5 feet of snow forecast near Buffalo
All 50 states will see freezing temperatures on Tuesday, with millions of Americans facing another bitter blast of unseasonably cold air. Up to five feet of snow was possible south of Buffalo, New York, due to an “historic but highly localized lake effect snow event,” according to NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins.
An arctic blast has socked the nation for days, causing at least 17 deaths since Saturday. While last week’s freeze focused on the Rockies and the Plains, the Midwest, Northeast and South shivered overnight. By 2:25 a.m. ET, Buffalo and Erie, Pennsylvania, had been buried under around two feet of snow.
Prices have risen by up to three times since earlier this year
Last winter’s severe snowstorms triggered road salt shortages around the U.S., pinching supplies and forcing some transportation departments to stock up early. The result: road salt costs have doubled, and even tripled in some parts of the country, thanks to increased demand by states hoping to keep the roads clear.
From Minnesota to New York, states have had to pay premium prices for road salt this year. In Michigan, prices up are up 50%. In Indiana, they’re up almost 60%. In Missouri, some local transportation departments are reporting prices that have doubled. St. Louis, for example, is paying $112 a ton, up from $49 last year.
“Several severe winters are forcing prices upward,” says Todd Matheson, a spokesman for the department of transportation in Wisconsin, where more than four feet of snow fell in some places last week.
Wisconsin normally goes through about 500,000 tons of salt a year. But because of the potential for a repeat of last winter’s severe weather, this year the state has 564,000 tons on hand with 141,000 tons as an option to purchase. Costs are up statewide 14% compared with this time last year, averaging $69 a ton, Matheson says.
Ohio, which got unexpectedly hit with by storms over the weekend, triggering snow emergencies across the central part of the state, paid $105 a ton for a portion of the 600,000 tons of salt it currently has on hand. On average, the state paid $57 a ton compared with $38 last year.
Even with the rising prices, most states are not reporting road salt shortages. The New Jersey Department of Transportation is currently at 100% capacity (164,000 tons) and is in the process of adding 20,000 tons of storage space set to be available this winter. It can also store 716,000 gallons of liquid calcium and 150,000 gallons of brine, which is often applied to roads before a storm hits to help keep snow and ice from sticking.
One state that is running below average is Pennsylvania. The state has in store 90% of the average amount it uses during a winter, says Richard Kirkpatrick, a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesperson. The average is 841,000 tons, and last year the state went through 1.2 million tons. But this year it only has 694,000 tons on hand with another 65,000 on order. And the long-range forecast? Above normal snowfall for much of the state.
Winter is coming, and it's going to be rough. See what the worst of this year's chilly weather could look like, as visualized by the 10 of the worst snow storms in U.S. history
Storms spreading from Midwest to New York
An icy blast that claimed at least six lives over the weekend was set to issue a second punch Monday and plunge large areas of the East, Midwest and South into a unseasonable freeze. Commuters in parts of the Midwest faced a “treacherous commute” on Monday after the deadly storm tore through their area. Forecasters said a new temperature drop later in the day would be accompanied by up to three feet of lake effect snow around the Great Lakes over the next two days, with the heaviest dump coming from Cleveland, Ohio, to Buffalo, New York.
Hamlet of Gile got 48.3 inches in two days alone
A winter storm locking the U.S. in an unseasonable freeze has buried parts of Wisconsin in more than four feet of snow, meteorologists said Friday.
The hamlet of Gile, which is located near the Michigan state line, has been walloped with a rare 48.3 inches in the past two days alone. “There were some pretty high totals up there but this area in particular is certainly an anomaly,” said Michael Palmer, lead forecaster at The Weather Channel. “It’s amazing. It’s just amazing how much has come so fast,” Gile resident Peg Sutherland told the St. Paul Pioneer Press…
Cold air will blanket two-thirds of the U.S. on Thursday, with arctic air expected to take aim at the East Coast after ripping through the rest of the county. The National Weather Service said temperatures will plummet to 25 to 40 degrees below normal across much of the northern and central U.S. New England is expected to experience light snow, but up to a foot of snow is expected to fall in the Great Lakes region.
The polar invasion is expected to linger through the middle of next week, according to The Weather Channel. It tore through the Plains and Midwest earlier this week, sending temperatures plummeting and shattering record lows…
The breach wasn't acknowledged until after several probes
Officials announced Wednesday that Chinese hackers had gained access to Federal weather data as early as September.
The hack occurred in late September, but was not acknowledged by the the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration until Oct. 20, the Washington Post reports. As a result of the hack, some national weather websites were unavailable for as many as two days, including the National Ice Center website. And those sites being offline impacted some long-term forecasts.
NOAA also lagged in its response to the breach. The Post reports the the administration “did not say its systems were compromised” when the problem was first acknowledged on Oct. 20. When NOAA admitted Wednesday that there had been a cyber security breach, they did not say who was responsible either. That information came from Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), who disclosed that the attack had come from China. Wolf blasted the agency saying, “They had an obligation to tell the truth. They covered it up.”
Read more at the Washington Post.
These are today's top trending stories+ READ ARTICLE
In today’s trending stories, China and the U.S. have agreed to lower carbon emissions by 2030, which the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions calls an “extremely hopeful sign.”
Some 20,000 nurses in California are going on a two-day strike to protest the lack of protection in hospitals when it comes to Ebola treatment. Eighty-eight hospitals — 86 of which are owned by Kaiser Permanente — are to be affected.
And it may be November, but the midwest is facing an early bout of winter. Other parts of the U.S. can soon expect the same.
Finally, director Quentin Tarantino announced he may retire after his 10th film. Currently, he’s working on his eighth, titled The Hateful Eighth.
Watch today’s Know Right Now to find out more.
Cold weather blew through the American Midwest
At least four people had been killed in crashes on ice-slicked roads in Minnesota, and some parts of the Upper Midwest were buried under two feet of snow Tuesday as an unusually early winter blast socked large parts of the country, authorities said.
Lac du Flambeau in north-central Wisconsin had 23.7 inches of snow on the ground Tuesday afternoon, while 24.5 inches had fallen on Ishpeming in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, said the National Weather Service, which reported that numerous other locations in the north-central Upper Peninsula had seen more than 18 inches of snowfall…