An intense storm continued to batter southern Italy on Sunday, causing flooding and landslides that killed at least two people, leaving at least 30 injured and leaving thousands of homes with flooded basements. The storm, known as an “argale si experere” in Italian, officially rank as a category 1 storm, but was marked by dangerous wind speeds of up to 145 miles per hour. In addition to some coastal flooding, the storm caused traffic accidents on the Italian sea coast, grounding planes and ships in the northeast. As of Sunday afternoon, at least 32 people had been killed in the ravages of the storm in the past 48 hours. The latest weather system pushed around 23,000 households from their homes, and at least another 100,000 homes were without power, mostly in the Puglia and Basilicata regions, where all major rivers were at their highest levels in decades.
No. 2 Milan football team ended its match in Turin, replacing players before it was over. Climatologist reacts to worst storm in decades #Giustiniano pic.twitter.com/TGPkROXjkp — SkyNews Europe (@SkyNewsEurope) November 11, 2018
The storm, known in the U.S. as Nor’easter, is also raising concerns about record temperatures in some parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Storms like this season’s “argale si experere” have previously struck U.S. areas that include New England and the Carolinas. A storm last year in April caused storm surges on the coast and flooding in Missouri, Kentucky, and Virginia, the third highest flood in the past decade. On average, the region sees between six and 10 storms like this occur every year, but these are very rare events. The last time such a powerful storm like this happened was in 1980. The storms become so fierce when they come through Italy because of its relatively high altitude. The northern wind simply carries and picks up the dust of the region, causing the storm to grow larger and stronger.
“The storms have a bigger impact and bigger rainfall and rise in temperatures,” said climate scientist Gavin Schmidt.