Tags: hurricane | season | 2014 | edouard | first | atlantic | storm

Hurricane Season 2014: Edouard Now First Major Atlantic Storm

Image: Hurricane Season 2014: Edouard Now First Major Atlantic Storm
Three images of Edouard are shown as it transitions into a hurricane, from September 12, (L) to September 13 (C) and as a hurricane on September 14 in the Atlantic Ocean, as captured by NASA's Terra satellite. (Reuters /Landov)  

By    |   Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 09:47 AM

Edouard strengthened into the first major hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic season on Tuesday but posed no threat to land, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Reuters reported the Miami-based agency as saying Edouard was a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, had top sustained winds of 115 miles per hour and was swirling more than 400 miles east of Bermuda.

Meanwhile, rain was falling in much of Arizona as the remnants of Tropical Storm Odile move across the state.

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The Associated Press reported National Weather Service meteorologist Lee Carlaw in Tucson as sying overnight accumulations in southern Arizona rangeed from a third of an inch to 2 inches.

Carlaw said some normally dry washes had flows late Tuesday and early Wednesday as a result of the storms passing through.

Light rain also was falling in the Phoenix area.

Storm activity was expected to pick up during the day, and much of Arizona was under flash flood watches.

Residents around the state flocked to fire stations and other locations to get sandbags to place them around their homes as protection against floodwaters. Many experienced flooding last week after the remnants of Hurricane Norbert swamped parts of Phoenix and Tucson.

Weather and climate experts said it's rare to have back-to-back weather events like this in Arizona, and they attributed it to an especially active hurricane season in the Pacific.

The Eastern Pacific hurricane season is 50 percent more active than usual, while the Atlantic is 50 percent less active. The result has been fierce storms striking Mexico in recent weeks, while the Atlantic had its first major hurricane – Edouard – form just this week.

Despite the heavy rains, it still might not be enough to pull Arizona out of its drought.

Rain alone will not help refill reservoirs on the Colorado River. The current drought is drawing down Colorado River storage – in Lake Mead and Lake Powell in particular – to dangerous levels, said Jonathan Overpeck of the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona. The snowmelt from snowpack is what fills reservoirs that supply drinking water. So the upcoming winter, not hurricane season, is a crucial weather period.

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Edouard strengthened into the first major hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic season on Tuesday but posed no threat to land, according to the National Hurricane Center.
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Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 09:47 AM
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