California wildfires prompt massive evacuation

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Man watches wildfire in Ventura, CA, USA, 06 Dec 2017 (AP)

More than 200,000 residents have been evacuated in Southern California as hot, dry Santa Ana winds fan the flames of aggressive wildfires.

The winds which blow westward from the Mohave Desert are forecast to gust up to 130 km/h before subsiding by this weekend.

Firefighters say it will be virtually impossible to fight the blazes in those conditions.

Hundreds of homes surrounding Los Angeles have burned to the ground and the fires have even been jumping freeways.

Heavy rainfall earlier this year helped suppress a lengthy drought but a record hot summer has created extremely parched conditions.

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Philippe remnants heading to NB

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Tropical Storm Philippe, the 16th named storm and 18th tropical system of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, is no more according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

The storm brought heavy rain to central Cuba and the Bahamas in addition to spawning several tornadoes when it crossed south Florida.

Sustained winds reached 95 km/h with higher gusts reported before Philippe weakened over the western Atlantic.

However, Environment Canada says the remnants are combining with a low pressure system which will bring strong winds and heavy rain to New Brunswick on Monday.

Maria becomes a menace

MariaThe parade of hurricanes in the Atlantic continues with Maria making landfall late tonight over the eastern Caribbean island nation of Dominica as a powerful category 5 storm packing sustained winds of 260 km/h.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center is outlying a path for Maria which is eerily similar to the recent Hurricane Irma with the U.S and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico expected to be impacted on Wednesday.

Maria will be accompanied by a dangerous storm surge and between 300-500 mm (12-20 inches) of rain to some of the islands causing life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Meantime, Hurricane Jose is still churning northward as a category 1 storm with heavy surf and rip currents along the U.S East Coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts.

Canadian forecasters say the remnants of Jose have already brought high humidity to the Maritimes and will give Nova Scotia persistent moisture and cloud cover as well as rough surf along the Atlantic coast.

Hurricane Irma intensifies

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Hurricane Irma is being called a “potentially catastrophic” category 5 storm by the U.S National Hurricane Center with maximum sustained winds of 295 km/h as it bears down on the eastern Caribbean.

The core of Irma is expected to move across the northern Leeward Islands overnight and will track close to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by late Wednesday and the Dominican Republic by Thursday.

A hurricane watch has also been issued for eastern Cuba along with northern Haiti, southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos.

Forecasters say Irma is increasingly likely to target Florida (now under a state of emergency) and parts of the American Southeast as a dangerous hurricane this weekend.

Snow doesn’t stick around

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Melting snow on cars and steps in NE Moncton, 23 Nov 2016 (Dearing)


Looking out the window in Greater Moncton last night, it began to look very wintry with falling snow and brisk winds to blow it around.

Although about 2 cm accumulated overnight, the snow only stuck to grassy areas and colder surfaces not roadways.

By mid-morning, the snow had almost completely melted expect for some spots on vehicles and the grass seemed to turn a little greener.

Matthew causes mayhem in Caribbean

mattOne 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.

Newton nails Baja California

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Hurricane Newton comes ashore in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, 06 Sept 2016 (AFP)

Hurricane Newton slammed Mexico’s southern Baja California peninsula today as a Category-1 hurricane with torrential rain and winds up to 100 km/h.

Palm trees were toppled in Cabo San Lucas and power was knocked out power to thousands in the resort community.

Authorities say a shrimp boat capsized in rough seas in the Gulf of California, killing two people and leaving three others missing.

 The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm would make landfall again in Sonora state before bringing heavy rain to the American desert states of Arizona and New Mexico.

Mixed bag of precipitation

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Radar image taken at 8pm, 03 February 2016 (Bing Maps)

A fast shot of snow created slippery driving conditions in Greater Moncton during the afternoon commute with numerous fender benders and vehicles sliding into the ditch.

A low pressure system brought the snow and southerly winds will eventually bring mild temperatures with a high of 12 C expected tomorrow.

In the meantime, Environment Canada says the snow will change to ice pellets and then to freezing rain and rain overnight.

Major snowstorm to batter Northeast U.S.

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A major winter storm is threatening to bring life to a standstill in the northeastern United States this weekend from Washington, DC to New York City.

Forecasters say the storm will also affect the southern Appalachian Mountains and brush southern New England.

Winds and the rate of snowfall will increase as the storm progresses from late Friday until early Sunday.

New Brunswick will escape this storm but southern Nova Scotia could pick up some snow.

Blizzard totals in Maritimes

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Schools were shut down for a second day in Southeast New Brunswick and few businesses chose to open after a major blizzard dumped more than 50 cm of snow on Greater Moncton by late today.

Strong winds gusting to 117 km/h created blowing and drifting snow which hampered all modes of transportation.

In the American Northeast, the blizzard packed the biggest punch in Boston with more than 60 cm of snow while about 30 cm fell in New York City prompting a rare shutdown of the public transit system and apologies from some weather forecasters who predicted even more would fall.