Entries in Thunderstorms (7)


Nearly Two Million People Still Without Power After Storms

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Nearly two million people are still without power in several Midwest and mid-Atlantic states that were pummeled by a series of violent thunderstorms last Friday night.

That number includes more than half a million homeowners in Washington, D.C., who have been told they may not get their power back until the end of the week.

D.C.’s power company, Pepco, says utility crews are working hard, removing hundreds of downed trees and re-stringing countless power lines.  Pepco spokesman Clay Anderson says utility crews from as far away as Canada have been called in to help restore power.

All told, about three million homes lost power, and 22 people lost their lives.  The governors of Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia, and the mayor of Washington, D.C., all declared states of emergency.

Meteorologists say the lightning, fierce winds and pounding rain that pummeled the region was not your average series of thunderstorms, it was a “derecho.”

AccuWeather meteorologist Brian Edwards says a derecho forms when an atmospheric disturbance lifts warm air in regions experiencing intense heat, causing thunderstorms and hurricane-force winds to develop.  The region had experienced several days of 100-plus temperatures ahead of last Friday’s storms.

Friday's derecho took 12 hours to cover more than 700 miles before reaching the Atlantic Ocean.

Edwards says derechos are more difficult to predict than other severe weather events because meteorologists are unable to identify exactly where the precise combination of factors needed to trigger a derecho will emerge.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Thousands Remain Without Power as Deadly Thunderstorms Batter US

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Hundreds of thousands of people in several Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states continue to deal with soaring temperatures and a lack of power following a series of deadly thunderstorms that have pounded the region since Friday.

At least 17 people have died from the storms in Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Ohio, North Carolina and the District of Columbia.

As of early Monday morning, more than 444,000 electric customers in Virginia are without power, while more than 443,000 are in the dark in Ohio.  Some 442,000 West Virginia residents are also experiencing power outages.

In New Jersey, about 2,500 residents are in the dark, while power companies in Maryland are reporting outages affecting close to 600,000 customers.

Utility crews from around the country have been summoned to the region to help clear debris and restore power, but officials say it may be days before all customers have their lights, and more importantly, their air conditioners up and running again.

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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


Unusual Weather, Record Hail, Pounds Hawaiian Islands 

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(HONOLULU) -- Unusual weather patterns, dubbed “unprecedented” by the National Weather Service, moved across the Hawaiian Islands during the past few days.

Reports of tornados and thunderstorms were prevalent. A 30-minute hailstorm over Oahu on Friday pounded the island with pellets the size of tennis balls, according to the National Weather Service in Honolulu. Some hail stones reached a record size of 3 inches wide.

No injuries were reported in the storms.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


How to Help Victims Affected by Deadly Southern Storms, Tornadoes

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) -- Deadly tornadoes and thunderstorms ripped through the South Wednesday and early Thursday, devastating dozens of cities and killing more than 300 people across six states.

The majority of the deaths have been reported in Alabama, where 200-mile-per-hour winds swept homes off their foundations in one area.  President Obama pledged full federal government support for all those affected by the storms and signed a disaster declaration for Alabama to assist in recovery and clean-up efforts.

Here's how you can help and donate to the April 2011 tornado relief effort:

American Red Cross: The Red Cross is providing relief to people across the hardest-hit states, providing shelter, and relief to survivors. To make a donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief, visit its online donation page. You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

The Salvation Army: The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services is responding to the deadly tornado activity throughout the South, mobilizing feeding units and providing support to the victims. To donate to the Salvation Army's tornado disaster response, visit, click on their donation page and designate "April 2011 Tornado Outbreak." You can call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and donors can text "GIVE" to 80888 to make a $10 donation. Checks can be made out to the Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 100339, Atlanta, Ga., 30384-0339.

Alabama - Governor's Emergency Relief Fund: The Fund, part of the Alabama Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, provides additional recovery assistance to Alabama residents who have exhausted all other coverage provided by relief organizations, government programs and insurance. To donate, visit their online donation page.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Deadly Tornadoes, Storms Hit South; Leave Several Dozens Dead

Ablestock/Thinkstock (file photo)(LINCOLN, Ala.) -- Deadly tornadoes and thunderstorms tore through the South Wednesday, killing over 200 people in five states in the latest round of storms to hit the region over the past several days, authorities said.

The majority of those deaths were reported in Alabama, where 180 people died, including 15 in the city of Tuscaloosa alone.

Mayor Walter Maddox confirmed that 15 people died Wednesday in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a city of approximately 180,000 leveled by an estimated mile-wide tornado.

Maddox said at least a dozen city roads remain impassable and 83,000 homes were without power.  Several city buildings, including a fire station and a communication plant, have been damaged.

"We have way over 100 injuries throughout the city of Tuscaloosa," Mayor Maddox said Wednesday.  "We have hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed and hundreds more damaged."

Classes at the University of Alabama, which is located in Tuscaloosa, have been canceled for Thursday.

President Obama declared a state of emergency for the search and rescue response in Alabama, and Gov. Robert Bentley told ABC News affiliate WBMA-TV in Birmingham, Alabama that he expected Obama to declare another one to help pay for the cleanup.

The president will travel to Alabama on Friday to assess the damages, thank rescue workers and offer his condolences to the familes of victims.

Elsewhere, at least 10 people were killed by storms in Georgia, according to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

Another 32 were killed in Mississippi, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said.

At least 33 others are dead in Tennessee and eight more in Virginia, according to emergency management officials.

The weather system was expected to move into Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky overnight and into the Carolinas by Thursday morning. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Weather: Tornado, Winds, Kill Nine in Oklahoma, Arkansas

Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) -– A rash of violent storms has led to at least nine deaths in Oklahoma and Arkansas. It moved Friday across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

In Arkansas, the death toll increased to seven Friday.

Two elderly sisters were killed when a tornado struck Tushka, Okla., late Thursday night. The twister leveled at least five Tushka school buildings, according to Tushka Public School Principal Matt Simpson.

In North Texas, strong thunderstorms interrupted power to about 90,000 homes and businesses.

Rough weather hit Kansas with high winds reported in far western areas of the state.

This system caps a week of nasty weather across the center of the country. South Dakota was hit with spring snow while parts of Wisconsin experienced tornadoes.

And in North Dakota and Minnesota, the swollen Red River has swallowed roads and farms and cut off some residents from their neighbors.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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