MAGNITUDE 3.7 – NEVEDA, AMERICA
Subject To Change
Depth: 19 km
Distances: 42km (26mi) N of Alamo, Nevada
140km (87mi) NW of Mesquite, Nevada
153km (95mi) WNW of Saint George, Utah
157km (98mi) WNW of Washington, Utah
434km (270mi) SW of Salt Lake City, Utah
Major Ice Storm Expected To Slam Parts Of Eastern, Atlantic Canada Over The Weekend
Parts of Eastern Canada are bracing for power outages and hazardous road conditions as a major ice storm threatens to wreak havoc this weekend.
In Toronto and parts of southern Ontario, freezing rain made sidewalks and roads slick Friday evening, while in Quebec, authorities say hazardous road conditions may have played a role in highway accidents that left three people dead.
Environment Canada says a “more potent” storm coming up from Texas may bring up to 30 millimetres of freezing rain to the lower Great Lakes regions and Eastern Ontario.
Further east, freezing rain and snowfall are expected to significantly impact Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Meteorologist Andy Firth told The Canadian Press that up to 40 millimetres of freezing rain and rain could fall over parts of Nova Scotia beginning overnight Saturday and lasting for 12 hours.
“Extended periods of freezing rain of longer than 12 hours is not something we commonly have,” he said Saturday. “It’s a pretty significant amount of freezing rain.”
Meanwhile, up to 30 centimetres of snow mixed with ice pellets is expected over the weekend in Montreal and its surrounding areas.
Environment Canada is warning that the storm system’s effects could result in widespread power outages across Ontario and Atlantic Canada, so residents are being urged to make the necessary preparations Saturday, such as stocking up on fuel.
Road conditions in affected areas could become hazardous as a result of the storm, so motorists and pedestrians “should exercise caution and adjust plans accordingly,” the national weather agency said.
Holiday travellers are also being urged to check their flight status before heading out to the airport as several travel advisories are in effect.
Air Canada is warning of possible further flight delays at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, where there have already been some cancellations as result of poor weather conditions. Some flights at Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport have also been delayed.
Polk County is currently under a winter storm warning, as snow moves across Iowa, targeting the area around 8 p.m. tonight.
Snow will continue throughout the night, becoming heaviest after midnight, said Craig Cogil, meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Des Moines office.
Travelers can expect poor visibility on the roads overnight. In addition, winds sustained at 15 to 20 miles an hour with gusts between 25 and 30 miles an hour can cause accumulated snow Sunday to drift.
With temperatures Saturday and Sunday around 20 degrees and dropping off from there, the snow is expected to stick around for a possible “White Christmas.”
“At this point in time, it sure looks like it,” Cogil said.
The Iowa State Patrol is preparing for the severe weather by extending troopers’ shifts and widening their assigned patrol areas to help stranded motorists,according to a news release. If necessary, the State Patrol will request support from the Iowa National Guard.
For people who are traveling during the storm, the State Patrol offers the following tips:
– Allow proper stopping time by increasing the following distance
– Do not use cruise control on snow or ice covered roadways
– Use caution on overpasses, bridges, and all ramps
– Be alert and focused on driving
– Allow extra travel time
– Adjust the cars speed to road conditions
– Wear a seatbelt in the front and back seat
– Fully charged cell phone
– Emergency roadside assistance kit
– Use 911 if assistance is needed
The number of power outages in Tulsa increased for a time Saturday afternoon. At 1 p.m. there were 7,285 customers without power, compared to 3,553 at 11:30 a.m. Most recent totals are below.
Stan Whiteford of Public Service of Oklahoma said all their customers that can receive power should have it back before the end of Saturday.
Roadways are mostly wet thanks to soil temperatures, but drivers should use caution especially on elevated surfaces. There is also a high danger of falls.
Tree limbs and power lines are coated with ice, and some power outages are being reported.
A fiber optic line went down across several cars in the parking lot of Coppermill, 5700 East 72nd Street South just after 8 a.m.
As freezing rain rolled through northern New York Saturday afternoon, National Grid reported thousands of people without power.
The numbers varied as the afternoon wore on, but in general were increasing; in Jefferson County, outages were concentrated along the St. Lawrence River and in the Gouverneur-Hermon-Russell-DeKalb area in St. Lawrence County.
Lewis County appeared unaffected by Saturday’s weather, although emergency services officials there said they expect some low level flooding.
National Grid said it had 1,600 people ready to help repair ice storm damage. The workforce being mobilized will be the largest since the 1998 ice storm, the company said, includes more than 850 electric line and forestry workers. National Grid said it was moving people into place Saturday, with an eye towards “starting damage assessment and restoration very early tomorrow (Sunday) morning.”
7 News meteorologist Joe LaPlante updated his forecast at 2:30 pm for the worst affected areas – Joe now believes the area from Watertown and Fort Drum north to Canton, west to Cape Vincent, Clayton and Alexandria Bay, and along the St. Lawrence River to Waddington will bear the brunt of the storm. Massena, which had been the projected target of the ice storm, may be spared the worst of the ice and get more sleet, Joe believes. Adams is just below the area worst affected.
(As the National Weather Service and others have noted, the weather system driving today’s weather is very complex, and because of that, predictions about who will get what are more difficult than usual.)
St. Lawrence County declared a state of emergency, effective at 4 p.m. Saturday “due to extremely icy weather conditions.” The state of emergency means all non-emergency travel is banned, effective at 5 p.m. Saturday.
The ice storm warning for Jefferson and Lewis counties remained in effect Saturday – and an ice storm warning was officially issued for St. Lawrence County.
The worst of the freezing rain is not expected until tonight and will continue into Sunday. The warning expires at 11 p.m. Sunday.
As of this morning, the National Weather Service warning predicted an inch to an inch and a half of ice in Jefferson and northern parts of Lewis County.
“Ice accumulation of this magnitude will cause widespread damage to trees and power lines, resulting in extended power outages” according to the Weather Service statement for Jefferson and Lewis counties. “Untreated surfaces will become ice covered, making travel next to impossible.”
In addition, there is a flood watch in effect for Jefferson and Lewis counties from 4 p.m. Saturday to 10 p.m. Sunday, because temperatures during the day will get above freezing – just barely for the Watertown area, with a projected high of 33 degrees, and 40 degrees in Lowville.
7 News meteorologist Joe LaPlante said the areas of northern New York that get rain – as opposed to freezing rain – will be most vulnerable to flooding.
The H1N1 virus is back with a vengeance.
Nicknamed swine flu, H1N1 appeared in 2009 and subsided the past three years. But as flu season unfolds, it’s again attacking children and young adults. North Louisiana doctors have reported more cases than most of the state since Oct. 1.
As of Dec. 7, nearly half of flu cases with an identified viral type in Louisiana came from the H1N1, according to state health department reports. That’s consistent with national trends.
“This is the same H1N1, so the risk for children, pregnant women, the people with underlying conditions and younger people is the same,” said Dr. Joseph Bocchini, director of the clinical virology lab at University Health Shreveport.
During the 2009-10 flu season, swine flu hit children, teenagers and young adults hardest. State public health workers took the unprecedented step of offering vaccines at campuses in nine Northwest Louisiana parishes. They vaccinated an estimated 37,000 youngsters at schools that flu season.
State health officials estimated 292,000 cases of swine flu in Louisiana during that season, based on 2,396 lab-confirmed cases with the H1N1 virus.
Bocchini said it’s not too late to get a flu vaccine. Doctors recommend that anyone 6 months old or older get vaccinated.
He also encourages more attention to hygiene to avoid giving the flu along with a Christmas present. “The virus can remain infectious on doorknobs and other inanimate objects. Good hand washing is really important.”
“There has been a significant increase in the influenza virus and influenza-like activity over the last two to three weeks,” said Dr. James Cotter, emergency services director for Christus Health Shreveport-Bossier. “We are seeing cases in those (who) have and have not been vaccinated, although the majority of cases did not receive vaccination this year.”
Patients have been in all age groups, although there are slightly less in the 65-plus group, he said.
“The confirmed cases we have seen have been fairly mild,” Cotter said. “We are prescribing antivirals if symptoms have lasted less than 48 hours and our patients desire to take them. Otherwise, it is symptomatic treatment.”
The victim was a 73-year-old Saudi man, who suffered from chronic illnesses, the ministry said on its website.
It also reported three new cases of the virus.
They are two foreigners working in health care who had been exposed to patients suffering from the virus and a 53-year-old Saudi man who is also chronically ill and in intensive care.
The ministry said 136 cases have been reported in the country since the virus appeared more than a year ago.
Experts are struggling to understand the disease, for which there is no vaccine.
It is considered a deadlier but less-transmissible cousin of the SARS virus that erupted in Asia in 2003 and infected 8,273 people, nine percent of whom died.
MAGNITUDE 5.2 – SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS REGION
Subject To Change
Depth: 30 km
Distances: 551 km E of Honiara, Solomon Islands / pop: 56,298 / local time: 04:56:35.0 2013-12-22
314 km E of Kirakira, Solomon Islands / pop: 1,122 / local time: 04:56:35.0 2013-12-22
SOUTHWESTERN SIBERIA, RUSSIA
Subject To Change
Depth: 10 km
Distances: 602 km E of Novosibirsk, Russia / pop: 1,419,007 / local time: 23:51:50.0 2013-12-21
38 km SE of Abakan, Russia / pop: 167,289 / local time: 00:51:50.0 2013-12-22
17 km NW of Shushenskoye, Russia / pop: 18,770 / local time: 00:51:50.0 2013-12-22