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weather

AP Photo/Nelson Salting

Last Friday one of the strongest storms in recorded history struck the Philippines. According to the United Nations more than 11 million people are believed to be affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Over 670,000 people have been displaced. Entire towns have been devastated leaving many without water, shelter or any way of contacting their families at home and abroad.

We hear from Yeb Sano, who is in Poland serving as the head of the Philippines' delegation at the UN climate talks, and Seattle resident Justice Beitzel, who has lost five family members to the storm thus far.

Monster Storm Roars Into Philippines

Nov 8, 2013
NOAA Photo

Typhoon Haiyan is battering the central Philippines with sustained winds of up to 199 mph. Meteorologists say that if initial estimates based on satellite images are borne out, it could be the most powerful storm ever to make landfall.

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Seattle has been cloaked in a pea soup of fog this month, with fog horns sounding through the night near the Ballard Locks as boats strain to avoid each other.

"As heavy rains brought wide ranging flood conditions across the state Thursday, the Front Range is bracing for more Friday," our colleagues at Northern Colorado's KUNC report.

They add that:

Still smarting from a wasp sting this summer? Well, you're not alone. It's been a "banner year" for yellow jackets in the Northwest by many accounts.

Flickr Photo/Wizetux

We take for granted the fact that we can predict long-term weather forecasts. Now scientists at the University of Washington are working on ways to forecast the changing conditions of the ocean. They hope these forecasts can help them better understand how those conditions affect Northwest fisheries. 

Samantha Siedlecki is a research scientist at the University of Washington Joint Institute of the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean; she helped develop the forecasting tools and explains the way they work.

The National Weather Service issued flash flood watches and special weather statements today for much of Washington state. Learn more at WSDOT.

(We're following the news from Oklahoma, where a tornado devastated the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on Monday. Most recent update: 8:40 p.m. ET.)

A day after a monster EF-5 tornado pummeled Moore, Okla., the focus turned to the victims.

NPR's Wade Goodwyn spent the day in the city talking to survivors. Christie Parrish decided to leave her home for her sister's shelter.

Yes, It Feels Like Summer, But That River Is Dangerous

May 7, 2013
Flickr photo/Ingrid Taylar

Seattle has seen record temperatures this week and more warm weather is forecasted this week. All the heat is making getting in the water very tempting, but The National Weather Service warns, low water temperatures and swift currents could make it difficult and dangerous to swim. In this segment Ross Reynolds interviews Brent Bower, senior service hydrologist at the National Weather Service,  about how to stay safe in the water.

Several forest fires are already burning in Western Washington and crews are mopping up a big one in central Oregon. There were also two grass fires that burned near Middleton, Idaho just west of Boise, this past weekend.

Dry winds and above average temperatures predicted this summer and fall, have fire managers preparing for an earlier than usual season.

Seattle's New Interim Police Chief, And Comedian Don Rickles

Apr 26, 2013
AP Photo/Charles Sykes

A Conversation With The Interim Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel
Last year, there was extensive property damage during the May Day protests. A recent report cited a lack of a clear communication structure at the Seattle Police Department. Interim Chief Jim Pugel says this year there will be one commander in charge with very clear lines of communication.

Comedian Don Rickles
Don Rickles has been a stand-up comedian for more than 60 years. He’s worked with Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks. He was a regular fixture on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and he still appears on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. He ribs Democrats and Republicans. He roasted Ronald Reagan at his inauguration. With Don Rickles, no one is safe.

Climate Change Could Bring More Vineyards To Washington
A recent analysis on the impacts of climate change had good news for prospective grape growers in Washington. Climatologist Nick Bond says there should be an overall increase in suitable habitat in western North America at higher elevations. That is as long as the forests and animals currently living there don’t mind.

SPD Chief Diaz Steps Aside

Apr 9, 2013
Seattle Police Chief John Diaz
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Seattle Police Chief John Diaz announced on Monday that he’s stepping down. Diaz was appointed chief by Mayor Mike McGinn in 2010 and served 33 years with the SPD. Assistant Chief Jim Pugel will lead the department until the city hires a successor. How will Diaz's departure affect SPD morale and the city's ongoing police reforms? We talk with City Attorney Pete Holmes, public defender Lisa Daugaard and Seattle Times reporter Steve Miletich.

The Maldives' Jason Dodson Live In Studio

Mar 29, 2013
The Maldives
Photo Credit/Haley Young Photography

The local folk/rock band The Maldives have performed everywhere from the back of a flatbed truck to the stages of Sasquatch, Bumbershoot, Capitol Hill Block Party and SXSW.

The Maldives are a seven-member band that started with lead singer and guitarist Jason Dodson over six years ago, and have established themselves as a quintessential band in the Northwest music scene. Jason Dodson joins us in studio to talk and perform live.

Flickr/masmediaspace

The Northwest is famous for its steady gray drizzle. But for violent storms and downpours? Not so much. That might be changing. Newly published research finds evidence that rain is coming in more intense bursts in one Northwest location.

Singer-Songwriter Shelby Earl Live In Studio

Mar 8, 2013
Shelby Early
Photo Credit/Dave Lichterman For KEXP

Seattle singer-songwriter Shelby Earl released her debut album, the folk-rock "Burn the Boats," in 2011. Since then she’s been touring and working on her second album, due out this year. She stops by the studio to play a few songs ahead of her trip to Austin's South by Southwest festival.

Teenage boy
Flickr photo/James Evans

Turning 18 marks a form of adulthood at least, bringing new independence and legal rights. For a foster child in Washington state, turning 18 can also mean the end of a stable home life. InvestigateWest reporter Claudia Rowe joins us with the story of one young woman’s experience “aging out” of foster care, and what state government might do to help.

A Conversation With Music Legend Dr. John

Feb 1, 2013
Dr. John
Flickr photo/Jazz Fest Wien Team

Dr. John has been in the right place and the wrong place but it's always the right time for his music. The multiple Grammy Award-winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has been playing music since he was a teenager. His most recent album, "Locked Down," was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and has him playing a Farfisa organ while he sings of revolution, the scourge of crack and the goodness of god. We talk with Mac Rebennack, a.k.a. Dr. John, ahead of his shows at Seattle's Jazz Alley.

Rob McKenna
AP Photo/Stephen Brashear

After eight years as Washington state attorney general and an unsuccessful bid for governor, Rob McKenna is leaving public life. As the state’s top lawyer, the two-term Republican worked to crack down on sex trafficking, gang violence, identity theft and methamphetamine production. In 2010, McKenna joined a challenge to President Obama’s healthcare overhaul. The US Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act last summer. In November, McKenna was defeated by Democrat Jay Inslee in the 2012 gubernatorial race. Rob McKenna joins us to talk about his time in public office and what lies ahead.

A Conversation With Comedian David Alan Grier

Jan 18, 2013
Charles Sykes / Invision/AP


The comedy “In Living Color” turned David Alan Grier into a well-known comic actor, but he started his career singing on Broadway. Last year, he returned to Broadway to play Sporting Life in “Porgy and Bess.” David Alan Grier has performed for over 30 years, from stand-up comedy to competing on "Dancing with the Stars." He joins us in the KUOW studios.

Funding Higher Education In 2013

Jan 11, 2013


The presidents of Washington’s six public universities have a deal for state legislators in Olympia. They would hold back on tuition increases for two years. In return, the Legislature would spend an additional $225 million on higher education. Will legislators agree? Adding to the money woes is the mandate from the state Supreme Court to amply fund K-12 education — meaning even less money making its way to public colleges and universities. We discuss funding higher education in 2013 with University of Washington President Michael Young.

Winter storm
Flickr illustration/Jason Walley

National Weather Service has issued a cold weather statement for the Puget Sound region. KUOW has compiled a guide of tips to prepare for inclement weather and resources that can help you stay safe during emergency weather situations.

"Almost Live!" Alums Have Seattle's Number

Jan 4, 2013
The 206
Facebook/The 206 TV

Seattle has grown since KING 5's sketch comedy show Almost Live! left the air in 1999. Now some of the team that brought "The Lame List" and "COPS in Wallingford" to TV is back with a new show of modern-day Seattle-centric funny. The 206, starring Pat Cashman, John Keister and Chris Cashman, premieres tomorrow night. They join us in studio with a preview.

Interfaith Amigos
Flickr Photo/University of Denver

This time of year, Christmas lights add color to the night. Candles are lit to celebrate Hanukkah, "the festival of lights.” The world's major religions each use light to represent big ideas. The Interfaith Amigos join us to explain the religious meaning of light.

Parents tell their children a lot of things, but how much of it is actually true? Jeopardy! champ and author Ken Jennings peels back the curtain on parental warnings and advice in his new book, "Because I Said So! The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to its Kids." Join us, and wait at least 30 minutes after listening before going swimming.

One Month After Superstorm Sandy, A Long Recovery

Nov 30, 2012
Hurricane Sandy
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

The storm is over, but the recovery from Sandy will go on for months to come. This week the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut said they'd seek more than $80 billion in federal aid to rebuild and protect against another devastating storm. Meanwhile, some residents displaced by the storm are struggling with whether rebuilding is worth the cost. We check in for an on-the-ground update.

Gus Melonas / BNSF

People who ride the train between Everett and Seattle got a familiar taste of winter this week. Due to mudslides, Amtrak and Sound Transit canceled service on that route until at least Wednesday.

Heavy Rain Sets Off Landslides Around Region

Nov 20, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Heavy rains and high winds are making it hard to get around parts of western Washington and northwest Oregon this afternoon. Flood watches and warnings are in effect across a wide area of the Northwest. At least half a dozen mudslides have blocked highways and rail lines since this morning .

The freight train of storms pummeling the Northwest has saturated soils. Some places are not getting enough time between downpours for the water to drain off. Oregon's Department of Geology put all of western Oregon on notice for increased potential of landslides.

Woman with unbrella helps kids get on a bus
KUOW/Deborah Wang

Western Washington is bracing for more precipitation after record heavy rains snarled traffic and caused localized flooding on Monday.

According to the National Weather Service, 2.03 inches of rain fell at Sea-Tac Airport between midnight and 5:00 p.m. Monday. That breaks the previous record for the day of 1.23 inches set in 1962.

The National Weather Service says a second storm is expected to hit the region Tuesday, and an even stronger weather system will move in on Wednesday, bringing high winds to the coast.

Seattle rain
Instagram photo/ John Tseng

This story is developing and will be updated as details emerge.

National Weather Service is reporting a record-breaking 2.16 inches of rainfall in the last 24 hours, and has issued winter storm advisories and flood warnings for parts of the Puget Sound region. Heavy rains in the area are posing a number of potential hazards, from mudslides to highway closures.

Commuters are being urged to check their routes as rain continues to fall.  Sound Transit's northbound Sounder service from Seattle to Everett has been canceled for Monday evening. North Cascades Highway is temporarily closed due to heavy snow and avalanche danger.

Deborah Wang spoke Sarah Miller with Seattle Public Utilities on Monday afternoon about the emerging problem of standing drainage water.

"With 80,000 drains in the city of Seattle, we can't be everywhere. We do clean the drains regularly," Miller explained. "However, when the trees drop their leaves, that happens in a relatively compressed period of time. Much as we get out there to clean the drains throughout the year this problem is exacerbated because the leaves drop at the beginning of November and then plug those drainage outlets."

Miller has been urging Seattle residents to adopt their local drains, to clear them of leaves and debris.

UPDATE at 5:00 p.m. on November 19:

Amtrak's Cascades passenger train service between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, has been temporarily canceled. A 48-hour moratorium due to mudslide danger was issued Monday afternoon and may be lifted by Wednesday. Amtrak Cascades announces cancelations and disruptions through their Twitter feed.

umbrella
Flickr photo/ enggul

A series of Pacific storms will pass over Western Washington throughout this holiday week. The storms will bring heavy rain to the Seattle area and inches of snow and avalanche warnings to the mountains. David Hyde checks in with state and local officials about what we can anticipate over the next few days, and how to best plan your holiday travel.

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