Weekly wrap-up: Tropical systems return to dormant Pacific Ocean; China flooding kills over 100
By By Kevin Byrne, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
July 13, 2016, 4:21:35 AM EDT
Several tropical storms prowled the eastern and western regions of the Pacific Ocean this week, as a dormant tropical season sprung to life.
The first three tropical storms of the year in the East Pacific developed southwest of Mexico. While Agatha reached tropical storm strength by July 2, it was downgraded to a depression by July Fourth.
Blas developed into a tropical storm on Sunday, well south of Mexico like Agatha. Unlike Agatha, the system continued to strengthen and became a Category 3 hurricane on Tuesday, the first major hurricane of the season for the basin.
Tropical Storm Celia followed close behind, forming southwest of Mexico on Friday.
Agatha, Blas and Celia remained well away from shore.
In the West Pacific, Nepartak grew into what AccuWeather meteorologists described as an “exceptionally powerful and dangerous cyclone,” reaching super typhoon strength early Wednesday local time.
Nepartak made landfall about 5 miles southwest of Taitung City, Taiwan, shortly before 7 a.m. local time Friday, with estimated winds around 201 km/h (125 mph).
Prior to Nepartak’s development, the last tropical cyclone to occur in the West Pacific was Melor during December 2015.
Severe weather rattled the Midwest through the middle of the week. In Minnesota, over 120,000 people were without power Tuesday evening as dangerous storms moved through the region. Significant street flooding was reported in Minneapolis, leaving cars to navigate flooded roads and even causing a manhole cover to be blown off.
From Monday through Wednesday, there were over 20 tornado reports across Kentucky, West Virginia, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin.
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A Southern Methodist University off-duty police officer was missing after his car was overtaken by floodwaters near Turtle Creek in Dallas early Tuesday morning. According to the Dallas Morning News, search and rescue efforts continued through Thursday, but authorities believed that officer Mark McCullers had drowned.
Catastrophic flooding displaced more than 1.3 million people across southern China and claimed 128 lives, Chinese state news agency Xinhua said. At least 41,000 homes collapsed as a result of the rain, and nearly 600,000 people were in need of basic living assistance.
Several AccuWeather meteorologists and staff writers contributed content to this article.
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