|Hurricane Beta at Category 2 Intensity
On October 26, a strong area of low pressure off the coast of Costa Rica developed and became Tropical Depression 26. It was
upgraded to Tropical Storm Beta hours later, making it the 23rd named storm of the record breaking season. After sitting nearly
stationary off the Nicaraguan coast for several days, it became a hurricane on October 29. This was the 13th hurricane of
the Atlantic Season, which broke the record of 12 set back in 1969. Beta then began to turn to the West, and then southwest.
During this time it strengthened further to become a category 3 major hurricane with 115 mph winds. This was the seventh major
hurricane of the season. Just Prior to landfall in Nicaragua on October 30, it weakened slightly to a Category 2 storm but
still caused extensive damage. Hardest hit was the Island of Provincia which is located about 135 miles off the coast of Nicaragua,
the area where Beta was stationed for an extended period of time, pounding the island with hurricane force winds for hours.
After Landfall, Beta weakened quickly from the rough terrain of Central America. If it would have crossed into the East
Pacific Basin and regenerated, it would have been given a different name from the East Pacific List. Beta dissipated late
on October 30. Beta dumped very heavy rains in the area that continued into Early November. In Honduras, over 7,000 people
were evacuated when rivers began to swell from Beta's rains. There were numerous reports of injuries and destroyed homes,
but amazingly, no fatalities have been attributed to Beta yet.