What Caused Hurricane Mitch?


Quick Answer

Different factors led to the formation of Hurricane Mitch, including rising sea temperatures, low pressure and increasingly stronger winds. Hurricane Mitch formed over the Caribbean Sea and struck Central America in 1998.

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Full Answer

Hurricane Mitch reached wind speeds of 180 mph. The hurricane occurred during an extremely hot summer when sea temperatures in the Caribbean reached 27 degrees Celsius. This caused plenty of water vapor to evaporate, allowing the air above the sea to become damp and humid. The air over the sea started to rise due to the hot temperatures, creating an area of low pressure. Air over the sea replaced the rising air and led to the formation of a tropical depression, which is the first stage of hurricane formation. As winds grew stronger, air rose faster, and the air movement to replace this air also became faster. This caused air to spiral and increase in speed. Hurricane Mitch turned into a tropical storm and eventually turned into a hurricane on Oct. 23, 1998. Hurricane Mitch traveled westwards and caused massive destruction to Honduras on Oct. 29, 1998. The hurricane lost its enormous energy and speed as moist air dwindled and the fast rising of air halted, according to the BBC.

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