wild weather
July 28, 2019

Now more than 1,000 miles southwest of Baja California, Tropical Storm Erick will likely strengthen into a hurricane by Monday, forecasters said Sunday.

The National Hurricane Center said maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph, and should Erick become a hurricane as expected, it will continue picking up steam through Tuesday. While Erick appears to be headed toward Hawaii, it's still "almost a week out, so there's a lot of uncertainty on the exact track," Accuweather senior meteorologist Alan Reppert told USA Today. "Any slight change in that track could really affect any rainfall we see in Hawaii."

There's another tropical depression behind Erick, Tropical Storm Seven-E, which was off the southern coast of Mexico on Sunday morning. Going about 21 miles per hour west-northwest, it is also expected to become a hurricane sometime in the next few days. Catherine Garcia

July 14, 2019

Tropical Depression Barry is slowly moving inland, bringing with it the possibility of flooding and tornadoes in central Louisiana and eastern Mississippi.

Briefly a Category 1 hurricane, Barry made landfall in Louisiana on Saturday, and its winds have been steadily weakening. The U.S. National Hurricane Center on Sunday said south-central Louisiana could see rainfall totals of up to 15 inches, and this "rainfall is expected to lead to dangerous, life-threatening flooding."

There were fears that Barry would hit New Orleans directly, and Mayor LaToya Cantrell said on Sunday the city was "spared" and "beyond lucky" it didn't receive as much rain as was predicted. Catherine Garcia

July 11, 2019

As much as seven inches of rain fell in New Orleans over a three-hour period on Wednesday morning, causing widespread flooding.

More rain is headed to the region, with the National Hurricane Center predicting that the storm system will turn into a tropical depression by Thursday morning, a tropical storm by Thursday night, and a hurricane by late Friday. Louisiana could see up to 12 inches of rain by Monday, and officials worry that the Mississippi River, which is already swollen, could crest over some of the levees surrounding New Orleans.

Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, saying, "The entire coast of Louisiana is at play in this storm." Mississippi and Texas could also experience heavy rains. Catherine Garcia

May 28, 2019

One person was killed and at least 130 injured as tornadoes ripped through Ohio and Indiana overnight.

The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center reported that 55 tornadoes touched down in eight states on Monday, The Associated Press says, including 14 in Indiana, 12 in Colorado, nine in Ohio, and seven in Iowa. The mayor of Celina, Ohio, announced on Tuesday that 82-year-old Melvin Dale Hanna was killed when a parked car slammed into his house, and said there are areas of his town "that truly look like a war zone." The damage was so extensive in parts of Ohio that snowplows were being used to clear debris from roadways, and several schools let students out early for the summer, due to building damage.

Meteorologist Patrick Marsh told AP the tornadoes and extreme thunderstorms are caused by high pressure over the Southeast and a cold trough over the Rockies pushing warm, moist air into the central United States. Marsh said Monday was the 11th straight day with at least eight tornadoes in the U.S., tying a record from 1980. Catherine Garcia

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

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