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.
From left to right, Hurricanes Katia, Irma, Jose, 08 Sept 2017 (Earth Wind Map)
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.
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.
South Padre Island, Texas, USA, 24 Aug 2017 (Twitter)
The worst storm to hit Texas in 20 years is expected to reach the state’s Gulf of Mexico coastline by early Saturday.
The U.S. National Weather Service warned Harvey could bring a potentially devastating storm surge, up to 900 mm of rain and powerful winds to portions of the state.
Harvey will be the first Category 3 hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2004.
A voluntary evacuation order has been issued for the coastal city of Corpus Christi with a population of more than 500,000 people.
Heavy rain during thunderstorm in NE Moncton, 21 July 2017 (Dearing)
The temperature climbed to 30 C for three days in a row in Greater Moncton which is an unofficial heat wave since 32 C is the maximum by definition.
Those warm daytime highs, 30.4 C (19 July), 30.4 C (20 July) and 30.0 C (21 July), still haven’t eclipsed the season-to-date maximum of 30.8 C recorded on 11 June.
A cold front moved west to east through New Brunswick yesterday triggering scattered thunderstorms with heavy rain, gusty winds and even hail.
The heat and humidity have been replaced by a cooler, drier air mass with highs in the low 20’s C which is slightly below normal for late July.
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.
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.
One 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.
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 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.