Archive | Air, Atmosphere, & Weather

Retail Sales Flat in Mixed Weather Week

WASHINGTON, March 23 (UPI) — Retail sales rose 0.1 percent in the week ending Saturday, the International Council of Shopping Centers reported Tuesday.

Retail sales rose marginally on the week, but 3.7 percent compared to the same week a year ago, ICSC said.

Sales were driven by “stronger seasonal-apparel demand, which was lifted by some mild weather in the Northeast,” the weekly report said.

Weather Trends International said U.S. weather “was nice on both coasts … but winter hung on in the central United States, where snowfall was the most in over 20 years and the coldest in 17 years.”

Contrary to the middle of the country, weather in the Northeast “had the warmest conditions in 15 years,” WTI said.

Warmer, dry weather in the Northeast shopping corridor resulted in “strong demand for spring merchandise” the report said.

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Cyclone Leaves Thousands Without Power

MIDGE POINT, Australia, March 22 (UPI) — Cyclone Ului caused millions of dollars in damage to crops, buildings, roads and businesses in Australia but no serious injuries were reported, officials said.

An estimated 30,000 homes were without power in Queensland, down from 60,000 at the height of the storm Sunday, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. said Monday.

The cyclone crossed north of Mackay with 124-mph winds before weakening to a tropical storm and tracking west over inland Queensland.

About 20 boats were on the bottom of Shute Harbor near Airlie Beach, which was without power and running low on drinking water, the Mackay Regional Council said. In Midge Point, a tidal surge swept water and sand into homes and ripped apart a city park.

The storm, as a Category 3 cyclone, tore off roofs and uprooted large tree throughout the region, Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts said, estimating the damage in the millions of dollars.

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Posted in Air, Atmosphere, & Weather, Buildings, Drinking Water, Electricity, Environmental Disasters, Tidal0 Comments

Storm's Rains to Soak Ohio Valley

KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 21 (UPI) — The storm that dumped snow in the Midwest and the southern Plains as spring began will bring heavy rains to the Ohio Valley Sunday and Monday, forecasters say.

Forecasters said the snow, blamed for at least one death, would end by Sunday evening in eastern Oklahoma, western Arkansas and far northeastern Texas, while the deep freeze begins slowly melting in southwestern Missouri, AccuWeather.com reported.

Up to 3 more inches of snow could fall from northeastern Oklahoma into southwestern Missouri, bringing the total to as much as a foot in some areas, forecasters said. In Kansas City, Mo., Saturday’s 6.7 inches of snow broke a record set in 1892, when 2.8 inches fell, The Kansas City Star reported.

With heavy winds, forecasters warned. drifting snow would continue to cover roads and reduce visibility.

Temperatures in the 50s and 60s in the southern Plains were expected to melt snow quickly.

St. Louis, Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinnati, Columbus, Ohio, and Charleston, W.Va., were expected to be soaked by rain into Monday, with total rainfall of 2 inches forecast from southeastern Missouri to southern Ohio.

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2 Die when Snow Slides off Cabin's Roof

CREEDE, Colo., March 21 (UPI) — Two Colorado men died when snow slid off the roof of a mountain cabin and buried them, officials said.

Charles Downing, the coroner of Mineral County in southwest Colorado, said Ray Wright, board president for the Rio Grande Water Conservation District, and Doug Shriver, chairman of the Rio Grande Water Users Association, died Friday after being smothered by the falling snow.

“The snow slid off … all at once and caught them,” Downing told The Denver Post.

Wright, 56, and Shriver, 53, had apparently been cleaning snow from the roof and around the cabin, Downing said. Autopsies are to be done Monday.

Wright and Shriver headed from their homes in Monte Vista to the cabin in the San Juan Mountains Friday morning, and when they didn’t return by evening, their wives asked a friend to check on them.

The friend called the sheriff, Downing said, and a search-and-rescue team discovered the men between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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Snow Expected in Denver, Possible in Wisconsin

DENVER, March 19 (UPI) — The U.S. National Weather Service said Denver could receive up to 9 inches of snow Friday while there was a chance of snow in Wisconsin, which recently warmed.

The National Weather Service said Denver’s snows were expected to fall as heavily as 2 inches per hour at times Friday while nearby mountains and foothills were expected to receive snow at 3 inches per hour adding up to 14 inches over the course of the day, The Denver Post reported Friday.

Temperatures Friday in Denver were not expected to exceed the 20 degree range.

Meanwhile, forecasters said possible rains in the Madison, Wis., area could turn into up to an inch of snow Friday night and Saturday morning, despite a high of 50 degrees during the day Friday, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

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Severe Drought Grips Southwestern China

SHIYANZI, China, March 17 (UPI) — Southwestern China’s drought is so severe the government in some areas is rationing just enough water to keep people alive, officials said Wednesday.

The drought, the worst in memory, has left more than 20 million people short of drinking water in Yunnan and Guizhou provinces.

“The horsebean and rape (crops) has withered in the field and we’re running out of grain in the house,” said Shiyanzi resident Li Shaorong, adding he uses “only a few drops of water every other day” to rinse his eyes.

The drought has devastated crops of fruit, tea, rubber, coffee, flowers and other crops key to the local economy.

The region has seen no rain in six months and some communities since January have been rationing just enough water to keep people alive, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

While China’s southwestern region is experiencing severe drought, the nation’s northern and central provinces have had excessive snow, a change some scientists attribute to climate change.

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Gusting Winds, Heavy Rain Batter Northeast

NEWARK, N.J., March 14 (UPI) — Heavy rains and winds exceeding 70 mph in the U.S. Northeast knocked out power to 500,000 people and left at least three people dead, authorities said.

Officials in West Virginia blamed flooding for one death and police in Teaneck, N.J., said two people were killed when gusty winds caused a tree to fall on them Saturday night, The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger reported.

Winds and rain also toppled a crane in Atlantic City, N.J., led to the shutdown of parts of the New Jersey Turnpike and caused several houses to collapse in the state, the Star-Ledger said.

The National Weather Service said the storm has caused flooding and travel delays, and dumped as much as 4 inches of rain since Saturday in an area of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic stretching from West Virginia to Connecticut. With up to 3 inches expected in some areas Sunday, the weather service extended storm and flood warnings.

CNN meteorologist Jacqui Jeras said the high winds have died down but the region is still threatened by heavy rain and flooding, and further travel delays.

“This storm is such a slow mover that it’s not going to pull out probably until Monday,” Jeras said.

The power outages hit hardest in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. About 100,000 customers in New Jersey and about 30,000 in Pennsylvania had their electrical service restored Sunday, authorities said.

Wind gusts fanned a fire that destroyed historic homes on the Jersey Shore and knocked down other buildings, The New York Times reported.

The storm prompted Amtrak to suspend service between New York and Philadelphia, while New Jersey Transit stopped running trains on several lines.

Forecasters predicted the storm would move to central New England Sunday before heading out to sea Monday.

Flooding persisted in the U.S. Midwest Sunday, the result of melting snow, rains and ice jams, CNN said. In North Dakota, authorities said the Red River is expected to reach major flood stage Tuesday near Fargo and Moorhead.

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Deadly Storm Moves into New England

NEW YORK, March 15 (UPI) — A nor’easter killed six people in three states and left more than 500,000 homes in the dark before moving north into New England Monday, authorities said.

The storm flooded communities in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. It smashed homes, uprooted thousands of trees and left dozens of roads impassable.

Utilitiy crews restored power to many communities, though more than 200,000 homes remained without electricity as of late Sunday, The New York Times reported Monday. About a dozen communities in New Jersey were advised to boil tap water because the power outage had affected water treatment plants.

Falling trees killed two men in Teaneck, N.J., a woman on Long Island, N.Y., another in Westport. Conn., and a third woman in Greenwich, Conn. A man in Hartsdale, N.Y., died when a tree crushed his car and the vehicle caught fire.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said cities and states in the region would need federal help with cleanup because their budgets had been exhausted after a winter of record snowfall.

The storm was expected to linger Monday over Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts with gusty tides and steady rain that could flood coastal communities at high tide, Accuweather.com reported.

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Tornadoes, Storms Cover Parts of U.S.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., March 11 (UPI) — A tornado watch for Arkansas ended Thursday after powerful tornadoes bulldozed through dozens of homes and critically injured two people, officials said.

The storms that produced the destructive tornadoes late Wednesday were expected to lose some their punch as they moved east of the Mississippi Thursday, AccuWeather.com said. However, forecasters warned some locally damaging storms could hit areas from southern Illinois to Florida.

In central Arkansas, one tornado damaged 22 homes in Saline County, CNN reported.

“It was the awfulest roaring I ever heard in my life,” a woman told KTHV, Little Rock. “My house felt like it was fixing to crumble over me.”

Another tornado touched down in White County, north of Saline, the National Weather Service said, damaging nine homes and injuring one person.

A third tornado hit Cleburne County, damaging or destroying several homes and injuring three people, two critically, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Emergency Management said.

Two areas of the country were at risk for strong storm action Thursday, AccuWeather.com said. Residents in Florida and southeastern Georgia could get socked by drenching and damaging storms, while communities from southern Illinois and Indiana to Alabama and Mississippi could see thunderstorms.

In Florida, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa are among the cities that could experience storms capable of producing torrential downpours, strong winds, lightning, hail and isolated tornadoes or waterspouts, forecasters said.

The heaviest rain and the greatest flooding threat were forecast for parts of South Carolina, southern Georgia and northern Florida, AccuWeather.com said.

Areas in the Midwest to Mississippi could see storms capable of producing locally strong winds, dangerous lightning, hail, and funnel clouds, forecasters said. Cities in the path include Evansville, Ind.; Bowling Green, Ky.; Nashville; Birmingham, Ala., and Tupelo, Miss.

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Atlantic Storm Kills at Least 13 in Europe

PARIS, Feb. 28 (UPI) — An Atlantic storm killed at least 13 people along the coasts of Spain and France and left more than 1 million people without power, police said.

The storm dubbed “Xynthia” also battered Britain, Portugal and the Netherlands, Expatica reported Sunday.

Winds gusted up to 93 mph along the coast of France, where five people were reported dead in La-Faute-sue-Mer and l’Aiguillon-sur-Mer, said Herve Rose, a government spokesman in Vendee.

An 88-year-old woman was found drowned in her home on the island of Oleron in Charentes-Maritime and two people, including a 10-year-old boy, were found dead in Charentes-Maritime, Sky News reported.

Four people were reported dead in Spain and one person in Portugal, police said.

Major airports in France and Spain, including Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, canceled or delayed hundreds of flights.

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