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As countries from Philippines to Canada expect storms, hurricanes became more deadly

Staff Writer |
After becoming the first major hurricane of the Pacific season, Aletta went from a tropical storm to a Category 4 hurricane in just 24 hours.

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The hurricane, off the Mexican coast, poses no threat to land. On Saturday, the storm began to weaken and is expected to drop below hurricane strength by Sunday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The center of the storm was located about 795 miles south-southwest of Baja, California. It had 100-mph maximum sustained winds and was moving west-northwest at 6 mph, the NHC's 9 a.m. EDT update said.

Severe Tropical Storm Maliksi will bring heavy rain and threaten flooding across the Philippines and Japan through the first half of the week.

The Philippine government declared that the tropical disturbance had become Tropical Depression Domeng on Tuesday.

On Thursday, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) recognized the system as Tropical Storm Maliksi. This name is used by the rest of the international community when referencing this tropical system.

After inundating the Philippines with frequent thunderstorms and heavy rain from Thursday to Saturday, this system will track northeastward through the Philippine Sea.

Conditions will improve across southern Visayas through Sunday; however, widespread heavy rainfall is expected across western Luzon as Maliksi pulls away to the northeast of the country.

As the rainy season ramps up in central and northern Chile, a storm arriving this weekend will bring heavy rain and mountain snow to the nation.

While rounds of rain will impact areas from Coquimbo through Los Lagos, the heaviest rainfall is expected to inundate areas from Santiago to Temuco.

More persistent, heavy rainfall will pick up on Saturday night and last through Sunday night. This will spoil any outdoor plans throughout the day on Sunday.

By the time showers taper off on Monday evening, some places could receive as much as 100 mm (4 inches) of rain. This could lead to flooding issues, especially in low-lying and poor drainage areas.

Motorists should be careful not to try to traverse flooded roadways. Anyone traveling on secondary roads or those through higher terrain should be on the lookout for mudslides and flash flooding.

A vigorous storm system bringing unseasonably cool and unsettled weather to the Pacific Northwest this weekend will trigger an outbreak of severe weather across south-central Canada and the northern Plains.

The storms will erupt as summerlike heat and humidity being drawn northward from the Gulf of Mexico clashes with March-like air plowing eastward through the northern Rockies this weekend.

By later Sunday afternoon, the first round of storms will be getting underway and is forecast to begin just west of Saskatoon and Regina, Saskatchewan, to the border of North Dakota and Montana and just east of the Black Hills of South Dakota.

The highest probability of tornadoes typically occurs within the first couple of hours of storm formation, and this case should behave no differently.

In addition to tornadoes and damaging winds, large hail and brief torrential downpours are also on the table.

Although flash flooding would typically be a concern in this type of setup, that risk will be minimized since much of south-central Canada and the Dakotas remain in a moderate to severe drought and need the upcoming rain.

In addition, residents in the path of Sunday's storms should be prepared for power outages, as well as tree and property damage.

Move vehicles inside a garage or other shelter when violent storms threaten to avoid windshield and window damage from destructive hail.

Tropical cyclones have grown more sluggish since the mid-20th century, a new study says.

A study published in the journal Nature says that hurricanes are lingering in one place for longer.

The study determined this by focusing on the "translation speed."

The translation speed measures how quickly a storm is moving over an area, for example from the Florida Keys to the Florida Panhandle.

To analyze the changes in translation speeds, the researchers tapped into a global data set on past tropical storms. The data include estimates of the latitude and longitude of each named storm's center at six-hour intervals.

The researchers were able to measure how quickly the storm moved across the landscape. They were then able to calculate the average speeds of the storms from year to year.

The study found that between 1949 and 2016, tropical cyclone translation speeds declined 10 percent worldwide.

While more sluggish storms may sound less dangerous, these slower-moving storms may actually be more deadly, according to the study.

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