Sally strikes U.S.Gulf Coast

Flooded street in Pensacola, FL, USA, 16 Sept 2020 (Twitter/NOLA.com)

Hurricane Sally came ashore near the Alabama/Florida border early Wednesday with torrential rain and damaging winds up to 170 km/h.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the Category 2 storm quickly weakened to a tropical depression but 300 to 600 mm of rain fell in some areas causing massive flooding.

Sally was the 18th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season with several more systems still churning.

The remnants of Sally will brush the Maritimes on Friday but only about 10 mm of rain is expected.

Belize cleans up after Nana

Banana plantation damage in southern Belize, 03 Sept 2020 (News 5 Live/Facebook)

The fifth hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season struck Belize on Thursday as a Category 1 storm after causing flooding in Honduras.

Forecasters say Nana made landfall in a sparsely populated area about 80 km south of Belize City with sustained winds of 120 km/h and later dissipated near the Mexico-Guatemala border.

Belize authorities say about 4,000 residents were moved to shelters but no injuries or deaths were reported.

Damage appeared to be minimal with the worst impacts on banana plantations.

Powerful Laura pummels U.S. Gulf Coast

Hurricane destruction in Lake Charles, LA, USA, 27 Aug 2020 (Twitter)

Hurricane Laura left a path of destruction and claimed numerous lives, becoming one of the strongest hurricanes to ever strike the United States.

A Category 4 hurricane with drenching rain and winds up to 241 km/h, Laura made landfall in Louisiana near the Texas border early Thursday and even spawned tornadoes before being downgraded to a tropical storm.

Laura destroyed entire neighbourhoods, knocking out electricity to millions but U.S. forecasters noted the hurricane was not as forceful as first thought.

Given the low lying, swampy landscape of the region, ‘unsurvivable’ storm surges had been predicted.

Prior to striking the U.S. Gulf Coast, Laura took at least two dozen lives in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Keeping an eye on Isaias

The ninth named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is Isaias and is currently taking aim at Florida’s east coast.

Storm surge warnings have been posted along the Atlantic coast for this weekend after Isaias lashed Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm could produce heavy rains and possibly life-threatening flash flooding.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre has also begun tracking Isaias since projections puts the Maritimes in its path as a post-tropical system by Wednesday.

Hurricane Hanna weakens

Satellite image of Hurricane Hanna in Gulf of Mexico (Reuters)

The first hurricane of the 2020 season made landfall in southern Texas, USA on Saturday and weakened as it moved into northeastern Mexico on Sunday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the Category One storm roared ashore at Padre Island packing winds up to 150 km/h.

Between 200 and 400 mm of rain created flash flooding and the strong winds ripped roofs from homes.

The work of emergency services was complicated by the ongoing spread of the coronavirus in Texas which has been dealing with a surge in cases recently.

Tropical Storm Fay weakens

Tropical Storm Fay, 10 July 2020 (EC CHC)

The earliest sixth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season has weakened to a tropical depression over New York State as it continues to move northward.

Tropical Storm Fay made landfall on Friday near Atlantic City, New Jersey with heavy rain and gusty winds around 70 km/h.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says up to 100 mm of rain is likely in some areas with localized flooding expected.

Environment Canada says the remnants of Fay will bring up to 50 mm rain to eastern Ontario and Quebec and lesser amounts will spill over into New Brunswick as well.

Severe weather slams Alberta

Severe weather damaged homes in Calgary, AB, 14 June 2020 (Twitter/CityofCalgary)

Severe thunderstorms moved across Alberta over the weekend producing heavy downpours, strong winds and hail as large as grapefruit.

Calgary was hard hit as flash flooding inundated major highways stranding drivers in their vehicles.

Hail of various sizes damaged the siding on homes, smashed windows, dented vehicles and it looked like snow as it piled up.

Some tornadoes were also reported but Environment Canada could not provide confirmation of any touching down.

Wind gusts as high as 128 km/h were clocked just west of Calgary and as much as 75 mm of rain fell in just a few hours.

UPDATE – Environment Canada has confirmed a tornado did touch down in Barnwell, east of Lethbridge, on 13 June.

The long trek of Cristobal

Cristobal
Although the storm never reached hurricane status, Cristobal has made an incredible trek from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes.

Meteorologists have noted the unique formation of Cristobal which developed from the remnants of Tropical Storm Amanda that ravaged the Pacific coast of Central America during the last week of May.

The tropical storm made landfall along the U.S. Gulf Coast with strong winds and heavy rain all the way up the Mississippi River Valley causing widespread flooding and even spawning some tornadoes.

The remnants of Cristobal moved into Ontario on Wednesday where an associated cold front brought severe thunderstorms.

River Watch ends

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Flooding along the St. John River in Maugerville, 23 April 2019 (5th Canadian Division/Facebook)

The annual River Watch in New Brunswick has ended for the 2020 season.

The program was launched in early March and monitors water levels on rivers in the spring with emergency officials providing regular updates on the potential for flooding.

After historic flooding along the St. John River in both 2018 and 2019, thankfully this spring was much quieter with no major events recorded.

It’s a blessing in disguise since the province has been coping with the coronavirus pandemic with a state of emergency in place since 19 March.

Flooding in Fort McMurray

Fort McMurray under floodwaters, 27 April 2020 (Instagram/d_nyce.entertainment)

Almost four years after wildfires ravaged Fort McMurray, the northern Alberta city is now dealing with devastating flooding.

About 13,000 residents have been evacuated after ice jams on the Athabasca and Clearwater Rivers forced floodwaters into the city.

Provincial officials say there are extensive ice jams on the rivers which will need to thaw before the flooding subsides.

The mayor says this is a one-in-a-100-year flood which unfortunately occurred this year on top of the COVID-19 pandemic.