• Powerful storm closes highways in California

    Updated: Thu, Dec 11, 2014

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Several highways have been closed as a powerful storm churning down California brought sideways sheets of rain, whiteout snowstorms and muddy slides into traffic. Cars on some streets in San Bruno and Daly City just south of San Francisco were windshield high in flooding Thursday. California Department of Transportation spokesman Mark Dinger says Highway 5, the state's critical north-south thruway, was closed in both directions near Weed, in Northern California, due to flooding. Sierra Nevada mountain passes including Tioga, near Yosemite, as well as Sonora, Ebbetts and Monitor were closed because of heavy snow and avalanche danger. Some may remain closed for the winter.

  • Contractor faces theft charge over unbuilt home

    Updated: Thu, Dec 11, 2014

    UNION BEACH, N.J. (AP) — A home improvement contractor who allegedly failed to build a new home for a resident who gave him $120,000 for the project has been charged with theft. Bail was set at $150,000 cash for Edward Capriani, a 43-year-old Hazlet Township resident who authorities say was doing business under the name Edward Wohanka. It wasn't known Thursday if he's retained a lawyer. The charge was filed after an investigation by the Monmouth County Superstorm Sandy Fraud Task Force. Prosecutors say a Union Beach homeowner hired Capriani in November 2013 to replace a home destroyed by the October 2012 storm. The homeowner agreed to pay Capriani $225,000 and gave him a $30,000 in December 2013, followed by another $

  • Snyder approves $2.7 million in disaster funding

    Updated: Thu, Dec 11, 2014

    LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has approved more than $2.7 million to provide financial assistance to Michigan counties and communities impacted by last spring's flooding and last winter's deep freeze. Eligible local governments were allowed to apply for assistance grants for up to $100,000, or 10 percent of the previous year's operating budget, whichever is less. Snyder says in a statement Thursday that the money will "help local governments receive some financial relief to their budgets." The Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund is used when communities demonstrate an exhaustion of local resources during a disaster or emergency. Snyder declared a state of disaster in April for Newaygo and Osceola counties

  • Hurricane center: New warnings on storm surge

    Updated: Thu, Dec 11, 2014

    MIAMI (AP) — If tropical weather approaches the U.S. next year, coastal residents will see new, separate warnings about storm surge in addition to those about winds, the National Hurricane Center said Thursday. The separate storm-surge warnings will begin with the 2015 hurricane season and should provide emergency managers and the public with better information about tropical weather hazards, officials said. "Historically, storm surge is the primary killer in a hurricane," said Jamie Rhome, the center's storm surge specialist. "The largest loss of life in a hurricane comes from water and flooding, not from wind as much." Storm surge can strike at different times and in different places than a storm's winds.

  • Snow advisory now storm warning in NW Pennsylvania

    Updated: Thu, Dec 11, 2014

    MEADVILLE, Pa. (AP) — The National Weather Service has upgraded a winter weather advisory in northwestern Pennsylvania to a winter storm warning. The weather service now says up to 10 inches of snow is possible in Crawford and Erie counties by 11 p.m. Friday. The same system is expected to produce three to six inches in Warren and McKean counties by Thursday night. Flurries were forecast farther south, with the Pittsburgh area expecting less than an inch of snow. More was possible in the Laurel Mountains east and southeast of the city. Clearfield and Dauphin counties remain under an advisory through 1 p.m. Thursday and were forecast to receive two to three inches of snow. Centre County, home to Penn State's main

  • High winds to hit Oregon coast, move inland

    Updated: Thu, Dec 11, 2014

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — High winds are forecast to hit the Oregon coast Thursday morning and move inland Thursday afternoon and evening. The National Weather Service says the winds will be strong enough to bring trees down onto power lines, causing outages. Holiday decorations could go flying. Forecasters are warning of winds gusting as high as 85 mph on the coast, including the coast of southwest Washington. Winds in the Willamette Valley and Portland-Vancouver area are expected in the 20 mph to 30 mph range with gust up to 60 mph possible. Forecasters also are warning of 25 mph to 40 mph winds and gusts to 60 mph in parts of central and eastern Oregon, including Bend.

  • Faulkner County to receive StormReady designation

    Updated: Thu, Dec 11, 2014

    CONWAY, Ark. (AP) — The National Weather Service says it will recognize Faulkner County as a "StormReady" community next week. Forecasters said that with the deaths in last April's tornado at Mayflower and Vilonia, the county now ranks fourth in tornado fatalities statewide since 1950. A ceremony is scheduled for next Wednesday. The "StormReady" program recognizes communities that have made a commitment to save lives and property when bad weather strikes. Forecasters noted that many Vilonia residents were able to take shelter in a community safe room. Nationally, 2,200 communities have the designation.

  • Keshena prepares for flooding on Wolf River

    Updated: Thu, Dec 11, 2014

    KESHENA, Wis. (AP) — Authorities and residents have been sandbagging in Keshena to hold back the slowly rising Wolf River in northeastern Wisconsin. Menominee tribal and county leaders say Ice jams are blocking the river in three places. Town board chairman Michael Chapman says they're working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to figure out how best to deal with the problem. Village and county leaders are supplying helping hands and more than 1,000 sandbags to protect homes and businesses. Some homeowners already have water in their basements. Ice jams are unusual in December, and officials worry that warm weather and rain in the weekend forecast could aggravate the problem.

  • Flooding after heavy rain drowns 2 in Greece

    Updated: Thu, Dec 11, 2014

    THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Two men have drowned in northern Greece, bringing the death toll from severe flooding to four since the weekend. Authorities say one local resident was found dead Thursday in a swollen river in the Philadelpheia area, some 30 kilometers northwest of Thessaloniki. Another man drowned when the taxi he was riding in was swept away by a torrent near the town of Kilkis, 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Thessaloniki. The taxi driver escaped unharmed. Two more deaths were attributed to flooding earlier in the week. Protracted, heavy rainfall this week has caused severe problems in northern Greece and along the country's northeastern borders with Turkey.

  • Storm drops up to 2 feet of snow on upstate NY

    Updated: Thu, Dec 11, 2014

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Residents in a wide swath of upstate New York are digging out from under up to 2 feet of snow dumped by a lingering nor'easter. The National Weather Service says the two-day storm dropped 1 to 2 feet of snow from the Finger Lakes to the Adirondacks and the Albany area, with higher elevations getting the most snow. Between 20 and 24 inches is reported Thursday morning in parts of Onondaga, Madison, Chenango, Schenectady and Clinton counties. A winter storm warning expires at 7 a.m., but a winter weather advisory is in effect for much of western New York until 4 a.m. Friday. The Thruway has lifted its ban on tandem trucks traveling a 147-mile stretch of Interstate 90 between Exit 32 near Utica and Ex

  • Fog, then drizzle in Oklahoma City Thursday

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Thu, Dec 11, 2014

    Thursday will be foggy before 9 a.m. There is a chance for afternoon drizzle.

  • Weather service reports record high Seattle temp

    Updated: Thu, Dec 11, 2014

    SEATTLE (AP) — High winds and heavy rains are expected this time of year in Western Washington. The thing that made Wednesday's storm unique was the warmth. Temperatures climbed into the 60s in the Puget Sound region and hit a record 66 at Sea-Tac Airport, the National Weather Service reported. That's a record for any December day going back to 1945 when record-keeping began at the airport, said meteorologist Art Gaebel at the weather service office in Seattle. The wind and rain come from the tropical weather system hitting the whole West Coast, he said. One gust Wednesday near Cape Flattery on the north Washington coast hit 71 mph. Bellingham in northwest Washington had a 60 mph gust.

  • High wind warning for Oregon coast

    Updated: Wed, Dec 10, 2014

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Forecasters are warning that a new storm could bring strong winds Thursday over the coast of Oregon and southwest Washington. The National Weather Service says wind gusts of 75 to 85 mph on the coast could cause power outages, disrupt truck travel and cause property damage. Peak gusts of 80 to 90 mph are possible over higher terrain on the coast. Meteorologist Matthew Cullen with the Weather Service in Portland says the storm's winds are expected to hit the Portland metropolitan area Thursday afternoon through evening. He says gusts of 40 to 45 mph could be expected there. Calmer weather is expected Friday, with perhaps some lingering showers.

  • California residents load up sandbags before storm

    Updated: Wed, Dec 10, 2014

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A powerful storm expected to pack hurricane force winds and heavy rain triggered emergency preparations across Northern California on Wednesday, with residents gathering sand bags, crews clearing storm drains and San Francisco school officials canceling classes for the first time since 9/11. As much as 8 inches of rain could fall on coastal mountains over a 24-hour period starting late Wednesday, the National Weather Service said. Ski resorts in the northern Sierra Nevada could get more than 2 feet of snow before the storm moves through Southern California and to the east with less strength through states including Nevada, Idaho, Arizona and New Mexico.

  • Wyoming study: Cloud seeding can increase snowpack

    Updated: Wed, Dec 10, 2014

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — State-funded research in Wyoming suggests that cloud seeding can increase mountain snowfall by up to 15 percent a year, has negligible environmental effects — and almost no impact on precipitation in surrounding areas. In a nearly decade-long study, researchers found the increased snowpack produced more water in nearby rivers and streams that provide water for cities and farms. Conserving and increasing water supply is a top priority for many western U.S. states and other nations. Governments around the world and some other U.S. states conduct cloud seeding to wring more rain and snow from the sky by injecting silver iodide into storm clouds. Its effectiveness is a matter of debate.

  • Heavy snow, 7-foot wind-whipped waves forecast at Tahoe

    Updated: Wed, Dec 10, 2014

    RENO, Nev. (AP) — A rare blizzard warning has been issued for parts of the Sierra where as much as 2 feet of snow is expected in the upper elevations by Friday on the heels of winds gusting well in excess of 100 mph over the mountaintops around Lake Tahoe. Damaging winds could move into the region early Thursday, with gusts up to 70 mph in Reno, Sparks and the Carson City area. Wind-whipped waves at Lake Tahoe could reach 7 feet, the National Weather Service said. Snow was expected in the Sierra beginning Wednesday night, with 1 to 2 feet above 7,000 feet and up to 3 feet on the ridges by Friday morning. The blizzard warning effective at 10 p.m. Wednesday runs through 4 a.m. Friday for the Sierra's western slope above

  • Weekend could bring record-breaking temperatures to Oklahoma

    By Silas Allen, Staff Writer | Updated: Wed, Dec 10, 2014

    This weekend will bring unusually warm temperatures to most of Oklahoma, the National Weather Service predicts. Overnight low temperatures in central and southern Oklahoma are expected to fall no lower than the mid-50s Saturday and Sunday mornings.

  • Heavy fog hangs around Oklahoma, will return Wednesday and Thursday

    By Silas Allen, Staff Writer | Updated: Wed, Dec 10, 2014

    If it seems like it’s been foggier than usual lately, you’re not imagining things. Thick fog has blanketed parts of Oklahoma several times over the past week, and forecasters predict it will return on Wednesday and Thursday.

  • Sunshine, high of 57 in central Oklahoma Wednesday

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Wed, Dec 10, 2014

    Temperatures in central Oklahoma will be near 57 degrees Wednesday. Skies will be sunny.

  • Oklahoma City's Spanish-speakers face challenges finding severe weather information, OU group concludes

    By Silas Allen, Staff Writer | Updated: Tue, Dec 9, 2014

    More than a year after a deadly tornado tore through south Oklahoma City, Spanish-speaking residents in the area reported feeling better prepared for severe weather, a University of Oklahoma survey concluded. But despite that added preparedness, Spanish-speaking residents told a group of OU undergraduate researchers they still couldn’t always find up-to-date information in the face of severe weather.