


I don't mean to start an argument, but Mitch wasn't a CAT 5 at landfall. When the centre of Mitch moved ashore it was a 50kt tropical storm: ZCZC MIATCDAT3 ALL TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM TROPICAL STORM MITCH DISCUSSION NUMBER 33 NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL 4 PM EST THU OCT 29 1998 THE HURRICANE HUNTERS AND SATELLITE ANALYSTS INDICATE THAT THE CENTER OF MITCH IS NOW OVER LAND...HAVING DRIFTED SOUTHWARD TODAY. HIGHEST 850 MB FLIGHTLEVEL WINDS WERE 57 KT. STEADY WINDS OF 50 KT WERE REPORTED A FEW HOURS AGO FROM TRUJILLO HONDURAS BY THE METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE OF HONDURAS. MITCH IS DOWNGRADED TO A TROPICAL STORM WITH 50 KT WINDS. Mitch actually lost CAT 5 status about 2 days prior to landfall: INITIAL 22/0300Z 12.8N 77.9W 30 KTS INITIAL 22/0900Z 12.7N 78.5W 30 KTS INITIAL 22/1500Z 12.0N 78.0W 30 KTS INITIAL 22/2100Z 11.5N 77.6W 40 KTS INITIAL 23/0300Z 12.3N 77.6W 45 KTS INITIAL 23/0900Z 13.0N 77.5W 50 KTS INITIAL 23/1500Z 12.7N 77.9W 50 KTS INITIAL 23/2100Z 13.0N 78.1W 50 KTS INITIAL 24/0300Z 13.5N 78.2W 50 KTS INITIAL 24/0900Z 14.3N 77.7W 80 KTS INITIAL 24/1500Z 14.9N 77.9W 85 KTS INITIAL 24/2100Z 15.3N 78.2W 90 KTS INITIAL 25/0300Z 15.7N 78.4W 105 KTS INITIAL 25/0900Z 16.0N 79.2W 110 KTS INITIAL 25/1200Z 16.2N 79.5W 110 KTS INITIAL 25/1500Z 16.3N 79.8W 115 KTS INITIAL 25/2100Z 16.6N 80.7W 130 KTS INITIAL 26/0300Z 16.4N 81.7W 130 KTS INITIAL 26/0900Z 16.5N 82.3W 130 KTS INITIAL 26/1500Z 16.7N 82.9W 135 KTS INITIAL 26/2100Z 17.2N 83.6W 155 KTS INITIAL 27/0300Z 17.4N 84.1W 155 KTS INITIAL 27/0900Z 17.4N 84.8W 155 KTS INITIAL 27/1500Z 17.3N 85.0W 145 KTS INITIAL 27/2100Z 16.8N 85.8W 135 KTS INITIAL 28/0300Z 16.5N 85.6W 120 KTS INITIAL 28/0900Z 16.3N 85.6W 115 KTS INITIAL 28/1500Z 16.4N 85.6W 105 KTS INITIAL 28/2100Z 16.4N 85.9W 100 KTS INITIAL 29/0300Z 16.3N 86.0W 85 KTS INITIAL 29/0900Z 16.0N 85.9W 75 KTS INITIAL 29/1500Z 16.0N 85.6W 65 KTS INITIAL 29/2100Z 15.9N 85.8W 50 KTS...INLAND INITIAL 30/0300Z 15.5N 85.5W 45 KTS...INLAND INITIAL 30/0900Z 15.4N 86.1W 35 KTS...INLAND INITIAL 30/1500Z 15.3N 86.2W 35 KTS INITIAL 30/2100Z 15.1N 86.8W 50 KTS...INLAND INITIAL 31/0300Z 14.4N 87.3W 45 KTS...INLAND INITIAL 31/0900Z 14.2N 87.9W 35 KTS...INLAND INITIAL 31/1500Z 14.5N 88.7W 30 KTS...INLAND INITIAL 31/2100Z 14.5N 89.9W 30 KTS INITIAL 01/0300Z 14.6N 90.5W 30 KTS...INLAND INITIAL 01/0900Z 15.0N 91.4W 30 KTS...INLAND INITIAL 01/1500Z 14.9N 91.6W 25 KTS...INLAND INITIAL 01/2100Z 15.0N 92.3W 25 KTS...DISSIPATING INITIAL 03/2100Z 19.4N 91.3W 40 KTS INITIAL 04/0300Z 20.2N 90.2W 35 KTS...INLAND INITIAL 04/0900Z 20.8N 89.4W 30 KTS...INLAND INITIAL 04/1500Z 21.8N 88.3W 40 KTS INITIAL 04/2100Z 23.5N 85.8W 40 KTS INITIAL 05/0300Z 25.3N 84.0W 45 KTS INITIAL 05/0900Z 25.7N 82.3W 45 KTS INITIAL 05/1500Z 27.1N 80.2W 55 KTS...INLAND INITIAL 05/2100Z 28.2N 76.9W 50 KTS...EXTRATROPICAL While Mitch was a CAT 5 at peak intensity (ranked at the 4th most intense hurricane ever observed in the Atlantic basin), it was a shadow of its former self at landfall  the damage was caused by the phenomenal amount of rain it brought with it. 