Entries in Severe weather (17)


Severe Weather, Tornado Warnings in Oklahoma

ABC News(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) -- Officials in Oklahoma are preparing for another round of severe weather while tornado watches and warnings have gone up throughout the Midwest.

The National Weather Service has issued tornado warnings for the Oklahoma City area, and authorities have advised residents of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma that dangerous tornadoes could hit today. The region is still recovering from the ongoing stretch of severe weather, including the disastrous and deadly tornado that hit Moore, Okla., just last week.

The Weather Service says that the threat of tornadoes in Oklahoma and parts of Missouri and Arkansas remain moderate through Thursday night. Parts of the upper Midwest, including Illinois and Wisconsin were under tornado watches Thursday afternoon and may experience severe thunderstorms throughout Thursday night.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Holiday Travel Woes: Severe Weather Will Cause Delays

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As the Gulf Coast struggles to recover from an outbreak of tornadoes, millions across the nation are waking up Wednesday morning on the busiest travel day of the Christmas season to cope with more severe weather that promises to upset the travel plans of millions.

"Traveling will definitely be affected as people go home for the holidays," Bob Oravec, lead forecaster for the National Weather Service, told ABC News.  "Anywhere from the Mississippi Valley into the Ohio Valley and the Northeast, there's definitely going to be travel issues as we have heavy snow and some very high winds."

That large storm has been pounding not just the Gulf Coast but most of the South from Oklahoma to Arkansas, and Texas, where Dallas had a rare white Christmas.

In Lubbock, Texas, more than an inch of snow fell, making it difficult for some drivers to stay on the road.  At Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, flights have been delayed as crews worked to de-ice planes.

Oklahoma got about seven inches of snow across the state, making for treacherous road conditions.  A 21-car pile-up in Oklahoma City temporarily shut down a major roadway through the state.  No one was seriously injured.

Arkansas also got a rare Christmas Day snow storm, with an estimated 10 inches falling in Fayetteville, limiting roadway visibility.

All of that snowy weather in the South left a white trail everywhere it went, and on Wednesday, it's expected to bring at least six to eight inches to the lower Midwest.  Wednesday's severe weather could cause potential delays at airports in St. Louis, Louisville, Ky., Indianapolis and Cincinnati.

In Northern California, residents were socked with the third storm in three days.  Wet weather spread from the Bay area through the Sierras, delaying inbound flights at San Francisco International Airport and causing a landslide in Oakland that almost crushed one driver to death.

The severe weather system in the South has been moving overnight, and a front with heavy rain and wind is forecast for the Northeastern corridor late Wednesday night and into Thursday morning.

"The [weather in] big cities from Washington up to Philadelphia and New York City will mostly be in the form of rain," Oravec said.  "There may be a brief period of snow from the nation's capitol this morning up into Philadelphia and then to New York City.  But the track of the storm currently suggests that the precipitation will definitely change over to rain."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Severe Weather Spawns over 30 Tornado Reports Across South

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Severe Christmas Day weather tore across the deep South, creating 34 possible tornadoes and killing at least three people.

The storm first pounded Texas, then touched down in Louisiana and blasted through homes in Mississippi.  In Mobile, Ala., a wide funnel cloud barreled across the city as lightning flashed inside.

Bill Bunting with the National Weather Service's Severe Storms Prediction Center said that the damage may not yet be done.

"Conditions don't look quite as volatile over a large area as we saw on Christmas Day but there will be a risk of tornadoes, some of them could be rather strong, across eastern portions of North Carolina and the northeastern part of South Carolina," he said.

Across the Gulf region, from Texas to Florida, over 280,000 customers are still without power, with 100,000 without power in Little Rock, Ark., alone.

Meanwhile, at least eight states were also placed under blizzard warnings on Tuesday, as the storms made highways dangerously slick heading into one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Tuesday's extreme weather even caused an eight-foot-deep sinkhole in Vicksburg, Miss.

Alma Jackson told ABC News that a concrete tank that was in her backyard fell into the sinkhole.  "It's really very disturbing," she said.  "Because it's on Christmas day, and then to see this big hole in the ground and not have any explanation, and not be able to cover it.  And the rain is pouring down."

The last time a number of tornadoes hit the Gulf Coast area around Christmas Day was in 2009, when 22 tornadoes struck on Christmas Eve morning, National Weather Service spokesman Chris Vaccaro told ABC News in an email.

The deadliest Christmastime tornado outbreak on record was Dec. 24 through 26, 1982, when 29 tornadoes in Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi killed three people and injured 32.

The last killer tornado around Christmas, Vaccaro said, was a Christmas Eve EF4 in Tennessee in 1988, which killed one person and injured seven.  EF4 tornadoes can produce winds up to 200 mph.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Severe Weather Pounds Across the US; Thousands Without Power

Jason A. Camhi/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Thousands remain without power Friday morning after powerful thunderstorms thrashed through long stretches of the U.S.  Hail, heavy rain and winds up to 70 mph pounded cities from Dallas to Boston, claiming at least two lives and injuring four others.

Lots of wind damage has also been reported from the severe thunderstorms that raked the east coast Thursday night.  

Corey Meade at the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center says there is more bad weather to come over Kentucky and West Virginia as well as portions of Oklahoma and Arkansas.

"There are still storms ongoing from central Kentucky, northeastward into West Virginia and there's another area of thunderstorms ongoing over portions Oklahoma and western Arkansas," he said, adding, "There might be isolated severe weather, gusty winds.  Otherwise, it looks like the primary hazard with the storms ongoing will just be pockets of heavy rainfall."

A tornado that reportedly touched down in Elmira, N.Y., Thursday afternoon took off roofs, downed trees and cut power lines.

"We have over 16,000 customers in the area that do not have power," Karen Miner, spokesperson for Chemung County, said earlier Thursday.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency Thursday for Chemung County to allow the state to help those communities that were hit hardest by the severe weather.

As of 8 p.m. EST, utility companies reported that more than 20,000 customers were without power in the surrounding Elmira area.  More than 90,000 customers in New York state, alone, were without power.

Tornado watches were issued Thursday evening in five states in the Northeast, including New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.  Flash flood warnings were also issued in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, the weather service says.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Three Children Among Five Dead in Oklahoma After Tornado Outbreak

Julie Denesha/Getty ImagesUPDATE: ABC News has learned of another fatality in Woodward, Okla., bringing the death toll up to six.

(WOODWARD, Okla.) -- Three children under the age of 10 are among the five found dead in Woodward, Okla., after violent storms ripped through several states in the nation's mid-section.

Even as crews worked to clean up the damage across the region on Sunday, residents braced for more violent weather that was in the forecast.  Three new tornado warnings were issued until 11 p.m. that included Minneapolis; Little Rock, Ark.; and St. Louis.

The threat across the region Sunday also included possible hailstorms, forecasters said.

Along with the five fatalities, 29 people suffering from cuts and bruises to serious injuries were taken to Woodward Regional Hospital, according to officials.

Woodward City Manager Alan Riffel said the twister knocked out a transmitter that should have sent out warning sirens.

"Most people were in bed and without warning, it came through," Riffel said.

Officials are still searching for bodies.

"We've had a fatality number of five and we don't expect to find more, but we're not stopping the search now," Riffel said.

From Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska, there were more than 120 reports of tornadoes since Saturday.

Residents were warned this weekend about the outbreak of violent weather, which forecasters predicted as potentially "life-threatening."

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Midwest Warned of Severe Storms, Tornadoes This Weekend

NOAA/Storm Prediction Center (WASHINGTON) -- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Prediction Center issued a rare "high risk" alert on Friday, warning of the potential for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes across Midwestern states over the weekend.

The biggest threat is to Oklahoma and Kansas, but states as far north as Nebraska and as far south as Texas could also be in danger.  The storms are expected to intensify Saturday afternoon into the evening, when a tornado outbreak is likely to occur.

The storm system in question is currently moving through California, where it is bringing hail and lightning to San Francisco and Sacramento, and three feet of snow to the mountains.

The last time the Storm Prediction Center issued such a high risk this far in advance was in April 2011, ahead of a tornado outbreak in Alabama that killed over 300 people and produced billions of dollars in damage.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


After Texas Tornadoes, South Expecting Fresh Round of Storms

Tom Pennington/Getty Images(DALLAS) -- Parts of the southern Plains, western Ozarks and lower Mississippi Valley are at risk of severe weather this week while regions across Texas begin to clean up after 18 reported tornadoes raked a path of destruction across the state, tossing trucks into the air and tearing the roofs off homes and businesses.

The National Weather Service has predicted chances of severe thunderstorms across parts of the mid-Mississippi and Ohio Valleys on Wednesday, which might include large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes.  Parts of the southeastern United States might also experience severe weather, according to the weather service.

A severe-storm warning was given for New Orleans overnight as more rain moved in and flooding began on some city streets, with reports of two to three feet of water on roads.  A possible tornado touched down in Gentilly, La., early Wednesday, while a roof was blown off a house.

About 650 homes were damaged in Tuesday's tornado outbreak across Texas, according to the American Red Cross.  Although there were no fatalities during Tuesday's dangerous weather, 15 people sought treatment at area hospitals and two were involved in auto accidents, according to ABC News' Dallas affiliate WFAA.

Eight Texas counties faced severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service.  The counties included Bosque, Dallas, Delta, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, McLennan and Rockwall counties.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Texas, Parts of US May See White Christmas

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Harsh weather around the country will ease ahead of the holiday weekend, with severe weather moving out of the South and a white Christmas for parts of Texas.

Snow was still falling in the Northeast Friday morning from Pennsylvania to Maine, where up to five inches of wet snow was expected to accumulate through mid-morning.  But it's all rain along the I-95 corridor, and the storm is moving very fast.  By mid-morning Friday most of the snow and rain will be gone and just chilly winds left behind, leaving it sunny and cool for Christmas weekend.

One trouble spot in the U.S. Friday is the gusty Santa Ana winds, which will last into the afternoon and lead to some snow in New Mexico and western Texas. Snow is expected from Midland to San Angelo and Abilene Friday and into Saturday, giving Texas a rare snowy Dec. 25.

Up to three feet of snow fell in the hills just west of Denver on Thursday, but let up by early Friday.

On Thursday, nearly 60 instances of severe weather were reported, including possibly two rare December tornadoes -- one in Alabama confirmed, and the other in Georgia not yet confirmed.

Flash flooding was reported from Louisiana and Arkansas and Georgia, where some areas received up to four inches of water in just a few hours.

Winds gusted up to 60 and 70 miles per hour across Southern California Thursday, fueling wildfires, producing power outages, downing trees and overturning trucks.  Wind gusts fueled a raging fire in San Francisco, and winds continued Friday in Southern California throughout the afternoon, but began to calm down Friday, with a warm weekend coming.  Los Angeles could hit 80 degrees Christmas Day.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Poll: Americans Say Weather Is Getting Worse; Blame Global Warming

Damage from flooding seen near a gas station in Killington, Vermont following Hurricane Irene. Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) -- A majority of Americans agree the weather has gotten lousier over the past couple of years, at least according to a new poll.

A survey conducted by the Yale University Project on Climate Change Communication finds that 56 percent of those polled think the weather has gotten worse, with four in 10 saying that's not the case.

While most Americans, 64 percent, also think that global warming is occurring -- about the same as six months ago -- only half of that number believe that people contribute to the problem.

Probably more surprising is that just over two thirds either strongly or somewhat strongly agreed that climate change might have something to do with the record high temperatures that covered much of the country this summer.

Sixty percent also say climate change could be linked to the record snowfalls of last winter, with almost the same number suspecting this phenomenon was responsible for Hurricane Irene that struck the Northeast last August. Ironically, a handful of years ago, environmental crusaders were blaming winters in which there was relatively snow on global warming.

Anthony Leiserowitz, the director of the Yale climate change communication group, said it used to be that Americans thought global warming was something far off in the future but now they're "beginning to think that climate change actually may be affecting us right here in the U.S. here and now."

Still, the science, to paraphrase Al Gore, isn't settled when it comes to opinions on global warming: a 2010 Gallup poll stated that 48% of Americans believed that the seriousness of global warming is generally exaggerated -- up from 31% in 1997, when Gallup posed that question for the first time.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Alaska Weather: Bering Sea Storm Hits Nome, Coastal Villages

NOAA/National Weather Service(NOME, Alaska) -- On the remote Alaskan coast of the Bering Sea, a storm of "epic magnitude," in the words of the National Weather Service, punished local villages Wednesday with high winds and blizzard conditions.

Winds along the coast reached 40 to 55 mph, with hurricane-force gusts of 85 mph.  Forecasters warned of 30-foot waves, and sea levels 8 to 10 feet above normal.  Even for western Alaska, one of the stormiest places in America, this storm was unusually fierce.

"One of the worst Bering Sea storms on record will cause widespread strong winds and coastal flooding," said a warning from the weather service.  "This will be an extremely dangerous and life-threatening storm of an epic magnitude rarely experienced."

The area is sparsely populated, largely because of the harsh climate.  Nome, with a population of 3,500, is the largest community on the coast.  There are numerous small Inupiat villages, and Alaska's emergency management office warned people there to head for high ground.

"Storms of this magnitude are rarely felt," said Bob Fisher of the weather service.  "We get a lot of storms -- western Alaska is really one of the stormiest places on earth.  But this one is just a lot stronger."

Forecasters said it was both strong and unusually large, stretching for more than 1,000 miles, as cold air from Siberia collided with relatively warm air from the Pacific Ocean.

There were reports of roofs blown off buildings and debris gathering on the streets in Nome, but damage reports were hard to come by.

"Once daylight breaks, visual inspections will begin and current damage assessments will be made," said Mimi Farley, Nome's Emergency Service Administrator, in an email Wednesday that she said was delayed by power outages.  "Nome Joint Utility Crews are out and about dealing with issues associated with the weather."

Forecasters compared the storm to one that hit the area in 1974, saying this one appeared to be producing stronger winds.  There was another storm of similar magnitude in 1913, they said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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