10th Anniversary of Hurricane Stan

Satellite Rainfall estimates from Hurricane Stan (TRMM/NASA)

Satellite Rainfall estimates from Hurricane Stan (TRMM/NASA)

In the early morning hours of October 2, 2005, during one of the busiest hurricane seasons on record, a weak Tropical Storm Stan came shore on the Yucatan’s Caribbean coast.  Over the next several days as Stan moved slowly westward, it dumped heavy rains over Mexico and Central America and left a large death toll.

The disturbance Stan sprang from had only formed a closed circulation the day before its initial landfall.  It spent the day after landfall drifting northwest over the Yucatan Peninsula.  Once it reached the Gulf of Mexico, it turned to the southwest and slowly strengthened to a hurricane.  It then came ashore again, near Coatzacoalos, Mexico.  As it moved slowly inland, it continued to drop copious amounts of rain on the mountains of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec as it dissipated.  The flash floods across the region caused nearly 1700 deaths, the vast majority in Guatemala.  But most of the US$3.9 billion in damage was done in Mexico, which suffered over 60% of the total.

One paper written by an HRD scientist using Stan data:
Aberson, S. D., 2008:  An Alternative Tropical Cyclone Intensity Forecast Verification Technique.  Wea. Forecasting, 23, 1304–1310.