Maria becomes a menace

MariaThe parade of hurricanes in the Atlantic continues with Maria making landfall late tonight over the eastern Caribbean island nation of Dominica as a powerful category 5 storm packing sustained winds of 260 km/h.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center is outlying a path for Maria which is eerily similar to the recent Hurricane Irma with the U.S and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico expected to be impacted on Wednesday.

Maria will be accompanied by a dangerous storm surge and between 300-500 mm (12-20 inches) of rain to some of the islands causing life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Meantime, Hurricane Jose is still churning northward as a category 1 storm with heavy surf and rip currents along the U.S East Coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts.

Canadian forecasters say the remnants of Jose have already brought high humidity to the Maritimes and will give Nova Scotia persistent moisture and cloud cover as well as rough surf along the Atlantic coast.

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Irma swamps Florida

The impact of Hurricane Irma in Miami, FL, USA, 10 Sept 2017 (AP)

Irma was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm today after slamming Florida with destructive wind, heavy rain, flash flooding, high storm surges and even tornadoes.

Irma, one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, made landfall over the Florida Keys on Sunday before coming ashore near Naples and then heading up the state’s west coast.

Miami was not in the storm’s direct path but was still battered by strong winds which swayed high rise buildings, brought down three construction cranes and downtown streets were swamped.

In northeast Florida, Jacksonville had historic flooding after the swollen St. Johns River spilled its banks and officials said dangerous conditions were expected for several days.

Prior to arriving in the United States, Irma claimed 10 lives in Cuba according to state media after battering Havana and tourist resorts such as Varadero and Cayo Coco where the international airport was destroyed.

Triple Threat: Irma, Jose & Katia

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From left to right, Hurricanes Katia, Irma, Jose, 08 Sept 2017 (Earth Wind Map)

St Martin hurricane

Irma aftermath on St. Maarten Island, eastern Caribbean, 06 Sept 2017 (Reuters)

Hurricane Irma has barreled through the Caribbean as a Category 5 storm claiming more than 20 lives and destroying more than 90 percent of the buildings on the islands of Barbuda, St. Martin/St. Maarten and St. Barts.

Irma is heading for Florida where officials say it could be the strongest storm ever and evacuation orders have led to massive lineups at gas stations as residents flee northward.

Following a similar path, Hurricane Jose is a Category 4 storm which could hit the already battered islands of Antigua and Barbuda.

Hurricane Katia is a Category 2 storm in the Gulf of Mexico which will make landfall along Mexico’s east coast bringing heavy rain and a storm surge before dissipating quickly over the rugged Sierra Madre mountains.

Forecasters say three simultaneous hurricanes is quite rare and the last time was in 2010 with Hurricanes Igor, Julia and Karl.

Harvey finally downgraded

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Floodwaters surround homes and vehicles in east Houston, Texas, USA, 28 Aug 2017 (Reuters)

Tropical Storm Harvey has been downgraded to a tropical depression but not before creating a new weather record in the United States.

Climatologists say Harvey is the worst rainfall event ever with 1318 mm (51.88 inches) of rain recorded at Cedar Bayou, Texas beating the previous mark of 1219 mm (48 inches) in Medina, Texas from Tropical Storm Amelia in 1978.

Thousands of residents could still be stranded and an estimated 40,000 homes have been destroyed by the storm in the Houston area.

Heavy rain is now moving over Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee with some areas expecting more than 200 mm.

Catastrophic flooding in Houston

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Floodwaters inundate a neighbourhood in Houston, TX, USA, 28 Aug 2017 (Getty Images)

More than 3,500 residents of Houston have been rescued since Tropical Storm Harvey began pounding southeastern Texas with more than 750 mm of rain and counting.

Tens of thousands displaced from their homes are being housed at evacuation centres which are now overcapacity forcing many to sleep in chairs or on the floor.

Officials began releasing water from two Houston reservoirs on Monday in order to prevent uncontrollable flooding in the downtown area.

Houston’s two main airports have been closed since their runways are completely underwater.

The Texas Gulf Coast is a key centre of the American oil and gas industry with some of the largest refineries in the United States halting operations.

Harvey hammers Houston

Flooding in Buffalo Bayou Park, Houston, TX, USA, 27 Aug 2017 (Twitter)


Harvey may have been downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved inland over Texas but the U.S. National Weather Service stated “this event is unprecedented and all impacts are unknown and beyond anything experienced.”

Forecasters say the Houston metropolitan area could receive more than 1000 mm of rain from the storm over the next few days which has claimed at least five lives. 

By early today, more than 600 mm had fallen in America’s fourth largest city overwhelming lakes and rivers forcing thousands of residents scrambling into boats or onto rooftops to safety.

Tornado warnings have been lifted but a flash flood warning remains in place for much of southeastern Texas.

Heat comes to abrupt end

Thunderstorm moves into Saint John, 12 June 2017 (AKS/Twitter)


After three days of daytime highs above 28 C in Greater Moncton, much cooler weather is coming thanks to a cold front and a change in wind direction. 

The warm sometimes unstable air mass has created severe thunderstorms across the region.

Flash flooding was reported in Saint John yesterday after heavy downpours with wind and hail which were also observed today in northeastern Nova Scotia. 

Environment Canada is forecasting below seasonal temperatures for Southeast New Brunswick over the next couple of days. 

Cape Breton drenched again

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A stream overflows in north end Sydney, NS, 11 May 2017 (Cape Breton Post)

Parts of Cape Breton Island were flooded by a deluge of rain barely six months ago – Thanksgiving weekend – and this week it’s happening again.

The ground is saturated with water after more than 160 mm of rain since the weekend and some Sydney residents are dealing with flooded basements.

Rain and snow melt from the Cape Breton highlands is being blamed for washouts along sections of the Cabot Trail and its side roads.

Road crews are working overtime making repairs before the busy tourism season begins in a few weeks.

St. John River remains above flood stage

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Flooding along the St. John River, Fredericton, NB, 07 May 2017 (Instagram)

Much of New Brunswick was spared the worst of a low pressure system which delivered heavy rain and created flooding over the weekend especially along the St. John River.

Environment Canada says the extreme southern half of the province had the most rain with more than 100 mm in some areas and unofficially almost 180 mm (about two months worth) fell in Mechanic Settlement, near Fundy National Park.

Moncton got off relatively easy with 40 mm of rain while Saint John had 70 mm and Fredericton reported 80 mm.

The Emergency Measures Organization says water levels should remain high but steady for the rest of this week with more rain on the way.

Military helps in Quebec flood effort

Flooding in Gatineau, Quebec, 06 May 2017 (Instagram)

Days of rainy weather in southern Quebec and eastern Ontario have taken a toll on the region and Canadian soldiers have been asked to help.

High water levels have threatened hundreds of homes and at least 700 residents have been evacuated.

Ile-Bizard, west of Montreal, has been especially hard hit with sand bags helping to keep back rising water in some areas.

In New Brunswick, a low pressure system could bring 50-100 mm of rain to western areas of the province where rivers are already full of water this weekend.