Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:57 PM GMT on October 31, 2005
The heavy rains have ended in Nicaragua and Honduras. Hurricane Beta is no more, reduced by Nicaragua's high mountains to a remnant swirl of low clouds over El Salvador.
Beta's passage over Nicaragua dropped rains of up to ten inches in some areas; the highest precipitation amounts reported by official measuring sites were 9.5 inches at Chinandega in western Nicaragua and 6 inches at Rio Sulaco in the mountains of Honduras. Up to 120 houses were reported destroyed in coastal Nicaragua where Beta made landfall, and flooding in the Honduran fishing town of Iriona caused residents climbed to climb onto the roofs of their homes to escape the high waters. No deaths have been reported in either country, and it appears that Beta was too small to trigger the heavy rains required to cause a major disaster. The National Hurricane Center will probably not have to retire Beta's name from the list of Atlantic hurricanes.
Beta's remains will emerge out over the Pacific today, and may re-intensify into a tropical storm. However, any storm that might form is expected to move quickly away from Central America, and no heavy rains or high winds will affect land areas from this system.
Elsewhere in the tropics
A tropical disturbance located about 200 miles south of Puerto Rico is suffering significant wind shear from an upper-level low pressure system near Haiti. This shear will prevent any development from occurring today. On Tuesday, this upper-level low is expected to weaken, and some development of the disturbance is possible as it continues west towards Hispanolia and Cuba.
Some remnants of Hurricane Beta's moisture remain in the southwest Caribbean just north of Honduras, and this area may have to be watched later in week for possible development.
I'll be back with an update Tuesday morning.
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