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Hurricane Mitch 1998


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  • Location: Western Isles
  • Location: Western Isles

    at199813.gif

    http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/at199813.asp

    first of all the above link gives some very interesting information on this hurricane.

    I've got a couple of questions.

    firstly why dose that storm almost seem to take an almost direct path towards northern uk?

    second how come this storm manged to last so long compared to others?

    this system got stronger winds over Katrina in 180 mph! whats the highest ever recorded officialy in a hurricane?

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  • Location: Taunton, Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, thunder, strong winds. HATE:stagnant weather patterns
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset
    at199813.gif

    http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/at199813.asp

    first of all the above link gives some very interesting information on this hurricane.

    I've got a couple of questions.

    firstly why dose that storm almost seem to take an almost direct path towards northern uk?

    second how come this storm manged to last so long compared to others?

    this system got stronger winds over Katrina in 180 mph! whats the highest ever recorded officialy in a hurricane?

    I'll attempt to answer some of these though I can't be certain on my answers. Someone may be able to answer more fully than me :D .

    Firstly, Hurricane Mitch became extratropical to the east of Florida and then travelled northeastwards as an extratropical low on the jet stream, which is what sends most of our depressions this way. Many recurving hurricanes out to sea (and others like this one) end up becoming extratropical and getting caught by the westerlies sending it our way as an extratropical depression. Another example of a carribean hurricane that ended up here is the beast Hurricane Wilma of 2005, but there are many other examples too.

    This is an image of tropical cyclone tracks 1985-2005.

    800px-Global_tropical_cyclone_tracks-edit2.jpg

    Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_cyclone

    As you can see by looking at the top right of the image, a large portion of storms make their way to Britain as extratropical remnants- you hear forecasters mention ex-hurricanes coming our way fairly frequently during the summer and autumn months. You can see a similar northeastwards recurvature in West Pacific storms, and indeed a southeastwards recurvature of storms doing the same thing in the southern hemisphere.

    Secondly, the duration of the storm. There have been many longer lasting storms than Mitch and the image you posted includes dates of it's extratropical life too. The most relaible dates I can find for Mitch's tropical life are 22nd October- 5th November. I am unsure as to how Mitch mananged to survive so long over land and it tracked over the central americas before re-emerging into the Bay of Campeche, at a guess I would say it may have been drawing energy from the East Pacific waters to the southwest as Mitch wasn't far from actually making it into those waters. That's only a guess though and I can see why you asked about it because it is a very unusual track. The longest lasting hurricane is Hurricane John in the East Pacific from 1994, which also became a typhoon as it travelled all the way to the West Pacific:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_John_(1994)

    track.gif

    Taken from http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/index.html

    Once again, I can't be sure about my third answer. I suspect there have been a few hurricanes out there with joint highest windspeeds, but Hurricane Camille of 1969 had higher winds than Mitch, with sustained winds officially recorded at 190mph! According to Wiki, Camille was the only hurricane with winds that high until it was tied by Hurricane Allen in 1980 which also had sustained 190mph winds.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Camille

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Allen

    But of course, these are official estimates but you never know- there may have been hurricanes with higher sustained windspeeds which missed being officially recorded. Some say the great hurricane of 1780 was not only the deadliest atlantic hurricane on record but also may have had sustained winds of around 200mph. But this was an estimate, and wasn't properly recorded as sufficient technology didn't exist back then, so we can't safely say this "reported" wind speed is true. And of course, if we extended the question to include typhoons and cyclones, there may be storms with sustained winds just that little bit higher, but Camille and Allen are the highest officially I can find for the atlantic at least.

    Hope I haven't waffled too much there, some one may have some more definitive answers than me *cough* Kold *cough* :D . What are your views on this Kold?

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