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Remnants of Hurricanes Michael and Leslie Reach Europe

October 15, 2018
Remnants of Hurricanes Michael and Leslie Reach Europe, October 15, 2018

The remnants of two Atlantic hurricanes, Michael and Leslie, have reached the shores of western Europe. On October 14, 2018, the NOAA-20 satellite's VIIRS instrument captured this true-color image of former Hurricane Leslie over the Iberian Peninsula, as well as ex-hurricane Michael, which is heading toward northwestern Spain less than a week after the storm devastated the Florida Panhandle and the southeastern U.S.

Michael has lost its tropical characteristics and is not expected to bring major impacts as it moves southeastward toward Spain. The Iberian Peninsula already endured another storm over the weekend, after Leslie – which had been meandering through the Atlantic since September 23 – slammed into the coast of Portugal as a rare post-tropical cyclone.

Though no longer a tropical system at landfall, Leslie brought gale-force winds and heavy rain as it came ashore around 5:30 p.m. EDT on October 13. The storm had sustained 70 mph winds at landfall, with a peak gust as high as 109 mph. Just hours before reaching the Portuguese coast, Leslie was still a Category 1 hurricane, making it one of only a handful of hurricanes ever seen so far east in the Atlantic during the historical record. After tracking over the Iberian Peninsula, moisture from Leslie's remnants dumped torrential rains over southern France, where flash flooding killed at least 13 people, according to media reports.

In this satellite image we can see the clouds from ex-hurricane Leslie over the Iberian Peninsula merging with a north-south oriented cold front over western France. While extensive cloud cover stretches from Spain to Norway, clear skies dominate central and eastern Europe, where a sprawling high pressure system brought unusually warm October temperatures as far north as central Scandinavia yesterday.