October 31, 2005 (HDW) Nicaragua – Hurricane Beta hit Nicaragua as a Category 2 storm, but did not cause near the damage as Hurricane Stan caused when it hit Central America at the beginning of the month. Hurricane Beta degraded to a Tropical Storm today as contact with land lowered its strength. The United States and Mexico were relieved that Beta did not have the strength or direction to continue north to strike them.
This 23rd storm of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season formed off the coast of Panama late on October 26, 2005. Dubbed “Beta”, the storm set a new record for the number of tropical cyclones to form in the Atlantic during a single year. A NASA satellite took the above picture of Beta October 30, 2005.
Hurricane Beta came ashore in Nicaragua on October 30, bringing heavy rainfall in the steep mountains of Nicaragua and Honduras. The hurricane’s Category 2 strength winds weakened to tropical storm strength quickly after coming ashore, but the heavy rain (more than 450 millimeters (15 inches) fell in 24 hours in parts of Nicaragua) was far more dangerous than the hurricane force winds. Early in October, a glancing blow from Hurricane Stan triggered landslides across Central America, leaving thousands dead.