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wild weather
September 2, 2019

Since hitting the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm on Sunday, Hurricane Dorian has unleashed torrential rain and winds of up to 155 mph, and while it weakened to a Category 4 on Monday, it hasn't moved on, crawling toward the United States at just 1 mph.

Jeff Masters, the meteorology director at Weather Underground, told The Associated Press the steering currents at 18,000 feet above ground are too calm, and not pushing the hurricane in any direction. There is a high pressure system in Bermuda that is keeping Dorian from heading north, as well as a low pressure trough going east that is attempting to push Dorian to the north. These two systems are "fighting it out and neither is winning," Masters said.

With no airflow pushing Dorian in any direction, it is "stationary," the National Hurricane Center said. "This is unprecedented," Masters told AP. "We've never had a Category 5 stall for so long in the Atlantic hurricane record."

Hurricanes need warm water to keep going, and storms that stall eventually dissipate because they keep churning up cold water from below the ocean's surface. Although the Bahamas and Gulf Stream are areas that have deep warm water, Hurricane Dorian should still weaken a bit, even if it doesn't get moving again. Catherine Garcia

August 29, 2019

If Hurricane Dorian continues its current path, it will likely make landfall on the east coast of Florida early Monday morning, forecasters said Wednesday night.

The hurricane is expected to strengthen to a Category 3 storm by the time it hits, Fox 35 meteorologist Glenn Richards told the Orlando Sentinel. "This would be the strongest hurricane to hit central Florida in over 30 years," he added. "Hurricane force sustained winds would be carried across the entire width of the state if the current forecast holds."

Dorian battered the U.S. Virgin Islands on Wednesday, and while the outer bands did bring heavy rains to Puerto Rico, the eye of the storm moved away from the island. It was a welcome respite, as Puerto Rico is still recovering from damage sustained during 2017's Hurricane Maria. Catherine Garcia

August 26, 2019

By Tuesday, Tropical Storm Dorian, now headed toward the Lesser Antilles, could be nearing hurricane strength, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Sunday.

Dorian, the fourth tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, is expected to move into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Tuesday. The Lesser Antilles should expect to receive two to four inches of rain, forecasters said. Barbados, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, and the Grenadines are all under a tropical storm warning, and a tropical storm watch is in effect for Grenada and Martinique.

Forecasters said it is too early to know if Florida should brace for anything, but Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the Virgin Islands need to keep a close watch on Dorian's progression. Catherine Garcia

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

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