Hurricane Dolly was the fourth named storm, and the third hurricane of the 1996 Atlantic hurricane season, forming in the Carribean Sea from a tropical wave that exited the coast of Africa in early August. Dolly strengthened to a hurricane just before landfall northeast of Chetumal on the Yucatan Peninsula as a minimal hurricane on August 20. Dolly later made a second and final landfall between Tuxpan and Tampico in Mexico on August 23. Dolly dissipated over the Pacific Ocean on August 26.

Damage figures from Dolly are not available, but it likely caused some moderate damage across its path. Dolly killed 14 people, all directly. Dolly also left many people homeless, destroying hundreds of homes throughout its path. Also, large areas of land and crop were flooded as a result of Dolly.

Dolly making landfall on August 20 as a hurricane
Formation August 19, 1996
Dissipation August 26, 1996
Highest winds 80 mph
Lowest pressure 989 mbar
Deaths 14 direct
Damages Unknown
Areas affected Mexico

Meteorological History

A tropical wave exited the coast of Africa sometime in early August, and began heading westward across the Atlantic Ocean. It entered the extreme central Carribean Sea on August 18, at which point the wave was still slightly disorganized. However, reports from hurricane hunter aircraft suggested that the system reached tropical depression status on August 19. Six hours later, the depression became Tropical Storm Dolly, the fourth named storm of the 1996 season. Dolly moved to the west-northwest on August 19 and August 20, strengthening as it did so. Before the storm made landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula northeast of Chetumal, convection increased, and Dolly strengthened into a minimal hurricane with 75 mph winds, and made landfall at that intensity. Dolly weakened to a tropical storm overland due to its 24-hour passage over the Yucatan Peninsula, but it emerged into the Bay of Campeche, and restrengthened into a hurricane. Before landfall in between Tuxpan and Tampico, Mexico on August 23, Dolly reached its peak intensity of 80 mph and a pressure of 989 mbar.

Dolly weakened to a tropical depression as it crossed central Mexico, and dissipated when it entered the Pacific Ocean on August 26.



The highest recorded rainfall from Dolly throughout its entire life was 37.41 inches at Llano Gde. Hilarios. The location that received the most rainfall in a 24-hour period was Micos, Mexico, which received 12.94 inches of rain. Also, Santa Rosa received 10.59 inches of rain, as well as Puerto de Valles, which picked up 10 inches of rain. Also, high rainfall amounts occured in more widely-known cities, with Acapulco picking up 7.48 inches of rain, Tuxpan picking up 5.88 inches, Chetumal picking up 5.73 inches of rain, Los Mochis picking up 7.06 inches of rain, and Cancun, with 1.35 inches of rain.

According to newspaper reports, 14 people were killed because of Dolly. 6 people drowned in Veracruz, 3 in Nuevo Leon, and one in Pueblo Viejo and Monterrey, with an additional 2 people reported to be missing in Nuevo Leon. Dolly destroyed hundreds of homes in Mexico, leaving 35,000 people homeless, with severe damaging occuring in Tuxpan, Pueblo Viejo, Tamiahua, Panuco, Platon, Tampico Alto, as well as other locations along the northeastern coast of Mexico. Finally, in Quintana, large areas of farmland were lost because of the hurricane.


Even though it was far from the United States, Dolly brought heavy rainfall and gusty winds to southern Texas. Weekly rainfall totals in Corpus Christi reached 5.53 inches, and reached 2.82 inches in Brownsville. Corpus Christi daily measured rainfall on Friday and Saturday were as high as 1.92 inches and 2.55 inches, setting a new daily record.

Lack of Retirement

Despite its effects, the name Dolly was not retired, and was used again in the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season, and is on the list of names to be used for the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season.

See Also

1996 Atlantic hurricane season