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You are here: GES DISC Home Hurricanes Additional Features Science Focus HURRICANE BETA OCTOBER 26-31 2005


Hurricane Beta track diagram

Figure 1. Best Track analysis of Hurricane Beta, which made landfall in central Nicaragua as a Category 2 Hurricane1 .


Storm Status

Wind Speed

Green=Tropical Depression

<39 mph

Yellow=Tropical Storm

39-73 mph

Light Red=Category 1-2 Hurricane

74-110 mph

Dark Red=Category 3-5 Hurricane



Because of the extraordinarily active 2005 hurricane season, forecasters as the National Hurricane Center were forced to resort to using Greek names for the first time in history.  Hurricane Beta was the twenty-third named storm of the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season, and the fourteenth hurricane.  Beta made landfall in Central Nicaragua and caused significant damage to homes and produced catastrophic flooding in low-lying portions of the country.


Storm History

              A large and disorganized area of showers and thunderstorms in the southwestern Caribbean Sea developed into Tropical Depression Twenty-Six on 26 October 2005 2 (coincidence?).  From there, the depression began to slowly edge towards the island of San Andres, and became a Tropical Storm early on 27 October.

              Beta continued to intensify, while edging closer to the Nicaraguan coastline, and by the morning hours of 29 October, Beta had become an 80 mph Hurricane.  The island of Providencia felt the effects of Tropical Storm Beta for several hours as the core of the storm passed directly over.  Even though Beta only managed Category 1 intensity over the island, damage was reported to be severe 3.

              Beta finally made landfall near La Barra in the east-central portion of Nicaragua during the morning of 30 October as a Category 2 Hurricane with 110 mph maximum sustained surface winds.  Due to Beta’s small size, and the extremely rugged terrain of Nicaragua, the storm weakened very quickly after landfall4 and was downgraded to a tropical storm less than six hours later. 

              During the evening, Beta had completely dissipated over the elevated terrain of Nicaragua.   



Data, Images and Animations

+Explore and analyze gridded data of the hurricane using the GES-DISC Interactive Online Visualization and Analysis Infrastructure (Giovanni)

+Use Mirador or WHOM to obtain data provided by the GES DISC DAAC for a hurricane event.

+View animations and images of Hurricane Beta in the 2005 Past Hurricane Archive.


Beta RGB
MODIS Aqua RGB using the MOD02HKM product. This image is of the swath data from Oct 27 at 1855 hrs. More images like this and parameters animation created from other datasets can be seen in our Archive Image Gallery for hurricane Beta.



1. Image courtesy of the NOAA coastal Services Center  Http://

2. Avila, Lixion. “Tropical Depression Twenty-Six Discussion Number 1.” 26 October 2005. (10 July 2006).

3.Pasch, Richard J; Roberts, David P. “Tropical Cyclone Report: Hurricane Beta.” 28 March 2006. (10 July 2006).

4. Knabb, Richard. “Hurricane Beta Discussion Number 14.” 30 October 2005. (10 July 2006).

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Last updated: May 27, 2010 04:35 PM ET