Tropical Storm Marco (2008)
|Tropical storm (SSHS)|
|Tropical Storm Marco near peak intensity|
|Formed||October 6, 2008|
|Dissipated||October 7, 2008|
|Highest winds||1-minute sustained:
65 mph (100 km/h)
|Lowest pressure||998 mbar (hPa); 29.47 inHg|
|Part of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season|
Tropical Storm Marco was the smallest tropical cyclone on record. The thirteenth named storm of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season, Marco developed out of a broad area of low pressure over the northwestern Caribbean during late September 2008. Influenced by a tropical wave on October 4, a small low-level circulation center developed over Belize. After crossing the southern end of the Yucatán Peninsula, the low was declared Tropical Depression Thirteen early on October 6. The depression quickly intensified into a tropical storm and was given the name Marco later that day. Marco reached its peak intensity with winds of 65 miles per hour (100 km/h) early on October 7. Around this time, tropical storm force winds extended 11.5 miles (18.5 km) from the center of the storm, making Marco the smallest known tropical cyclone on record. Around 1200 UTC, Marco made landfall near Misantla, Veracruz. The storm rapidly weakened after landfall, dissipating later that day. Because of its small size, Marco caused minimal damage. However, the storm's heavy rains led to floods up to 10 feet (3.0 m) deep that covered highways and damaged homes.
Meteorological history 
Tropical Storm Marco originated in a broad area of low pressure that persisted over the northwestern Caribbean in late September 2008. On October 4, a tropical wave reached the same area, and the system spawned a circulation center over Belize. Development of the low was initially inhibited by its proximity to land. As the system neared the Bay of Campeche, convection quickly developed around the low. At 0000 UTC on October 6, the low was designated as Tropical Depression Thirteen while located over Laguna de Términos. A mid-level ridge located to the north of the depression led to movement in a general west-northwest direction. Forecasters anticipated intensification through landfall because of the storm's well-developed outflow and the low wind shear and high sea surface temperatures in its path. By 1200 UTC, the small cyclone, with a cloud shield of no more than 85 miles (140 kilometers) across, was upgraded to Tropical Storm Marco.
Favorable conditions for development allowed Marco to quickly intensify throughout the day on October 6. Early on October 7, Marco reached its peak intensity with winds of 65 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) and a minimum pressure of 998 millibar (hPa; 29.47 Inches of mercury). This was based on a reconnaissance mission into Marco which recorded flight-level winds of 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) which corresponded to a surface wind speed of 61 miles per hour (98 km/h). Following the quick increase in intensity, forecasters noted the possibility of Marco intensifying into a hurricane before making landfall. The storm maintained a small area of deep convection, averaging 9.2 miles (14.8 km) in diameter, as it continued moving towards the west-northwest. Shortly after reaching peak intensity, tropical storm force winds extended 11.5 miles (18.5 km) from the center of Marco. At 1200 UTC, the center of Marco was estimated to have made landfall near Misantla, Veracruz, with winds of 65 miles per hour (100 km/h). Shortly after making landfall, Marco rapidly weakened, being downgraded to a tropical depression six hours after landfall. The small depression dissipated later that day over the mountains of Mexico.
Preparations, impact and records 
Upon the storm's formation, the Government of Mexico issued a tropical storm warning for the Gulf of Mexico from Tuxpan to Punta El Lagarto. That afternoon the government issued a hurricane watch between Cabo Rojo and Veracruz, and extended the tropical storm warning northward to Cabo Rojo. Officials closed schools ahead of the storm and opened 200 shelters. An estimated 3,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas along the coast. Soldiers used school buses to transport evacuees to the shelters. Marco formed in the area of Mexico's main oil-facilities, leading to the evacuation of 33 workers from four platforms. Six oil wells and a natural gas processing plant were also shut down in Veracruz. The Mexican Secretariat of Communications and Transportation also closed the ports of Nautla and Alvarado to small vessels as a precautionary measure. In Veracruz and Tampaulipas, ports were closed to small ships for roughly 24.5 days and large ships were restricted to port for roughly five hours.
Upon landfall, heavy rains peaking at 7.9 inches (201 millimeters) in El Pujal, San Luis Potosí and falling at rates up to 1 inch per hour (25.4 mm/h), caused some flooding in coastal towns near Veracruz as people evacuated to higher ground. The rains from Marco worsened flood situations in areas of Mexico already suffering from severe flooding. Officials in Veracruz, in their post-storm damage survey, reported that two rivers, the Quilate and Tenoch, overflowed their banks due to rains produced by Marco. One of these rivers left the towns of Minatitlan and Hidalgotitlan under 10 ft (3 m) of water. Highways along the coast of Veracruz were also flooded. Another 250 homes were flooded when a lake and a river overflowed their banks. Thirteen municipalities within Veracruz were affected by Marco. In Vega de Alatorre, 77 people were evacuated to nearby shelters after their homes were inundated with water. Three landslides were also reported in Misantla Colipa; none of them caused damage. In all, Marco's impact was light; minimal damage was recorded, and none of the estimated 400,000 people affected by the storm sustained injury.
In the wake of Marco, the General Coordination of Civil Protection of the Ministry of the Interior declared a state of emergency for 48 municipalities in Veracruz. Relief goods were distributed to the affected areas by October 9. The Government of Mexico reported that 4,700 blankets, 2,900 mattresses, 5,554 bottles of water (each containing 500 milliliters), 260,000 boxes of milk, 250,000 packages of biscuits, and 12,400 boxes of school supplies had been distributed.
At 0052 UTC on October 7, tropical storm force winds extended 11.5 miles (18.5 km) from the center of Marco. This made Marco the smallest tropical cyclone ever recorded, surpassing the previous record set on December 24, 1974 by Cyclone Tracy, whose tropical storm-force winds extended 30 miles (48 km).
See also 
- Other storms of the same name
- List of tropical cyclone records
- Timeline of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season
- Typhoon Tip –Largest tropical cyclone on record
- Neal Dorst (May 29, 2009). "Subject: E5) Which are the largest and smallest tropical cyclones on record?". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved May 29, 2009.
- James L. Franklin (November 4, 2008). "Tropical Storm Marco Tropical Cyclone Report" (PDF). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
- Rhome and Pasch (October 6, 2008). "Tropical Depression Thirteen Discussion One". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
- Rhome and Pasch (October 6, 2008). "Tropical Storm Marco Discussion Two". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
- Stewart (October 7, 2008). "Tropical Storm Marco Discussion Three". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
- Rhome and Pasch (October 7, 2008). "Tropical Storm Marco Discussion Five". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
- Rhome and Pasch (October 7, 2008). "Tropical Depression Marco Discussion Six". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
- Rhome and Pasch (October 6, 2008). "Tropical Depression Thirteen Public Advisory One". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
- Rhome and Pasch (October 6, 2008). "Tropical Storm Marco Public Advisory Two". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
- Associated Press (October 7, 2008). "Tropical Storm Marco hits Mexico's Gulf coast". USA Today. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
- Associated Press (October 8, 2008). "Tropical Storm Marco hits Mexico's Gulf coast". MSNBC. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
- Robert Campbell (October 6, 2008). "Tropical storm Marco forms near Mexico oil fields". Reuters. Retrieved October 8, 2008.
- Hernandez, Miguel (October 7, 2008). "Tropical Storm Marco hits Mexico's Coast". USA Today. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
- (Spanish) Staff Writer (2009). "Port Summary for 2008 Tropical Cyclones in Mexico" (PDF). General Coordination of Merchant Marine and Ports. Retrieved June 2, 2009.
- (Spanish) "41st Session Country Report: Mexico". World Meteorological Organization. 2009. Retrieved March 9, 2009.
- Staff Writer (October 7, 2008). "Tropical Storm Marco lashes Mexico's Gulf coast". Reuters. Retrieved October 8, 2008.
- (Spanish) Staff Writer (October 7, 2008). "Press Release". Government of Veracruz. Retrieved June 2, 2009.
- Adventist Development and Relief Agency International (October 10, 2008). "Mexico: Heavy rains flood Tabasco and Veracruz, ADRA responds". ReliefWeb. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
- (Spanish) A. Timoteo, R. Villalba, R. López, S. Ocampo, M. Habana, S. Maldonado y E. Argüelles (October 9, 2008). "Veracruz: causa Marco inundaciones y crecidas de ríos en 14 municipios". La Jornada. Retrieved January 24, 2009.
- (Spanish) Notimex (October 7, 2008). "Tormenta "Marcos" afecta 13 municipios de Veracruz". Millennium Publishing Group. Retrieved June 2, 2009.[dead link]
- Xinhua News Agency (October 7, 2008). "Tropical Storm Marco hits Mexican coast, 2,000 people evacuated". Highbeam Research. Retrieved May 17, 2009.
- (Spanish) Notimex / Xalapa (October 8, 2008). "Causa graves daños tormenta "Marco" en Veracruz". El Siglo de Torreón. Retrieved May 17, 2009.
- (Spanish) Staff Writer (October 8, 2008). "Solicita Veracruz declaratoria de emergencia para 14 municipios". Revista Fundamentos. Retrieved May 17, 2009.[dead link]
- (Spanish) Karla Cancino (November 11, 2008). "Flood, a Chronicle of Tragedy". Xalapa. Retrieved June 2, 2009.
- (Spanish) Xalapa (October 9, 2008). "Continúa distribución de víveres a afectados por lluvias en Veracruz". La Crónica de Hoy. Retrieved May 17, 2009.
- National Hurricane Center (2009). "Atlantic Best Tracks, 1851 to 2008". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 21, 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Tropical Storm Marco (2008)|
- The National Hurricane Center's Tropical Cyclone Report on Tropical Storm Marco
- The National Hurricane Center's Advisory Archive for Tropical Storm Marco
- National Weather Service Page on Tropical Cyclone Structure