropical Storm Alex (1998)

Alex was the first tropical cyclone of the 1998 season and remained over the open waters of the tropical Atlantic throughout its lifetime.[1]

Hurricane Bonnie

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Bonnie 23 aug 1998 1857Z.jpg Bonnie 1998 track.png
Duration August 19 – August 30
Peak intensity 115 mph (185 km/h) (1-min)  954 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Bonnie (1998)

Bonnie was the third hurricane to directly hit the coast of North Carolina during the past three years.[2]

Tropical Storm Charley

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
TS Charley 22 aug 1998 0925Z.jpg Charley 1998 track.png
Duration August 21 – August 24
Peak intensity 45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  1000 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Tropical Storm Charley (1998)

Hurricane Danielle

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Danielle 01 sept 1998 1858Z.jpg Danielle 1998 track.png
Duration August 24 – September 3
Peak intensity 105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min)  960 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Danielle (1998)
Danielle had a long track across the Atlantic. Although it did not seriously impact land as a tropical cyclone, it battered portions of Great Britain as an extratropical system.[3]

Hurricane Earl

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Earl 02 sept 1998 2028Z.jpg Earl 1998 track.png
Duration August 31 – September 3
Peak intensity 100 mph (155 km/h) (1-min)  985 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Earl (1998)

Earl made landfall on the Florida panhandle as a category 1 hurricane on the Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Scale (SSHS),resulting in significant storm surge flooding in the “Big Bend” area of Florida.[4]

Tropical Storm Frances

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
TS Frances 10 sept 1998 2040Z.jpg Frances 1998 track.png
Duration September 8 – September 13
Peak intensity 65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  990 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Tropical Storm Frances (1998)

Frances was a tropical storm that brought more than 15 inches of rainfall to portions of east Texas, about ten inches in southern Louisiana, and lesser amounts were spread northward across Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa.[5]

Hurricane Georges

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Georges 20 sept 1998 1847Z.jpg Georges 1998 track.png
Duration September 15 – October 1
Peak intensity 155 mph (250 km/h) (1-min)  937 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Georges

Georges (pronounced Zhorzh) was the second deadliest and second strongest hurricane within the Atlantic basin during the 1998 season. Its 17 day journey resulted in seven landfalls, extending from the northeastern Caribbean to the coast of Mississippi, and 602 fatalities -- mainly in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.[6]

Tropical Storm Hermine

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Storm Hermine 19 sept 1998 2041Z.jpg Hermine 1998 track.png
Duration September 17 – September 20
Peak intensity 45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  999 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Tropical Storm Hermine (1998)

Hurricane Ivan

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Ivan (1998).jpg Ivan 1998 track.png
Duration September 19 – September 27
Peak intensity 90 mph (150 km/h) (1-min)  975 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Ivan (1998)

Hurricane Jeanne

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Jeanne (1998).jpg Jeanne 1998 track.png
Duration September 21 – October 1
Peak intensity 105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min)  969 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Jeanne (1998)

Jeanne remained over the eastern Atlantic. It brushed the Cape Verde Islands, and also caused some gusty winds over the Azores just before losing tropical characteristics.[7]

Hurricane Karl

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricanekarl.jpg Karl 1998 track.png
Duration September 23 – September 28
Peak intensity 105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min)  970 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Karl (1998)

Hurricane Karl was one of four hurricanes in existence over the Atlantic basin at one time. It remained over water without any direct effects to land.[8]

Hurricane Lisa

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Lisa vis.gif Lisa 1998 track.png
Duration October 5 – October 9
Peak intensity 75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min)  995 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Lisa (1998)

Lisa briefly reached hurricane force in the central North Atlantic Ocean and did not affect land.[9]

Hurricane Mitch

Category 5 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Mitch 1998 oct 26 2028Z.jpg Mitch 1998 track.png
Duration October 22 – November 5
Peak intensity 180 mph (285 km/h) (1-min)  905 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Mitch

Mitch is responsible for over nine thousand deaths predominately from rain-induced flooding in portions of Central America, mainly in Honduras and Nicaragua. This makes Mitch one of the deadliest Atlantic tropical cyclones in history, ranking only below the 1780 “Great Hurricane” in the Lesser Antilles, and comparable to the Galveston hurricane of 1900, and Hurricane Fifi of 1974, which primarily affected Honduras.[10]

Hurricane Nicole

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Nicole 30 nov 1998 1719Z.jpg Nicole 1998 track.png
Duration November 24 – December 1
Peak intensity 85 mph (140 km/h) (1-min)  979 mbar (hPa)
Main article: Hurricane Nicole (1998)

Late season Hurricane Nicole was a tenacious tropical cyclone that persisted for several days over the northeast Atlantic.[11]

Storm names

  • Alex
  • Bonnie
  • Charley
  • Danielle
  • Earl
  • Frances
  • Georges
  • Hermine
  • Ivan
  • Jeanne
  • Karl
  • Lisa
  • Mitch
  • Nicole
  • Otto (unused)
  • Paula (unused)
  • Richard (unused)
  • Shary (unused)
  • Tomas (unused)
  • Virginie (unused)
  • Walter (unused)

Retirement

In Spring 1999, it was announced the World Meteorological Organization had retired the names, Georges and Mitch, for the damage and deaths caused by the storms. They were replaced by Gaston and Matthew for the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season.

References

  1. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL011998_Alex.pdf
  2. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL021998_Bonnie.pdf
  3. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL041998_Danielle.pdf
  4. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL051998_Earl.pdf
  5. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL061998_Frances.pdf
  6. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL071998_Georges.pdf
  7. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL101998_Jeanne.pdf
  8. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL111998_Karl.pdf
  9. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL121998_Lisa.pdf
  10. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL131998_Mitch.pdf
  11. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL141998_Nicole.pdf

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