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.

Where is Florence headed?

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is shifting into high gear as it often does this month.

Florence is the newest storm to pose a threat and the Category 3 storm is now churning toward Bermuda.

Some computer models are suggesting Florence could impact the U.S. Eastern Seaboard by the middle of next week.

Even if Florence stays out to sea, forecasters say numerous other systems are developing over the Atlantic as the hurricane season reaches its average peak on September 10th.

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.

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.

Major storm moves across Maritimes

 

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“Bomb cyclone” south of the Maritimes, 04 Jan 2017 (earth.nullscholl.net)

An powerful Nor’easter has arrived in the Maritimes with strong, gusty winds bringing heavy rain for Nova Scotia and a snow/ice pellets/rain for New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Winds were hurricane-force in the Halifax region at 117 km/h and thundersnow – a thunderstorm with snow – was recorded in Sydney.

Storm surge warnings are in place along the Atlantic coast as water levels will be high enough to cause some coastal flooding.

In Greater Moncton, snow began falling around noon with freezing rain/ice pellets by late afternoon and rain by evening.

Environment Canada says the storm will move out of the region by Friday afternoon but more frigid air is filtering in behind the system which will mean a very cold weekend.

Ophelia pounds Ireland & U.K.

Schools and businesses closed in Ireland when the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia brought destructive winds up to 160 km/h which downed trees and power lines creating widespread power outages.

Flights, ferries and even buses were cancelled and at least three deaths are attributed to the storm which officials say is the worst to hit Ireland in 50 years.

Strong winds also caused disruptions in Scotland and northern England where rail services were halted after fallen trees blocked lines.

Ophelia formed in the eastern Atlantic on 11 October and became a Category 3 hurricane three days later.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Ophelia was the furthest east ever recorded for an Atlantic hurricane.

Nate makes U.S. landfall twice

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Canadian Hurricane Centre image, 12PM ADT, 08 Oct 2017 (EC)


After striking land in Louisiana and later in Mississippi early today, Hurricane Nate has weakened to a tropical storm as it heads inland over the Southeastern United States.

Sustained winds of 140 km/h had dropped to 70 km/h after landfall but storm surges caused flooding along the Gulf coast and more than 200 mm of rain could fall in some areas.

Nate originated in the southwestern Caribbean Sea and claimed more than 30 lives in Central America before moving northward.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre has issued a tropical cyclone statement for Southern Ontario with remnants of the storm expected to bring up to 40 mm of rain on Thanksgiving Day.