31 October 2005

Beta hits Nicaragua hard...

Over the weekend, Beta wreaked havoc in Nicaragua and the offshore 
islands of Providencia and San Andres.  At 06Z on Saturday, Beta was 
upgraded to the 13th hurricane of the season, then at 06Z on Sunday, 
became the 7th major hurricane of the season just 50 miles off the 
Nicaragua coast.  The combined effects of very slow motion and 
intensification to a major hurricane caused tremendous rain to fall, and 
of course, flash floods.  Miraculously, no deaths have been reported 
yet, and only a few dozen injuries (this is preliminary).  Two big 
reasons are that the eyewall was very tiny, and more importantly, the 
citizens were warned and evacuated the coasts before the storm hit.

This is a welcome change of pace, after Katrina killed nearly 1100 
people, Stan killed over 1600, Wilma killed 38, and the list goes on 
with Dennis, Emily, Rita, etc.  Overall, a very costly and deadly few 
months.  From Arlene through Beta, the season's NTC is now a staggering 
249%, obliterating the past records for entire seasons.  There is 
exactly one month remaining in this hurricane season, and any further 
activity will just clinch the record even more firmly.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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