Climatologically, October is still an active month for hurricanes but activity starts to diminish in the Atlantic/Carribbean basin by months end. Officially, the hurricane season, as defined by NOAA's National Hurricane Center (NHC) runs from June through November. A graph from NHC of the average cumulative distribution of hurricanes shows the decrease in activity in October.
In Mexico, a tropical disturbance early in the month brought flooding rains. The Government of Mexico reported that in the states of Puebla, Tabasco, Hidalgo, and Veracruz, there are 360 confirmed deaths and an estimated 315,000 people made homeless as a result of the recent flooding and associated landslides. Media and other sources estimated the number of deaths at 425.
Also, Cyclone 04B affected the states of Orissa, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh in India and left 56 people dead. Rice paddies were reportedly inundated, but damages were not yet assessed.
Hurricane Irene brought heavy rains from the Florida Keys northward to central Virginia in the U.S. Some places in eastern North Carolina and eastern Virginia received over 12 inches of additional rain, adding to the flooding problems. News sources reported that agricultural losses alone in Miami-Dade County, Florida due to flooding associated with Irene, could reach $100 million. Media have reported that between 5 and 15 deaths occurred in Florida and North Carolina. Total damages are now estimated at $800 million.
* Supercyclone hits eastern India on October 29th, 1999 *
A supercyclone with winds in excess of 160 mph swept in from the Bay of Bengal to hit the eastern state of Orissa on Friday, October 29th, 1999. This was the second tropical system to affect the region this month. Up to 15 million people have been left homeless by the storm, with the death toll estimated as high as 10,000. Phone lines and power supplies throughout the state of Orissa were also wiped out. Media reports have compared this cyclone to a 1997 tidal surge which killed thousands in neighboring Andhra Pradesh, and claim this is the worst cyclone to have hit the Indian Bay of Bengal region in three decades.
Satellite Images and Maps of Irene, Jose and Cyclone 04B
Storm Summary Rainfall Map for Hurricane Irene, October 14-19, 1999 and Data Table
Individual NCDC Stations and Globe Student Data Rainfall Map/Plot for Hurricane Irene, October 14-19, 1999 (Larger Version)
Hurricane Irene over east coast of Florida - colorized ir image from GOES-8 - Oct 16
Hurricane Jose crossing the Leeward Islands - Oct 20
Tropical Cyclone 04B in the Bay of Bengal - Oct 17
Additional images of hurricanes, typhoons and tropical systems for 1999 can be found insatellite images.
Other global highlights for October 1999 can be found at NOAA/OGP Special Global Summary for October 1999.