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Hurricane Joan

By Wikipedia

Hurricane Joan took a very unusual track for an Atlantic hurricane. It formed east of the Windward Islands in October 1988, and then hugged the northern coast of South America for several days. Joan is only the second storm known to have taken that track. Relatively weak for most of its life, it was a tropical storm until it reached hurricane strength while off the coast of Colombia, and made landfall at Bluefields, Nicaragua. Joan killed 148 people in Nicaragua alone, with the large death toll is in part blamed on residents' resistance to evacuation. Joan had strengthened rapidly in the day before landfall, and was a Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale storm when it slammed into Central America.

Joan killed another 68 people in other affected nations. Damage in Nicaragua was estimated at 840 million US dollars.

After passing over Nicaragua and into the Pacific Ocean, Joan was reborn in the warm Pacific waters as Tropical Storm Miriam. Miriam managed to maintain tropical storm strength for almost two weeks, but eventually dissipated. Joan-Miriam is one of only seven storms on record as having made the transition from an Atlantic to a Pacific hurricane.

The name Joan was retired in 1989 and was replaced by Joyce in the 1994 season.


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Courtesy of NASA

Date(s): October 11 - November 2, 1988

Location: Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador

Deaths: 216

Injuries: Unknown

Damage: $840M in Nicaragua alone

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It uses material from this Wikipedia article, which is probably more up to date than ours (retrieved August 12, 2005).

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