Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Weather-weary nation wonders about nasty conditions

WASHINGTON — Cold and snow keep battering the Midwest and East, and even Atlanta was temporarily paralyzed. California has been bone dry. Alaska set heat records.

The wild winter somehow became even more wicked Thursday morning when the national average temperature plunged to a brutal 11 degrees — the lowest temperature in a season of extremes.

A weather-weary nation asks a simple question: Why?

The answer is the jet stream, the river of air that dictates our weather. Normally the jet stream stays in Canada or the northern United States, going west to east in a somewhat straight line. But this winter it has plunged south, creating high pressure ridges and low pressure troughs while taking cold polar air south and east, leaving warm, dry weather to the west.

"We are having an unusual jet stream that's giving us crazy cold weather in the East and the ridiculously resilient ridge as it's called in California," said Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters.

When will it end?

Soon enough. In Northern California, heavy rains are coming. And a predicted eastern winter snowstorm this weekend is looking less mighty than it did a few days ago.

It won't be too soon for the meteorologists who predict it.

"I'm sick of it," said Bruce Terry, of the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Md.

A man inspects an ice-covered tree that took out a utility line and landed atop a minivan after a storm Wednesday in Philadelphia. Icy conditions have knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of electric customers in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Associated Press

A man inspects an ice-covered tree that took out a utility line and landed atop a minivan after a storm Wednesday in Philadelphia. Icy conditions have knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of electric customers in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Utilities scramble to restore power

Hundreds of thousands of people spent a second day without electricity Thursday as utility crews scrambled to restore power lost when ice took down trees and limbs in the mid-Atlantic.

Nearly a half-million customers lacked power in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

PECO, the dominant electricity provider in the Philadelphia area, had the most outages with 394,000. Spokeswoman Debra Yemenijian said most would have their lights back on by tonight, but some could be without power until Sunday.

Associated Press

Weather-weary nation wonders about nasty conditions 02/06/14 [Last modified: Thursday, February 6, 2014 11:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas licensing board executive director settled hundreds of cases without getting his board's approval

    Local Government

    By Mark Puente

    Times Staff Writer

    Eleanor Morrison complained to the Pinellas licensing board in 2015 that her contractor installed crooked walls and windows and poured too much concrete for her carport.

    Eleanor Morrison poses at her home in Treasure Island, 5/26/17. Morrison filed a complaint with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board and later learned that its former Executive Director, Rodney Fischer, dismissed the case in a private meeting with the contractor.
  2. Rays pitchers rave about Twins pitching coach, ex-mentor Neil Allen

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — There have been a lot of coaches who have had a hand in helping Chris Archer get to the big leagues and to the front of the Rays rotation, and as he took the mound Friday night at Target Field, he had reason to nod appreciatively toward the home dugout.

    Minnesota Twins pitching coach Neil Allen jogs back to the dugout after paying starting pitcher Tyler Duffey a visit on the mound in the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  3. Swan sculpture deputies say was stolen by naked man found near Lakeland pond


    A $25,000 swan sculpture that Polk County sheriff's deputies say was stolen by a naked man last weekend was found near a pond in Lakeland on Thursday.

    A swan sculpture that was stolen in Lakeland on May 19 was recovered by the Polk Sheriff’s Office on Friday.
  4. Mayor Rick Kriseman says election is about moving forward


    Mayor Rick Kriseman christened his campaign office  Friday evening by telling his supporters that the mayoral election was about moving forward, not backward..

    Mayor Rick Kriseman says mayoral election is about inclusiveness Friday at campaign office rally
  5. Mulberry teens, 15 and 18, killed when cars collide at Plant City intersection


    MULBERRY — The local high school has an enrollment of 1,000 but to some it feels like a tight-knit family. Many of Mulberry High School's students have spent all of their school days within the city limits, said principal Michael Young.

    Pepe Salgado, 18, Frinzi’s brother, died at the hospital.