Flash Flood Swamps Sydney, Australia, Killing Three During ‘Epic’ Storm

At least three people died following a deluge that brought chaos to Australia’s largest city Wednesday.

The downpours during Sydney’s morning commute shut down roads and snarled traffic, while strong winds knocked out power to thousands.

News.com.au described it as “a storm of epic proportions” and reported that officials conducted more than a dozen high-water rescues resulting from stranded vehicles.

Sydney received 3.3 inches (84.6 millimeters) of rain in less than two hours — more than its typical output for the entire month of November, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Several locations measured upward of 4 inches (100 millimeters) of rain.

It was Sydney’s wettest November day since 1984, according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology.

While flooding rain was the most widespread hazard, reports emerged of damaging winds. During the storm, an office building’s windows were blown out by a “mini cyclone” according to ABC News Australia.

The storminess was spurred by a strong zone of low pressure, both at the surface and higher altitudes. The clockwise flow around the pressure system drew extremely moist air off the South Pacific Ocean into Sydney, fueling the downpours.

While Sydney was soaked by rain caused by the low-pressure system, a dome of high pressure over the northern part of Australia caused extreme heat, especially over northern Queensland, where records were set.

“Temperatures have been 5 to 10 degrees Celsius above average and some records have not just been broken, they have been smashed,” reported ABC News Australia.

The extreme heat intensified brushfires in the region. About 200 are burning in Queensland, and for the first time, a catastrophic fire warning was issued for parts of the region.

Vietnam Faces New Tropical Storm Threat After Landslides Kill At Least 13

On the heels of deadly Tropical Storm Toraji, a budding tropical storm will bring a renewed risk of flooding and mudslides to Vietnam this weekend.

At least 13 people are dead after landslides destroyed several homes and buried victims in some villages in the resort city of Nha Trang on Sunday, according to the Associated Press. Four others remain missing.

Torrential rain from Toraji is being blamed for triggering the landslides.

According to preliminary weather data, nearly 380 mm (15 inches) of rain inundated Nha Trang over the course of 18 hours ending early Sunday afternoon, local time.

As cleanup and recovery efforts continue, residents are facing a new tropical threat.

The tropical depression unloading heavy rain on the Philippines is expected to slam into southern Vietnam this weekend.

“The warm waters of the South China Sea will cause the depression to strengthen into a strong tropical storm or minimal typhoon before it reaches Vietnam,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Houk.

40-Foot Waves Batter The Canary Islands After Storm Causes Dozens To Evacuate

Waves as high as 6 metres pummelled apartment buildings in the Canary Islands as wild weather forced dozens to evacuate.

Local media reported 65 apartments were evacuated as waves crashed ashore in Tenerife’s Mesa del Mar, ripping the railings from apartment balconies. Local mayor Alvaro Davila reportedly said no-one had been injured.

Thirty-nine people were also evacuated from the town of Garachico on Saturday night amid the stormy weather, local media said.

Meanwhile, wild weather continued to batter Spain, as the national weather agency declared Valencia and Alicante on red alert, the maximum risk level, due to heavy rain on Monday.

Mallorca was placed on orange alert, designating serious risk, and the rest of the Balearic islands and Murcia in southern Spain received the third-tier yellow alert designated as risky.

Strong Storm Brings Flash Flooding, Tornadoes, Damaging Winds To East Coast

A strong storm brought torrential rain, gusty winds and severe weather to parts of the East Coast on Friday.

There were six reported tornadoes – five in Florida and one in Virginia — on Friday, including four confirmed tornadoes near Tampa Bay. Two of these confirmed tornadoes were EF-1. More damage surveys are expected today in the region.

Wind gusts over 70 mph were reported in parts of Maryland, which led to building damage in Carroll County, Maryland. In nearby Baltimore, strong wind gusts did major damage to an Amazon facility, toppling a 50-foot brick wall and killing one person.

In southern Pennsylvania, over 3 inches of rain was reported in Littlestown, Pennsylvania. Farther east in Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley, water rescues were reported near Pottsgrove.

Heavy rain associated with this strong storm is still moving through the Northeast Saturday morning. Some flooding remains possible, especially in parts of New England, with localized rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour. An initial burst of strong winds is likely in New England.

However, as the storm quickly moves off to the north and east, it will rapidly intensify as it heads into southern Canada. Behind the storm, widespread strong winds will develop in the Northeast with gusts of 30 to 50 mph expected. Power outages and downed trees will be possible and wind advisories and high wind warnings have been issued for a large part of the Northeast through Saturday.

The storm will depart the region later Saturday, with winds calming down overnight. Sunday is looking much quieter in the Northeast, including for the New York City Marathon.

New storm developing

Meanwhile, a new system will quickly develop in the central U.S. on Saturday. As the storm intensifies on Saturday night and early Sunday, a large line of storms with locally heavy rain is possible from Texas to Illinois. While the severe threat should remain limited, a couple of damaging wind gusts are possible on the southern end of the line of storms, particularly in parts of Louisiana.

Up to 1 inch of rain is possible along the cold front. Farther north, some light snow is possible in parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota as the storm interacts with cold air.

The storm will slide off to the east by Monday with rain likely from the Great Lakes to the Carolinas.

Severe weather chances in South
Unfortunately, the weather pattern is looking quite active next week, with yet another storm developing by Sunday and Monday.

By Monday, a powerful storm, with an advancing cold front will slide through the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys. As a result, the chances for a significant severe weather event are increasing for late Monday and into Tuesday — Election Day. The main risk will be damaging winds and possibly several tornadoes.

The threat will slide off to the southeast by Tuesday, with a threat for more damaging winds, tornadoes and hail.

And another storm looks to be developing immediately behind this storm as well.

Tropical Storm Xavier Brushes Mexican Coast With Wind, Rain

Tropical Storm Xavier is bringing heavy rains and gusty winds to Mexico’s central Pacific coast, though it’s expected to head out to sea and avoid a direct hit on land.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm was centered about 130 miles (205 kilometers) west-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, on Monday morning and was headed northwest at 3 mph (6 kph). Tropical-storm-force winds extended as far as 115 miles (185 kilometers) from the center.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph), but is expected to start to weaken.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 kilometers)

Forecasters say it’s likely to bring 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.5 centimeters) of rain to parts of Guerrero, Michoacan, Colima and Jalisco states.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Hurricane Michael: Death Toll Continues To Rise Amid Searches

Areas of the US devastated by Hurricane Michael last week are continuing to count the storm’s cost as the number of confirmed dead rises.

At least 27 deaths have been blamed on the hurricane across four US states – a number expected to increase further.

A volunteer organisation has said it is trying to find more than 1,100 people believed to be unaccounted for.

The storm destroyed buildings and flattened communities as it tore through the Florida panhandle region.

Most of the missing are said to be in Panama City and are elderly, disabled or live alone, co-founder of Houston-based CrowdSource Rescue Matthew Marchetti told the Reuters news agency.

That number has not been confirmed by regional officials, and the Florida Department of Health has created an online form for people to report friends and loved ones missing.

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania visited the storm-affected region in Florida and Georgia on Monday.

As of Wednesday morning, more than 150,000 homes and businesses were still reported to be without power.

There were also reports of armed looting of homes and businesses in some areas.

A major at Bay County’s Sheriff’s office, Jimmy Stanford, said that local police there had arrested about 10 suspected looters every night since Friday.

Zombie Storm Leslie Slammed Portugal, France And Spain With Unusual Strength

There are no two ways about it — the storm known as Leslie was a weirdo, the strangest to develop in the Atlantic Ocean this year, if not in many years.

The storm finally crashed into Europe’s Iberian Peninsula over the weekend, creating all sorts of havoc, after meandering over the open Atlantic Ocean for 19 days, where it took on many forms.

Previously a hurricane, Leslie arrived in Europe as an intense extratropical or mid-latitude storm, having lost its tropical characteristics. While not a hurricane in name at landfall, it was just as powerful, battering the Iberian Peninsula at virtually unprecedented strength.

Winds gusted to 109 mph along the western coast of Portugal in the community Figueira da Foz. The storm left behind flooding, uprooted hundreds of trees and caused 27 minor injuries in Portugal.

The unusually strong winds were due in part to a sting jet, a potent but narrow surge of exceptional winds caused when evaporative cooling within the storm drags the jet stream to the surface.

Leslie became the first tropically borne system to directly impact Spain since Vince in 2005 and was far more powerful. The BBC said winds gusted over 60 mph in the city of Zamora.

Farther north, devastating floods engulfed France as Leslie’s tropical connection drenched southern areas with heavy rainfall. At least 10 deaths were blamed on the floods.

Meteo-France reported the following rainfall totals in the south of France:11.6 inches (296 mm) fell in eight hours near Carcassonne, 9.6 inches (244 mm) fell in six hours and 4.4 inches (111 mm) in two hours.
14.3 inches (364 mm) fell in 24 hours in the Haut-Languedoc region. As of Tuesday, Leslie’s remnant circulation had merged with the remnants of Hurricane Michael, both entities substantially weakened.

Leslie first got its name on Sept. 23 as a subtropical storm in the middle of nowhere in the open Atlantic. Spinning absentmindedly in the central North Atlantic, the prospects for Leslie’s development weren’t good. In its first advisory, the National Hurricane Center ironically said it was “forecast to be a short-lived cyclone.”

Nobody knew Leslie would become the 11th-longest-lived Atlantic cyclone on record, fluctuating between tropical storm and Category 1 strength for at least 19 days.

But Leslie defied the odds, stubbornly dodging systems that could harvest its energy and strengthening when all signs suggested it shouldn’t. The National Hurricane Center first stated that Leslie was “forecast to become absorbed by a larger non-tropical low” within two or three days.

On Sept. 25, Leslie fell apart into a subtropical depression right on schedule. All done. Or so we thought.

Leslie’s brief falter didn’t last long, and the capricious storm rose from the dead two days later. The “zombie cyclone” took on the characteristics of a mid-latitude nor’easter-type storm instead, stirring up the seas with powerful hurricane-force winds on Sept. 27. Meteorologists refer to this type of storm as extratropical. Despite gusts exceeding the 74 mph criterion, however, Leslie’s cold-core nature did not fit the bill for it to be classified as a hurricane.

That’s when Leslie decided to switch things up. The post-tropical cyclone swirled in some warmer air on the 28th and became subtropical — a wacky hybrid combination of a tropical cyclone and a mid-latitude low — again.

Until this point, Leslie was never “officially” a tropical cyclone or hurricane. Only at 11 p.m. Atlantic time on Sept. 29 did the hurricane center finally award a tropical designation to Leslie. By then, the 50 mph storm was quickly acquiring the textbook hurricane shape and at last matured into a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds on Oct. 3.

All the while, Leslie didn’t bother anybody but mariners. The storm went through an entire cycle again between different structures, wandering over the open ocean. Leslie began to peter out around Oct. 7 but then got feisty on the 8th. By Oct. 10, Leslie was mean — baring its teeth with winds of 90 mph tightly packed around a symmetric clouded-in center.

Part of Leslie’s perceived longevity is due to the wide arsenal of satellite imagery currently at the disposal of Hurricane Center meteorologists. Nowadays, forecasters can utilize remote sensing to better understand the internal organization of storms. A mere three or four decades ago, these tools existed in a much more rudimentary form — and Leslie probably would not have been named until it actually looked like a tropical cyclone in early October.

The takeaway? Leslie’s life span is certainly unusually long, but by no means unheard of. The San Ciriaco hurricane of 1899 persisted a whopping 27 days, and in the Pacific, cyclones have stuck around even longer. John clocked in at a staggering 30 days in 1994.