Severe storms, tornadoes target central US Thursday night by Doyle Rice, USA TODAY•Areas in orange and yellow were at the greatest risk for severe storms Thursday evening and night.Residents of the central U.S. braced Thursday for what could be a violent evening and night of severe weather.Severe thunderstorms, including the chance for tornadoes, were forecast to erupt in parts of more than a dozen states from Texas to Michigan, the Storm Prediction Center said. A tornado watch was issued Thursday afternoon for parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana as the severe weather threat increased.
„Thursday poses the greatest risk of tornadoes of the entire multiple-day severe weather risk this week,” according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
Fierce wind gusts and large hail were also possible Thursday evening across the central U.S.
In addition, flash flooding was also a concern Thursday night due to the heavy rain that will accompany the severe storms. Flash food watches have been issued by the National Weather Service from north-central Texas and eastern Oklahoma to the Ohio Valley, the Weather Channel said.
Over 20 million people live where flooding is possible, the weather service said.
The severe weather outbreak began Wednesday. There were eight reports of tornadoes in north-central Texas Wednesday night into early Thursday morning, the Weather Channel said.
A likely tornado caused major damage to a home near Tye, Texas, which is about 10 miles west of Abilene. The Tye Police Department also reported minor injuries, according to the Weather Channel.
The storm system that’s bringing the severe weather to the central U.S. is part of the same storm that brought blizzard conditions to portions of Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming on Thursday.
The snowstorm will let up Friday but the weather will remain cold until the weekend, forecasters said.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Severe storms, tornadoes target central US Thursday night
Snow may be headed for Northeast just days after spring arrives by Alex Sosnowski•Friday, March 20, marks the first full day of spring, but Old Man Winter may pay a visit to the northeastern United States in the form of snow during the first part of the coming week.Millions of Americans might think the idea of winter weather is just a joke after the snow drought that parts of the Northeast have experienced this year. However, there’s even a chance, if a storm materializes, that some cities could end up getting more snow during spring than the entire winter season.”The old man may be serious this time with the potential for a few inches of snow, mainly over interior locations, just when millions may have thought that spring had a stranglehold on the region,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said.The setup is likely to unfold as a double-barreled storm system taking aim at the region, according to AccuWeather forecasters.
The first storm will travel from the lower Mississippi Valley on Sunday to the eastern part of the Ohio Valley on Monday. However, a second storm is forecast to develop along the North Carolina coast during Monday and travel northeastward, just off the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts from late Monday to Tuesday morning.
Just enough cold air is expected to linger from this weekend to allow the primary form of precipitation to occur in the form of snow from the mountains of West Virginia and northwestern Virginia to central New England.
„If the coastal storm rapidly strengthens, then there is the potential for a narrow corridor of heavy snow, especially over the higher elevations from Pennsylvania to central New England,” Anderson said.
The majority of the accumulation will be on grassy and elevated surfaces. The snow may come down hard enough to cause road conditions to transition from wet to slushy to snow-covered. Areas most likely to become slippery would be bridges, overpasses and areas that do not receive direct sunlight, such as the north side of buildings and gaps in the mountains.
Temperatures are likely to be too high for much snow along the Interstate-95 corridor of the mid-Atlantic, as well as the immediate southern coast of New England. However, wet snow can mix in with rain at times. Even if mostly snow were to fall in these urban coastal areas, much of it would melt on paved and concrete surfaces.
„It probably will not be cold enough to support accumulating snow in the I-95 mid-Atlantic and the southern New England coast, but as the storm moves away Monday night, the rain may end as a period of wet snow,” Anderson said.
There is the remote chance that the coastal storm to strengthen and track in such a way as to bring a period of heavy snow to the I-95 mid-Atlantic and southern New England areas.
„The chance of accumulating snow around New York City and Philadelphia is probably on the order of 10%,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Dean DeVore said.
It could be a different story not too far to the north though.
„The Massachusetts Turnpike could be a real mess the way things look now from Monday night to early Tuesday,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Joe Lundberg said.
If the coastal storm remains weak or does not hug the coast, then light, non-accumulating snow or even rain may fall throughout the Northeast.
„At least for those over the interior Northeast, it is not quite time yet to put away the shovels and snowblowers,” Anderson said. „Despite that spring will have officially gotten underway, it is still March and March has offered plenty of winter storms in the past.”
|The snowstorm was no joke for television comedian Ben Wrigley who has to shovel show away from his car on Central Park West at 61st Street in New York, March 20, 1956. The staggering snow-clearing job got underway in the city following the 24-hour blizzard. (AP Photo/Jacob Harris)|
There have been accumulating snow events in New York City well into April, for example. A storm on April 7, 2003, brought several inches of snow to the New York City area.
Accumulating snow on roads has occurred during the middle of March in the Big Apple as recently as 2018.
|A New York City Parks Department employee uses a snowblower to clear a path after a snowstorm on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Thursday, March 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)|
Winter 2019-20 will end Thursday at 11:50 p.m. EDT with a total of only 4.8 inches in New York City, a mere 20% of the normal seasonal snowfall to date.
Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.
How to prepare for severe weather in the age of social distancing •The coronavirus pandemic has changed life on Earth dramatically the last several months. Countries have completely closed their borders, businesses have shuttered, schools have emptied and major cities have turned into ghost towns as millions self-quarantine in their homes to help reduce the spread of the disease.But one thing that hasn’t changed in the U.S. is that the return of spring comes a spike in severe weather, and in turn, an increase in tornadoes.Many communities across the country, especially those in Tornado Alley, are now grappling with how to utilize traditional public safety techniques in a world in which social distancing is the new normal.Despite restrictions on public gatherings of 10 people or more, officials in Springfield-Greene County, Missouri, are encouraging local residents to adhere to any severe storm warnings and utilize community storm shelters as needed.
In a statement issued Wednesday, March 18, Larry Woods, director of the Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management, said officials want citizens of Springfield and Greene County to know that personal safety is important and „use the community shelters that we are fortunate to have.”
„Social distancing is important in this time, but please heed the warnings regarding severe weather,” Woods said. „We would encourage property managers, as well, to continue to make their safe rooms and shelters available to their residents.”
The county has seven Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) shelters, six of which are located in a Springfield Public School.
|This still image taken from video provided by Chris Higgins shows a tornado in Carl Junction, Missouri, on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. The tornado caused damage in the town about 4 miles (6.44 kilometers) north of the Joplin Airport.|
AccuWeather Meteorologist Tom Bedard, a volunteer firefighter and EMT who regularly works with emergency management officials, said residents that own a tornado shelter should clean the shelter out immediately and make sure they are stocked with blankets, helmets and backpacks with some clothes, necessities and first aid equipment in them.
For those without a shelter, he recommended communicating with friends and neighbors to identify if you can shelter with them.
„Have that conversation now and be at their house well before a tornado warning is issued,” Bedard said.
If you can’t make it to a shelter or a family or friend’s residence, AccuWeather Meteorologist and Emergency Preparedness Specialist Becky DePodwin, said residents should take cover in bathrooms with no exterior walls, stairwells or a basement.
[„The] main point is to put as many walls between you and the exterior walls,” she said.
In the tragic event that a tornado outbreak occurs and homes are lost, people could be forced to stay in shelters for an extended period. In such a scenario, DePodwin and Bedard say to make sure that you have a three-day supply of clothes and necessities in a backpack so that you can take it to a recovery shelter if needed. They also stressed following local guidance on how to inform the shelter manager if you’re sick prior to arrival.
„Be extremely mindful of your hygiene while in the shelter. Cough and sneeze into a cloth or into your elbow, avoid touching your face, and wash your hands as frequently as resources allow,” Bedard said.
In some cases, children who are old enough may have to shelter on their own, particularly if their parent or guardian doesn’t have the option to work from home. Bedard said parents should talk to their children about when they should shelter as well as practice sheltering procedures.
DePodwin added that parents should ensure kids have access to life-saving alerts. There are several ways to receive this information including via a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio, being tuned into the local TV station or having a weather app with severe weather alerts turned on with the volume up.
„Talk with your children about the difference between a tornado watch, a tornado warning, and a severe thunderstorm warning, and that a tornado warning means take action immediately,” DePodwin said.
Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Too often disasters come in threes. But the year of global pandemic and record wildfires in Australia will not also be a year of historic floods in the U.S., forecasters predict.
Last year saw record floods in several regions of the country. But this year this annual spring flooding season will not be as severe or prolonged as in 2019, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday.
Major to moderate flooding is projected in 23 states, impacting 128 million people.
The regions most likely to experience major flooding include parts of North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.
The potential for major flooding is elevated along the Red River, the James River and parts of the Upper Mississippi River, said Edward Clark, director of NOAA’s National Water Center.
That’s in part due to heavier than normal rainfall over the last 90 days in those watershed areas.
In the southeastern U.S., the potential for heavy floods may be slightly dampened by the early arrival of spring — meaning that the sprouting plants and trees are absorbing moisture from the soil and air. Floods are more likely when rain falls on already water-saturated soils.
The National Phenology Network, which tracks the advent of green shoots and blooming flowers, found that spring has arrived around three weeks early in much of the eastern U.S.
Warmer temperatures are linked to climate change.
Last December to February saw “above normal temperatures for nearly the entire continental U.S.,” said Jon Gottschalck, a scientist at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
Follow Christina Larson on Twitter: @larsonchristina
The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
The Canals in Venice Are So Still, You Can See Fish and Swans Have Returned by Kelly Corbett•Photo credit: Twitter From Prevention As cities shut down amidst the coronavirus outbreak, it can be tough to see any bright side. So when Twitter user @ikaveri posted a few pictures of some positive news from the streets of Venice, the tweet went viral, accumulating over 100K retweets and counting. What’s so special about the Floating City right now? The typically-murky water in the streets is flowing so clearly that fish can actually be spotted swimming, and even the swans have returned—”an unexpected side effect of the pandemic,” @ikaveri writes.
Here’s an unexpected side effect of the pandemic – the water’s flowing through the canals of Venice is clear for the first time in forever. The fish are visible, the swans returned.
Truthfully, this is the good news we needed to hear. The reality is that, liberated from the impact of human beings, Venice’s waterways would always look that clear. There have even been reports on how the coronavirus outbreak has actually decreased air pollution.Now, before you jump to the conclusion that Venice has fully recuperated from decades of pollution in just a few short days of quarantine, consider another Twitter user’s explanation for why the waters are so clear. „The canals aren’t cleaner,” user @tyanu_khah writes. „It’s just that since boats are not moving all the dirt around, it fell down to the bottom of the canals. Similar to any river after a thunderstorm, it will look cloudy because all the dirt at the bottom is moved around.”Whether the clear canals have to do with a decrease in pollution or the result of less physical movement in the waterways, the photo serves as a wake-up call about how our actions and activities affect the environment. While COVID-19 might be keeping us confined to our homes, remember that because of that, the environment is finally getting a break from humans. A little silver lining.
In the beloved Douglas Adams book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (and its numerous TV and film adaptations) just before the planet Earth comes to an end, one intelligent species — the dolphins — gives humanity a flippant farewell: “So long and thanks for all the fish.” But now, it appears that Adams was both prescient and slightly wrong. A worldwide crisis is here, but the dolphins aren’t leaving. They’re having a freaking party.
Because the famous canals of Venice, Italy are suddenly very empty of humans on gondolas, the dolphins have taken this as an opportunity to frolic like there’s no tomorrow. As reported by numerous outlets, dolphins have been seen swimming in the canals of Venice since most of Italy went into quarantine due to the coronavirus outbreak. And if you think this sounds like something Captain America was talking about in Avengers: Endgame, you’re not wrong. But look! Here’s a frolicking dolphin!
Combined with reports of monkeys walking the streets searching for food, and Kim Kardashian finding a lobster in her driveway, it would appear that planet Earth is reminding us that other creatures live here, too, and, quite frankly, they’re happy to have a little fun while we humans figure everything out.
If you are not comforted by the sight of dolphins playing, it seems very possible that you don’t know how to have a good time. But, one thing is for sure: When things go back to “normal” (whatever that is) everybody should probably remember how happy the animals are right now. Maybe we should all stay home — and out of the water – more often. Looks, the fish are happy, too!