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Tue, 21 Aug 2018
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Four interesting events in the tropics over the past week

Hurricane Hector
Several interesting things caught our eye in the tropics in the past week, including Hurricane Hector's length of time as major hurricane in the northeastern Pacific Ocean, Tropical Storm Debby's formation in the Atlantic Ocean, an active eastern half of the Pacific Ocean and Typhoon Shanshan's scrape with Japan.

Below, we'll go into greater detail about each of these notables.

Hurricane Hector Sets Record in Northeastern Pacific Ocean

Hurricane Hector passed well south of the Big Island of Hawaii on Wednesday as a major hurricane, one classified as Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Hector generated high surf and breezy conditions on the Big Island, with no more than a few outer rain showers scraping portions of that island.

As of Saturday morning, Hector was still maintaining Category 3 intensity about 1,000 miles west of Hawaii. That means it had been a major hurricane for at least 7.5 consecutive days, the longest duration any hurricane in the northeastern Pacific Basin has held that intensity, according to Colorado State University tropical scientist Dr. Phil Klotzbach.


Rare tornado filmed in Inner Mongolia, China

A rare tornado was sighted in a desert in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Sunday.

Five people died in northern China and more than 50 homes were destroyed in a major city in Inner Mongolia, according to state media.

According to data from the local meteorological authority, the tornado occurred at 12:47 and lasted for some 10 minutes before it disappeared.


Rare tornado touches down in north China, ravaging villages

A rare tornado touched down in Jinghai District of north China's Tianjin Municipality Monday afternoon, snapping utility poles in half and causing damage to local residences.

The tornado was formed at around 17:30 and barreled through swathes of crop fields and several villages.

Videos taken by local residents showed the sizable tornado from a distance and the glass roof shaking while the fierce wind carrying debris across.


Waterspout splitting in two filmed off Italian coast

An Italian man filmed an unusual double waterspout off the country's coast -- as well as a yacht that came dangerously close to the whirlwind.

Carlo Profumo captured video Monday showing one waterspout splitting into two twin waterspouts off the coast of Arenzano, near Genoa.

A yacht appears to zoom past the whirlwinds, coming dangerously close to getting swept up.

Profumo said the waterspouts "danced in pairs for a few minutes ... then dissolved into the sea."


Rare mountain tornado touches down near Eagle Nest, New Mexico

New Mexico tornado
© Chris Potts/facebook
Yes, a tornado touched down not only right in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, but also in New Mexico, both locales not known for their twisters.

There's a popular weather myth that tornadoes don't like mountainous terrain, but the reality is that they can form just about anywhere. It's just that ideal conditions for the often terrifying whirlwinds tend to occur more often over the flatlands of tornado alley in the middle of the continent.

As if to prove that they'll go where they please, a swirling spout reached down from storm clouds over northern New Mexico's Moreno Valley Thursday, ripping up the ground near the village of Eagle Nest, which sits at over 8,000 feet in elevation and is surrounded by the high peaks of the Sangre de Cristo range.

Dramatic video captured near Eagle Nest Lake State Park showed the short-lived tornado wreaking havoc on the ground; multiple explosions suggest it may have torn up some parts of the area's electrical grid.

Comment: Last month another rare high-elevation tornado formed near Weston Pass Fire, Colorado.


Dust devil sweeps through African town throwing plastic chairs into the air

The footage shows the massive whirlwind-shaped cloud ripping up an area where plastic chairs were lined causing them to swirl around in the air

The footage shows the massive whirlwind-shaped cloud ripping up an area where plastic chairs were lined causing them to swirl around in the air
Astonishing footage shows a dust devil sweeping through a small town in Africa causing havoc and sending debris flying through the air.

The video, which was posted yesterday, shows the massive whirlwind-shaped cloud ripping up an area where plastic chairs were lined causing them to swirl around in the air.

The footage shows shocked onlookers backing away from the incredible natural scene as the gusts of wind sent chairs flying through the air.


"Dozens" dead as massive section of motorway bridge collapses during "violent cloudburst" in Genoa, Italy

genoa bridge collapse 2018

The shattered bridge spanned a stream into which much of the rubble fell
A motorway bridge has collapsed near the Italian city of Genoa, sending vehicles plummeting some 100m (328ft) to the ground and killing at least 11 people, local media report.

Italian Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli said it was likely to be "an immense tragedy".

Local emergency officials have been quoted as saying "dozens" died.

Video footage appears to show one of the towers holding up the suspension bridge collapsing in stormy weather.

The police linked the disaster to what they called a violent cloudburst.

The collapsed section had mostly fallen on to rail tracks below, officials told AFP news agency, adding that cars and trucks had also fallen.

Comment: There are also reports that sections of the bridge were being worked on:
Italy Tuesday, sending cars plunging nearly 300 feet to the ground and killing at least 11 people, officials said."

A section of a towering highway bridge collapsed in Italy Tuesday, sending cars plunging nearly 300 feet to the ground and killing at least 11 people, officials said.

The collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa occurred during strong storms moving through the area of northwest Italy, according to authorities.

At least 20 vehicles were on the bridge in a port section of the city when the span gave way, Amalia Tedeschi, a firefighter, told the Italian news agency ANSA. Tedeschi said two people were pulled from the rubble alive and taken to a hospital by helicopter.

Danilo Toninelli, Italy's transport minister, described the collapse as "an enormous tragedy."

Several witnesses posted videos of the collapse on social media. In one video, someone can be heard screaming "oh God!" and a flash could be seen as the concrete structure crumbled.

The collapse happened on part of the viaduct on the A10 highway, the country's national police, Polizia di Stato, said.

Witnesses said the bridge toppled after it was struck by lightning.

Italian authorities said that at the time of the collapse construction was occurring on the bridge and a crane was being used on the span, but it was too early to pinpoint what caused the bridge to fail.

The A10 highway, the main route between northern Italy and France, was closed in both directions as search-and-rescue teams searched for survivors of the horrific incident.

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said about 200 firefighters were on scene searching for survivors.

Part of the bridge fell on top of the Genoa Garbage Collection Depot, raising fears that the death toll will climb.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was traveling to the scene, officials said.

The Morandi Bridge, which opened in 1967, is about a half-mile long.


Waterspout caught on camera off Long Beach Island, New Jersey

© Ryan Dellane
A waterspout was photographed off northern Long Beach Island this morning.

The torrential rains that flooded much of Ocean County spawned the spout, seen from various vantage points along the island.

The National Ocean Service defines a water spout as a whirling column of air and mist. There are two types: fair weather, which are not associated with thunderstorms, and likely what onlookers saw today, tornadic.


Tornadoes filmed off French and Spanish coasts

Waterspouts have been spotted off the coasts of France and Spain in recent days.

Onlookers captured a tornado forming off the coast of Cassis in the south of France last week, before thunderstorms hit the region.

Another small waterspout was seen rocking docked boats off the coast of the Balearic island of Espalmador.


Storm rips roof clean off at train station in Mannheim, Germany

Suddenly they hit the workshop of the yard and wrenched sections of the metal roof clean off, sending them flying through the air

Suddenly they hit the workshop of the yard and wrenched sections of the metal roof clean off, sending them flying through the air
This is the dramatic moment a storm tore the roof off a train station and sent it crashing into the locomotives below.

The huge storm rolled in to Mannheim in Germany about 3pm on Thursday and swept over the train marshalling yard with destructive effect.

Witness Christian Schaufelberger said high winds first began to whip fallen branches and other debris into the air.