• Parts of LA County see flash floods, stranded cars

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — Torrents of rain have been falling on a section of Los Angeles County, flooding streets and leaving several cars stranded. The National Weather Service issued a warning late Tuesday afternoon saying rain was falling in the Torrance area at a rate of 2 inches per hour but it had mostly stopped falling after a brief cloudburst. About five cars were stranded by the rain and were getting help from police and firefighters but there were no reports of injuries or danger to the people inside.

  • Storm costlier than Irene for Vermont utilities

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The two-day snowstorm that pounded Vermont with heavy wet snow will be costlier to utilities than Tropical Storm Irene or the 2008 ice storm in southern Vermont. Last week's storm toppled trees, branches and power lines with more than 130,000 power outages during the course of the storm. Green Mountain Power - the state's largest utility - says early estimates show the costs of repairs at about $15 million. Irene in 2011 cost GMP and then-Central Vermont Public Service Corp. $12 million in repairs while the ice storm in 2008 cost them about $7 million.

  • Rain could spell trouble for Calif. water conservation

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — After California's driest three years on record, there have been few sounds as disturbing to water conservationists as the whisk-whisk-whisk of automatic lawn sprinklers kicking on directly behind TV reporters covering some of the state's first heavy downpours in years. Recent storms eased the drought somewhat, but there's a long way to go. And state officials are worried that the rain will give people an excuse to abandon the already inconsistent conservation efforts adopted to deal with the dry spell. When Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency in January, he asked people to cut water use by 20 percent. Instead, many Californians' water use actually went up for a while.

  • Snow days melting away in many Indiana schools

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — One of the best parts of winter could be melting away for many Indiana students as advances in technology make snow days rarer than an igloo in July. The state Department of Education has granted 37 public school districts and 13 private schools permission to hold online learning days in cases of inclement weather this school year. Supporters say the practice will ensure students don't miss critical instructional time ahead of the high-stakes spring ISTEP+ test and will help districts avoid extending the school year to make up missed days.

  • Forecast calls for 50 percent chance of showers in central Oklahoma Wednesday

    STAFF REPORTS | Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    The forecast for this week in central Oklahoma includes a chance of rain off and on from Tuesday night through about Friday, including a 50 percent chance of showers on Wednesday.

  • Snow retuning to mountains, Eastern Washington

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Light snow is forecast Tuesday over most of Eastern Washington, and snow in the Cascades is reaching the highway passes. No significant accumulations are expected, but the National Weather Service says more mountain snow is expected later in the week with minimal valley snow or rain on the east side. The Transportation Department reports snow and slush in places Tuesday morning on Snoqualmie Pass, and snow and ice in places on Stevens Pass where traction tires are advised. Snow flurries are reported at White Pass. The Weather Service says the jet stream, which blew rain into California, is expected to shift back to the Northwest by the end of the week. That could bring more showers to Western Was

  • UN envoy urges future focus to cut disaster risks

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    GENEVA (AP) — The world is better prepared to face past calamities like the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami but it's not ready for the extreme weather of the future, the U.N.'s top natural disaster official said Tuesday. Margareta Wahlstrom, the special representative of the U.N. secretary-general for disaster risk reduction, said early warning systems like those now in place in the Indian Ocean are helping improve preparations for major disasters. That warning system was established after a massive earthquake off the Indonesian coast on Dec. 26, 2004, triggered a 100-foot-high tsunami that killed 230,000 people in 14 countries and caused $10 billion in damage.

  • Waterlogged Northern California gets more rain

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A new storm dumped more rain on already waterlogged parts of Northern California on Monday, causing minor road flooding, scattered power outages and airport delays. The rain came down hard in the San Francisco Bay Area, making for a treacherous commute. A landslide closed both directions of a highway in Fremont. At San Francisco International Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration reported arrival delays of almost two hours. The storm dropped an average of between an inch and 2 inches of rain throughout the day in the Bay Area and Sacramento regions before heading to Southern California late Monday and overnight, according to the National Weather Service.

  • Freezing rain coats roads in the Dakotas, hampering travel

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Freezing rain coated roads throughout the Dakotas Monday, causing headaches for motorists and delaying or shutting down schools. The National Weather Service posted a freezing rain advisory in much of North Dakota and in northern South Dakota, with much of the rest of South Dakota under either a winter weather advisory or a winter storm warning. Up to half a foot of snow was expected in southeastern South Dakota by the end of the storm, according to forecasters. The storm with both rain and snow was unusual for the time of year, said Todd Heitkamp, a weather service meteorologist in Sioux Falls.

  • Border fence knocked down by storm repaired

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A section of the steel fence that divides the U.S. and Mexico has been repaired several months after debris from a rainstorm knocked it down. U.S. Border Patrol spokeswoman Nicole Ballistrea says the repairs were completed Friday on the 60 feet of rebar-reinforced fencing just west of the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, Arizona. Agents discovered the downed fence in July after heavy rain in Nogales, Sonora, caused debris to build up against the fence, toppling it. The fence stood between 18 and 26 feet high and extended at least 7 feet underground. The fence was built in 2011. It is constantly monitored by agents because smugglers and others who attempt to cross illegally routinely try to breac

  • Widespread FairPoint phone outages continue

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    MIDDLESEX, Vt. (AP) — December is normally a busy time of year at Vermont Musical Instrument Repair, with people clamoring to get their clarinets and trombones fixed up for holiday concerts. But owner Jeff Vovakes' phone has been silent for a week. He's one of an unknown number of Vermonters without phone service as winter storms cause system troubles and FairPoint Communications' striking workers don't show up to fix them. FairPoint, which offers landline phone and Internet service in Vermont and other states, does not post updates several times a day on outages, as Vermont's electric utilities do.

  • Vermont storm cleanup nearly complete

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont's largest electric utility says it's restored power to nearly all its customers, but small outages are continuing to occur and heavy snow continues to fall from trees. As of late Monday afternoon, Green Mountain Power was reporting fewer than 200 outages statewide. Statewide, utilities were reporting 837 outages. GMP says the last major outage to about 1,500 customers in Windsor and Orange counties was caused by a tree that fell on a power line in Barnard. GMP spokeswoman Dorothy Schnure says more than 130,000 customers lost power during the storm. Meanwhile, state officials say they're going to ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency to see if the state could qualify for disas

  • Snow levels far below normal in Cascades

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    SEATTLE (AP) — The recent mild weather systems that blew through Washington have left little snow in the Cascades. The Northwest Avalanche Center in Seattle reports amounts are far below normal. Some totals as of Monday: Six inches at Mount Baker, just 9 percent of normal. Six inches at Snoqualmie Pass, 17 percent of normal. Two inches at Crystal Mountain, 6 percent of normal. Jay Albrecht in the Weather Service office in Seattle says the recent rain washed away a lot of the snow in the mountains. He says with winter ahead, there's time to build up the snowpack.

  • Elsa, kitten found in frigid Denver, finds a home

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    DENVER (AP) — The story of a kitten found in sub-zero weather in Denver and named after Elsa from "Frozen" has a happy ending. The Dumb Friends League said Monday that the orange tabby has been adopted by the volunteer who helped nurse her back to health. Elsa was found tangled in some electric wires on a porch during last month's arctic blast. Her temperature was so low it didn't register on a thermometer and shelter workers used heating pads, blankets and hair dryers to warm her up. She was later placed in the care of Jim Slater, who is often asked to handle severe medical cases. He's fostered dozens of animals but says Elsa is by far the sweetest kitten he's ever cared for. She now has an older brother named Blue.

  • No November global heat record, but hottest fall

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal meteorologists say last month was only the globe's seventh warmest November on record. That's the first time since July that a month hasn't broken the record for heat. Still, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate monitoring chief Deke Arndt says after 11 months, 2014 is likely to break the annual heat record set in 2010. It was the hottest fall, September to November, on record. If December is at least 0.76 degrees warmer than the 20th century average, then 2014 will set the global record. Since 2000, December has averaged 0.95 degrees warmer than that standard. Arndt said the world's oceans set a new monthly heat record in November, the seventh time in a row, making it more

  • Oklahoma tornado preliminary rating is EF0

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    ARCADIA, Okla. (AP) — A small tornado that touched ground briefly near Arcadia was given a preliminary rating of EF0 by the National Weather Service in Norman on Monday. Weather service meteorologist Marc Austin said the tornado that touched down briefly shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday caused no damage or injury and appeared to have been on the ground for 30 seconds or less near the small town in the northeastern Oklahoma City metro. The EF0 rating is the smallest given by the weather service and indicates wind speeds of 40-72 mph. Tornadoes in December in Oklahoma, while not common, are "not terribly unusual, it has happened before," Austin said. "Once every five to ten years." The most recent December tornado in t

  • Oklahoma tornado preliminary rating is EF0

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Published: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    ARCADIA — A small tornado that touched ground briefly in Arcadia has been rated an EF0 by the National Weather Service in Norman. Weather service meteorologist Marc Austin said Monday that the tornado caused no damage and appeared to have been on the ground for 30 seconds or less in the small town in the northeastern Oklahoma City metro. The preliminary rating for the Sunday afternoon twister is the smallest given by the weather service and indicates wind speeds of 40-72 mph. Austin said there were several reports of funnel clouds in the state on Sunday, but no others appear to have touched the ground. He said tornadoes in December are “not terribly unusual.” He said the last tornado in Oklahoma in

  • Snow closes schools in northeastern Colorado

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    STERLING, Colo. (AP) — Kids in northeastern Colorado are getting an extra day off from school because of heavy snow from this weekend's storm. Schools in Sterling, Akron, Julesburg and Yuma are among those closed Monday because of the weather. Sterling got about 7 inches of snow. While the Front Range only got light snow, some parts of the mountains got a foot or more from the storm. Winter Park reports getting 19 inches of snow over the last two days and Steamboat says it got 17 inches from the remnants of the so-called Pineapple Express that hit the West Coast.

  • Study: Hotter days in US mean less cold cash

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Hotter days mean less cold cash for Americans, according to a new study matching 40 years of temperatures to economics. Days that averaged about 77 degrees ended up reducing people's income by about $5 a day when compared with days that were about 20 degrees cooler. A county's average economic productivity decreases by nearly 1 percent for every degree Fahrenheit that the average daily temperature is above 59, says a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper released Monday. And, the study's authors predict, if the world continues on its current path of greenhouse gas emissions, even warmer temperatures later this century will squeeze the U.S. economy by tens of billions of dollars each year.

  • Sunny, windy with a high near 52 Monday in central Oklahoma

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    Temperatures will be cooler Monday with a high temperature near 52 degrees. The winds will gust up to 29 mph.