Weather tracker: Hurricane Ian likely to be costliest since 1992

At least 32 people dead and 10,000 unaccounted for after hurricane brought maximum gusts of 155mph

The fifth most powerful storm to hit the US mainland has killed at least 32 people across Florida and the Carolina states in the past week.

Hurricane Ian hit Cuba as a strengthening hurricane on 27 September before building to a category 4 hurricane as it crossed the Gulf of Mexico, bringing wind gusts above 150mph into south-western Florida.

The maximum gust recorded was 155mph, just 2mph away from being categorised as a category 5 hurricane. As Ian moved inland, it brought 250-500mm (10-20in) of rainfall and storm surges of up to 4.5 metres (15ft). About 10,000 people are still unaccounted for, and 1.7 million people have been driven from their homes.

Ian then tracked into the western Atlantic Ocean on Thursday 29 September before veering north-west back into South Carolina. Gusty winds of more than 50mph were recorded across portions of the central and southern Appalachians on Saturday 1 October before Ian weakened and dissipated near the border of North Carolina and Virginia that night.

Even though Ian has dissipated, record levels of river flooding will continue this week across central Florida. The recovery is expected to cost insurers up to £42bn, which would make it the costliest since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Off the coast of south-west Mexico, Hurricane Orlene strengthened into a category 4 hurricane last weekend, with gusts of 130mph. On Sunday night, Orlene brought 120mph winds across the Islas Marias islands before tropical storm conditions were felt across parts of south-western and west-central Mexico on Monday.

Even though Orlene will weaken into a tropical depression from Tuesday, Sinaloa, Durango, and Nayarit counties in western Mexico are forecast to get 80-100mm of rain on Monday, leading to flash flooding and landslides across this rugged terrain.

Extreme rainfall is also expected across northern India and Nepal through the second part of this week. During the late stages of the monsoon season, the Indian states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, as well as the Indian capital, New Delhi, will get 100-150mm of rainfall each day between Wednesday and Friday. Parts of central and western Nepal are also expected to be hit by torrential rain and more than 1.5 metres of snowfall across the mountain regions in the north.

Alice Fowle for MetDesk

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