Year in Review 2015: Top weather and science stories

Hurricane Joaquin

Residents in the Bahamas were hammered with strong winds, heavy rain, downed power lines and trees as Hurricane Joaquin swept through the region in September. The category 4 storm devastated parts of the Bahamas and caused major damage in Turks and Caicos Islands. The destruction was widespread as it Joaquin unleashed heavy flooding throughout the islands in eastern Bahamas.

In this aerial photo, homes are seen under the floodwaters caused by Hurricane Joaquin in the Southern area of Long Island, Bahamas, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Tim Aylen)

The hurricane also claimed the lives of 33 crewmembers that were aboard the El Faro when it sank near Crooked Islands in the Bahamas.

Hurricane Danny

Hurricane Danny was the first major one of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season. It peaked as a category 3 hurricane on Aug. 21. Danny’s impact was minimal since it weakened the following day. It brought rain and wind to Leeward Island and some rain to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Blizzard of 2015

A blizzard at the beginning of the year swept through parts of the U.S. and Canada. Public transit was suspended, flights were cancelled and residents were urged to stay inside as a powerful nor-easter affected Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Atlantic Canada.

Maritime residents who were trapped inside shared photos on social media, which really capture the intensity of the snow.

Saint John, N.B. broke its record of 427 cm of snow in 1963. In total, the city received 477 cm in 2015.

B.C. storm

A storm that brought strong winds and heavy rain to B.C. residents at the end of August left half a million hydro costumers without power. Large trees were topped during the windstorm causing damage to cars and homes.

A worker helps remove a tree that crushed a car in Surrey, B.C. on Saturday Aug. 29, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Shane MacKichan

Blood moon eclipse

In September, sky watchers were treated to a total lunar eclipse of a full moon was visible for most of North America, Europe, West Asia and parts of Africa. This occurs where the moon appears large in the sky and when it is in the closest part of its orbit around the Earth.

The last supermoon eclipse was in 1982 and the next one will be in 2033.

Asteroid 2004 BL86

On January 26, 2015, what was being called a “mountain-size” asteroid swept safety past Earth. Astronomers called it 2004 BL86 and it’s the largest known space rock to pass Earth until 2027.

Earthquake swarm

In October, San Ramon, California, broke a new earthquake record. A swarm of over 400 earthquakes affected the region in what’s known as an “earthquake swarm.” Not familiar with the term? It’s a series of quakes that happen in the same area. The damage isn’t widespread but it is definitely felt by residents.

A map of earthquake locations in the San Ramon swarm.

Manitoba tornadoes

Two tornadoes tore through southern Manitoba in June. Environment Canada confirmed that the tornadoes touched down in Manitou, luckily not causing significant damage.

El Niño 

You’ve probably heard this term used to describe weather patterns this year. The weather phenomenon happens every two to seven years and is contributing to this year’s record-breaking heat. Scientists even think that we could experience a big surge in heat in 2016 as well.