News Seattle is having its snowiest February in 70 years – and more is on the waySusan Miller•Seattle is having its snowiest February in 70 years – and more is on the way Hold on to your warm, woolen hats, Seattle: You are not out of the icebox yet.After a weekend snowstorm pummeled the normally mild Northwestern city – making this month the city’s snowiest February since 1949, according to AccuWeather – another one-two punch is expected this week.The next snowstorm is forecast to hit Sunday night, bringing 1-2 inches of snow, AccuWeather said, and another would pile on 3-6 inches Monday afternoon into Tuesday.The snow will ride a wave of record cold: High temperatures were expected in the upper 20s to low 30s, with wind chills from 17 to 22 degrees.The brutal weather has already wreaked havoc on a city more accustomed to rain than snow. Seattle normally averages only 0.7 inch of snow each February.”This February in Seattle is going to be remembered for brutal winter weather for many folks not used to it,” Weather.us meteorologist Ryan Maue said.The first weekend storm, which brought 6-10 inches of snow to the area, emptied grocery story shelves, shuttered schools and made travel treacherous. Portland, Oregon, was also hit with 4 inches of snow.More: ‘Brutal winter weather’: Snowstorm to paste Seattle for second time this weekAbout 400 flights were canceled at Seattle-Tacoma and Portland international airports over the weekend. A 20-mile stretch of Interstate 90 in central Washington was shut down because of snowdrifts amid blizzard conditions. About 50,000 people lost power.The new storms would not just be limited to Seattle, AccuWeather forecasters said, but would also target Portland, Bend and Pendleton, Oregon; and Yakima and Spokane, Washington.
Here are four scenes in Northeast Seattle on Sunday as the city braces for the next rounds of snowfall @brendankiley reports https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/weather/sunny-skies-belie-another-bout-of-winter-weather-ahead-for-puget-sound/ …
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in advance of the fierce weather on Friday. He joined local officials encouraging people to stay off the roads and to check on the elderly and vulnerable.
A man, 59, who may have been homeless was found dead from exposure Thursday near a train platform at a light rail station, the Seattle Times reported. Emergency shelters prepped more beds and outreach workers targeted the city’s hundreds of unsanctioned tent camps, the paper said.
The unusual weather was not all doom and gloom for some in the Pacific Northwest. During a break between storms, some Seattle residents flocked to neighborhood hills with skis, sleds, laundry baskets – and even a kayak.
“It’s just a wonderful community getting out here together in the snow. Great that we live by the school here with the hill,” Tony Muhlenkamp told KOMO-TV on Saturday.
Meanwhile, a winter storm battering Hawaii led to severe surf conditions, high-elevation snow and brisk winds, including 40 mph gusts. The National Weather Service warned residents on the islands’ north shores to be prepared for coastal flooding.
Contributing: Doyle Rice, USA TODAY; the Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Seattle is having its snowiest February in 70 years – and more is on the way
News Snowstorm buries Pacific Northwest, with more on the wayGENE JOHNSON•Cross country skiers travel on a street in Tacoma, Wash., the night of Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, during a storm that dropped inches of snow throughout the region and left trees and cars coated in snow and ice. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)SEATTLE (AP) — Residents of the Pacific Northwest took to neighborhood hills with skis, sleds or even just laundry baskets Saturday to celebrate an unusual dump of snow in a region more accustomed to winter rain.Some areas received more than a foot of snow, and meteorologists say more is on the way early next week. Hundreds of flights were canceled in Seattle and Portland, and heavy snow drifts closed major highways in eastern Washington. Around 50,000 people lost power.Residents cleared out grocery store shelves and left work early Friday afternoon as the storm arrived. More than a foot of snow (30.5 cm) was recorded by Saturday morning in some areas, including on the Olympic Peninsula, in the nation’s latest bout of winter weather.In Tacoma, hundreds of people turned out for a snowball fight in a park after someone who lives nearby suggested it on Facebook. They took cover behind picnic tables and used sleds as shields.”This is a perfect morning to bundle up and play in the snow, but stay off the roads if possible,” Gov. Jay Inslee wrote on Twitter.In central Washington, blowing snow and drifts 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 meters) deep forced the closure of U.S. 2 and Interstate 90. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office warned that snow drifts were blocking many roads. Airports in eastern Washington closed, and numerous car crashes were reported.”Snow conditions are worsening minute to minute, so don’t expect travel conditions to improve,” the sheriff’s office wrote.The National Weather Service said additional snow could fall Saturday, and another storm was expected early next week.About 180 people spent the night at an emergency shelter set up at Seattle Center, with officials going out again on Saturday to get other homeless residents to safety. Inslee declared a state of emergency over the storm. The state transportation department said crews had to clear several trees that had fallen across roads in the Tacoma area.In Portland, a tanker truck slid into a sport-utility vehicle on an interchange between Interstates 5 and 84 on Saturday, blocking the ramp for hours.Other parts of the country were also wrestling with difficult weather. Residents of Hawaii were bracing for coastal flooding amid extreme surf predictions. A California man died in rough waters off of Maui on Friday, Hawaii News Now reported.In California, more than 120 visitors and staff members were rescued Thursday after being trapped by up to 7 feet (2 meters) of snow in a Sierra Nevada resort for five days.Another winter storm was on the way to the region.In Yosemite National Park, as many as 50 housing structures near Half Dome Village were damaged by trees toppled during a snowstorm earlier this week, displacing more than 160 employees who provide food, lodging and other services for visitors.Elsewhere, more than 148,000 customers lost power in Michigan following days of freezing rain. The Consumers Energy utility said power would be restored by late Sunday.In Washington, about 50,000 people lost power. In Seattle, snowfall from Sunday and Monday lingered into the week as below-freezing temperatures gripped the area. A 59-year-old man died Thursday from exposure at a Seattle light rail station.Residents in Portland and Seattle who are more accustomed to rain than snow waited in long lines to buy shovels and de-icer.Autumn Sang was at a mobbed grocery store in Tualatin, Oregon, on Friday stocking up for the coming storm for herself and her neighbor, who is disabled and doesn’t have a car.Sang said she had never seen the store so crowded. She grew up in southern Oregon, where snow is more common, and wasn’t fazed by the forecast.”I love it. I’m excited about it,” she said of the snow. „I think that Portlanders, most of them are city people and they come from a lot of different places, so they’re not so used to it. It’s like, ‘Use your brain! If you don’t have to go out, don’t go out.’ „_Associated Press journalists Lisa Baumann in Seattle, Amanda Lee Myers in Los Angeles and Gillian Flaccus in Portland, Oregon, contributed to this report.
The main fire is believed to have been accidentally started by farm equipment
A large New Zealand wildfire is expected to burn for weeks longer but has moved away from some inhabited areas, allowing residents of an evacuated village to return home soon, firefighters said Monday.
About 3,000 inhabitants of Wakefield, just outside Nelson at the top of South Island, were ordered out Saturday as flames razed bushland within two kilometres (1.2 miles) of their homes.
The fire erupted early last week amid scorching conditions in the heavily forested area and by early Monday had swept through an estimated 2,300 hectares (5,700 acres).
Fire chief John Sutton said that although conditions had eased, the blaze remained unpredictable and it was too early to say it was under control.
„There’s still an enormous amount of heat there and there’s a lot of unburned areas,” he told reporters.
„So although we might be turning a corner, there will be firefighters working on that fire until well into March.”
Civil Defence regional chief Roger Ball said Wakefield residents could return home as early as Monday evening but the area was still under a state of emergency.
„Returning residents need to understand and accept that they need to be prepared to evacuate again if conditions change,” he said.
He said residents of valleys outside the village, which are much closer to the fire front, would have to remain in emergency accommodation until further notice.
The main fire is believed to have been accidentally started by farm equipment, although there have also been two minor blazes which police said were deliberately lit.
So far one home has been destroyed by the fire and there have been no reported deaths or injuries.
Thousands of Sydney homes were without power Saturday after severe storms hit Australia’s largest city, causing transport hold-ups, inundating vehicles with floodwater and delaying a national football match.
Heavy rains and lightning storms lashed parts of Sydney late Friday, with close to 60 millimetres (nearly two and a half inches) of rain falling in some areas.
In Sydney’s west, which experienced some flash flooding, one suburb saw nearly 42 millimetres fall in a short downpour lasting just 30 minutes.
„It was a slow-moving storm with that warm humid air moving along the coast… that allowed for that increase of moisture,” Byron Doyle from the New South Wales Bureau of meteorology told AFP.
Images of cars submerged in floodwaters on main roads, broken traffic lights and fallen trees circulated on social media.
Energy companies reported that more than 40,000 customers were affected by power outages at the peak of the storm overnight, with more than 5,000 still without power early Saturday.
Emergency services fielded over 1,000 requests for assistance, including nine flood rescues in the Sydney area.
The rescues were „all for vehicles in flood water,” a New South Wales state emergency services spokesperson told AFP.
Flights were delayed at Sydney’s airport, while the storm caused havoc on some of the city’s train lines.
The start of a national Australian rules football women’s match was delayed twice, pushed back 45 minutes as heavy rain and lightning pummelled the oval.
Several light towers then went out mid-match during the live television broadcast, temporarily stopping the game during a reported blackout.
The Sydney storm comes as recovery efforts continue in Australia’s flood-ravaged northeastern state of Queensland, which over the past week has seen record-breaking rainfall, forcing hundreds of evacuations and thousands of requests for help.
Extreme heatwaves during the southern hemisphere summer have also led to temperature records being broken in some towns.
Eastern inland areas have been experiencing a severe drought, while firefighters in the country’s southern states have been recently battling bushfires.
High temperatures are not unusual in the Australian summer, but climate change has pushed up land and sea temperatures and led to more extremely hot days and severe fire seasons, scientists say.