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Tornadoes ripped through large portions of Oklahoma on Wednesday, marking the start of tornado season. The storm killed at least one person and left scores with damaged homes and tens of thousands of households with no power
Tornado season has arrived
Oklahoma’s governor declared a state of emergency for 25 counties Thursday, a day after severe weather whipped through large swathes of state, resulting in one death and widespread power outages.
Governor Mary Fallin announced the declaration in the city of Moore, after touring a stricken elementary school, according to NBC News. No students or staff were injured at the school, which was closed when the tornado hit.
“It’s hard to believe that two years later, we’re back at a Moore public school, surveying damage,” Fallin said. “I am very thankful that this school did not sustain damage during school hours.”
Outside Tulsa, a tornado cut through a mobile home park in the suburbs of Sand Springs Wednesday night, killing at least one person and injuring three others.
“Right now, rescue efforts are continuing and officers are aiding the injured and helping those who need immediate medical care,” Shannon Clark, with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, told CNN. “It’s very tough conditions right now — very touch and go. The conditions my people are working in right now are deplorable at best.”
Further south, near Oklahoma City, officials reported that another tornado touched down outside the town of Moore, overturning vehicles, uprooting trees and injuring at least three people. However, no deaths were reported in the area.
Thousands of Oklahoma residents were without power early Thursday as officials mobilized rescue efforts.
Officials order evacuation ahead of further storms
Heavy rains in the Andes sent flash floods through Chile’s Atacama desert Tuesday evening, leaving thousands without power or running water. The area is normally one of the driest in the world.
Overwhelmed by runoff, the river that runs through Copiapo, Atacama’s capital city, overflowed its banks with more rain predicted over the next 12 hours.
Authorities, fearful of mudslides, urged locals to seek safety elsewhere. Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo advised “anyone in an at-risk zone in the Atacama region” to evacuate, the BBC reports.
Northern coastal towns were hit especially hard. The government described the coastal town of Chañaral as in a “critical” state, while the Antofagasta and Coquimbo regions were affected seriously enough to warrant health alerts.
Military units were deployed in Copiapo to lend assistance, and President Michelle Bachelet rearranged her schedule in order to fly to the besieged city.
Along with causing widespread flooding, the rainstorms also washed out roads and disrupted communications. Local officials say 38,000 residents are without power and 48,000 are without potable water.
According to a National Weather Service warning for residents nearby
A “confirmed extremely dangerous tornado” hit Wednesday evening near Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to the National Weather Service, which warned residents nearby: “You are in a life threatening situation.”
The tornado was spotted at 6:02 p.m. (7:02 p.m. ET) and was moving east at 40 mph in the genral direction of Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Verdigris, Oneta and Inola, the weather service said.
“Flying debris will be deadly to those caught without shelter,” it said.
NBC station KJRH of Tulsa reported that homes and vehicles had been damaged…
Your apps want to know where you are
Smartphone apps regularly collect large amounts of data on users’ locations, sometimes as often as every three minutes, new research suggests.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University conducted a study where they asked 23 people to use their Android smartphones normally, and tracked location data requests from each device with specially designed software, the Wall Street Journal reports. The researchers found that many popular Android apps tracked their users an average 6,200 times per participant over a two-week period, or about every three minutes.
The WSJ writes:
Even apps that provided useful location-based services often requested the device’s location far more frequently than would be necessary to provide that service, the researchers said. The Weather Channel, for example, which provides local weather reports, requested device location an average 2,000 times, or every 10 minutes, during the study period. Groupon, which necessarily gathers location data to offer local deals, requested one participant’s coordinates 1,062 times in two weeks.
Some of the apps came pre-installed on the phone, and were not as easily deleted, the WSJ reports. The researchers were also looking at whether users would benefit or appreciate software “nudges” that would alert them when sensitive data was being collected by their apps. The researchers found that the participants often changed settings when they learned that their apps were collecting information about them or their location.
The research will be presented at the CHI 2015 conference.
Mont Saint-Michel is normally accessible by a slim causeway.
Visitors witnessed Mont Saint-Michel in northwestern France become an island on Saturday, thanks to a rare “supertide” that submerged a causeway that typically provides access to the medieval community. The waters rose some 42 feet (13 meters) and temporarily disconnected the area, which is about 2,000 feet (600 meters) from land.
Parts of the Northeast could see a half-inch of snow on the first day of spring
The calendar may say Friday is the first day of spring, but Old Man Winter isn’t going out that easy. Yet another round of snow is set to strike the Northeast on Friday, with 3 to 6 in. of snow expected to fall between West Virginia and Massachusetts.
Parts of Washington and Virginia can expect a mix of rain and snow, according to Accuweather. The storm is set to have the greatest impact in parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland, where residents could face up to 6 in. of the devil’s dandruff on Friday. The Weather Channel reports some parts of New England may also see 3 in. of snow on Friday.
Friday’s storm is the cherry on top of a blistery winter for the Northeastern swath of the U.S., particularly for residents of Boston, which has faced its snowiest winter on record in 2014–15 with over 108 in. of snow.
The rest of the world, however, has been feeling the heat. According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, this winter was the world’s warmest.
But you wouldn't have guessed it if you lived on the East Coast+ READ ARTICLE
Global temperatures from December to February were the highest on record, U.S. climate officials said Wednesday.
If that comes as a surprise to many Americans after an agonizingly cold winter, it’s because the region encompassing the eastern United States and Canada was one of the only places on earth with lower-than-average temperatures.
Globally, the average temperature from December to February was 1.42 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the 20th-century average, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The average temperature was the highest since tracking began in 1880, surpassing the previous high in 2007 by .05 degrees.
Last month marked the second coldest February on record, behind February 1998.
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