Archive | Air, Atmosphere, & Weather

Cold Snap Begins to Ease in South

ATLANTA, Feb. 13 (UPI) — Freezing rain on snow made for dangerous conditions in Georgia Saturday as other southern states began to thaw from the most recent storm, officials said.

Residents of Metro Atlanta were warned to stay off the roads Saturday morning, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

As much as four inches of snow fell on the Atlanta region Friday, causing dozens of accidents and knocking out power to several thousand homes and businesses.

The same storm closed all schools in Mississippi Friday as 8 inches of snow fell on De Kalb in the eastern part of the state and Biloxi experienced rare snow flurries on the coast. In Louisiana, government offices were closed in 43 parishes Friday, CNN reported Saturday.

In Dallas, slightly warmer temperatures Friday began to melt some of the 12.5 inches of record-breaking snow recorded at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

By late Friday, conditions had turned slushy, roads were free of ice and warmer temperatures were predicted for the weekend, The Dallas Morning News reported Saturday.

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More Snow Forecast for Winter-weary States

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 (UPI) — Large chunks of the United States were under weather alerts Monday with freezing rain, sleet and snow battering weather-weary states.

The National Weather Service issued storm warnings and weather advisories for Tuesday in sections of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, especially mountainous regions, CNN reported.

Other warnings and watches were posted in Tennessee, Kentucky, and parts of the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic states, weather officials said. Up to 3 inches of snow was expected by Monday in those areas.

Hundreds of flights in and out of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta were canceled as the system moved in, CNN said.

A snow emergency was in effect in Washington, where Mayor Adrian Fenty said 4 more inches of snow could fall. The area had already received a season-record snowfall of 55.9 inches, preliminary NWS estimates indicate.

Officials in Kansas City reported more than 100 damaged vehicles littered highways around the city during a 2-hour period Sunday, the Kansas City Star reported. More than 50 injuries were reported, none of them critical.

CNN said one accident involved as many as 30 vehicles.

“You could be driving along and think everything is fine and then — boom — you hit a burst of snow,” said meteorologist Pat Cooper of the NWS office in Pleasant Hill, Mo. “Visibility’s almost zero, you brake, and then you get cars piling into each other.”

Officials from Fairfax and Arlington counties in Virginia issued appeals to help clear sidewalks so children could return to school Tuesday after the Presidents Day holiday, The Washington Post reported.

Howard County, Va., school officials said facilities there would be closed Tuesday.

“Some streets are still covered with ice, and others are too narrow,” schools Superintendent Sydney Cousin said. “The high piles of snow create real visibility issues.”

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East Coast Braces for Second Blizzard

NEW YORK, Feb. 10 (UPI) — The snowstorm that dumped as much as a foot of snow in some parts of the U.S. midsection bore down Wednesday on the East Coast, forecasters said.

The white stuff and accompanying gusty winds were expected to cause hellish travel conditions from Washington to Boston, AccuWeather.com reported.

The snowstorm was expected to change from a wintry mix along a line from the Chesapeake Bay to southern New Jersey into a blizzard, with conditions deteriorating along the Interstate 95 corridor, forecasters said.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered schools closed Wednesday, The New York Times reported. Public school districts in nearly every major city along the East Coast from Baltimore through Boston followed suit, as did dozens of county school districts.

At the blizzard’s height, strong winds were expected to whip the falling snow, creating extremely poor visibility conditions for extended time periods, AccuWeather.com said. Strong winds were forecast from the Carolinas to the central Appalachian Mountains, resulting in severe blowing and drifting snow.

At least a foot of snow was expected to fall far northern Maryland to southern Connecticut.

Several major airlines announced they canceled many, if not all, of their Wednesday flights out of airports in Washington, New York, Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other East Coast cities, the Times said. Amtrak officials said the train would operate its Northeast regional service but warned of service disruptions.

In Washington, the U.S. House of Representatives announced Tuesday no votes would be taken for the remainder of the week because of the storm. Federal government offices were closed Wednesday, officials said.

Before leaving the Midwest, the storm wreaked havoc in the air and on the ground in Minneapolis, Chicago and Detroit. Hundreds of flights were canceled at Chicago’s two airports, and Southwest Airlines suspended all flights for 24 hours until the storm’s expected end Wednesday, the Times said.

Officials said a Chicago-area woman was struck and killed Tuesday by a private snow plow near her home, the Chicago Tribune reported. She apparently was crossing the street when she was struck by a Chevrolet Silverado with an attached plow that was backing out of a private parking lot it was clearing. Officials said the snow plow driver received two citations in the incident.

In Michigan, state police advised drivers to take it slow if they must travel because of poor road conditions, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Michigan authorities blamed the storm for at least one death, a Ypsilanti woman whose car was struck by a garbage truck Wednesday.

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Blizzard-weary U.S. Eyes New Storm

BALTIMORE, Feb. 8 (UPI) — The federal government will be closed for a second straight day as the mid-Atlantic state braced for more snow on top of last week’s blizzard, officials said.

The Office of Personnel Management said in a message on its Web site federal agencies in the Washington area will be closed Tuesday. Emergency federal workers “are expected to report for work on time” but most non-emergency workers’ absences will be excused.

National Weather Service meteorologist Bryan Jackson told The Baltimore Sun that even as the region was digging out from more than 2 feet of snow in many areas, a new storm was on the way for Tuesday night — which under some computer models was suggesting snow totals as high as 10 to 20 inches.

“We’re not looking, certainly, at anything as significant as what we just had. But we are looking at the potential for winter-storm-watch-criteria snowfall,” Jackson told the newspaper.

The Weather Service was only going as high as 5 inches in its predictions, but some private forecasters were saying the new storm’s moisture content is hinting that much more snow was possible.

The Sun said if Baltimore receives as little 3 inches of snow from the new storm, the city will break its all-time record for total snowfall in a single winter season, now set at 62.5 inches from the winter of 1995-1996.

In Pittsburgh, forecasters were eyeing new storm totals of 4 to 8 inches of snow.

“This does bring up some concerns considering that the roads might not be in good shape yet,” National Weather Service meteorologist Charlie Woodrum told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. “Ground temperatures are going to be well below freezing, so any snow that falls is going to stick pretty quickly.”

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More Major Snowfall for Mid-Atlantic States

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 (UPI) — Weather forecasters are calling for the possibility of 20 inches of snow this weekend in parts of Virginia, Maryland and Washington.

The newest storm front is expected to move in early Friday.

With each passing hour, The Washington Post said, likelihood of serious accumulation grows in the Mid-Atlantic region. Post forecasters say 10 inches of snowfall is likely in some areas and “there’s a chance for significantly more than that” in others.

The National Weather Service in Washington said a foot is likely “with localized depths of more than 20 inches.”

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Groundhog Ignores Bribe; Predicts Winter

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia, Feb. 2 (UPI) — Even a bribe of veggies and nuts couldn’t induce a groundhog in a Russian zoo to interrupt its winter nap Tuesday to predict a possible end to winter.

Officials at the Limpopo Zoo in Nizhny Novgorod, in their version of Groundhog Day, tried to see what its own groundhog, Olesya, would forecast: six more weeks of winter or six weeks until spring, Russian news agency RIA Novosti said.

“According to her forecasts, we should expect six more weeks of winter — because she did not want to leave her burrow,” a zoo spokeswoman said, leaving the question of whether she would have seen her shadow unanswered.

Last year Limpopo workers failed to get a weather forecast from the zoo’s groundhogs — because they’d rather hibernate than hazard a guess on Groundhog Day.

For the record, Pennsylvania’s groundhog prognosticator, Punxsutawney Phil, did go outdoors (with human help) and did see his shadow — forecasting another six weeks of winter.

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Scientists to Study Cold Air Inversions

SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 2 (UPI) — Three U.S. research groups say they are starting a $1.3 million study of winter weather temperature inversions.

At times this winter the greater Salt Lake City area has harbored the most polluted air in the United States from such inversions, said Professor John Horel of the University of Utah, one of the study’s principal investigators.

The three-year study, involving the University of Utah; the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.; and Michigan State University is designed to better understand the conditions that contribute to the development, maintenance and breakup of such weather conditions, Horel said.

The research will be funded by the National Science Foundation, with roughly $550,000 going to the University of Utah; another $550,000 to the National Center for Atmospheric Research and $250,000 to Michigan State University.

The researchers said the money will support collecting observations, analyzing the data and using models of the atmosphere to simulate the temperature and wind patterns during cold-air-pool events in the Salt Lake Valley.

“The formation, maintenance and breakup of these cold-air pools are a challenge to simulate well because the winds are light, and subtle variations are found in temperature and moisture spatially within the valley as well as vertically,” said Michigan State Associate Professor Sharon Zhong, another study principal investigator.

David Whiteman, a University of Utah research professor, is the study’s third principal investigator.

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Storm Series Batters California, Arizona

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 20 (UPI) — Three consecutive storms from the northern Pacific brought Southern California 20 inches of rain, 15-foot surf and 60 mph coastal winds, forecasters said.

The National Weather Service reported a storm “with tornado-like strength pounded the Southern California coast” Wednesday. The storm caused more than 10,000 customers of Southern California Edison to be without power in areas such as Newport Beach, Lake Forest, Redlands and Mira Loma, KTLA-TV, Los Angeles, reported.

“It is inevitable that the storms today into Thursday will trigger more flooding and mudslides across California and Arizona,” AccuWeather forecaster Kristina Pydynowski said. “While this is especially true for areas recently burned by wildfires, the danger is heightening elsewhere as rain further saturates the ground.”

Residents in the Flagstaff, Ariz., area were warned the same storms would be inundating Northern Arizona with heavy snow this week. The (Flagstaff) Arizona Daily Sun said residents were urged to clear snow off their roofs and plan to stay home for a few days.

“If we get 3 or more feet of snow in the third storm system, it’s going to take us several days to reach residential neighborhoods,” said Flagstaff Vice Mayor Al White.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

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New Storm Heads Toward California, Arizona

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 20 (UPI) — California’s latest winter storm soaked the San Francisco Bay Area Wednesday morning and bore down on Los Angeles and San Diego, weather forecasters said.

Another day of winds and heavy rain was in store for the soggy Golden State, and the finale of the series of storms was expected to be even worse when it moves ashore Thursday.

“It is inevitable that the storms today into Thursday will trigger more flooding and mudslides across California and Arizona,” AccuWeather forecaster Kristina Pydynowski said. “While this is especially true for areas recently burned by wildfires, the danger is heightening elsewhere as rain further saturates the ground.”

Southern California had an overnight respite from the rains and gusty winds that caused scattered property damage and flooding in many areas. The Orange County Register reported that a powerful squall that blew ashore generated a small tornado that damaged homes in Huntington Beach.

Coastal residents were urged to be on their toes for more waterspouts Wednesday and precautionary evacuations were ordered in areas of Los Angeles scorched by last year’s wildfires.

Folks in the Flagstaff area were warned that the same storms would be inundating Northern Arizona with heavy snow this week. The (Flagstaff) Arizona Daily Sun said residents were urged to clear off their already snow-laden roofs and plan on staying home for a few days.

“If we get 3 or more feet of snow in the third storm system, it’s going to take us several days to reach residential neighborhoods,” said Flagstaff Vice Mayor Al White.

Elsewhere in the United States, an ice storm warning was posted in Iowa and scattered thunderstorms rumbled across Tennessee.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

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Torrential Rains Hit Israel

JERUSALEM, Jan. 20 (UPI) — Torrential rains swept through northern Israel Wednesday flooding homes, streets, bridges and railway lines, authorities said.

Pressure from the fast-flowing water blew off concrete sewer covers in Haifa, creating little geysers in the streets, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The rains delayed train service between Haifa and Narahiya with only one southbound rail line operational from the Hof Hacarmel Station.

Two supporting walls collapsed on Haifa streets but no one was injured.

Some homeowners reported water as high as 15 inches inside their homes.

On Mount Hermon, snow was expected to continue for several days.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

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