World weather news, November 2016
- Hurricane Otto weakened to a tropical storm early on Friday after making landfall as the southernmost hurricane on record to hit central America. It headed toward the Pacific ocean early on Friday after dumping rain on Costa Rica and Nicaragua and sparking emergency measures across a region that was also hit by a 7-magnitude earthquake. Attention is now turning towards the risk of landslides and flooding, with Nicaragua continuing to evacuate people near the storm's path. Otto reached Nicaragua's Caribbean coast on Thursday as a category two storm but immediately began fading as it crossed land, becoming a tropical storm by nightfall. It was expected to emerge over the eastern Pacific early on Friday. Authorities in Nicaragua said the hurricane had damaged houses, but so far there were no reports of casualties. Earlier, heavy rains from the storm were blamed for three deaths in Panama. The US National Hurricane Center said the unusually strong late-season hurricane hit land in Nicaragua just north of the Costa Rican border.
- The number of people dying in the Australian city of Melbourne from a rare phenomenon called thunderstorm asthma has risen to six. Three others are in a critical condition. Heavy rains and winds on the 21st triggered thousands of pollen allergy asthma attacks in the state of Victoria. Paramedics and hospitals were stretched to their limits as thousands phoned to report breathing problems. Thunderstorm asthma occurs in the spring when rye grass pollen gets wet, breaks into smaller pieces and enters people's lungs, causing them breathing problems. More than 8,000 people were treated in hospital. Melbourne's current spring season has been particularly wet, creating havoc for asthma and hay fever sufferers.
- The most active Atlantic hurricane season in four years came to an end on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The season spawned 15 named storms, seven of which were hurricanes. The season was the deadliest since 2005 and the costliest since 2012. Hurricane Matthew was the strongest storm, reaching Category 5 status in early October. Matthew was the first hurricane to reach Category 5 status since 2007. The storm lashed Haiti, killing more than 1,500 people. The system then trekked into the southeastern United States, spreading flooding and destructive winds from Florida into the Carolinas. In early September, Hurricane Hermine became the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in 2005.
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Last updated 1 December 2016.