Barry weakens after making landfall

Barry has been downgraded to a tropical depression after making landfall west of New Orleans on Saturday as a Category 1 hurricane.

Although Barry did not bring devastating flooding as some forecasters had originally thought similar to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, parts of Louisiana did receive more than 400 mm of rain which swamped the Mississippi River delta.

Emergency responders rescued at least 90 residents but there were no reports of fatalities.

Remnants of Barry have been moving northward with heavy rain across the American South up to the Midwest.

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Louisiana braces for Barry

Barry TWN
Tropical Storm Barry continues churning in the northern Gulf of Mexico with sustained winds of more than 100 km/h.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Barry is expected to make landfall as a hurricane along the coast of Louisiana on Saturday morning.

The city of New Orleans is on alert for heavy rain (up to 500 mm) and flooding along with storm surges although no evacuations have yet been ordered.

This is the first tropical system to impact the United States in 2019.

After landfall, Barry is expected to weaken and head northward through the Mississippi Valley.

Hurricane season begins

2018 hurricanes

Today marks the beginning of the 2019 hurricane season which will run until the end of November.

For a record fifth consecutive year, storm activity began before the 01 June official start date when Subtropical Storm Andrea formed on 20 May.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting a near normal season with 9–15 named systems, 4–8 hurricanes, and 2–4 major hurricanes.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre begins issuing statements when a storm is within three days of entering a response zone covering Eastern Canada and adjacent waters.

Powerful winds pummel Maritimes

Tree topples over following powerful winds, 04 Nov 2018 (NB Power)

An intense low pressure system moving up from the U.S. Eastern Seaboard brought heavy rain and strong winds to the Maritimes overnight.

The powerful hurricane-force gusts knocked out electricity to more than 100,000 customers in New Brunswick during the height of the storm.

Temperatures were very mild thanks to a southerly flow with highs exceeding 20°C in some areas including a new record of 21.7°C in Cheticamp.

Rainfall amounts (mm):

  • Kejimkujik, NS  93
  • Alma, NB  85
  • Greater Moncton  69
  • Fredericton  64
  • Saint John  60
  • Summerside, PEI  58
  • Halifax Stanfield  45

Wind gusts (km/h):

  • Bouctouche, NB  119
  • North Cape, PEI  117
  • Greater Moncton  110
  • North Mountain, NS  108
  • Grand Etang, NS  106
  • Fredericton  102
  • Saint John  100
  • Halifax Stanfield  100

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Willa wallops Mexico’s Pacific coast

Willa

A boat rests on a street in Teacapan, Sinaloa, Mexico following Hurricane Willa, 24 Oct 2018 (Reuters)

Crashing into the Pacific coast of Mexico between Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, Hurricane Willa was a Category 3 storm packing wind gusts up to 193 km/h.

The eye of the hurricane struck the town of Teacapan where roofs were ripped off buildings and the streets were turned into a muddy mess.

Roads leading into Teacapan were littered with dozens of fallen utility poles.

A massive evacuation effort moved thousands into temporary shelters inland and no deaths were reported.

Hurricane remnants hit Portugal & Spain

Damage from Leslie in Lisbon, Portugal, 14 Oct 2018 (Reuters)

After swirling in the mid-Atlantic Ocean for weeks, Leslie hit the northwest coast of Portugal on Sunday delivering heavy rain and wind gusts up to 176 km/h.

The tropical storm uprooted trees, damaged cars and homes and local flooding was reported.

As Leslie exited Portugal and moved across northern Spain, the remnants of Michael were being felt in the same area of the Iberian Peninsula.

Meteorologists say this is the first time in recorded weather history that the remnants of two hurricanes have impacted Spain at the same time.

Michael partly to blame for rain

Fall foliage in Centennial Park, Moncton, 13 Oct 2018 ( Dearing)

Starting late Wednesday and lasting into Friday, a warm front and low pressure system eventually combined with moisture streaming northward from Tropical Storm Michael.

As these two systems began to interact, a significant amount of rain fell over parts of the Maritimes.

Rainfall summary in millimetres as of Saturday 5am ADT:

  • Doaktown: 47.2
  • Greater Moncton Airport: 39.4
  • Fredericton: 36.2
  • Saint John: 35.6
  • Grand Manan: 34.5
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport: 55.4
  • Yarmouth: 70.4
  • Kejimkujik: 47.7

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Michael strikes Florida panhandle

Hurricane Michael damage in Panama City, FL, USA, 10 Oct 2018 (Instagram)

Hurricane Michael slammed the coastline of the Florida panhandle making landfall mid-afternoon as a Category 4 storm.

Michael is the strongest hurricane to hit the United States since Camille in 1969 with winds up to 250 km/h and as much as 300 mm of rain.

Warmer than normal water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico helped fuel Michael and the accompanying storm surge which submerged communities near Panama City.

Forecasters say the storm was downgraded to a Category 1 as it crossed Georgia.

Michael is expected to weaken to a post-tropical depression by the time it passes south of Nova Scotia on Saturday.

Leslie responsible for rain

Hurricane Leslie, 04 Oct 2018 (U.S. National Hurricane Centre)

Hurricane Leslie is churning well south of the Maritimes and is not forecast to impact the region directly but the storm is indirectly responsible for heavy rain.

The sheer size of the storm – Leslie is more than 1,000 km wide – caused a low pressure system to stall bringing lots of rain to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Here are some totals from the rain event:

  • Greater Moncton. 32.6 mm
  • Saint John. 46.7 mm
  • Charlottetown. 47.2 mm
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport. 24.7 mm
  • Yarmouth. 43.2 mm
  • (Data courtesy Environment Canada)
  • Florence creates historic flooding

    florence

    Fallen tree traps residents inside home, Wilmington, NC, USA, 15 Sept 2018 (ABC)

    Since making landfall near Wilmington, North Carolina on Friday morning as a Category 1 hurricane, Florence has claimed at least 15 lives.

    Strong winds have toppled trees trapping some and even killing others in their own homes.

    Now a tropical depression, the storm has been dumping epic amounts of rain (800 mm or more) on North and South Carolina which has caused flash flooding as rivers and streams spill their banks.

    First responders have rescued almost 1,000 residents from floodwaters while nearly one million are without power and tens of thousands have sought refuge in emergency shelters.

    Many highways have been left impassable and officials are urging drivers to stay at home and off the roads.