Both feet in the water after a torrential rain

The hurricane season promises to be more active than normal for our neighbors to the south, because several had already both feet in the water in Florida on Saturday, after the passage of a tropical depression.

• Read also: [EN IMAGES] Major floods hit Florida

“We know that hurricanes get stronger and stronger, earlier and earlier in the season. The example, we have just seen, warns Gilles Brien, expert in biometeorology. We see that the hurricanes seem to have been strengthening for the past twenty years.

In just 24 hours, Florida ended up with 280 millimeters of rain, the equivalent of all that can fall in a summer in Montreal.


A car tries to drive through a flooded street in Miami, Florida, where a tropical depression left 280mm of rain on the ground.

Photo: AFP

A car tries to drive through a flooded street in Miami, Florida, where a tropical depression left 280mm of rain on the ground.

This torrential rain comes from the remnants of Hurricane Agatha, which originated on the Pacific Ocean side before crossing the tip of Mexico into the Atlantic.

It is the strongest hurricane on record before the start of the usual season, from 1er June to November 30, with sustained winds of up to 160 km/h.

“Agatha’s remnants are reforming and that’s what happened in Florida. A tropical depression which will probably reappear this evening to turn into a tropical storm, and receive the name of Alex, ”explains Mr. Brien.

This phenomenon, called a “cross hurricane”, is quite rare.


Floridian Lisa Pham sweeps the water off the floor of her Spa and Nail Fever salon.

Photo: AFP

Floridian Lisa Pham sweeps the water off the floor of her Spa and Nail Fever salon.

Two feet in the water

Many Quebecers who live in Florida have thus found their feet in the water.

Richard Clavet, president and co-founder of Richard’s Motel, which has 18 buildings in Hollywood and Hallandale Beach, north of Miami, was able to see the extent of the precipitation.

“I had to relocate customers […] Too much water outside in the rear section. Impossible to get to the rooms without having to go through a foot of water,” he said on Saturday.

Operating his motels since 1990, Mr. Clavet claims to be used to weather alerts. He believes that the citizens of the sector still avoided the worst, since, despite the amounts of rain, the wind was not there.

“There was a lot of water […] Three blocks from here, there was a tank that broke down in the water,” he said, recalling that small streets have been closed by the authorities because of the dangers caused.

From eight to ten hurricanes

This year, up to 21 named storms are expected, including eight to ten hurricanes, estimates Gilles Brien. Normally, there are about 6 per summer.

This could translate into heavy rain and winds in eastern Quebec for late summer and early fall, if “fairly beefy” remnants of hurricanes finish their course in the Atlantic. North, says Patrick Duplessis, meteorologist at Météomédia.

“It is also part of our summer, which is still expected to be quite hot and humid with a good influx of air from the United States,” he adds.

Global warming

According to Gilles Brien, it could very well be that the tornado season, already very active in the United States, will also become so in Quebec this year.

“There are signs everywhere that the climate is changing. […] It’s all connected, because we’re adding heat to the climate system. Warmer oceans, warmer air, more powerful thunderstorms. They go higher in altitude, the hail increases in diameter, the winds are stronger”, he lists.

He attributes the cause of these changes to global warming.

“It takes disasters, storms that pass through more and more urban areas for people to realize that the climate is changing. big time»he laments.

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