weather | KUOW News and Information

weather

Deadly tornadoes have wreaked havoc in the South, leveling homes and claiming at least 28 lives in the past three days. And meteorologists say the threat of more tornadoes won't ease up till Wednesday.

Getting to a safe place is the best thing that people can do to protect themselves and their families. That can mean a specially constructed concrete safe room, a basement, or just a ditch if you're caught outdoors.

This post was updated at 6:15 p.m. ET.

A second day of tornadoes has caused devastation in the South, killing more than a dozen people in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. Some 50 twisters were reported in the region in a 24-hour period from Monday into Tuesday, according to meteorologists.

This post was updated at 1:53 p.m. ET

Emergency officials were searching Monday for survivors after tornadoes tore through parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma overnight, killing at least 14 people and leveling entire neighborhoods.

"We don't have a count on injuries or missing. We're trying to get a handle on the missing part," Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe said at a news conference Monday. "Just looking at the damage, this may be one of the strongest we have seen."

The spring seasonal outlook from the National Weather Service calls for a warmer-than-average spring west of the Cascades and normal temperatures and rainfall across the inland Northwest.

KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

On a clear day in Seattle, Nick Bond can size up the mountain snowpack on his bike ride to work at the University of Washington. However, in his role as the state’s climatologist, Bond crunches the data to get a much more precise picture. That’s because a lot of people care about snowpack.

Janet Kellam/Sawtooth Avalanche Center

The avalanche center in Idaho's Sun Valley area is urging people to consider cancelling their plans in the backcountry.

The National Weather Service says the recent snowfall combined with rain over the next few days has set the stage for flooding in parts of the Northwest.

As snow continues to pound the region's ski resorts, plenty of skiers  are expected to hit the slopes. But with the increased snowpack comes the risk of avalanches.

(We're adding details to this post as the day continues.)

The forecasters said it would be "crippling," "mind-boggling" and historic.

Well, this time around we can't complain about them getting it wrong.

The Baker County Sheriff in eastern Oregon says two cross-country skiers died Tuesday in an avalanche in the southern Wallowa Mountains. Two others were seriously injured. 

(Click here to jump to a quick look at the latest news about the storm.)

As a wicked storm of ice and snow spreads over parts of Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas and heads toward the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, the National Weather Service is again warning that it's getting ugly out there.

This is not our language. It comes from the forecasters at the National Weather Service, who we have to hope do not say things such as this unless they really mean it:

"Mind-boggling if not historical" ice accumulations are expected Wednesday and Thursday across a wide swath of the Deep South that includes Atlanta, other parts of Georgia, Columbia, S.C., and up to Raleigh/Durham, N.C. The forecasters are warning of a half-inch to an inch of ice.

Northwest farmers call him “the weather man.” And at a farming conference in Spokane, he offered a reason for them to be optimistic about the upcoming season.

Update at 12:17 p.m. ET. 'Obviously, There Were Errors':

During a televised press conference, the governor of Georgia and the mayor of Atlanta both said they would take responsibility for the mess unfolding across Atlanta's highways.

CNN reports that the broad effect is now coming to light: Officials says one person died, 130 were hurt, and 1,254 accidents were reported during the snowstorm.

Just as we're getting used to hearing about the polar vortex, there's another cool-sounding weather term being thrown around that we've had to look up:

Bombogenesis

This post by Philadelphia meteorologist John Bolaris caught our eye: "Old Man Winter to drop bombogenesis."

The sign at Pike Place Market.
Flickr Photo/Jonathan Cohen (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The East Coast is getting hammered by a “polar vortex” of low pressure that has moved south from the North Pole.

One weather map tells the story.

Check out the National Weather Service's map of the Lower 48 for Monday night. If you need to know just how much of the nation's going to be freezing (or well below!), it offers a bone-chilling picture. Anywhere in the blue-to-purple shades is going to be cold — and that's before accounting for wind chills.

What is the Weather Service forecasting?

The blast of winter weather that dumped 2 feet of snow in some parts of the Northeast and New England was being blamed for at least 13 deaths as of Friday afternoon.

Portland and Spokane have been trying to prevent people from jumping off the cities' iconic bridges. In the last few weeks, police in both cities have responded to suicides or attempted suicides.

Winter Weather Resource Guide

Dec 19, 2013
Flickr Photo/Cloganese

KUOW has compiled a guide of tips to prepare for inclement weather and resources that can help you stay safe during inclement and emergency weather situations.

You can also see our guide on driving on tough Seattle streets in snow and ice.

Cold Snap Brings Unhealthy Air To Klamath Falls

Dec 9, 2013

Twenty below zero. That was the record breaking low in Klamath Falls, Ore. this weekend. Temperatures are higher this week, but have remained below freezing.

Wood smoke is one of the leading causes of fine particulate pollution, and in Klamath Falls, a blanket of cold stagnant air has trapped that pollution close to the ground, triggering an air quality health alert.

The Oatmeal/Matthew Inman

Every winter, Seattleites return to a hotly debated topic: Do we know how to drive in ice and snow? My coworkers are all complaining about Seattle drivers as I type, in fact — even those from the Northwest originally. So here are a few tips I gleaned from watching way too many YouTube videos.

While those in the western half of the nation will mostly enjoy fair skies on this Thanksgiving Eve, we regret to repeat that for millions of Americans east of the Mississippi it's going to be a messy busiest-travel-day-of-the-year (otherwise known as Getaway Day).

Here's what the National Weather Service has to say:

Liz Jones / KUOW

After the devastating typhoon struck the Philippines, Jennifer Biyabos, of Lakewood, Wash., started accounting for her family.

In the wake of any natural disaster, there are almost always shortages of fuel. Even in the United States, gas stations shut down during blackouts because there's no electricity to run their pumps.

It was no different in the Philippines, where practically no fuel was available after Typhoon Haiyan struck. Aid agencies said the lack of gasoline was a major impediment to relief efforts.

One small American nonprofit called the Fuel Relief Fund is trying to change that.

Update at 12:25 p.m. ET. Two Deaths In Michigan:

The number of people killed by powerful storms that pummeled parts of the upper Midwest on Sunday has risen to at least eight.

Across the ravaged center of the Philippines on Sunday, people flocked to Mass, often in churches that had been severely damaged or destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan.

In many villages in Leyte province, the only structures that survived the storm were churches. Spires and statues of angels look out over fields of smashed houses and twisted typhoon debris.

Hotline calls and emails to report suspected Japanese tsunami debris have gone way down this year. But West Coast states are still keeping their guard up in case another wave of flotsam from the 2011 disaster washes up on our shores.

The 220,000 residents of Tacloban — and millions more across central and southern Philippines — were hunkered down one week ago as Typhoon Haiyan bore down on them.

A week later, "the mood here is very desperate," NPR's Anthony Kuhn said Thursday as he reported from Tacloban for Morning Edition.

Pages