1998 Atlantic hurricane season

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1998 Atlantic hurricane season
Season summary map
First storm formed July 31, 1998
Last storm dissipated December 1, 1998
Strongest storm Mitch – 905 mbar (hPa) (26.74 inHg), 205 mph (335 km/h)
Total storms 14
Hurricanes 10
Major hurricanes (Cat. 3+) 3
Total fatalities 12,000+
Total damage $12 billion (1998 USD)
Atlantic hurricane seasons
1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000

The 1998 Atlantic hurricane season was the second deadliest Atlantic hurricane season. It began on June 1, 1998, and it ended on November 30, 1998. However, one storm lasted until after the end of the season. This season had 14 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. Storms during the season caused more than 12,000 deaths. Most of these were caused by Hurricane Mitch.

Storms[change | change source]

Tropical Storm Alex[change | change source]

Tropical storm
TS Alex 31 july 1998 0923Z.jpg Alex 1998 track.png
DurationJuly 27 – August 2
Peak intensity50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  1002 mbar (hPa)

On July 27, the first tropical depression started. By July 29, it became Tropical Storm Alex. Alex moved toward land but died on affect anywhere. Wind shear caused Alex to die on August 2.

Hurricane Bonnie[change | change source]

Category 3 hurricane
Hurricane Bonnie 23 aug 1998 1857Z.jpg Bonnie 1998 track.png
DurationAugust 19 – August 30
Peak intensity115 mph (185 km/h) (1-min)  954 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Bonnie started on August 19, as a tropical depression. It had become a tropical storm by the next day. Bonnie became a hurricane after passing to the north of Puerto Rico. By August 27 it had slammed into Wilmington, North Carolina, as a category 3 hurricane. Hurricane Bonnie went back out into the Atlantic and died on August 30. Bonnie killed about 5 people and caused $1 billion in damage.

Tropical Storm Charley[change | change source]

Tropical storm
TS Charley 22 aug 1998 0925Z.jpg Charley 1998 track.png
DurationAugust 21 – August 24
Peak intensity70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  1000 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Charley started in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico on August 21. It became a strong tropical storm before it made landfall near Corpus Christi in Texas. Charley had died by August 24 over western Texas. It killed between 20-26 people and caused $50 million in damage.

Hurricane Danielle[change | change source]

Category 2 hurricane
Hurricane Danielle 01 sept 1998 1858Z.jpg Danielle 1998 track.png
DurationAugust 24 – September 3
Peak intensity105 mph (170 km/h) (1-min)  960 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Danielle started on August 24 as a tropical depression. By August 25 it was already a hurricane. It tracked across most of the Atlantic, switching between a category 1 and 2 hurricane for most of the time. Danielle headed for the United States, but missed as it turned north. The hurricane moved to the northeast and slowly weakened. On September 3, Danielle died. The remains continued until they were a few hundred miles north of Iceland on September 8.

Hurricane Earl[change | change source]

Category 2 hurricane
Hurricane Earl 02 sept 1998 2028Z.jpg Earl 1998 track.png
DurationAugust 31 – September 3
Peak intensity105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min)  988 mbar (hPa)

Earl started in the southern Gulf of Mexico. It soon became a tropical storm and it became a hurricane about a day later. Hurricane Earl peak as a category 2 hurricane, but it weakened back to a category 1 as it made landfall in Panama City, Florida on September 3. It soon died after it crossed into Georgia. Earl killed 3 people and caused around $79 million in damage.

Tropical Storm Frances[change | change source]

Tropical storm
TS Frances 10 sept 1998 2040Z.jpg Frances 1998 track.png
DurationSeptember 8 – September 13
Peak intensity65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  990 mbar (hPa)

Frances formed in the Gulf of Mexico on September 8. It soon became a tropical storm before it made landfall in Texas on September 11. Tropical Storm Frances last for two more days over land. The storm killed 2 people and caused $500 million in damage.

Hurricane Georges[change | change source]

Category 4 hurricane
Hurricane Georges 20 sept 1998 1847Z.jpg Georges 1998 track.png
DurationSeptember 15 – October 1
Peak intensity155 mph (250 km/h) (1-min)  937 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Georges was a very strong category 4 hurricane. Over its path it nearly became a category 5 hurricane on September 20. Notably, the storm made landfall in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Cuba. Georges made landfall near Biloxi, Mississippi on September 28. Hurricane Georges died on October 1 just before entering the Atlantic near the Florida and Georgia border. It also caused over 350,000 people to become homeless in Cuba, Haiti, and Dominican Republic. The hurricane caused almost $6 billion in damage and it killed 604 people.

Tropical Storm Hermine[change | change source]

Tropical storm
Tropical Storm Hermine 19 sept 1998 2041Z.jpg Hermine 1998 track.png
DurationSeptember 17 – September 20
Peak intensity45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  999 mbar (hPa)

Hermine was a weak tropical storm that started on September 17 in the Gulf of Mexico. On September 20 it made landfall in Louisiana. It died that same day and it killed 2 people and caused only $85,000 in damage.

Hurricane Ivan[change | change source]

Category 1 hurricane
Hurricane Ivan (1998).jpg Ivan 1998 track.png
DurationSeptember 19 – September 27
Peak intensity90 mph (150 km/h) (1-min)  975 mbar (hPa)

Ivan started on September 19 near Cape Verde Islands. It strengthened into a tropical storm soon after and head to the north. On September 23 it became a hurricane, and it soon slowly turned east. It passed just north of the Azores as a hurricane on September 26. Hurricane Ivan died on September 27.

Hurricane Jeanne[change | change source]

Category 2 hurricane
Hurricane Jeanne (1998).jpg Jeanne 1998 track.png
DurationSeptember 21 – October 1
Peak intensity105 mph (170 km/h) (1-min)  969 mbar (hPa)

Jeanne started on September 21 near the coast of Africa. It became a tropical storm later that day and a hurricane soon after. Hurricane Jeanne began to turn to the east on September 25. On October 1 it crossed through the Azores before it died later that day. The remains of Jeanne reached Portugal on October 4.

Hurricane Karl[change | change source]

Category 2 hurricane
Hurricane Karl (1998).JPG Karl 1998 track.png
DurationSeptember 23 – September 28
Peak intensity105 mph (170 km/h) (1-min)  970 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Karl was, at first, Tropical Depression Eleven which formed on September 23. It later became Tropical Storm Karl and then Hurricane Karl. Hurricane Karl was one of four hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean on September 26. Karl died on September 28 near Ireland.[1]

Hurricane Lisa[change | change source]

Category 1 hurricane
Lisa vis.gif Lisa 1998 track.png
DurationOctober 5 – October 9
Peak intensity75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min)  995 mbar (hPa)

On October 5 Tropical Depression One formed, shortly after it became Tropical Storm Lisa. On October 9 Tropical Storm Lisa strengthened and became Hurricane Lisa. Hurricane Lisa became extratropical and dead out over the Atlantic that same day. At one point in time Hurricane Lisa moving speed was greater than 58 mph.[2]

Hurricane Mitch[change | change source]

Category 5 hurricane
Hurricane Mitch Oct 26 1998 1915Z.jpg Mitch 1998 track.png
DurationOctober 22 – November 5
Peak intensity180 mph (285 km/h) (1-min)  905 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Mitch was a very powerful storm. Mitch was a category 5 but it made landfall as a category 1. However Mitch still devastated Central America, causing at least 9,000 deaths and at least $5 billion in damage.[3]

Hurricane Nicole[change | change source]

Category 1 hurricane
Hurricane Nicole 30 nov 1998 1719Z.jpg Nicole 1998 track.png
DurationNovember 24 – December 1
Peak intensity85 mph (140 km/h) (1-min)  979 mbar (hPa)

Nicole formed late in the season in the eastern Atlantic. It was named on November 24, the storm moved west-southwest for several days, and wind shear caused it to weaken to a tropical depression on November 26. However, it strengthened again and was again called a tropical storm on November 27.

Nicole was heading northeast toward the Azores as a weak hurricane. The storm then turned back to the north and was weakened to an extratropical storm on December 1. Hurricane Nicole never affected land and no damage was reported.

Storm names[change | change source]

Below is a full list of names that was being used in 1998. There were four storm names used for the first time they were named: Alex, Lisa, Mitch, and Nicole for the first time in 1998. Alex was used for the first time because it was a replacement for the name Andrew. Names not used are marked in gray.

  • 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[change | change source]

After the season there were two names that were retired: Georges and Mitch. Since they were retired, they will never be used for an Atlantic storm again. In 2004 the names: Gaston and Matthew, were used instead.

References[change | change source]

Tropical cyclones of the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season

Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale
TD TS C1 C2 C3 C4 C5