Hurricane season’s first big storms hit U.S. and Israel

Across the United States, the hurricane season has seen the storms intensify into powerful systems, as they have in numerous other areas of the world, where a unique climate pattern has led to warmer ocean temperatures than average. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, and spans from the Caribbean to the Mid-Atlantic and Europe. This is the longest-running hurricane season, and goes through every year, so there are any number of powerful storms to come. There are still a few months to go in the season, but some areas of the country have already been shaken by major storms.


On Sunday, Sharon, a large cloud system, brought wind gusts of up to 39 miles per hour that knocked down trees, damaged power lines, and created considerable havoc on the streets of Israel’s capital. On Monday, two small boats capsized in stormy weather, taking at least nine lives and leaving more than 90 people injured. The waves were described as unusually high for the area, and caused concern of earthquakes.


A series of smaller storms dropped between a few hundred and more than 1,000 gallons of seawater a minute in South Florida’s freshwater system, with the water overwhelmed by high winds and pelting rain. The level of the Lake Okeechobee, which is to the south of the state and may raise an island surrounding Miami, spilled over its barrier islands and was nearing record levels — increasing tensions with the military and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As of Wednesday, the level is more than 19 feet above sea level — a record for the stretch of Florida.


Last month, tornadoes swept through western Texas and killed 20 people. A number of homes and commercial buildings were destroyed by the storm, including a warehouse that held the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


A major typhoon, Typhoon Piche, moved across Japan as a Category 3 storm, bringing severe flooding. More than 2 million people were affected by the storm, which caused over 200 landslides and killed at least 37 people.


In southern China, Typhoon Mangkhut hit the shores of the country on September 15. The storm brought with it torrential rainfall and destructive winds. Chinese officials estimated as much as 17 trillion yuan (about $2.4 trillion) in damage.


On September 13, Isabel, a Category 3 hurricane, barreled over the eastern coastline of Virginia. The storm brought severe flooding, with raging waves and torrential rain causing widespread landslides and mudslides. Thousands of people in the region remained without power.


Hurricane seasons on the Baja Peninsula typically yield strong winds and rains. This year, a different storm hit the region, producing record high rainfall and lasting nearly 40 hours. The storm, which was a Category 5 hurricane when it hit the region, killed more than 100 people, and caused $10 billion in damage.

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