Meteorologist vows never to fly again after seeing latest climate reportView gallery Ground staff check a VietJet A320 airplane before departure for Bangkok at Noi Bai international airport in Hanoi September 25, 2013. Vietnamese low-cost airline VietJet is in talks with Airbus about an order for as many as 100 jets worth up to $10 billion, sources familiar with the discussions said on Tuesday. A French government source had expressed hope the provisional deal would be signed in front of visiting Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Paris on Wednesday, setting the stage for 60 firm orders for medium-haul aircraft as well as options for 30 more. REUTERS/Kham (VIETNAM – Tags: BUSINESS TRANSPORT POLITICS)Mike Krumboltz, Yahoo News October 1, 2013 9:40 AMWhen meteorologist Eric Holthaus read the recent climate report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he saw that things were worse than even he had anticipated. Writing a reaction piece in Quartz, Holthaus wrote that for the first time, the IPCC’s report „mentioned projections of climate change beyond 2100 and painted a picture of a bleak world, possibly unrecognizable to those living today, should fossil fuel use continue on its current trajectory.”Then, while getting ready to board a flight in San Francisco on Sept. 27, Holthaus began tweeting about his more emotional reaction to the report.
10,000 walrus come ashore in northwest AlaskaView galleryThis Sept. 27, 2013 image provided by NOAA Fisheries shows thousands of walruses hauling out on a remote barrier island in the Chukchi Sea near Point Lay, Alaska. An estimated 10,000 Pacific walrus have gone ashore on Alaska’s northwest coast and are bunched along a beach near the village of Point Lay. The National Marine Fisheries Service says 1,500 to 4,000 walrus were counted Sept. 12 and numbers had swollen to 10,000 on Friday. (AP Photo/NOAA Fisheries, Stan Churches)DAN JOLING 22 hours agoANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An estimated 10,000 walrus unable to find sea ice over shallow Arctic Ocean water have come ashore on Alaska’s northwest coast.Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Friday photographed walrus packed onto a beach on a barrier island near Point Lay, an Inupiat Eskimo village 300 miles southwest of Barrow and 700 miles northwest of Anchorage.The walrus have been coming to shore since mid-September. The large herd was spotted during NOAA’s annual arctic marine mammal aerial survey, an effort conducted with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the agency that conducts offshore lease sales.An estimated 2,000 to 4,000 walrus were photographed at the site Sept. 12. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency that manages walrus, immediately took steps to prevent a stampede among the animals packed shoulder to shoulder on the rocky coastline. The agency works with villages to keep people and airplanes a safe distance from herds.Young animals are especially vulnerable to stampedes triggered by a polar bear, a human hunter or a low-flying airplane. The carcasses of more than 130 mostly young walruses were counted after a stampede in September 2009 at Alaska’s Icy Cape.The gathering of walrus on shore is a phenomenon that has accompanied the loss of summer sea ice as the climate has warmed.Pacific walrus spend winters in the Bering Sea. Females give birth on sea ice and use ice as a diving platform to reach snails, clams and worms on the shallow continental shelf.As temperatures warm in summer, the edge of the sea ice recedes north. Females and their young ride the edge of the sea ice into the Chukchi Sea. However, in recent years, sea ice has receded north beyond continental shelf waters and into Arctic Ocean water 10,000 feet deep or more where walrus cannot dive to the bottom.Walrus in large numbers were first spotted on the U.S. side of the Chukchi Sea in 2007. They returned in 2009, and in 2011, scientists estimated 30,000 walruses along one kilometer of beach near Point Lay.Remnant ice kept walrus offshore in 2008 and again last year.The goal of the marine mammals survey is to record the abundance of bowhead, gray, minke, fin and beluga whales plus other marine mammals in areas of potential oil and natural gas development, said NOAA Fisheries marine mammal scientist Megan Ferguson in an announcement.”In addition to photographing the walrus haulout area, NOAA scientists documented more bowhead whales, including calves and feeding adults in the Beaufort Sea this summer compared to 2012,” said Ferguson. „We are also seeing more gray whale calves in the Chukchi Sea than we have in recent years.”Environmental groups say the loss of sea ice due to climate warming is harming marine mammals and oil and gas development would add to their stress.
Rock slide victims were from Colorado, MissouriView galleryChaffee County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Everson, right, and other deputies walk out the Agnes Vaille Falls trail shortly after leaving the scene of a rock slide that killed five people Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, in Chaffee County, Colo. Deputies who reached the area rescued a teenage girl who suffered a broken leg but had to pull back after rocks kept falling from a cliff and a boulder field with rocks estimated at weighing more than 100 tons began shifting. Rescuers were to return to the site Wednesday. (AP Photo/P. Solomon Banda)P. SOLOMON BANDA 23 hours agoBUENA VISTA, Colo. (AP) — Authorities have identified the victims of a Colorado rock slide as members of an extended family from Colorado and Missouri, including a 10-year-old boy.The Chaffee (CHAY’-fee) County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday the lone survivor, 13-year-old Gracie Johnson, was dug out by rescuers and taken by helicopter to a Denver hospital with a broken leg.The five people who were killed included Gracie’s parents, Dwayne and Dawna Johnson, and her 18-year-old sister, Kiowa-Rain Johnson, all of nearby Buena (BYOO’-nuh) Vista, Colo.The sheriff’s department says the other victims were 10-year-old Baigen (BAY’-gun) Walker and 22-year-old Paris Walkup, both of Birch Tree, Mo. They were nephews of Dwayne and Dawna Johnson.Dwayne Johnson was 46. Dawna Johnson was 45.The slide occurred Monday on a popular hiking trail in south-central Colorado.THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.All five people who were killed in a Colorado rockslide and a teenage girl who survived with the help of her father were members of the same family, authorities said Tuesday.The girl was airlifted to a Denver hospital with a broken leg after being dug out by rescuers.Deputy Nick Tolsma said he saw her hand sticking out from the rocks and helped pull her out. The girl said her father had protected her from the rocks, he said.”She told me at the last second when the boulders were coming down on top of them that he covered her up and protected her which I believe it saved her life,” Tolsma said.The names and ages of the family members haven’t been released.Chaffee County Undersheriff John Spezze said the family was from Buena Vista, Colo.A search team set out Tuesday to recover the bodies. Four can probably be recovered using hand tools, but special equipment will be needed to dislodge a huge boulder and retrieve the fifth body, said David Noltensmeyer of the North End Search and Rescue team.He said the team might try moving the boulder with a heavy inflatable bag that firefighters use to lift large vehicles during rescues.The slide sent 100-ton boulders onto a viewing area overlooking Agnes Vaille falls in Chalk Creek Canyon below Mount Princeton, a 14,197-foot peak in south-centralColorado.Witnesses said some of the boulders were the size of cars.Rescuers were unable to recover the bodies Monday because the rocks were dangerously unstable. The safety of the recovery team is still a concern and lookouts will keep a close eye on the slide.”If anything moves, our people will come out,” he said.A female hiker who heard the slide ran down the trail and called for help, Spezze said.The area had a rainy summer and a recent snowfall, said Spezze. It was too soon to know if the weather prompted the slide, which left a football-field-sized gash in the mountainside, he said.”It was totally unexpected. It caught everybody by surprise,” Spezze said.The trail is one of the first hikes recommended to people new to the area and is also popular with tourists, said Margaret Dean, a regular hiker who has walked the trail with her 7-year-old grandson.Dean, a copy assistant at The Mountain Mail newspaper in Salida, said the trail is easily accessible and provides a view of the falls and the Chalk Creek Valley in Collegiate Peaks, which contains mountains over 14,000-feet tall.Agnes Vaille, the waterfall’s namesake, was a Denver mountaineer who died in 1925 while attempting a difficult winter climb of Longs Peak, which rises to 14,259 feet.The U.S. Forest Service maintains the trail. Spezze said officials have asked the Forest Service for a permanent closure.The Forest Service says the trail got medium to heavy usage. The trailhead lies across from Chalk Lake campground and is near the St. Elmo ghost town, a popular stop for tourists in Colorado’s central mountains.
Wave of jellyfish shuts down Swedish nuke reactorView galleryGARY PEACH 21 hours agoIt wasn’t a tsunami but it had the same effect: A huge cluster of jellyfish forced one of the world’s largest nuclear reactors to shut down — a phenomenon that marine biologists say could become more common.Operators of the Oskarshamn nuclear plant in southeastern Sweden had to scramble reactor number three on Sunday after tons of jellyfish clogged the pipes that bring in cool water to the plant’s turbines.By Tuesday, the pipes had been cleaned of the jellyfish and engineers were preparing to restart the reactor, which at 1,400 megawatts of output is the largest boiling-water reactor in the world, said Anders Osterberg, a spokesman for OKG, the plant operator.All three Oskharshamn reactors are boiling-water types, the same technology at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant that suffered a catastrophic failure in 2011 after a tsunami breached the facility’s walls and flooded its equipment.ellyfish are not a new problem for nuclear power plants. Last year the California-based Diablo Canyon facility had to shut its reactor two after gobs of sea salp — a gelatinous, jellyfish-like organism — clogged intake pipes. In 2005, the first unit at Oskarshamn was temporarily turned off due to a sudden jellyfish influx.View gallery.”FILE – In this Friday, Dec. 17, 2010 file photo, moon jellyfish are pictured in an aquarium of the O …Nuclear power plants need a constant flow of water to cool their reactor and turbine systems, which is why many such plants are built near large bodies of water.Marine biologists, meanwhile, say they would not be surprised if more jellyfish shutdowns occur in the future.”It’s true that there seems to be more and more of these extreme cases of blooming jellyfish,” said Lene Moller, a researcher at the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment. „But it’s very difficult to say if there are more jellyfish, because there is no historical data.”The species that caused the Oskarshamn shutdown is known as the common moon jellyfish.”It’s one of the species that can bloom in extreme areas that . . . are overfished or have bad conditions,” said Moller. „The moon jelly likes these types of waters. They don’t care if there are algae blooms, they don’t care if the oxygen concentration is low. The fish leave . . . and (the moon jelly) can really take over the ecosystem.”Moller said the biggest problem was that there’s no monitoring of jellyfish in the Baltic Sea to produce the data that scientists need to figure out how to tackle the issue.
Santa Monica plane crash: 4 bodies found in wreckage
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View galleryGreenpeace ship „Arctic Sunrise” (C) is seen anchored outside the Arctic port city of Murmansk, on the …By Steve Gutterman MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian authorities charged Greenpeace activists from several nations with piracy on Wednesday over a protest against Arctic oil drilling at a platform owned by the state-controlled energy company Gazprom, the environmental group said.The piracy charges, which Greenpeace said were absurd, are punishable by up to 15 years in prison.The federal Investigative Committee said authorities had begun charging 30 people arrested after the protest last month, in which a Greenpeace icebreaker approached the Prirazlomnaya platform and two activists tried to scale the rig – a crucial part of Russia’s effort to mine Arctic resources.By midday, five people had been charged, Greenpeace said – Brazilian crew member Ana Paula Alminhana, Russian activist Roman Dolgov, Finnish activist Sini Saarela, British freelance videographer Kieron Bryan, and Dima Litvinov, an activist with Swedish and U.S. citizenship.”It is an extreme and disproportionate charge,” Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said.”A charge of piracy is being laid against men and women whose only crime is to be possessed of a conscience. This is an outrage and represents nothing less than an assault on the very principle of peaceful protest.”A court in the northern city of Murmansk last week ordered all 30 people from 18 countries who had been aboard the Greenpeace icebreaker Arctic Sunrise to be held in custody for two months pending further investigation.The Investigative Committee said authorities had begun to charge the activists on Wednesday but gave no details.The environmental group says the protest was peaceful and posed no threat, and that piracy charges have no merit in international or Russian law.President Vladimir Putin said last week the protesters were clearly not pirates but they had violated international law.The Investigative Committee said on Monday peaceful aims would not justify what it has called an „attack” that posed a threat to the platform and its personnel.Prirazlomnaya, Russia’s first offshore oil rig in the Arctic, is slated to start operating by the end of the year and is expected to reach peak production of 6 million tonnes per year (120,000 barrels per day) in 2019.Russia, whose slowing economy is heavily reliant on income from energy exports, hopes Arctic oil and gas will help fuel future growth.Putin, whose current term ends in 2018, has described Arctic shipping and development and last moth announced plans to reopen a Soviet-era military base in the region.Greenpeace says scientific evidence shows any oil spill from Prirazlomnaya, in the Pechora Sea, would affect more than 3,000 miles of Russia’s northern coastline.Naidoo called Russia’s treatment of the protesters „the most serious threat to Greenpeace’s peaceful environmental activism” since its ship Rainbow Warrior was bombed and sunk while in port in New Zealand in 1985, when the group was protesting French nuclear testing in the Pacific.(Additional reporting by Maria Tsvetkova; Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Timothy Heritage and Angus MacSwan)
Algeria seizes 127 tonnes of hashish in 8 monthsView galleryA picture released by French customs on February 14, 2013 cannabis resin seized on February 10, 2013 near the Spanish border (AFP Photo/)45 minutes ago AlgeriaAlgiers (AFP) – Algeria has seized more than 127 tonnes of cannabis smuggled from Morocco in the first eight months of 2013, the head of the narcotics squad announced on Wednesday.”In total, 127,098.875 kilos of cannabis resin… were seized in the first eight months of 2013,” said Mohamed Zouggar, cited by official media.Zouggar said all the cannabis seized by the Algerian authorities came from Morocco.During the same period, 764,333 psychotropic pills of different kinds were picked up and more than 12,500 people implicated in the illegal drugs trade were arrested.Hashish hauls are a regular occurrence in Algeria, with its western neighbour being one of the top cannabis producers worldwide and Europe’s main source.The drug is frequently smuggled across the border, officially closed since 1994, either for export or for local consumption, while subsidised Algerian fuel is smuggled into Morocco.In 2012, more than 157 tonnes of cannabis were sized in Algeria, compared with 53 tonnes in 2011, according to official figures.In June, Algiers heavily beefed up security along its western frontier, after calling for Rabat’s help in combatting illegal cross-border trade.
Zimbabwe: Poachers poison 91 elephantsView galleryIn this Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013 photo, workers look at a rotting elephant carcass, in Hwange National Park , Zimbabwe. The stench of rotting elephant carcasses hangs in the air in northwestern Zimbabwe where wildlife officials say at least 91 animals have been poisoned with cyanide by poachers who hack off the tusks for the lucrative illegal ivory market. Wildlife officials now say at least 91 animals have been poisoned with cyanide by poachers who hack off the tusks for the lucrative illegal ivory market. Officials say cyanide used in gold mining was spread by poachers over the flat salt pans around water holes. (AP Photo)TENDAI MUSIYA 22 hours ago EnvironmentNatureHWANGE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The stench of rotting elephant carcasses hangs in the air in western Zimbabwe, where wildlife officials say at least 91 elephants were poisoned with cyanide by poachers who hack off the tusks for the lucrative illegal ivory market.Massive bones, some already bleached by the blistering sun in the Hwange National Park, litter the landscape around one remote watering hole where 18 carcasses were found. Officials say cyanide used in gold mining was spread by poachers over flat „salt pans,” also known as natural, mineral-rich salt licks. They say lions, hyenas and vultures have died from feeding on contaminated carcasses or drinking nearby.”The magnitude of what we are witnessing today is much higher than what has occurred previously,” environment minister Saviour Kasukuwere told reporters on a trip to the park Monday.Cyanide attacks the bloodstream, kills almost instantly and causes rapid decomposition. Most of the poisoned elephants died in the past month. The chemical is commonly used by illegal gold panners to separate the metal from surrounding ore and is easily available.Nine suspected poachers have been arrested this month after the biggest, most brutal poaching spree on record. Three men were sentenced to up to 16 years in jail. The Hwange park, stretching over 14,000 square kilometers (5,400 square miles), has one of the highest concentrations of elephants in Africa.Kasukuwere, newly appointed to the environment ministry after disputed elections won by longtime President Robert Mugabe in July, said Zimbabwe will intensify efforts to campaign among world nations — including Asia, where there is the highest demand for ivory — to curb a trade declared illegal by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.Tusks of the poisoned elephants are thought to have been smuggled into neighboring South Africa through illicit syndicates that pay desperately poor poachers a fraction of the $1,500 a kilogram (2.2 pounds) that ivory can fetch on the black market.”We will cooperate with international organizations such as Interpol to crack down on the pay masters. So the war is on, it’s a war which we will win, we are not going to surrender,” Kasukuwere said.The state Environmental Management Authority is planning to burn the elephant carcasses and call in experts to detoxify the affected areas, beginning with digging out the salt licks and removing the top layers of soil contaminated by the cyanide granules.Officials believe at least two deeply drilled wells supplying the water holes may have also been contaminated and will likely have to be sealed. New wells will probably be drilled away from the tainted ones.”We will drill more boreholes in the park because these criminals target areas where there is a shortage of water,” said Kasukuwere.But Zimbabwe’s cash-strapped wildlife and environment authorities say they are underfunded, understaffed and poorly equipped because of the nation’s troubled economy.Kasukuwere said Hwange park, Africa’s third largest wildlife sanctuary after the Serengeti in Tanzania and South Africa’s Kruger National Park, has only about 150 rangers and few fully operational off-road vehicles for an expanse that ideally should have a staff of at least 700.Nor can authorities afford to maintain helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft spotter patrols. The environment minister said officials have begun to work with local village communities on the fringe of the park to report the presence of cyanide and that four kilograms (eight pounds) of the deadly poison have so far been recovered.Grown elephants, the world largest living land mammal, eat about 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of vegetative fodder a day. In the current dry season they drink water at the pans, where the salt and other minerals left by evaporation make them thirstier.Soaring vultures, wildlife rangers say, are often the first sign visible from considerable distances of an illegal kill by poachers in a nature preserve.This time in Zimbabwe, scores of vultures, the first predators at a kill, have died from the cyanide. Rangers say their absence makes the ecological impact of the poisonings much harder to fight and control.___Associated Press correspondent Angus Shaw in Harare contributed to this report.
World hungry drop to one in eight people: UNView gallery October 1, 2013 5:50 AM Rome (AFP) – The number of world hungry has dropped to one in eight people, making the goal of halving hunger by 2015 possible despite continued problems in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, the UN food agency said Tuesday.At the global level, 842 million people — 12 percent of the world’s population — did not have enough food for an active and healthy life, down from 868 million for the period 2010 to 2012.The Rome-based Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) said it now appeared possible to attain the United Nations Millenium Development Goal of halving world hunger from its 1990 level by 2015.A FAO report said the main reasons were higher economic growth in developing countries, an increase in farm productivity rates and more private and public investments in agriculture.It also said that remittances from emigrants, which have risen to three times higher than development aid globally, were helping improve diets in countries like Bangladesh and Tajikistan.View gallery.”Parents feed their malnourished children with enriched milk on March 21, 2012 at a hospital run by t …”With a final push in the next couple of years, we can still reach the MDG target,” FAO director Jose Graziano da Silva said, along with the heads of the UN rural poverty and UN food aid agencies.”Policies aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity and increasing food availability, especially when smallholders are targeted, can achieve hunger reduction even where poverty is widespread,” they said in the report.The report said 62 countries have already reached the target of halving the proportion of hunger.Despite overall progress, marked differences across regions persist, the report said.”Africa remains the region with the highest prevalence of undernourishment, with more than one in five people estimated to be undernourished,” it found.View gallery.”A malnourished Muslim Rohingya child sits at a school sheltering internally displaced people in the …Sub-Saharan Africa is currently performing the worst on the hunger scale, though there has been some improvement over the last two decades, with hunger declining from 32.7 percent to 24.8 percent.In terms of numbers rather than percentages, Southern Asia had the highest number of undernourished people — 295 million — followed by Sub-Saharan Africa with 223 million and Eastern Asia with 167 million, the report said.Progress in Northern Africa, which has been impacted by the economic fall-out from the Arab Spring revolutions, has been slow.Western Asia meanwhile showed no progress in tackling undernourishment: while there are fewer people going hungry here than in other parts of the region, the level of undernourishment has risen steadily since the 1990 to 1992 period.The FAO said there had, however, been significant reductions in the estimated number of people going hungry in Latin America and Eastern Asia.The most rapid progress was recorded in fast-growing economies of South-Eastern Asia, where since 1990 the proportion of hungry people has dropped from 31.1 percent to 10.7 percent.”Those that have experienced conflict during the past two decades are more likely to have seen significant setbacks in reducing hunger,” FAO said.
„Landlocked countries face persistent challenges in accessing world markets, while countries with poor infrastructure and weak institutions face additional constraints,” it added.
As a whole, FAO said the total number of undernourished in developing countries had fallen since 1990-1992 by 17 percentage points from 995.5 million to the current level of 826.6 million.
Why The Weather Channel is Naming Winter Storms
Published: Oct 2, 2013, 3:04 PM EDT weather.comMario Tama/Getty Images For the second year in a row, The Weather Channel will be naming winter storms that fit certain criteria.Winter weather can bring freezing temperatures, flooding, power outages, travel disruptions and other inconveniences caused by snow and ice storms. These can be life-threatening situations if the proper precautions are not taken in the hours and days leading up to a winter storm’s arrival.Play VideoWinter Storm ForecastThe decision to begin naming storms came about as part of The Weather Channel’s program to find the best possible ways to communicate severe weather information on all distribution platforms, including social media.Hashtags are an intrinsic part of social media, and a storm name proved to be the best way to efficiently and systematically convey storm information. Storm-name hashtags have been used with tropical storms and hurricanes for years, and Winter Storm Nemo’s billion-plus impressions on Twitter last winter demonstrated that the same system is ideal for winter storms as well.“Our first year of naming storms proved that it worked, and we were thrilled with the result,” said Bryan Norcross, meteorologist and storm specialist at The Weather Channel. “The winter storm names enabled simpler and more focused communications around forecasts and preparedness information on The Weather Channel and in other media outlets, and during the big storms like Nemo, the names became a handy way for the public to receive and exchange information.”The storm names for 2013-14 are derived from lists created by students at Bozeman High School in Bozeman, Mont., as an assignment in Latin class and are primarily from Greek and Roman mythology.(MORE: See the Full List of Winter Storm Names for the Upcoming Season)Improving communications is a key part of The Weather Channel’s core mission to keep the public safe and informed in severe-weather events. During the winter months, many people are impacted by freezing temperatures, flooding, power outages, travel disruptions and other impacts caused by snow and ice storms. The storm-naming program raises awareness and reduces the risks, danger and confusion for residents in the storms’ paths.Along with naming storms, during the 2012-13 winter storm season The Weather Channel also introduced a new Winter Impact Index called STORM:CON — a scientific, point-based winter weather index that provides, on a scale of one to 10, the potential impacts for major U.S. cities in the path of the storm. To create this index, several factors are considered, including the forecast of the storm’s duration, time of day, day of the week, proximity to a previous significant winter event and whether it occurs early or late in the season. The final index number provides an indication of the impact a winter storm will have on a particular city.MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Iconic Images of Each 2012-13 Named Winter Storm
Winter Storm Athena
Winter Storm Atlas Forecast: Snow to Impact Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Western Nebraska
Published: Oct 2, 2013, 3:10 PM EDT weather.com
When You Could See Season’s First Snow (INTERACTIVE)
Andy Cox and Jon Erdman Published: Oct 2, 2013, 3:01 PM EDT weather.com
Winter Storm Atlas Forecast: Snow to Impact Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Western Nebraska
Winter Storm Atlas will wring out wet snow, heavy for some, in parts of the northern Rockies and parts of the northern Plains.
Winter Weather Watch
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Our team of meteorologists, led by winter weather expert Tom Niziol, brings you the latest discussion on winter weather threats across the country.
See The Weather Channel’s complete list of winter storm names for the 2013-14 season.
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Winter Storm Forecast
2013-2014 Winter Storms