Florence creates historic flooding

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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.

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Florence called a ‘monster’

More than two million residents have been evacuated as Hurricane Florence roars toward the Southeastern United States with sustained winds of more than 175 km/h.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the Category 2 storm is taking aim at North and South Carolina on Thursday.

A life threatening storm surge is expected along the Atlantic coast with an incredible 800 mm (30 inches) rain possible.

Emergency officials call Florence “a monster” and cities like Myrtle Beach have become eerily empty as the hurricane approaches.

Gordon hits U.S. Gulf Coast

Strong waves crashing ashore at Pensacola Beach, Florida, USA, 04 Sept 2018 (Instagram)

Tropical Storm Gordon has claimed at least one life after striking the American Gulf Coast late Tuesday near the Alabama-Mississippi border.

Authorities say strong winds caused a tree to fall on a mobile home in Pensacola, Florida where a child was found deceased.

The U.S. National Hurricane Centre says Gordon weakened as it moved inland and was not powerful enough to reach hurricane status.

Tornado warnings were issued after radar showed possible twisters stemming from the storm.

Forecasters say as much as 200 cm of rain (almost 80 inches) could fall and the system could have an impact on Eastern Canada by early next week.

Wildfires rage in California

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Wildfires burning in northern California, 29 July 2018 (Google Maps)

The largest of California’s wildfires has claimed five lives and destroyed more than 500 buildings near the city of Redding in the northern part of the state.

Fire officials say the blaze has grown in size to about 360 square kilometres thanks to hot, dry conditions and gusty winds.

Sparks from a vehicle ignited the fire on 23 July and now many of Redding’s 92,000 residents are on evacuation notice.

Further south, crews have made progress containing a wildfire outside Yosemite National Park but heavy smoke has closed the Yosemite Valley until next weekend.

Chris brushes eastern Newfoundland

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Post-tropical storm Chris quickly moved across eastern Newfoundland late Thursday and early Friday with powerful winds, heavy rainfall and rough surf along the coast.

Gander recorded almost 80 mm of rain (almost a month’s worth), the southern Avalon Peninsula had high water swells of 6 to 8 metres above normal while Bonavista and Cape Pine recorded wind gusts above 100 km/h.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre issued its final bulletin for Chris early Friday as the storm sped off into the North Atlantic.

Chris heads for Avalon Peninsula

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Chris near Newfoundland, 19:30 ADT (courtesy Earth Nullhouse Net)

Chris is now a post-tropical storm with sustained winds of 110 km/h and is expected to make landfall in eastern Newfoundland near Cape St. Mary’s tonight.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre says strong winds combined with low pressure will create large waves and pounding surf giving the risk of coastal flooding along the southern Burin and Avalon Peninsulas.

Besides a wind warning, a rainfall warning has been issued with possible amounts of 50 mm or more and 20 mm an hour in the heaviest showers.

The remnants of Chris will drift away into the North Atlantic by early Friday morning.

Chris could pose threat

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Atlantic Canada could feel an impact from Tropical Storm Chris which has formed off the coast of the Southeastern U.S.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre says the third named storm of 2018 will move northeastward and possibly strengthen to become a hurricane by early Wednesday.

The storm could weaken as it approaches Nova Scotia by Thursday.

The CHC notes there is still uncertainty in the forecast track and intensity of this system.

Beryl is the second named storm but first hurricane of the season and has been down downgraded to a tropical storm as it heads toward Puerto Rico.

Meantime, Environment Canada issued another heat warning for New Brunswick except the Fundy coast, Prince Edward Island and northern Nova Scotia as a warm, humid air mass pushes highs into the low 30s C with humidex values up to 38 on Monday.

Tornadoes hit SW Ontario

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Trees uprooted by a tornado damage a home in Waterford, Norfolk County, ON, 13 June 2018 (OPP)


Two tornadoes have been confirmed in Haldimand, Norfolk and Oxford counties as severe thunderstorms rolled through Southwestern Ontario on 13 June.

Environment Canada says a tornado categorized as an EF-2 (Enhanced Fujita Scale 2) with maximum winds of 180 km/h ripped through the communities of Jarvis and Waterford uprooting trees, ripping shingles off buildings and destroying several barns.

Damage was reported intermittently along a path roughly 32 km long.

A second, less powerful twister categorized as an EF-0 struck near the town of Norwich around the same time and caused minimal damage.

Drastic cooldown

Temperature dropped below 10 C by early afternoon, 02 June 2018 (Dearing)

Unbelievable!  Conditions went from hot to cold in just a matter of hours after a cold front swept through New Brunswick today.

In Greater Moncton, the high of 18°C was set early this morning before the front changed the wind direction from south to north and the temperature dropped six degrees in an hour to 11°C by 9am.

This is in stark contrast to yesterday when the thermometer climbed to 29.7°C which was the warmest high so far this year.

New maximum records were set for 01 June in Bouctouche at 32.6°C, Miramichi at 32.7°C and 33.2°C at Kouchibouguac National Park.

Busy hurricane season predicted

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

The Canadian Hurricane Centre is forecasting 10 to 16 named storms with five to nine becoming hurricanes this year.

One to four hurricanes is likely to be major with sustained winds of at least 178 km/h.

But 2018 is not expected to be as busy as 2017 which had 17 named storms with 10 hurricanes including a trio of destructive cyclones – Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Three storms made it into Canada’s response zone but none made landfall.

Although the season doesn’t officially start until June 1st, a subtropical storm named Alberto has already formed off the Yucatan Peninsula and will churn north across the Gulf of Mexico this weekend toward the U.S Gulf Coast.