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wild weather
April 29, 2019

Cyclone Kenneth has weakened, but heavy rain is still causing destructive flooding in Mozambique, where the storm has left at least 38 people dead.

Cyclone Kenneth first hit Mozambique on Thursday, with winds of 140 mph. The country's National Institute of Disaster Management says that 35,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged, and aid workers are having a hard time reaching people. Flights carrying aid have been canceled because of the weather, and floodwaters are cutting off some areas where help is needed.

Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe were hit by Cyclone Idai in March, a severe storm that left more than 900 people dead. It's been predicted that Cyclone Kenneth will drop twice as much rain as Idai, BBC News reports, with heavy rains forecast for the next few days. The World Meteorological Organization says there is "no record of two storms of such intensity striking Mozambique in the same season." Catherine Garcia

April 25, 2019

Cyclone Kenneth, the strongest storm to ever hit Mozambique, made landfall Thursday in the northern part of the country, with wind speeds of up to 140 mph.

The cyclone, which formed off the coast of Madagascar earlier this week, comes just five weeks after Cyclone Idai caused widespread destruction; Idai is blamed for the deaths of more than 1,000 people in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe and left thousands more homeless. "It's really an anomaly in the history of cyclones in this region," meteorologist Eric Holthaus told The Guardian. "There's never been storms this strong hit in the same year, let alone within five weeks of each other in Mozambique."

The storm is expected to stay stalled north of the port town Pemba, dumping at least three feet of rain over the next several days. Holthaus said a "blocking pattern" in the upper atmosphere is likely behind the stall, adding that there is evidence climate change is making blocking patterns stronger. Catherine Garcia

March 14, 2019

A "bomb cyclone" storm that's bringing hurricane-force winds to Colorado has left close to 1,100 motorists stranded in the state.

A bomb cyclone storm happens when there is a rapid drop in pressure. The storm has caused blizzard conditions across Colorado, dropping more than nine inches of snow near Boulder, and it is intensifying as it moves into the Great Plains and Midwest. "This isn't your average Colorado storm," El Paso County spokesman Ryan Parsell told CNN.

Officials warned people to stay off the roads, as the ice made conditions dangerous. There was a 100-car pile-up near Wellington, and a state police officer helping a stranded motorist was killed north of Denver on Wednesday morning when he was hit by a car. In the hardest-hit areas, police officers out responding to car accidents were told to leave their vehicles and find shelter. "We are at the point where we are rescuing rescuers out there," Elbert County Manager Sam Albrecht told CNN. Catherine Garcia

February 19, 2019

It's been a soggy February in California.

Since the first of the month, storms have dumped 18 trillion gallons of water in the state, the National Weather Service said. That's the equivalent of 27 million Olympic-sized pools, or 45 percent the total volume of Lake Tahoe. "If you weighed all the water, it would come out to 150 trillion pounds of water," KGO-TV meteorologist Mike Nicco said. "That's a lot of weight."

The snowpack in the Sierras is at 141 percent of its seasonal average and above its April 1 benchmark, the Los Angeles Times reports, and that will provide water for farmers once it begins to melt. All of this rain hasn't been enough to get California out of its drought, though; the United States Drought Monitor reports that a large portion of Southern California is still considered abnormally dry, and there are some small areas in the extreme north and south of the state experiencing moderate to severe drought. Catherine Garcia

January 30, 2019

At least eight deaths are linked to the polar vortex hitting the Midwest, where many cities are recording their lowest temperatures in decades.

An elderly man in Illinois was found dead after he fell while trying to get into his house, a Milwaukee man was discovered frozen to death in a garage, and a man was killed in Chicago when he was hit by a snowplow, The Associated Press reports. A University of Iowa student was also found dead early Wednesday outside of a campus building.

Chicago's temperature dropped to 23 degrees below zero, and it was minus-27 degrees in Minneapolis and 25 degrees below zero in Sioux Falls. The wind chill made it feel like 50 below zero in cities across the Midwest. With mail service suspended in most areas and many businesses closed, the few people who did venture out found ice crystals on their eyelashes and eyebrows after just a few minutes.

At least 2,700 flights were canceled, more than half of them in Chicago, and more than two dozen water mains froze in Detroit. Temperatures will remain bone-chilling through Thursday, and are expected to hit the 20s on Friday. Catherine Garcia

October 23, 2018

Hurricane Willa made landfall Tuesday night south of Mazatlan, Mexico, as a Category 3 storm, with winds up to 120 mph.

Mazatlan is a popular tourist destination, and several cruise ships bound for the resort town have been diverted and more than 4,000 people along the coast have been evacuated. Officials are warning of life-threatening storm surge, rainfall, and wind in parts of western Mexico, with Willa expected to be one of the most dangerous storms to hit Mexico in years, CBS News reports.

This is a breaking news story and has been updated throughout. Catherine Garcia

October 21, 2018

On Sunday, Hurricane Willa strengthened into a Category 4 storm, and is expected to make landfall on the Pacific coast of Mexico by Tuesday.

Willa now has maximum sustained winds of 130 mph, and is about 220 miles south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes. A hurricane watch is now in effect for the shore between Mazatlan and San Blas, and forecasters are warning Willa could produce dangerous storm surge and dump as much as 10 inches of rain in some parts of western Jalisco, western Nayarit, and southern Sinaloa states. Catherine Garcia

October 7, 2018

The National Hurricane Center announced Sunday that Tropical Storm Michael, which is expected to bring heavy rains to parts of Cuba and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula through Monday, will likely soon become a hurricane.

Brian Fortier, a senior meteorologist at the Weather Channel, told NBC News Michael will probably become a hurricane within the next 24 hours, and "stay a low-grade hurricane before it comes onshore and moves northeast across Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina." Michael is expected to pick up speed over the next few days, before hitting the U.S. on Wednesday, and could bring heavy rains, winds, and dangerous storm surge to areas that experienced flooding during Hurricane Florence in September. Catherine Garcia

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