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.

2012 hurricanes stronger than average

Satellite image of Hurricane Sandy (courtesy NOAA)

Satellite image of Hurricane Sandy (courtesy NOAA)

The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season produced storms that were 30% stronger with longer duration than the thirty-year average according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

This season, 19 storms formed in the Atlantic basin.

Hurricane Sandy was the largest storm and proved to be the second most destructive after Hurricane Katrina.

Forecasters say the high sea surface temperature may have been a major factor on why the strength and duration of storms was so intense.

Isaac lashes Louisiana

Flooding in Laplace, Louisiana, USA from Hurricane Isaac, 30 August 2012 (Times-Picuyne)

Louisiana got the worst of Hurricane Isaac with howling wind and heavy rain but New Orleans was mostly spared on the seventh anniversary of Katrina.

Isaac stalled for several hours before resuming a slow trek inland as a tropical storm.

The slow motion over land meant Isaac was a major soaker dumping up to 500 millimetres of rain in some areas. 

Only one death was reported from the storm in the United States but at least 24 were killed in Haiti.

Hurricane Isaac slams American Gulf Coast

Satellite image of Hurricane Isaac, 28 August 2012 (NOAA/Reuters)

Hurricane Isaac made landfall early tonight along the American Gulf Coast, about 145 km southeast of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Forecasters say a dangerous storm surge is expected from the Category 1 hurricane which is packing winds near 130 km/h.

Many residents along the low-lying coast boarded up their homes Tuesday and moved inland.

Residents of New Orleans were allowed to stay put and were assured that levees reinforced after Hurricane Katrina could easily withstand the storm.

More flooding in U.S. Northeast

Floodwaters Binghamton, NY, USA, 08 Sept 2011 (Cuomo photo)

Barely two weeks after Hurricane Irene pummelled the American Northeast, the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee have dumped more than 300 mm of rain on the already soaked region.

About 70,000 residents of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and 20,000 in Binghamton, New York have been forced to flee due to floodwaters.

Tropical Storm Lee lashed the U.S. Gulf Coast earlier this week with heavy rains and tested flood defenses in New Orleans for the first time since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.