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Hurricane Hut

Dolly - 1996
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Hurricane Dolly Making Landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula

A large tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa into the eastern Atlantic Ocean on August 9. The wave was tracked through the eastern Atlantic and into the Caribbean Sea with deep convection flaring up every now and then, but no significant organization until the storm passed to the south of Jamaica on August 18. The wave was deemed Tropical Depression Four very early on August 19, and the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Dolly twelve hours later. Dolly was able to strengthen quickly in the warm waters of the western Caribbean as it moved WNW towards the Yucatan Peninsula, and the storm briefly reached hurricane status just prior to slamming into Chetumal, Mexico on July 20 with winds of 75 mph. After landfall, the inevitable weakening took place, and Dolly was a tropical depression by early on July 21. Tropical Depression Dolly emerged into the open and warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico later on the 21st, regaining tropical storm status almost instantly upon arrival. It took a little bit longer for the tropical storm to gain sufficient organization after being tattered and torn by the mountainous terrain of the Yucatan Peninsula, but it managed to regain hurricane status once again on July 23. At this time, Dolly made its final landfall midway between Tuxpan and Tampico, Mexico with winds of 80 mph and a pressure of 989 mbar, which was the storm's peak intensity. After landfall, Dolly continued a brisk WNW pace, and entered the Eastern Pacific Basin on July 25 as a tropical depression. Fortunately, the storm was weakened enough so that it was not able to regain strength in the waters of the Eastern Pacific Basin as Hurricane Cesar had done just weeks earlier. Had Dolly reorganized in the Eastern Pacific, it would have been the first time in recorded history that two storms had done so in the same season, not to mention consecutively. A total of fourteen deaths were reported due to Dolly, mostly in mainland Mexico, and not on the Yucatan. About 6,500 people were evacuated from the storm in Tampico. The named Dolly was not retired.