3 Amtrak Trains With Hundreds of Passengers Stranded Since Monday
By ANTHONY CASTELLANO | Good Morning America – 1 hour 26 minutes ago
Superlatives of cold-talk abounded, even in midwestern states used to chest-high snow and bitter cold, as the National Weather Service said the deep freeze was making its way east.Air travel was a nightmare, stranding many travelers trying to head home from year’s end holidays.More than 4,300 US flights were canceled Monday — nearly half of those in Chicago — and more than 6,500 were delayed, according to FlightAware, a flight-monitoring site.Airline JetBlue said it was reducing operations at four airports in the bustling northeast corridor — JFK, La Guardia, Newark and Boston — until 10:00 am (0300 GMT) Tuesday.More than a dozen deaths were blamed on the frigid weather.A shift in a weather pattern known as the „polar vortex” triggered a drastic drop in temperatures to lows not seen in two decades.It coincided with wind chill warnings in much of the east of the country.Comertown, Montana, recorded the lowest wind chill value so far at -63 Fahrenheit (-53 Celsius) while North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota were not much warmer.That was significantly colder than the South Pole, which recorded a wind chill reading of -29 Fahrenheit.In Minneapolis, Minnesota, where people scoff when cities like Washington, D.C. panic and shut down with even a moderate snowfall, the newspaper The Star Tribune gave a graphic description of what happens when, for instance, the overnight temperature Monday hit 23 below Fahrenheit.”The windchill and cold are freezing exposed flesh in five minutes,” it said.The paper said life has „slowed to a crawl across the state.””It’s a blistering cold spell destined for Minnesota winter weather lore,” it added.Even the typically temperate Deep South was feeling the chill with a hard freeze warning threatening crops and livestock.Early Tuesday in Washington, DC, the temperature was a relatively mild 12 degrees Fahrenheit early Tuesday, but blustery winds blew leaves and trash swirling in the air.Deaths blamed on the frigid weather included a 71-year-old woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease who froze to death after getting lost in New York state.The body of a 90-year-old woman was found face down in the snow next to her car in Ohio on Monday morning, the Toledo Blade reported.At least a dozen other people were reportedly killed in crashes on icy roads, including four people whose sport utility vehicle slid off a rural Minnesota highway and fell into the Mississippi River.Four Chicago men aged 48 to 63 died of apparent heart attacks while shoveling the snow over the weekend, the Chicago Tribune reported.The cold snap came after two massive winter storms snarled travel, grounded thousands of flights and dumped as much as two feet (60 centimeters) of snow in the first few days of the year.Chicago was among scores of towns and cities which told parents to keep their children at home rather than risk sending them out into winds so bitter that skin could freeze in a matter of minutes.The governor of Minnesota canceled school across the entire state on Monday.Illinois Governor Pat Quinn declared a state of emergency and called up the National Guard to help rescue stranded motorists as high winds whipped up blinding snow.”We are facing a dangerous combination of low temperatures, black ice and snow drifts,” Quinn said, as he urged people to stay off the roads.Quinn praised the „heroic” efforts of National Guard troops who cleared a 375-vehicle backup and a forestry officer who rescued seven stranded people and two of their pets using a snowmobile.In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, officials warned residents to stay indoors and urged schools to shut down as temperatures dropped to -12 Fahrenheit, with the wind chill making it feel like -37.”Police are reaching out to homeless citizens in order to help them find the nearest shelter,” city spokeswoman Sarah DeRoo told AFP.Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard barred everyone except emergency workers from driving at the height of the storm Sunday and urged residents to stay indoors unless absolutely necessary on Monday.”This extreme cold poses a serious health and safety risk,” he warned.But with thousands of people without power after electrical lines were felled, home was not always the best option.Those who couldn’t stay with family or friends were urged to seek out community centers which were opened as temporary shelters.The extreme cold disrupted flights and classes in Canada as well. In the Atlantic island province of Newfoundland, more than 30,000 people were without power.Nationwide, officials warned of „treacherous” travel conditions, but meteorologists said a warming trend would begin mid-week.
Aside From Really Cold, What’s A Polar Vortex?
18 hours agoThe blue flames at the Kawah Ijen Volcano, Java, Indonesia. (Photo by Olivier Grunewald)The Mystery of the Blue Flames – Kawah Ijen Volcano, Indonesia
18 hours agoThe night of the Serfdom of Sulphur, Kawah Ijen Volcano, Java, Indonesia. (Photo by Olivier Grunewald)The Mystery of the Blue Flames – Kawah Ijen Volcano, Indonesia
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The night of the Serfdom of Sulphur, Kawah Ijen Volcano, Java, Indonesia. (Photo by Olivier Grunewald)The Mystery of the Blue Flames – Kawah Ijen Volcano, Indonesia
SpaceX launches second commercial satellite
The private firm’s two-stage Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 2206 GMT, carrying with it the Thaicom 6 telecommunications satellite.Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX, confirmed on Twitter that Thaicom 6 had been delivered „to a perfect orbit.”Thaicom 6, which belongs to satellite operator Thaicom, will provide services to Southeast Asia and parts of Africa.SpaceX successfully launched its first commercial satellite on December 3pp for Luxembourg company SES, which had previously used European Ariane rockets or the Russian Proton for its launches.The SES-8 satellite was due to provide television, cable TV and other services to countries including Thailand, India and Vietnam.With Monday’s second successful launch, SpaceX seems to be making its mark in the commercial satellite launch business, estimated to be worth $190 billion.Its orders amount to $4 billion for 50 launches, 75 percent of which are for commercial satellites.This second successful launch is also important as SpaceX seeks to be considered a serious candidate by the Pentagon for launching large military satellites.These launches are currently reserved for the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing.It takes at least three successful launches to qualify.Both Monday’s and last month’s launches used an improved version of the Falcon 9.The Falcon 9 has already succeeded in sending its Dragon capsules to the International Space Station under a $1.6 billion contract with the US space agency, NASA.The Dragon capsule takes cargo into space and brings back material from scientific experiments.The California-based SpaceX is owned by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk.
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Three Minke whales are pictured on the deck of the Japanese whaling vessel Nisshin Maru inside what Sea Shepherd Australia says is an internationally recognised whale sanctuary in this handout image dated January 5, 2014. Aerial footage released by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society appeared to show the bloodied remains of three minke whales on board the Japanese factory ship Nisshin Maru as it sailed in the Southern Ocean. The group said it had information that a fourth whale had also been killed. (REUTERS/Tim Watters/Sea Shepherd Australia/Handout via Reuters)Three Minke whales are pictured on the deck of the Japanese whaling vessel Nisshin Maru in what is claimed by Sea Shepherd Australia to be an internationally recognised whale sanctuary
For the first time, China crushes 6 metric tonnes of ivory in public
DONGGUAN/HONG KONG (Reuters) – China crushed 6.2 metric tonnes (6.83 tons) of confiscated ivory on Monday in the first such public destruction of any part of its stockpile, after the country’s fitful enforcement efforts led experts to question its commitment to stamping out smuggling.Animal rights groups say China’s growing appetite for the contraband material has fuelled a surge in poaching in Africa.Monday’s event was attended by representatives of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), non-government groups and the media.”China is sending a very powerful message both domestically, to the Chinese people, and internationally, that it is not prepared to tolerate the illegal trade in elephant ivory,” said CITES Secretary General John Scanlon.The function, held on the outskirts of a southern industrial city, featured elephant tusks placed in the shape of a flower on an outdoor stage, surrounded by ivory statues of the Buddha.View galleryPolice officers stand guard next to ivory and ivory sculptures before they are destroyed in Dongguan …But China, ranked as the world’s biggest end-market for poached ivory by conservation body the World Wildlife Fund, still has work to do, some anti-smuggling officials said.”There is an increasing trend of ivory being smuggled to China,” said Yang Liuying, an anti-smuggling researcher for the Chinese customs department.”We have to strengthen our efforts in this area. I can say that there is a 10 percent increase every year.”China has been making products from elephant ivory for almost 5,000 years, an official of the country’s Endangered Species Import and Export Management Office told official news agency Xinhua in November.Crushed tusks also have a small role in traditional Chinese medicine.View galleryA police officer stands guard next to ivory and ivory sculptures before they are destroyed in Donggu …Although China signed the CITES pact banning global trade in ivory in 1981, it got an exemption from the body in 2008 to buy 62 tonnes of ivory from several African nations. It releases a portion of that stockpile each year to government-licensed ivory carving factories.China has said the factories only use ivory acquired legally, and in no way encourage or worsen the problem of elephant poaching in Africa.Although China has said it will jail convicted ivory smugglers for life, it has stopped short of saying it will ban the trade outright.Demand for ivory has grown along with growth in China’s population and economy, conservation group Save the Elephants said in a statement.China faced pressure last spring when it was one of eight Asian and African countries identified by CITES as a primary source, transit or import country for illegal ivory, and was asked to submit a plan outlining how it would better address regulation and enforcement.About 22,000 elephants were illegally killed in 2012, a CITES monitoring program showed. The total population of African elephants is now estimated at between 420,000 and 650,000.Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China and a major transit point for illegal ivory, is due to discuss disposal plans for its stockpile of more than 32.6 tonnes of seized ivory on January 23.(Reporting by Clare Baldwin, Venus Wu and Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)View galleryA police officer (L) stands guard as workers destroy confiscated ivory in Dongguan, Guangdong provin …
Swirling ‘Polar Vortex’ Over Northern US Seen From Space
A whirling onslaught of frigid air, known as a polar vortex, moves menacingly over the northern United States in a new photo from a weather satellite in orbit.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-East satellite snapped the telling photo today (Jan. 6) at 11:01 a.m. EST (1601 GMT). In the image, the polar vortex is pushing southward over western Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota, blasting half of the continental United States with chilly Arctic air.The polar vortex is a sprawling area of low pressure typically found over both the North and South poles, according to NASA. The northern polar vortex typically circulates from west to east in the Arctic during winter, but a high-pressure system parked over Greenland and Canada has pushed the cold air into the United States. This is causing air temperatures to drop across the northern U.S., and the Arctic air is being felt as far south as Atlanta.Yesterday, the swirling polar vortex caused a staggering temperature difference of 140 degrees Fahrenheit (77 degrees Celsius) across the country, from North Dakota to Florida. The polar vortex is expected to move northward back over Canada near the end of the week, NASA officials said in a statement.The GOES-East satellite also captured a frontal system along the U.S. East Coast. Additionally, a blanket of snow can be seen covering Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa and Missouri, with patches spreading into the Great Plains.The clouds visible over Texas are part of a low-pressure system currently sitting over western Oklahoma, which is tied to the cold front triggered by the movement of the polar vortex, according to NASA officials.The northern and southern polar vortexes develop and strengthen in their respective hemispheres’ winters, as the sun sets over the poles and temperatures cool. The Arctic polar vortex has already moved southward several times this winter, NASA officials said.The satellite photo was created as part of NASA’s GOES Project, which is located at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.Follow Denise Chow on Twitter @denisechow. Follow LiveScience @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.
Rare ‘Frost Quake’ Rattles Toronto and Across Ontario
By Becky Kellogg Published: Jan 7, 2014, 7:58 AM EST weather.comPlay VideoLife-Threatening ColdIt’s so cold the ground is shaking in Canada. Toronto residents were awakened from their sleep a few nights ago by loud booms and shaking. It wasn’t an earthquake as many originally assumed. Instead, it was what’s known as a „frost quake,” or cryoseism.A frost quake is a rare weather occurrence that happens when temperatures fall to cold extremes, causing water in the ground to freeze. As that underground ice expands, it causes the soil and rock to crack, which produces the booms and shaking similar to an earthquake.
(MORE: The Science of Frost Quakes)The most recent frost quake was felt in Toronto and the eastern half of Canada on Jan. 3.”Cryoseisms are very locally felt,” said Dr. Jon Ebel, senior research scientist at Weston Observatory at Boston College. „Just a few miles away, people won’t notice it. But people right next to it will feel it.Extreme cold temperatures are required for a frost quake, so reports of them in the United States are relatively rare. We found reports of frost quakes in Maine from 2000 to 2005. A frost quake in 2003 left a 70-foot wide crack in the concrete cellar floor of a home in Phillips, Maine according to the Maine Geological Survey.”Sometimes it will crack plaster and knock loose objects off walls,“ said Ebel.Ebel said cryoseisms has been documented in northern New England and Alaska. The so-called season for frost quakes isshort.(MORE: Life-Threatening Cold Invades Eastern U.S.)„We never see the reports before late December or early January,” said Ebel. „You have to have enough frost in the ground before a cryoseism can happen. Usually we don’t hear about them after March.”MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Winter Storm Ion Blankets U.S. with Snow, Bitter Cold1 / 37The Chicago skyline and a freezing Lake Michigan are seen from the Museum Campus in Chicago on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
U.S. Climber Killed on Mexican Volcano
Published: Jan 7, 2014, 8:50 AM EST Associated Press
Picture of the Pico de Orizaba, looking northwest from Fortín de las Flores, Veracruz. (Lavintzin/David Tuggy/Wikimedia Commons)BOCA DEL RIO, Mexico — A Mexican official says an American climber has died on Mexico’s tallest mountain after slipping on an icy slope and falling about 300 feet.Play VideoLiving in Shadow of a VolcanoCharles King, 25, was scaling the Pico de Orizaba, an 18,941-foot peak that straddles the states of Puebla and Veracruz, when he and three companions fell at a height of around 15,000 feet.Ricardo Maza Limon, head of civil protection emergency services for Veracruz state, says King’s body had to be physically lowered to 12,000 feet in order for a helicopter to transport it out of the area.King was climbing with another American and two Guatemalans.(MORE: World’s 20 Most Amazing Volcanoes)Maza says the three fell around 90 feet and were only lightly hurt.MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Photographer Gets Up Close and Personal with Volcanoes1 / 26Pu’u O’o vent summit cone of Kilauea in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. © G. Brad Lewis
U.K. Hit by High Winds After Month of Wintry Weather
Published: Jan 7, 2014, 9:24 AM EST Associated Press1 / 162South Wales, U.K.People watch and photograph enormous waves as they break, on Porthcawl harbour, South Wales, Monday Jan. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/PA, Ben Birchall) LONDON — What used to be Winter Storm Hercules has moved across the Atlantic and is now hammering the United Kingdom with high winds and winter weather.. Britain’s western coast is being lashed by high winds and strong rains following a month of unusually frequent winter storms.A steady procession of storms has battered the island nation over the past few weeks, making December the windiest since 1969. Monster waves up to 27 feet (8.3 meters) high washed across the British coast on Monday, prompting evacuations and rescues.Play Video‘COLDEST Wind Chill I’ve Ever Reported In'”This latest storm actually originated as Winter Storm Hercules in the U.S. just after the New Year’s holiday,” said weather.com Senior Meteorologist Jon Erdman.(MORE: Dangerously Cold Temperatures Hit U.S.)The nearly non-stop storms have crumbled long-standing sea cliffs and damaged waterfronts.”It’s been one after the other with no break,” Nicola Maxey, a spokeswoman for Britain’s Meteorological Office, said Tuesday.More than 100 flood warnings remain across England and Wales.”This latest Atlantic storm will slowly wind down and weaken over the Norwegian Sea off Scandinavia through Tuesday, giving way to a well-deserve reprieve from the stormy barrage the rest of the work week,” said Erdman.Heavy winds and rain have also battered the French coast, driving large waves into southwestern town of Biarritz on Tuesday.MORE: Photos from Winter Storm Hercules1 / 282Hercules Satellite ImageThis image taken on January 3, 2014 by the Suomi NPP satellite shows the blanket of snow that stretches from the Midwest across to New England after a massive winter storm moved over the region on January 1-3, 2014. (Source: NASA/NOAA)
Global Disasters Killed More, Cost Less in 2013
Published: Jan 7, 2014, 8:36 AM EST Associated Press1 / 498A Filipino man walks in a puddle of water at a neighborhood ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, Philippines, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)BERLIN — The German insurance company Munich Re says natural diasasters like Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines caused more than twice as many deaths last year than in 2012. About 20,000 people died in natural disasters in 2013.Play VideoTyphoon Sends Car TumblingMost of the deaths resulted from Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines, Vietnam and China in November with a loss of almost 6,100 lives. This was followed by floods in India that killed about 5,500 people in June.Munich Re’s annual disasters report released Tuesday found that the economic cost of natural catastrophes was lower last year.Some 880 events cost about $125 billion, with insured losses of $31 billion. This compares with costs of $173 billion and insured losses of $65 billion in 2012.(MORE: Floods, Wild Waves Hit United Kingdom)The costliest natural disasters were summer hailstorms in Germany, floods in Central Europe, and storms and tornadoes in the United States.MORE ON WEATHER.COM: 2013 Ends on a Stormy Note in Europe1 / 21
A council sign sits in flood water on a road near Lingfield on December 27, 2013 in England. (Getty/Peter Macdiarmid)
Army Corps Proposes Alternatives to Protect Lakes
John Flesher Published: Jan 7, 2014, 8:32 AM EST Associated Press2(AP Photo/John Flesher, File)TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — A federal agency sent Congress a list of alternatives Monday for shielding the Great Lakes from an invasion by Asian carp that could devastate native fish, including construction projects in Chicago waterways that could cost more than $18 billion and take 25 years to complete.The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers declined to endorse a single plan after studying the matter since 2009, disappointing sponsors of legislation that ordered the agency to move faster. Instead, the Corps provided a 232-page analysis with eight possible approaches.Two would place dams in the Chicago waterway system to seal off Lake Michigan from the carp-infested Mississippi River watershed. Environmentalists and five states that unsuccessfully sued the Corps in federal court favor that approach, while Illinois, Indiana and local shipping interests oppose it.(MORE: 6 Feet of Snow Ahead?)Play VideoDeadly Cold Grips NationOther proposals would use different mixtures of equipment and technology, including construction of additional electric fish barriers and a new type of navigational lock that would treat water to remove floating plants and fish as vessels move through the system.Bighead and silver carp are a big concern for the Great Lakes because they could threaten a fishing industry valued at $7 billion a year. Also, silver carp are notorious for springing from the water when disturbed by motorboats and colliding with their occupants, posing a risk to outdoor recreation.Dave Wethington of the Corps’ Chicago district office, project manager for the study, said battling invasive species is „a shared responsibility” that will require support from Congress and state governments, which would have to settle on a strategy and provide the money.”We’re providing this information to the decision-makers,” Wethington said in a phone conference. „We are standing by to move forward to the next step.”The Great Lakes and Mississippi watersheds share a boundary nearly 1,500 miles long. But the study focused on a network of rivers and canals in and near Chicago with five direct links between the two giant drainage basins, considered the likeliest route by which Asian carp could reach the lakes.The Chicago waterways are connected to the Illinois River, where a large carp population has advanced to within 55 miles of Lake Michigan. The Corps says an electric barrier 37 miles from the lake is preventing any individuals from slipping through. Scientists have detected Asian carp DNA in dozens of water samples past the barrier, although whether they came from live fish remains in dispute.The Corps said the measures in its report could shut down pathways for 13 potential animal and plant attackers, from the bloody red shrimp to reed sweetgrass and a deadly fish virus. But public and congressional interest is riveted on bighead and silver carp – voracious Asian fish imported in the early 1970s to gobble algae in Deep South fish ponds and sewage plants.They escaped during floods and have migrated up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers and tributaries in more than two dozen states. Scientists say they can destabilize ecosystems by devouring plankton, a vital link in aquatic food chains.(MORE: 50 States Biggest Snow Days)Play VideoCentral ForecastU.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, and Rep. Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, said the Corps should have picked one approach and developed it more thoroughly. They favor separating the two watersheds and sponsored a bill that would do that.”The only real solution that will truly protect the Great Lakes is the complete separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River,” said Rep. Candice Miller, a Michigan Republican.Two options in the Corps’ report would achieve that by placing barriers along the Lake Michigan waterfront or farther inland. Both would severely disrupt commercial shipping and pollute the lake by preventing Chicago sewer discharges from flowing downstream as they do now, the report said.Two other alternatives would use barriers to cut off some of the aquatic pathways while deploying additional electric barriers, screened gates, locks and water treatment plants.The options achieving the greatest degrees of physical separation tend to be most expensive and time-consuming, with costs reaching $15 billion to $18.4 billion and a 25-year timetable. That’s because they would require extensive reworking of Chicago’s flood-control and sewage treatment systems in addition to building the dams, Wethington said.The report also offers two middle-of-the-road alternatives that would maintain the waterway system’s current shipping operations. One could be carried out in 10 years and cost $7.8 billion, a relative bargain. It would create a „buffer zone” with a series of control technologies.Aside from doing nothing new, the cheapest approach would step up use of existing measures such as netting carp and treating the water with chemicals, at a cost of $68 million a year.American Waterways Operators, a group representing barges and tugboats in the Chicago area, said the report makes clear that physical separation „is neither economically feasible nor will it be effective at eliminating all identified pathways for the spread of invasive species, including Asian carp.”MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Largest American Freshwater Fish1 / 16Circa 1998: White sturgeon caught in the Russian River, Cali. (Schmiebel/Wikimedia Commons)
Harbin Cultural Center in Northeast China Rises Like a Snow-Covered Mountain (PHOTOS)
By Jess Baker Published: Jan 7, 2014, 7:23 AM EST weather.com1 / 23A rendering of the Harbin Cultural Center shows how it appears to be a snow covered mountain. (Image: MAD Architects)Show ThumbnailsLocated along the Songhua River in northern China you’ll find Harbin, a city that celebrates its downright frigid winters.(WATCH: It Happened in a Flash!)As Beijing-based MAD architects designed the city’s new cultural center, the architects felt strongly about weaving the area’s natural habitat into the new complex, hoping „to join culture, art and nature in an integrated environment.”The Harbin Cultural Center will include a theater, a recreation center, a square and a wetland park. The exterior will be made with pure white aluminum and white stone. When you get a glimpse of the architect’s renderings, it’s clear to see how the new buildings will come together to look like a large, snow-covered mountain, rising out of the distance.(PHOTOS: Harbin’s Stunning Ice Festival)”The architectural form is a continuation of the natural environment as it becomes part of the landscape,” MAD explains. „Walking along the landscape passage, visitors are able to appreciate the surrounding cultural and natural landscape. Atop the highest point of these buildings, visitors are able to enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding scenery as if they are on top of a mountain.”(MORE: Turn Extra Snow into THIS)The project is close to completion, and is set to be ready for a summer concert in July 2014. MAD is sharing renderings and construction photos with weather.com in the slideshow above. You can learn more about the project on their website.MORE ON WEATHER.COM: See How Winter ShinesPlay Video
Roads, Schools Closed as Big Storm Hits Western New York
Published: Jan 7, 2014, 8:00 AM EST Associated Press0When Boiling Water Meets -41°BUFFALO, N.Y. — Roads, highways and schools are closed across western New York as a blizzard slamming the region dumps an estimated 15 to 18 inches of snow in some areas with about twice that amount expected before the storm ends.Meteorologist Bill Hippert of the National Weather Service in Buffalo says winds gusting up to 50 mph are reported along Lake Erie, where he says travel is „difficult if not impossible” Tuesday morning.(MORE: Check the Official Forecast for New York’s Upcoming Snow Event)A 65-mile stretch of the Thruway from Buffalo to the Pennsylvania border is closed and all entry ramps between Exit 55 and 61 are closed. Travel bans are in effect for much of western New York after Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for 14 counties.The weather service blizzard warning for the city of Buffalo and surrounding areas is in place until 6 a.m. Wednesday.MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Images of Winter Storm Ion1 / 37The Chicago skyline and a freezing Lake Michigan are seen from the Museum Campus in Chicago on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)