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Hurricane Odile (1984)

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Hurricane Odile
Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)
Odile 21 September 1984.jpg
Hurricane Odile off the coast of Mexico
Formed September 17, 1984
Dissipated September 23, 1984
Highest winds 1-minute sustained: 105 mph (165 km/h)
Fatalities 21
Areas affected Southwestern Mexico
Part of the 1984 Pacific hurricane season

Hurricane Odile was the second of three tropical storms to make landfall in Mexico during the 1984 Pacific hurricane season. The fifteenth named storm and twelfth hurricane of the active season, it developed from a tropical disturbance about 185 miles (300 km) south of Acapulco on September 17. Curving towards the northwest, Odile became a Category 1 hurricane on September 19. The tropical cyclone reached its peak intensity with winds of 105 mph (165 km/h) two days later; however, Hurricane Odile began to weaken as moved erratically it encountered less favorable conditions and was downgraded to a tropical storm shortly before making landfall northwest of Zihuatanejo. Over land, the storm rapidly weakened, and dissipated on September 23. The storm caused significant rainfall accumulations of 24.73 inches (628.1 mm) in Southern Mexico, resulting in severe damage to tourism resorts. Flooding from Odile resulted in the evacuation of 7,000 people, 21 deaths, and the damage of about 900 homes.

Meteorological history[edit]

Map plotting the track and intensity of the storm according to the Saffir–Simpson scale

A tropical disturbance was first noted about 150 mi (240 km) south of Acapulco on September 16. After tracking over 84 °F (29 °C) waters, the disturbance began to strengthen, and became a depression at 1800 UTC on September 17. The depression began to curve more towards the northwest beneath a narrow ridge located over southern Mexico and south of an upper-level low over northern Mexico. About 24 hours after developing into a tropical cyclone, the Eastern Pacific Hurricane Center (EPHC) upgraded the depression to Tropical Storm Odile. By 0000 UTC September 20, the EPHC reported that Odile had attained hurricane status while turning towards the east between the ridge and an upper-level low.[1]

Late on September 21, Hurricane Odile reached its peak intensity of 105 mph (165 km/h) (a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale) as it approached Acapulco. Due to a combination of an upper level trough that moved southward over the Baja California Peninsula and the weakening of the ridge, the hurricane began to turn more northwestward. After maintaining peak intensity for 12 hours, Odile started to weaken, as the storm began to encounter cooler sea surface temperatures.[1] The hurricane rapidly weakened to tropical storm status while approaching the coast of Mexico; within a six-hour period, the winds diminished from 100 mph (160 km/h) to 60 mph (95 km/h).[2] By late on September 22, Odile made landfall about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Zihuatanejo, with winds of 50 mph (80 km/h). Less than six hours later, at 0000 UTC on September 23, Odile ceased to exist as a tropical cyclone. While its surface circulation rapidly weakened over the mountains of western Mexico, the remnants of Odile moved northwest, passing east of Manzanillo before weakening as it re-curved towards Texas.[1][3]

Preparations and impact[edit]

Rainfall totals in Mexico

Heavy rainfall was recorded across Southern Mexico, with the maximum rainfall totals in Costa Azul and Acapulco, where it caused 24.73 in (628 mm) of rainfall.[3] In all, Odile and a few other systems brought the heaviest rains to the region since 1978.[4] Acapulco Mayor Alfonso Arugdin Alcaraz reported that flooding damaged roughly 900 homes, inundated 30 miles (50 km) of highways, triggered an evacuation of 7,000 people, and left 20,000 families without water service.[5] However, these reports were not confirmed because telephone circuits between Acapulco and Mexico City were down.[5]

Commercial flights in Acapulco were suspended on September 21, only to be resumed on September 23, though the airline terminal remained flooded by more than 3 ft (910 mm) of water. Cites such as Zihuatanejo along the coast were left without electricity since the hurricane had knocked down two high-tension towers.[4] A total of 44 riverbanks and 30,000 residents were isolated due to flooding. Eighteen passengers and three crewman drowned on the Atoyac River.[6] In addition, tourism resorts in Acapulco and Ixtapa-Zihuatenejo suffered severe damage. Officials estimated that hotels were only 5% full.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Gunther, Emil B.; Cross, Robert L. (August 1985). "Eastern North Pacific Tropical Cyclones of 1984". Monthly Weather Review. 113 (8): 1393–1410. Bibcode:1985MWRv..113.1393G. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1985)113<1393:ENPTCO>2.0.CO;2. ISSN 1520-0493. Retrieved December 17, 2011. 
  2. ^ National Hurricane Center; Hurricane Research Division; Central Pacific Hurricane Center. "The Northeast and North Central Pacific hurricane database 1949–2016". United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service.  A guide on how to read the database is available here.
  3. ^ a b Roth, David M. (April 2, 2007). "Hurricane Odile- September 16-24, 1984". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. Retrieved December 17, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Storms leave thousands homeless across Mexico". Lakeland Ledger. Associated Press. September 25, 1984. Retrieved December 17, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Levi, Isaac B. (September 24, 1984). "Hurricanes big and ugly, shipping warned". The Free Lance-Star. Associated Press. Retrieved December 17, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Dateline: Mexico; Mexican stock market hits all time high". United Press International. September 26, 1984. 
  7. ^ "Storm batters Mexican resort". The Spokesman-Review. September 24, 1984. Retrieved December 17, 2011. 

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