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This image of Hurricane Mitch on October 27th, 1998 was when the storm was at its strongest. Winds in the storm reached a peak of 157 knots (180 MPH). This made Mitch the strongest hurricane in the Caribbean sea in over a decade and the 4th strongest in Atlantic Basin history.
By the morning of October 28, winds associated with Hurricane Mitch had decreased to 105 knots. The storm was located just north of Honduras and was drifting to the west. By this point, however, the real story was not the wind but the rain. The slow movement of the storm had caused heavy rain in Central America over the past few days, but especially in Honduras and Nicaragua. Now with the storm stalled to the north, the rains increased in intensity and coverage. Widespread, catastrophic flooding and mudslides were the result. By the time Tropical Storm Mitch made landfall on the 29th, the damage and loss of life was already extensive.
Want to learn more about tropical cyclones like Mitch? Go to JetStream, an Online School for Weather.