Hurricane Felix jumped from a Cat 1 to 5 in one day — battered Nicaragua

·2 min read
Hurricane Felix jumped from a Cat 1 to 5 in one day — battered Nicaragua
Hurricane Felix jumped from a Cat 1 to 5 in one day — battered Nicaragua

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.

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On Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2007, Hurricane Felix made landfall on Nicaragua and Honduras as a Category 5 storm.

The powerful and deadly hurricane started as a tropical wave off the coast of Africa on Aug. 24. The trough continued to organize and strengthen as it travelled toward Cape Verde. On Aug. 30, the system showed cyclonic turning. The next day, the wave became Tropical Depression Six near the Windward Islands.

On Sep. 1, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) dubbed the growing system Tropical Storm Felix. The next day, the NHC elevated Felix into hurricane status as it moved close to Bonaire.

flooding
flooding

Courtesy of Getty Images

On Sep. 3, Felix strengthened into a Category 5 storm. Behind 2005's Wilma, this is the second-fastest intensifying storm in the Atlantic Ocean. The same day, the storm weakened into a Category 4 storm but regained its Category 5 status on Sep. 4.

Felix made landfall in Nicaragua, near the Honduras border. The same day, the Pacific Ocean's Hurricane Henriette hit the Baja California Peninsula. This was only the second time that an Atlantic and Pacific hurricane made landfall on the same day.

1920px-Aruba-Hurricane-Felix-1
1920px-Aruba-Hurricane-Felix-1

"Felix passing Aruba." Courtesy of Elisa Arteaga/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 2.0

On Sep. 5, Felix weakened into a tropical storm. On Sep. 7, the system dissipated over the Mexican state of Tabasco.

Felix produced winds as high as 280 km/h. The storm caused 130 direct and three indirect deaths and US$720 million (2007) worth of damage. It impacted areas in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, but Nicaragua was by far the most impacted.

Approximately 40,000 people in Nicaragua were affected, as Felix destroyed around 9,000 homes. The majority of the damage was in the Nicaraguan city of Bilwi. Overall, Felix affected more than 160,000 people, leaving thousands stranded.

To learn more about Hurricane Felix, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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