Storm winds

Storm with 100 mph winds rips through Midwest – CBS News

A rare storm packing 100 mph winds and with power similar to an inland hurricane swept across the Midwest on Monday, blowing over trees, flipping vehicles, causing widespread property damage and leaving hundreds of thousands without power as it moved through Chicago and into Indiana and Michigan.

The storm, known as a derecho, lasted several hours as it tore from eastern Nebraska across Iowa and parts of Wisconsin and Illinois, had the wind speed of a major hurricane, and likely caused more widespread damage than a normal tornado, said Patrick Marsh, science support chief at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

In northern Illinois, the National Weather Service reported a wind gust of 92 mph near Dixon, about 100 miles west of Chicago, and the storm left downed trees and power lines that blocked roadways in Chicago and its suburbs. After leaving Chicago, the most potent part of the storm system moved over north central Indiana by late afternoon.

A derecho is not quite a hurricane. It has no eye and its winds come across in a line. But the damage it is likely to do spread over such a large area is more like an inland hurricane than a quick more powerful tornado, Marsh said. He compared it to a devastating Super Derecho of 2009, which was one of the strongest on record and traveled more than 1,000 miles in 24 hours, causing $500 million in damage, widespread power outages and killing a handful of people.

“This is our version of a hurricane,” Gensini said in an interview from his home about 15 minutes before the storm was about to hit. Minutes later, he headed to his basement for safety as the storm took aim at Chicago, starting with its suburbs.

Gensini said this derecho will go down as one of the strongest in recent history and be one of the nation’s worst weather events of 2020.

Dangerous Derecho Storm Whips Through Midwest
A John Deere agricultural tractor sits under a collapsed building following a derecho storm, a widespread wind storm associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms, on August 10, 2020 near Franklin Grove, Illinois. 

Daniel Acker / Getty Images

Several people were injured and widespread property damage was reported in Marshall County in central Iowa after 100 mph winds swept through the area, according to county homeland security coordinator Kim Elder. She said the winds blew over trees, ripped road signs out of the ground and tore roofs off of buildings.

“We had quite a few people trapped in buildings and cars,” she said. Elder said the extent of injuries is unknown and that no fatalities have been reported.

Elder said some people reported their cars flipping over from the wind, having power lines fall on them and getting injured when hit by flying debris. Dozens of cars at one factory had windshields blown out. Buildings have also caught on fire, she said.

“We’re in life-saving mode right now,” Elder said.

MidAmerican Energy said nearly 101,000 customers in the Des Moines area were without power after the storm moved through the area. Reports from spotters filed with the National Weather Service in Des Moines had winds in excess of 70 mph.

Across the state, large trees fell on cars and houses. Some semi-trailers flipped over or were blown off highways. Farmers reported that some grain bins were destroyed and fields were flattened, but the extent of damage to Iowa’s agriculture industry wasn’t immediately clear.

Dangerous Derecho Storm Whips Through Midwest
Corn plants, blown over by a derecho storm, lay in a field on August 10, 2020 near Polo, Illinois. 

Daniel Acker / Getty Images

MidAmerican spokeswoman Tina Hoffman said downed trees are making it difficult in some locations for workers to get to the power lines. In some cases, power line poles were snapped off.

“It’s a lot of tree damage. Very high winds. It will be a significant effort to get through it all and get everybody back on,” she said. “It was a big front that went all the way through the state.”

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has “both significant and widespread damage throughout the city,” said public safety spokesman Greg Buelow. Tens of thousands of people in the metro area were without power.

“We have damage to homes and businesses, including siding and roofs damaged,” he said. “Trees and power lines are down throughout the entire city.”

Derechoes, with winds of at least 58 mph, occur about once a year in the Midwest. Rarer than tornadoes but with weaker winds, derechoes produce damage over a much wider area.

The storms raced over parts of eastern Nebraska before 9 a.m. Monday, dropping heavy rains and high winds. Strong straight-line winds pushed south into areas that include Lincoln and Omaha, National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Barjenbruch said.

Dangerous Derecho Storm Whips Through Midwest
People search for cover as a derecho storm pushes through the area on August 10, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. 

Scott Olson / Getty Images

“Once that rain-cooled air hit the ground, it surged over 100 miles, sending incredibly strong winds over the area,” Barjenbruch said.

Omaha Public Power District reported more than 55,500 customers without power in Omaha and surrounding communities.

Marsh said there’s a huge concern about power outages that will be widespread across several states and long lasting. Add high heat, people with medical conditions that require power, and the pandemic, “it becomes dire pretty quickly.”

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Storm Tropical

Tropical Storm Isaias moves through Western Massachusetts causing downed trees, power outages in Easthampton, –

Tropical Storm Isaias moves through Western Massachusetts

A tree limb downed from high winds partially blocks Parker Street in Agawam as Tropical Storm Isaias moves through Western Massachusetts. (Hoang ‘Leon’ Nguyen/Republican staff)

Downed power lines has closed an intersection in Easthampton and has left more than 1,200 homes and businesses without power as Tropical Storm Isaias moves into Western Massachusetts.

Several communities including Agawam, Wilbraham and Springfield are also reporting trees and limbs have fallen partially blocking roadways.

The intersection of Loudville and Torrey streets in Easthampton was closed at about 3:30 p.m. after power lines came down making it impassable, Easthampton Police said.

Eversource is reporting 518 homes and businesses are without power.

There is also an outage in Agawam that has left 386 customers without electricity. Other outages are in Becket where 110 customers are without power, Otis where 72 homes and businesses are affected, Dalton where 97 customers are without power and Southampton where 102 people have no electricity. Crews are heading to all locations, Eversource and police said.

Storm Isaias is expected to bring high winds and heavy rains as it moves north through the region. It is expected to dump between 1 and 3 inches of rain on the region and some areas of the Berkshires could see as much as 4 inches of rain. Winds of 25 to 30 mph are expected and gusts could reach 50 mph, according to Christopher Besse, spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

There is also potential for tornados in Western Massachusetts, especially along the Connecticut River Valley, he said.

The Chicopee City Council has also canceled its regularly scheduled meeting for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday because of the story. City Hall also closed at 3:30 p.m. to allow employees to get home safely, Mayor John L. Vieau said.

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Storm Tropical

Tropical Storm Isaias Downs Trees, Floods DC, Maryland and Virginia – NBC4 Washington

One person was killed when a large tree fell on a moving car in Maryland as Tropical Storm Isaias thrust damaging wind gusts, several inches of rainfall and life-threatening flash flooding into the D.C. area.

Leonardtown in St. Mary’s County and Chesapeake Beach in Calvert County were hit by tornadoes, the National Weather Service confirmed. They are looking into reports of other tornadoes in the area. 

Heavy rain and a tornado devastated parts of St. Mary’s County leaving it in a state of emergency until Tuesday. News4’s Tracee Wilkins reports from Chaptico.


Isaias dumped nearly 8 inches of rain on Mechanicsville, Maryland, and more than 2 inches on D.C. and then moved past the Chesapeake Bay by noon and skittered up the East Coast.

The D.C. area is unlikely to see more dramatic downpours or flash flooding for the rest of Tuesday. Many neighborhoods are expected to remain dry.

News4’s Megan McGrath went to Neeld Estate in Calvert County and spoke to residents about the damage left behind by Tropical Storm Isaias.

Floods and coastal flooding remain moderate concerns, Storm Team4 Meteorologist Amelia Draper says.

A flood warning is still in effect in parts of Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles and Prince George’s counties. Here’s a full list of weather alerts.

News4’s Adam Tuss takes a look at the damage left behind by Tropical Storm Isaias in Chesapeake Beach.

Storm Team4 declared a weather alert because many roads could still be flooded. Never drive into a flooded roadway.

Any afternoon sunshine will give a small break to those cleaning up storm damage. Southern Maryland was hit particularly hard and a series of tornado warnings were issued.

Chopper4 flew above Maryland and captured the damage left behind by Tropical Storm Isaias. ⁠St. Mary’s County was among the hardest-hit spots. According to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, just over 7 inches of rain fell and a tornado touched down there.

St. Mary’s County was among the hardest-hit spots. According to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, just over 7 inches of rain fell and a tornado touched down there. State road crews responded to 14 incidents in the county, more than anywhere else.

One person was killed in St. Mary’s County when a large tree toppled onto a moving car. Deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 29500 block of Three Notch Road in Mechanicsville at about 9:30 a.m. A huge tree fell onto the car’s roof, trapping the driver. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Their identity is being withheld pending notification of their family.

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Rescuers were seen trying to help the trapped occupant. The tree that fell had a root system at least six feet wide, NBC4’s Tracee Wilkins reported.

The sheriff’s office initially told News4 that one person was dead and another was injured. Police later confirmed that one person, the sole occupant, had died.

Serious thunderstorms capable of producing tornados rolled over St. Mary’s early Tuesday, downing trees and flooding roads. A tornado was observed near Leonardtown, Maryland, the National Weather Service says. The twister toppled trees but no injuries were reported.

St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron warned that most roadways became “impassable and dangerous” and that multiple people needed to be rescued from high water.

“It was incredible how much the water level was raised,” Cameron said. “The traditional areas flooded right away and then some other areas too.”

In Montgomery County, another person was injured when a tree fell across West Lake Drive. They are expected to recover.

SOMDWXNEWS is safe after a tornado went through our area on MD 5 next to Winters Sheet Metal just south of Leonardtown. Multiple trees down along Rt 5 and several into a house and on top of a car. Many trees cut off at the top of the top.

— SouthernMD WX & NEWS (@SOMDWxNews) August 4, 2020

When peeks of the sun began shining through at about noon, tens of thousands were still without power. Most were SMECO customers in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties or Dominion Energy customers in Northern Virginia.

Streets near the Potomac River in Old Town Alexandria were inundated with ankle-high water. In Fairfax County, Old Courthouse Road, Browns Mill Road, Burke Road and Lawyers Road were among those closed due to flooding.

Sligo Creek Parkway from University to Dennis Avenue was closed, as was Forest Glen to Colesville Road.

Trees were knocked down in D.C., closing 10th Street NE and 27th Street Northwest.

Tropical Storm Isaias dumped inches of rain onto Old Town Alexandria, flooding roads. News4’s Lauryn Ricketts reports live.

Isaias weakened to a tropical storm as it made landfall overnight near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.

Metro closed the Red Line station in Cleveland Park and King Street’s Cameron Street entrance as safety precautions.

Residents and business owners began piling up sandbags and crews cleaned out storm drains Monday in preparation for Tropical Storm Isaias. News4’s Adam Tuss reports.

Dangerous winds will be mainly a concern east of I-95 as the storm passes over the Chesapeake Bay.

Crews in the region stacked sandbags, cleared debris from drains and put tree-removal teams on standby Monday.

A coastal flood warning is in effect. The National Weather Service says the unprotected area on the Southwest Waterfront at the DC Seafood Market is expected to flood. Water is also expected to approach parts of the Hains Point Loop Road.

Moderate coastal flooding is also possible at times of high tide Tuesday as Isaias makes its closest approach to the area.

News4’s Jackie Bensen and Shomari Stone have team coverage of how D.C. suburbs are preparing for Isaias as it approaches the region.

In anticipation of the storm, D.C. closed all meal and grocery distribution sites and COVID-19 testing sites, including at fire stations, on Tuesday.

In case of power outages, make sure you have on hand non-perishable food and enough drinking water to last a few days. Other emergency items to have include extra medication, face masks and hand sanitizer. Charge up your devices early and know where to find flashlights and candles.

Download our free NBC Washington app for iOS or Android to get the latest local news and weather.

You should also secure any loose objects outside your home, such as lawn furniture.

Remember, never drive into a flooded roadway.

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Storm Tropical

Tropical Storm Hanna brings rain, flooding as it leaves Texas; Hawaii braces for Hurricane Douglas – USA TODAY

Published 10:01 a.m. ET July 26, 2020 | Updated 6:13 p.m. ET July 26, 2020


The Bob Hall Pier was damaged from Hurricane Hanna. On Sunday, July 26, 2020, the extent of the damage became more clear.

Corpus Christi Caller Times

Hanna weakened into a tropical depression as it moved from southern Texas to northeastern Mexico on Sunday, leaving rain, flooding and damage.

The National Hurricane Center said in its 4 p.m. CDT advisory that Hanna, which reached Texas shores as a hurricane Saturday, was about 35 miles west southwest of Monterrey, Mexico, and had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.

“Additional weakening is expected as the center of Hanna moves farther inland,” the weather center said.

Rain totals of 6-12 inches in the area – with up to 16 inches in some locations – “will produce life-threatening flash flooding, rapid rises on small streams and isolated minor river flooding in South Texas,” the advisory said.

Live updates: Hanna slams Corpus Christi-area with flooding, damage

USA TODAY hurricane tracker:Track all of the tropical storms and hurricanes

Liz Sommerville, a senior forecaster for the National Weather Service, said there is a chance of severe thunderstorms all day Sunday and strong winds, heavy rain and low-line, coastal flooding in the region, especially in the northern and southern parts of Port Aransas.

Flooding could reach 2 to 3 feet.

American Electric Power Texas reported that as of 6 a.m. local time, 194,400 customers in the Corpus Christi, Laredo and Rio Grande Valley regions were without power, down from a peak of 197,630.

Hanna made landfall at 5 p.m. Saturday at Padre Island as a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 90 mph. By 1 a.m. CDT Sunday, Hanna had weakened into a tropical storm. At 12:49 p.m., the city of Corpus Christi announced in a news release there were no fatalities from Hanna.

Hurricane Douglas

Bringing maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, Hurricane Douglas swirled about 85 miles east of Kahului, Hawaii, and about 140 miles east of Honolulu, the NHC said.

As part of its 11 a.m. HST update, the NHC indicated that Douglas was moving west-northwest at about 16 mph. That track is expected to continue over the next couple of days. 

“Douglas will pass dangerously close to, or over, the islands today, bringing a triple threat of hazards, including, but not limited to, damaging winds, flooding rainfall and dangerously high surf,” the NHC said Sunday.

The NHC said that “gradual weakening” is likely over the next two days but that Douglas is expected to remain a hurricane as it passes Hawaii.

Douglas is projected to generate 5 to 10 inches of total rain accumulations from Maui County, westward to Kauai County. The NHC warned that up to 15 inches of rain was possible in elevated terrain.

Contributing: Meagan Falcon, Corpus Christi Caller Times


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Storm Tropical

Tropical Storm Gonzalo forms in Atlantic, could strengthen into a hurricane – CBS News

Tropical Storm Gonzalo could strengthen

Tropical Storm Gonzalo could strengthen


Tropical Storm Gonzalo formed on Wednesday in the central Atlantic Basin, about midway between the West African coast and the islands of the Lesser Antilles. At first it was expected to stay a tropical storm, but the National Hurricane Center has now revised its forecast to increase the chances it will become a hurricane Thursday night or Friday, before it approaches the southern Caribbean by the end of the week.

As of Thursday morning, the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane watch is in effect for the islands of Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Gonzalo had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and is moving to the west at about 14 mph. The storm is forecast to reach the southern Lesser Antilles by Saturday.

As I said yesterday, I had a feeling the global models were being a bit conservative with #Gonzalo. In fact the MSLP at 11a most reflects what the regional hurricane HMON/HWRF had forecast. (Those had a stronger storm)

Long story short, our first hurricane is possible this week.

— Zach Covey (@ZachCoveyTV) July 22, 2020

While the future track of Gonzalo appears fairly straightforward, the intensity is very uncertain. The computer models meteorologists use to forecast these systems are split into two camps. The global computer models, like the well-known European model, show the system weakening as it reaches the Lesser Antilles and Caribbean. But specialized tropical models are more robust, showing the storm strengthening to a hurricane and remaining that way through the next 5 days.

Tropical Storm #Gonzalo is looking healthy this morning. The latest @NHC_Atlantic guidance makes it the first hurricane of the Atlantic season by tomorrow. Intensity forecast uncertain -Models diverge in 48 hours – Global models forecasting weakening & tropical models stronger.

— Jeff Berardelli (@WeatherProf) July 22, 2020

There is no telling which group of models will prove correct, but so far the tropical models seem to be doing a better job. That is partly because Gonzalo is a small system and these tropical models are able to better analyze smaller-scale features. 

Often small systems can shield themselves from the surrounding environment. In this case there is dry air around the system. The stronger tropical models keep the influence of dry air to a minimum by cocooning, or protecting, the storm, allowing it to strengthen. The larger-scale models allow the dry air to feed in, weakening the storm’s structure and thunderstorms.

The latest microwave pass over Tropical Storm #Gonzalo is revealing. Curved bands do indicate a well organized vortex. Inner core convection is trying to close off but battling drier air imported from the E via light NE shear.

For now this drier air source is still fairly moist.

— Philippe Papin (@pppapin) July 22, 2020

Regardless of what happens next, Gonzalo is already one for the record books. It is the earliest 7th named system of any Atlantic season on record.

#Gonzalo has formed in the central tropical Atlantic – the earliest 7th Atlantic named storm formation on record. The prior record was Gert on July 24, 2005. #hurricane

— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) July 22, 2020

Meanwhile, in the eastern Pacific Ocean, a hurricane may threaten the Big Island of Hawaii by Saturday. As of Thursday morning Hawaii time, Hurricane Douglas is major hurricane — Category 3 — with winds of 120 mph. The system is located 1,300 miles east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii, moving west-northwest at 20 mph. Douglas is forecast to approach the Big Island of Hawaii by later Saturday into Sunday morning. At the present time it appears the system will weaken some, but it may still be a hurricane or strong tropical storm when it reaches Hawaii.

Starting Saturday night, Tropical Cyclone Douglas will approach the State of Hawaii from the east. Increasing chances of heavy rain and strong winds could affect portions of the state beginning Sunday. It is too early to tell which islands will be impacted by #Douglas.

— National Weather Service (@NWS) July 23, 2020

By the end of the week there may be yet another named system approaching the U.S. Gulf Coast. The National Hurricane Center is monitoring a broad area of low pressure with a disorganized cluster of storms over the central Gulf of Mexico. The chance of development has now increased to 80%, with a tropical depression or tropical storm is likely to form by Friday. Either way it will likely bring gusty winds and heavy downpours into Texas by Friday and Saturday.

The Gulf of Mexico Invest #91L is starting to fire off some vigorous convection this morning. The disturbance is making an attempt to develop into a tropical cyclone.

This disturbance has its crosshairs on the Texas coast.

— MJVentrice (@MJVentrice) July 22, 2020

One reason for the active season so far has been unusually warm waters in the tropical Atlantic, and that seems to be continuing. Gonzalo marks the beginning of the second phase of hurricane season, which is called the Cape Verde season. This is when systems in the main development region, in between Africa and the Caribbean, flare up. It usually occurs in early to mid August, but this season it is starting several weeks early. This is partly due to near historic warm sea surface temperatures in the main development region.

Not to beat a dead horse but, the Atlantic Main Development Region is exceptionally warm atm. Here’s a plot of the OISSTv2.1 SSTa percentiles for the week ending July 20th.

Grid points that exceed the 95th percentile (within the top 3 ranks) are contoured in white#Tropics


— Eric Webb (@webberweather) July 22, 2020

Also, Gonzalo is forming very far south compared with most other tropical systems.

There have been a few south of 10ºN, but it’s sparse.

Here’s how the forecast track of #Gonzalo compares to the full climatology.

— Sam Lillo (@splillo) July 22, 2020

Its prospects beyond the weekend are very uncertain right now. But there is at least some chance it will remain a hurricane in the Caribbean and if so, this storm will need to be watched closely to see if it makes the turn north towards the U.S. or moves west into Central America.

After Gonzalo, computer models are showing another system with a good potential for development now emerging off of Africa. While its fate is uncertain, what does seem certain is that an active couple of weeks — and likely hurricane season as a whole — is now upon us. This is in line with all of the seasonal forecasts from various organizations warning it’s likely to be one of the most active hurricane seasons on record in the Atlantic.

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Storm Tropical

Tropical Storm Gonzalo sets a record as it churns toward the Caribbean – CNN

(CNN)Tropical Depression Seven strengthened into Tropical Storm Gonzalo on Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The storm was around 1,250 miles east of the southern Windward Islands on Wednesday morning, packing winds of 45 mph and moving to the west-northwest at 12 mph.
“Given the increased organization of the system and its small size, Gonzalo’s (pronounced gohn-SAH-loh) likelihood of becoming a hurricane is rising. Small storms are prone to more significant fluctuations in intensity, both up and down,” CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said.
Strengthening will continue in the next day as the storm is expected to become the season’s first hurricane by Thursday, the NHC said.
The NHC is forecasting the storm will weaken slightly before moving over the Windward Islands. The storm may even fizzle after it moves over the islands, as many models are indicating, or it could continue to intensify into next week. It’s still a little too early to tell exactly what it will do after it moves into the Caribbean.
This is the earliest that a storm has received a name starting with the letter “G” since the United States began using a named-storm system in 1953. On average the 7th named storm in a season is on September 16.
The previous record for the earliest 7th named storm formation in the Atlantic was Gert on July 24 during the busiest hurricane season on record, 2005.
“While 2020 may beat 2005 to the 7th named storm, 2005 had already had 3 hurricanes and 2 (of those were) major hurricanes (Dennis and Emily) by July 21. 2020 has yet to have a named storm reach hurricane strength,” tweeted Philip Klotzbach, a research scientist at Colorado State University.
“The tropical Atlantic looks extremely conducive for an active season,” Klotzbach told CNN.
So far in July, he said, the ingredients needed for an active season remain in place.
“So, while we haven’t seen any hurricanes yet, I certainly think that we will soon.”
The active part of hurricane season is still a few weeks away and it looks likely we will have the busy season experts have been predicting.

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Storm Tropical

Tropical Storm Cristobal could regain strength by combining with new storm system after drenching South – Fox News

Tropical Storm Cristobal could soon renew its strength by uniting with another storm system coming from the west to form one giant cyclone, forecasters warned, as missing boaters were found safe and sound.

In Louisiana, two boaters were found Monday afternoon in good condition after their boat sank in a deepwater straight near Slidell on Sunday, officials said.

The two told deputies they survived in the water by clinging to one life jacket Sunday afternoon and Sunday night before they were able to reach the shore Monday morning, St. Tammany Parish sheriff’s Sgt. Suzanne Carboni said in a statement.

The pair then swam across a marshy area and were found sitting on the porch of a camp, Carboni said.

“We were largely spared,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said.

Cristobal provided the state with “a good test” of overall hurricane response and preparedness, particularly combined with ongoing coronavirus response efforts, the governor said.

President Trump agreed to issue an emergency declaration for Louisiana, officials said.


After drenching much of the South, forecasters said they expected the remnants of Cristobal to unleash fierce winds, heavy rain and thunderstorms on much of the Midwest by Tuesday.

A very strong storm system sweeping out from the Rocky Mountains is expected to meld with Cristobal in the next couple of days, said Greg Carbin, who has overseen forecasts at the Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

“The two will eventually merge into a large cyclone,” Carbin said. “It’s a pretty fascinating interaction we’ll see over the next couple of days.”

Isabelle Schneidau, left, gesturing to the camera as she walked in a rising storm surge with Mont Echols, center, and L.G. Sullivan, right, after checking on their boats in the West End section of New Orleans on Sunday.

Isabelle Schneidau, left, gesturing to the camera as she walked in a rising storm surge with Mont Echols, center, and L.G. Sullivan, right, after checking on their boats in the West End section of New Orleans on Sunday.

Wind gusts of up to 45 mph are expected in Chicago by Tuesday night, the National Weather Service added. Boaters were being warned of gale-force winds on nearby Lake Michigan on Tuesday and Wednesday.

High winds could be felt from Nebraska to Wisconsin, forecasters said. In parts of Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota, the gusty winds and low humidity will bring the threat of wildfires in areas with dry grass, National Weather Service forecasters warned. Any blazes that start will spread rapidly, they said.

Cristobal weakened into a depression early Monday after inundating coastal Louisiana and ginning up dangerous weather along most of the U.S. Gulf Coast, sending waves crashing over Mississippi beaches, swamping parts of an Alabama island town and spawning a tornado in Florida.

Heavy rainfall and a storm surge continued posing a threat across a wide area of the Gulf coast after Cristobal made landfall Sunday afternoon packing 50-mph winds between the mouth of the Mississippi River and the since-evacuated barrier island resort community of Grand Isle.

Rudy Horvath handing a piece of wood up to his wife, Dawn Horvath, as their home, a boathouse in the West End section of New Orleans, took on water from storm surge in Lake Pontchartrain on Sunday.

Rudy Horvath handing a piece of wood up to his wife, Dawn Horvath, as their home, a boathouse in the West End section of New Orleans, took on water from storm surge in Lake Pontchartrain on Sunday.

At 5 p.m. ET Monday, the storm was centered about 110 miles north of Monroe, Louisiana, with top winds of 35 mph. It was moving north at 18 mph.

Cristobal’s remnants could be a rainmaker for days. Its forecast path takes it into Arkansas and Missouri by Tuesday, then through Illinois and Wisconsin to the Great Lakes.


“It’s very efficient, very tropical rainfall,” National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said in a Facebook video. “It rains a whole bunch real quick.”

In their last update on Cristobal from the hurricane center, forecasters said up to 15 inches of rain could fall in some areas, and could cause significant river flooding across the mid and upper Mississippi Valley.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Storm Tropical

Tropical Storm Cristobal advances toward US Gulf Coast – New York Post

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A re-energized Tropical Storm Cristobal advanced toward the U.S. Gulf Coast on Saturday, spawning a tornado in Florida and bringing the heavy rains that already caused flooding and mudslides in Mexico and Central America.

After weakening to a tropical depression while moving over land in Mexico’s Gulf coast, Cristobal headed back into the southern Gulf of Mexico from the Yucatan Peninsula on Friday and powered back up into a tropical storm. Forecasters said it would arrive on U.S. soil late Sunday but was not expected to grow into a hurricane.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm was expected to slowly strengthen until making landfall Sunday night along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

But the storm already made its presence felt Saturday evening, spawning a tornado that touched down near downtown Orlando, the National Weather Service said. The twister just missed a group of protesters at Lake Eola at around 7:30 p.m. There appeared to be no injuries, but tree limbs were knocked down, and there were reports of power outages.

“Yes, it is related to the tropical storm that is well to our west,” said Scott Kelly, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Melbourne, Florida. “But the tropical storm provided a lot of low level shear and that has allowed for some tornadoes to form over Central Florida.”

The threat for tornadoes would continue overnight, he said.

Also, outer rain bands from the storm were moving across parts of the Gulf Coast on Saturday evening.

Cristobal’s maximum sustained winds had strengthened to 50 mph by early Saturday and it was moving north at 12 mph. As of Saturday evening, the storm was centered about 235 miles south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

The Hurricane Center said the storm could cause heavy rains from East Texas to Florida this weekend and into early next week. A tropical storm watch was posted for the northern Gulf of Mexico coast from Intracoastal City, Louisiana, to the Alabama-Florida border.

In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency to prepare for the storm’s possible arrival.

“Now is the time to make your plans, which should include the traditional emergency items along with masks and hand sanitizer as we continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic,” Edward said in a statement released Thursday.

On Friday, he asked President Donald Trump to declare a pre-landfall emergency for the state due to the storm’s threat.

“We are confident that there will be widespread, heavy rainfall and coastal flooding,” Edwards said in a letter to the White House. “I anticipate the need for emergency protective measures, evacuations, and sheltering for the high-risk areas. The length of possible inundation is unknown and will likely require post-flood activities.”

tropical storm cristobal nears US Gulf Coast
Recreational trailers and boats are parked along LA-46 inside the levee gates in anticipation of Tropical Storm Cristobal in St. Bernard Parish, La., today.Max Becherer/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate

Jefferson Parish, a suburb of New Orleans, called for voluntary evacuations Saturday of Jean Lafitte, Lower Lafitte, Crown Point and Barataria because of the threat of storm surge, high tides and heavy rain. Residents were urged to move vehicles, boats and campers to higher ground.

“We want to make sure residents are safe as this storm approaches so we are taking all the necessary precautions to be fully prepared,” Jean Lafitte Mayor Tim Kerner Jr. told The Advocate.

A similar order was issued Saturday for several Plaquemines Parish communities, including Happy Jack, Grand Bayou, Myrtle Grove, Lake Hertiage, Harlem and Monsecour. President Kirk Lepine said the order was issued as a precaution.

“We need to ensure residents are protected as this storm draws near, so we are taking all the necessary precautions to be completely prepared,” he said.

The hurricane center’s forecast path puts Alabama on Cristobal’s east side, far from where the center comes ashore. Still, the southwest part of the state is expected to get gusty winds, heavy rain, storm surge and possibly tornadoes as the storm moves closer to the coast.

“Sunday will be very wet and windy as Cristobal passes west of the area, placing the central Gulf Coast on the ‘dirty’ eastern side of the storm,” the weather service said.

Cristobal formed this week in the Bay of Campeche from the remnants of Tropical Storm Amanda, which had sprung up last weekend in the eastern Pacific and hit Central America. The two storms combined to soak the region with as much as 35 inches (89 centimeters) of rain in some areas over the past week. At least 30 deaths have been attributed to the two storms and the flooding and landslides they unleashed.

In Bacalar, in the south of Mexico’s Quintana Roo state, 230 families were isolated by the rains and had to be airlifted out, David Leon, Mexico’s national civil defense coordinator, said Friday. Leon added there had been light damage in 75 municipalities in seven states.

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