Archive | Air, Atmosphere, & Weather

Cold Decimates Florida Saltwater Fish

MIAMI, Jan. 19 (UPI) — It could take coastal snook and other saltwater game fish years to rebound from Florida’s record-setting cold snap this month, officials said.

“I haven’t see a swimming snook in 10 days,” Everglades guide Benny Blanco said. “All I have seen is floating (dead) snook.”

State wildlife officials reported the fish kills were widespread in Florida’s bays and channels, The Miami Herald reported Tuesday.

“I was so shook up, I couldn’t sleep,” Audubon ecologist Pete Frezza said after examining inlets in the Everglades. “Millions and millions of pilchards, threadfin herring, mullet … . Whitewater Bay is just a graveyard.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission last week ordered the catching and keeping of snook, bonefish and tarpon stopped, though catch-and-release would still be allowed for all three species.

The fish kill began when water temperatures dropped into the low 50s, with high winds pushing colder, heavier waters into deeper channels where fish typically seek warm refuge.

“Even the channels became a tomb,” said Jerry Ault, a marine biologist at the University of Miami.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

Posted in Air, Atmosphere, & Weather, Conservation, Fish0 Comments

Middle East Storms Turn Fatal, Killing Four

TEL AVIV, Israel, Jan. 18 (UPI) — Storms in the Middle East were being blamed Monday for at least four deaths, authorities said.

A car was swept into a flooded river in southern Israel leaving one person dead and another missing, authorities said. Two passengers with serious injuries were rescued but one died after being transported to Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva, Haaretz reported.

A helicopter was sent to look for the missing man.

In the pre-dawn hours in the Negev Monday, three other people were trapped in their vehicles but an Israeli Defense Forces helicopter pulled them out after a few hours, Haaretz said.

In Egypt, an English traveler was killed when a sailboat in which he was riding capsized on the Nile River due to storm winds. In southern Egypt, two women died when heavy rain collapsed houses made of mud brick.

Bad weather closed the Yitzhak Rabin Border Crossing between Israel and Jordan.

North of the Negev the Nitzana Bridge collapsed due to the heavy storms stopping all traffic in the area.

Haaretz said Monday was one of the rainiest days in Israel this winter.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

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Winter Storm Watch Posted in Southern California

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 16 (UPI) — As clouds moved Saturday into Southern California, weather forecasters issued a winter storm watch for snow in the mountains and heavy rain along the coast.

The National Weather Service said late Saturday that snow could begin in the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties as early as Sunday night and intensify Monday with more than a foot expected to accumulate during the first half of the week.

Coastal areas as far south as San Diego were expected to see 6-8 inches of rain next week as soggy Pacific storms move through.

“Serious flooding and destructive mudslides are the dangerous aspects of the upcoming storm onslaught,” AccuWeather forecaster Kristina Pydynowski said in a statement.

She added the lower elevations could see 6-8 inches of rain over the course of the week. Along with expected heavy surf along the coast, emergency managers are concerned about possible flash-flooding.

The Los Angeles Fire Department had sandbags available to the public at its fire stations. The U.S. Geological Survey said it would have about 50 people out in the rain monitoring potentially dangerous streams and areas where wildfires had burned off vegetation.

“Our field staff will be out in it,” said USGS hydrologist Jim Bowers.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

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Flooding Hits Scotland As Thaw Begins

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Jan. 16 (UPI) — Scotland began thawing out Saturday after days of bitter weather, bringing floods that disrupted rail and road transportation.

Several roads were closed by flooding, others by snow and at least one, the A76 in southwest Scotland, by a landslide, The Scotsman reported. A 12-mile strecth of the M74, a major route from Glasgow to the south, was closed because of ice blocking drains, causing flooding on the road.

Caledonian MacBrayne canceled service on several ferry routes on the west coast because of high winds. On the east coast, the weather disrupted service between Aberdeen and the Shetlands and on local routes in the Orkney Islands.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency posted flood warnings for seven rivers in the south and east and watches for 19 more. Forecasters warned problems could be worse Sunday.

The CairnGorm Mountain Ski Center shut down because high winds blew drifting snow across access roads. The center was expected to be closed Sunday as well.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

Posted in Air, Atmosphere, & Weather, Transportation0 Comments

Lusaka the Female Lion at Smithsonian's National Zoo Dies

Female Lion at SmithsonianÕs National Zoo Dies.

The National Zoo’s senior female lion, Lusaka, seen in an undated photo, has died after developing fibrosarcoma, a cancerous tumor under the skin on her back, on January 15, 2010. Lusaka was estimated to be 18 years old. UPI/Mehgan Murphy/Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Date Taken: January 15, 2010

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Naval Personal Prepare for Earthquake Relief Mission to Haiti

Naval Personal Prepare for Relief Mission to Haiti

Bosons Mate 2 Frankie Blackburn of Middle Creek, VA holds an M-16 as he does weapons inventory on a Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) vehicle in the wet deck of the USS Bataan, underway in the Atlantic Ocean on January 15, 2010. The USS Bataan is underway to Haiti to assist with the U.S. relief effort following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated the country. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

Date Taken: January 15, 2010

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Chill in Florida Could Cost Plenty

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Jan. 13 (UPI) — The chill that enveloped Florida in the past week could cost the state’s vegetable farmers $100 million, an agricultural expert said.

Gene McAvoy at the University of Florida said the state lost $100 million in vegetable production alone, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The blow will also ripple through northern grocery stores. Before the freeze, wholesale tomatoes were priced at $14 for a 25 pounds box. After, the price jumped to $20, McAvoy said.

Peppers, he said, jumped from $8 a box to $18.

State officials and farmers are still assessing damage to citrus and other crops. Ted Campbell, executive director of the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, said the plants would likely produce a new set of berries as “a natural response when a plant comes close to death … It wants to reproduce itself.”

Tropical fish farmers reported dead fish throughout the state. In addition, escaped exotic pets, such as iguanas and tropical snakes, could have suffered a setback that help re-calibrate the state’s wild areas, returning them to a more natural order.

“A lot of these invasive exotics come from southern climates, and they won’t be able to withstand a cold spell for this long,” said Everglades National Park spokeswoman Linda Friar.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

Posted in Air, Atmosphere, & Weather, Fish0 Comments

U.S. President Barack Obama Pledges Haiti Earthquake Relief

Obama Pledges Support for Earthquake-ravaged Haiti in Washington

U.S. President Barack Obama, backed by Vice President Joe Biden, pledges support for Haiti a day after a major earthquake struck in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington on January 13, 2010. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg

Date Taken: January 13, 2010

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Port-au-Prince and Haiti Awaits Disaster Relief in Wake of Earthquake

Port-au-Prince and Haiti Awaits Disaster Relief in Wake of Earthquake

A normal flow of traffic in the Haitain capital city of Port-au-Prince depicts the anticipated devastation of yesterday’s 7.0 magnitude earthquake. While Haiti awaits disaster relief efforts from other countries, it is anticipated that the number of dead from this natural disaster is rising into the thousands.

This 2008 photograph is from Flickr, and used under the Creative Commons license applied by the author.

Posted in Air, Atmosphere, & Weather3 Comments

Cold Weather in St. Louis

Cold Weather in St Louis

Ducks have fun in and out of the water as ice consumes the fountain at Tower Grove Park in St. Louis on January 10, 2010. Temperatures have begun to slightly warm from the below freezing readings of last week. Today’s temperatures in St. Louis reached 23 degrees with highs in the 40′s expected for mid-week. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Date Taken: January 10, 2010

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