Here is a look back at the top CAT-i stories for the year 2016.
1. Hurricane Matthew: Hurricane Matthew became a rare Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph. The hurricane followed the western edge of a subtropical ridge to inflict catastrophic damage to Haiti as a Category 4 hurricane before crossing eastern Cuba, and turning to the northwest through the Bahamas towards Florida.
2. Fort McMurray Wildfires - Canada: Recent rainfall and cooler temperatures have helped to reduce spread of the wildfire that recently rendered devastating impacts to Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Nevertheless, the fire continues to grow outside the city and has now claimed 2,020 square kilometers (790 square miles), according to media reports.
3. Winter Storm - January 21-23, 2016: From January 21-23, a significant winter storm affected areas of the United States from the Southeast to the Mid-Atlantic to New England. The winter storm, unofficially named “Jonas” by the Weather Channel, produced significant snowfall totals from Washington D.C. to the New York Metro area, breaking many daily snowfall records. Strong winds together with blowing snow often reduced visibility below a quarter mile. Strong onshore winds brought hurricane-force wind gusts to some areas and drove a storm surge impacting areas of Delaware and New Jersey.
4. Hurricane Hermine: Hurricane Hermine made landfall overnight near Saint Marks, Florida, with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). This is the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Hurricane Wilma (October, 2005). Impacts under storm surge have been quite severe for some areas of the northwest Florida coast including Cedar Key. The storm has also caused downed trees and powerlines with some structural damage.
5. Super Typhoon Nepartak: Super Typhoon Nepartak made landfall on the southeast coast of Taiwan around 22 UTC on July 7, before final landfall as a tropical storm on Mainland China around 06 UTC on July 9. Nepartak has rendered significant flood impacts both in Taiwan and Mainland China according to media reports, with at least 10 and three dead in Mainland China and Taiwan, respectively. Flood impacts have been especially severe in Mainland China, which was affected by excessive monsoon rains just prior to Nepartak.
6. Bluecut and Clayton Wildfires, California: The Bluecut and Clayton fires have caused significant impacts to affected areas and pose an ongoing serious threat to life and property. No serious injuries or deaths have been reported, however, the fires have destroyed multiple structures.
7. 7.8 Mw Earthquake in New Zealand: A magnitude (Mw) 7.8 earthquake struck central New Zealand on November 13, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The quake occurred at 11:02 PM local time (11:02 UTC) about 93 kilometers (57 miles) north-northeast of Christchurch and about 215 kilometers (133 miles) southwest of Wellington.
8. U.S. Northern Gulf Floods: In the U.S. Northern Gulf States, a significant and historic flood event has affected areas of southern Louisiana and Mississippi. Flood impacts have been particularly severe in areas of Baton Rouge and Hammond, Louisiana. Media reports indicate at least six fatalities, several thousand water rescues and at least 2,700 homes affected.
9. 7.8 Mw Earthquake Near Ecuador Coast: A Mw 7.8 earthquake struck the Esmeralda Province near the west coast of northern Ecuador on April 16, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The quake occurred at 6:58 PM local time (23:58 UTC) about 17 miles (27 km) south-southeast of Muisne and about 106 miles (170 km) west-northwest of Quito, the capital of Ecuador.
10. Super Typhoon Meranti: Super Typhoon Meranti made close approach to southern Taiwan with one-minute sustained winds of 305 kilometers per hour (190 mph), among the strongest tropical cyclones on record. Meranti rendered significant flooding and wind impacts to southern Taiwan, with nearly 800 millimeters (32 inches) of rainfall for some locations. Meranti then weakened to make final landfall on Mainland China in Fujian Province with one-minute sustained winds of 170 kilometers per hour (105 mph). Meranti rendered significant flood impacts and damage to infrastructure following final landfall. At least 11 fatalities and 82 injuries have been reported.