Gert churns up the Atlantic

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Hurricane Gert is not going to pose any threat to land in Atlantic Canada according to the Canadian Hurricane Centre but it will be felt in the sea.

The swell from the Category 1 storm will move into the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia on Wednesday (16 August) and will persist into Thursday.

The swell will produce waves breaking up to three metres along parts of the coast and rip currents are likely.

Forecasters say Gert will not produce any rainfall for the region but the tropical moisture could feed into another low pressure system arriving later this week.

Busy Atlantic hurricane season expected

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The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting hurricane activity in the North Atlantic Ocean in 2017 is likely to be above normal (45 percent) or near-normal (35 percent).

The Canadian Hurricane Centre says it responds to 4 or 5 tropical cyclone events each year on average, with 1 or 2 of those affecting Canadian land and another 2 or 3 threatening offshore waters.

Hurricanes are typically a greater concern in Canadian waters later in the season but the Canadian Hurricane Centre monitors the Atlantic Ocean year‑round for any tropical or tropical‑like cyclone that could pose a threat to Canada or its waters.

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Hurricane Otto strikes Central America

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Heavy rain and flooding swept away bridges in Costa Rica, 25 Nov 2016 (Reuters)

Otto has become the strongest storm so late in the Atlantic hurricane season to make landfall.

Otto struck the coast of Nicaragua and Costa Rica as a category 2 hurricane but has since been downgraded to a tropical storm as it weakens in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Forecasters say exceptionally high sea surface temperatures of around 29 C added extra fuel to the storm which delivered a month’s worth of rain in a few hours.

Officials say the death toll was nine but could have been higher if the storm had hit major population centres.

Nicole batters Bermuda

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Damage from Nicole in St. George’s, Bermuda, 13 Oct 2016 (AP)

Powerful winds and torrential rain from Hurricane Nicole battered Bermuda as a category 3 storm yesterday.

Winds gusting to more than 190 km/h tore roofs off buildings, uprooted trees, brought down power lines and smashed boats against rocks.

Many homes, businesses and roads were affected by flooding.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre says Nicole will impact the Grand Banks off Newfoundland this weekend with gale-force winds and waves but no significant effects are expected over land.

Matthew finally weakens

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Flooding after Hurricane Matthew in Charleston, SC, USA, 08 Oct 2016 (Getty Images)

The U.S. National Hurricane Center finally downgraded Matthew to a post-tropical cyclone today after pounding North and South Carolina with strong winds, heavy rain and record flooding before moving east out to sea.

Matthew made landfall near Charleston, South Carolina yesterday as a category 1 hurricane after hugging Florida’s Atlantic coast.

Hundreds had to be rescued from floodwaters in the Carolinas including one woman who was forced to cling to a tree overnight before emergency workers arrived.

The most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade has claimed at least 20 deaths in the Southeastern United States and more than 900 in the Caribbean, mostly in Haiti.

 

Florida braces for Matthew

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Hurricane Matthew passes over Les Cayes, Haiti, 04 Oct 2016 (Reuters)

Hundreds of thousands of Florida residents along its east coast from Fort Lauderdale to Cape Canaveral have been told to evacuate in advance of Hurricane Matthew.

The powerful category 3 storm is churning through the Bahamas after a brush with eastern Cuba and has maximum sustained winds at 185 km/h.

Floods and mudslides from the storm in Haiti and the Dominican Republic have claimed more than 800 lives.

The U.S National Hurricane Center believes by early Friday, Matthew will track parallel to the Atlantic coast from Florida to the Carolinas and is not certain yet if the storm will hit land.

The last time a major hurricane made landfall in the United States was Wilma in 2005 which was blamed for 35 deaths and billions of dollars in damage.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre doesn’t believe Matthew will have any significant impact on Atlantic Canada.

Matthew causes mayhem in Caribbean

mattOne of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in recent history, Matthew is swirling in the Caribbean with Haiti in its direct path.

The category 4 storm with sustained winds of 220 km/h and heavy rains causing flooding have forced thousands in Haiti and Jamaica to emergency shelters.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Matthew may lose some steam as it moves across Haiti, eastern Cuba and the Bahamas.

Forecasters currently believe Matthew will remain close to Florida and offshore to the east but caution its path could change.

Hermine hits Florida

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Damage to a road along Florida panhandle coast from Hurricane Hermine, 02 Sept 2016 (CNN)

The first hurricane to hit Florida in 11 years, pounded the state’s panhandle region early this morning.

Hermine was packing winds up to 130 km/h when it came ashore before quickly being downgraded to a tropical storm.

Hermine knocked out power to hundreds of thousands and torrential downpours brought flooding to low-lying areas.

The storm is expected to move north up the Atlantic coast and could even impact Nova Scotia and New Brunswick early next week.

Earl kills dozens in Mexico

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Mudslides in Tlaola, Puebla State, Mexico, 07 Aug 2016 (AFP)


Torrential rains from Tropical Storm Earl triggered mudslides in eastern Mexico where officials say at least 40 people have been killed.

The worst affected state was Puebla where some towns including Tlaola were almost completely destroyed by mudslides.

Emergency workers are searching through mud and rubble to find survivors.

Meantime on Mexico’s west coast, Tropical Storm Javier is moving closer to Baja California and has already brought heavy rain and flooding to Cabo San Lucas.

Earl weakens after hitting Belize

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Earl uproots trees in Belize City, Belize, 04 Aug 2016 (Reuters)

Hurricane Earl weakened to a tropical storm early today after making landfall near Belize City, on the western Caribbean Sea.

Wind speeds dropped to about 100 km/h as Earl moved inland.

Belize was also forecast to receive between 200 and 400 mm of rain.

The storm is predicted to move across northern Guatemala and southeastern Mexico where its rains could still cause flash floods and mudslides.