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September 25, 1998 - The One-Two Punch of Georges and Mitch

Friday, September 25th 2020, 6:05 am - The 1998 Atlantic hurricane season featured the highest number of storm-related fatalities in more than 218 years and was one of the costliest ever at the time.

1998 Atlantic hurricane season summary map/NASA/NHC The 1998 Atlantic hurricane season was one of the most disastrous Atlantic hurricane seasons on record, featuring the highest number of storm-related fatalities in more than 218 years and was one of the costliest ever at the time. Photo: NASA/National Hurricane Center (NHC)

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The 1998 Atlantic hurricane season was one of the most disastrous Atlantic hurricane seasons on record, featuring the highest number of storm-related fatalities in more than 218 years and was one of the costliest ever at the time.

Several storms made landfall or directly affected land, but there were two hurricanes that year that stood alone as headline-grabbing for their sheer devastation and death toll - Georges and Mitch. The former was a major Category 3 storm that held its strength and status long enough to devastate Saint Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Georges peaked as an intense Category 4 hurricane, tore through the aforementioned island nations as a Category 3, before making another landfall -- this time near Biloxi, Miss., causing horrendous and significant damage. It was in Biloxi where Georges killed at least 600.

Then there was Mitch, a very powerful and destructive late-season Category 5 hurricane that made landfall in Florida as a tropical storm after battering much of Central America. Mitch was noted as being the strongest storm of the season, the eighth most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded until Hurricane Dean in 2007.

Mitch produced significant damage across Central America and killed at least 11,000 people, making the system the second deadliest hurricane in recorded history, behind only the Great Hurricane of 1780.

On today's podcast, Chris Mei talks about Mitch, Georges and the other individual storms that made 1998 an impactful year for Atlantic hurricanes.

"This Day In Weather History” is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.

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