- A unique weakness caused multiple tornadoes in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina on Tuesday.
- Meanwhile, Grace has turned into a hurricane as it heads toward Mexico.
- Tropical Strom Henri’s track is uncertain but Cape Cod may feel some effects this weekend.
Grace strengthened in the face of a hurricane Wednesday morning on its way to MexicoThe Yucatan Peninsula can absorb up to a foot of rain.
It is the second hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
Forecasters said Grace’s 75-mph winds, torrential rain and gale-force winds hit the Cayman Islands on Wednesday, and the storm has already caused an earthquake in Haiti earlier this week.
Grace is one of three active Atlantic storms in the busy August of hurricane season. Tropical depression was unique still bringing rain across the eastern United States while Tropical Storm Henry could also become a hurricane as it circulates far into the Atlantic Ocean.
Fred, who made landfall in Florida as a tropical storm, brought several obvious hurricanes to Georgia and North Carolina, and the storm was blamed for at least one death Monday: A Las Vegas man skidded on water near Panama City, Florida, the patrol said. Florida highways capsized in a ditch filled with water.
On its current trajectory, Fred is expected to move through Pennsylvania, western New York and then New England as the system slowly transitions to a non-tropical bottom.
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In the meantime, Henry could rise to hurricane strength by Friday, and changes in where his Cape Cod, Mass., forecast’s path changes to its likely course, though there is a lot of uncertainty about where it will head, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Hurricanes and floods on a unique path across the United States
Although it is slowly losing steam as it travels through the eastern United States, a uniquely tropical depression has caused hurricanes and triggered flash flood warnings in several states.
According to the National Weather Service, as many as 14 potential tornadoes were reported across Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina on Tuesday during a unique pass.
In Georgia, tornadoes damaged homes, an apartment complex, and a sporting goods store, ripping off metal siding and encircling a small boat with a semi-trailer in Jeffersonville.
Floods in parts of North Carolina forced some people to evacuate. In Grovemont, east of Asheville, residents were told to take shelter instead because the roads became impassable.
Transylvania County, south of Asheville, declared a state of emergency after 10 inches of rain fell on Monday, causing landslides, submerging roads and destroying at least one home.
“I really surprised everyone,” said Jason Chapel, Mayor of Transylvania. “No one expected this amount of rain.”
Blackouts were also reported in several states, including more than 18,000 customers in North Carolina and 12,000 customers in West Virginia who were without power, according to the online tracker. PowerOutages.us.
Grace reached the strength of a Category 1 hurricane as it approached Mexico
Tropical Storm Grace intensified into a Category 1 hurricane Wednesday morning as it approached the Yucatan Peninsula, where it is expected to make landfall early Thursday.
The storm, which is located about 350 miles east of Tulum, Mexico, was expected to continue to strengthen as it moved over warm waters in the Caribbean, and could see winds of up to 85 miles per hour.
The National Hurricane Center said a dangerous hurricane and storm surge is expected later Wednesday in Mexico as the storm could dump up to a foot of rain in some areas and “life-threatening waves that rupture existing conditions.”
Forecasters said that while Grace is expected to weaken during its peninsula incursion, once in the Gulf, it could strengthen again to hurricane strength before hitting central Mexico by Saturday. The National Hurricane Center said winds could regain strength to 85 miles per hour, but the storm is expected to dissipate quickly once it reaches the mountains in central Mexico.
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In Haiti, Grace temporarily halted search and rescue efforts after a deadly 7.2-magnitude earthquake shook the island over the weekend. The storm raised the risk of mudslides and flash floods, and many residents seeking treatment for earthquake-related injuries drowned while waiting outside crowded hospitals.
Henry’s effects can be felt on Cape Cod
Although its exact path remains unclear, Tropical Storm Henry could circulate so close to the United States that its effects are felt along Cape Cod over the weekend, according to the National Hurricane Center’s forecast.
Henry is currently cruising about 160 miles south-southwest of Bermuda, with maximum winds of 65 mph.
The National Hurricane Center said its forecast shows it moving west before turning north and northeast later this week, gaining strength to hurricane status by Friday.
Over the weekend, the forecast remains uncertain as to where Henry will go, and at least one model shows it is moving toward the New England coast, the National Hurricane Center said.
The Hurricane Center added: “Waves may increase along the southeastern and mid-Atlantic coasts of the United States by the end of the week. These waves may cause life-threatening waves and rupture the current.”
Contributing: Joel Burgess, Asheville Citizen Times; Associated Press