WBEZ | National Weather Service http://www.wbez.org/tags/national-weather-service Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Lollapalooza evacuated in advance of severe weather http://www.wbez.org/news/lollapalooza-evacuated-advance-severe-weather-101477 <p><p><em>Updated 8/4/2012 at 11:20 pm</em></p><p>Lollapalooza, the massive music festival taking place in Grant Park on Chicago&#39;s lakefront this weekend, evacuated at around 3:30 pm Saturday in advance of &quot;serious weather.&quot; WBEZ reporters on the scene said festivalgoers were calm, yet disappointed. Many made plans to continue their festivities in area hotels; many other sought refuge in nearby restaurants.</p><p>Festivalgoers were told to take shelter in nearby parking garages, which are serving as emergency evacuation shelters. &nbsp;The shelters are located at Grant Park North, Grant Park South and East Monroe streets.</p><p>Before thunderstorms hit with full-force, few seemed in a hurry to go underground, because, as one man said, &quot;It&#39;s hot down there.&quot;</p><p>But many attendees, security staff, and OEMC staff brought in to direct traffic told WBEZ reporters that they were unaware of storm shelters or specific evacuation routes. Movement out of the park was slow, as additional exits took time to open and people took to climbing over fences to get out. The extra 8-foot tall &quot;black fence&quot; was installed this year to thwart people forcing their way into the festival.</p><p>&quot;I saw on the [Lollapalooza] app that the park was closed and then everyone was just roaming around. It was kind of crazy,&quot; said attendee&nbsp;Katie Karrasch. &quot;We didn&#39;t know for awhile to go downstairs [into the parking garages], and we went down and there was barely anyone there.&quot;</p><p>&quot;We wanted to see FUN. and we hope that they show,&quot; her companion&nbsp;Eric Fillip added. &quot;And she wanted to see The Weeknd...so we hope that they extend it or they still let the bands play.&quot;</p><p>The National Weather Service issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 4:30 p.m; the evacuation lasted until 6 p.m., at which point people were allowed to reenter the park. The Chicago Transit Authority tweeted that train service <a href="http://Update: Service continues to be pretty normal (with some local traffic impacts in some parts of city). All 'L' lines moving.">appeared &quot;normal&quot;</a>&nbsp;throughout the storm and the aftermath.</p><p>&quot;Our first priority is always the safety of our fans, staff and artists,&rdquo; said Shelby Meade in a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lollapalooza.com/news-events/lolla-news/2012/08/04/lollapalooza-evacuation/">statement</a>. &nbsp;Meade is the&nbsp;communications director for C3 Presents, the promoter behind Lollapalooza.</p><p>&ldquo;We regret having to suspend any show, but safety always comes first.&rdquo; C3 also said that &quot;Lollapalooza officials are continuing to coordinate with the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) to monitor weather conditions and determine when the park is safe for festival-goers to return.&quot;</p><p>After the event was reinstated, Charlie Jones, a&nbsp;partner of C3 Presents, said in a statement, &quot;We want to thank the tens of thousands of festival goers, staff, and artists who calmly and safely exited from Grant Park today. We also applaud and thank the City of Chicago for their cooperation and commitment to making Lolla a safe and enjoyable experience for all.&nbsp; Once again Chicago has come through and we&rsquo;re proud to call the city our partner.&rdquo;</p><p>Several acts were canceled during the two-plus hours the park was closed, including B.o.B and Alabama Shakes; the latter&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/Alabama_Shakes/status/231910626220466177">tweeted</a>, &quot;Sorry Chicago, we were really pumped to play for you all but the storm had other plans. We will be back to make it up for you!&quot; Other shows were pushed back, and headlining acts were scheduled to wrap up at 10:45 p.m. instead of 10 p.m as planned.</p><p>&quot;For anything that goes on in the city of Chicago that doesn&#39;t get bumblef***ed like the city of Chicago usually does, is pretty great,&quot; said attendee Geoff Upjohn as he watched crowds stream back into the park (wristbands were barely checked this time around).&nbsp;&quot;They&#39;re handling it pretty good, people are getting let back in, it&#39;s not a problem, there&#39;s really not a big cop presence. So actually, for the city of Chicago, they&#39;re doing a wonderful job right now.&quot;</p><p>The festival has been under heavy scrutiny in recent weeks by the Chicago <em>Tribune</em> and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-08/tribune-if-severe-weather-hits-fans-lollapalooza-are-screwed-101374">our own Jim DeRogatis</a> for not publicizing it&#39;s emergency plan in advance.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/garage.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px; " title="People seemed in little rush to get into the garages -- at first (WBEZ/Annie Minoff)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/gate%20jumpers.JPG" style="width: 620px; " title="People got frustrated, and began to jump the fence at Harrison St (WBEZ/Kate Dries)" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Sat, 04 Aug 2012 15:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/lollapalooza-evacuated-advance-severe-weather-101477 Warm March weather means mosquitos come sooner http://www.wbez.org/story/warm-march-weather-means-mosquitos-come-sooner-97250 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-March/2012-03-13/22121376_74a795f659_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Those who don't like bugs, beware.</p><p>Entomologists are predicting the sunny and near 70 degree weather could mean mosquitoes and insects are coming much earlier than usual. Dr. Joe Spencer of the Illinois Natural History Survey said the lack of cold weather means bugs can mature faster, allowing them to emerge much sooner than they are normally expected to.</p><p>David Zazra of the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District said his team is planning to set traps for mosquitos in April, a month earlier than usual, because of the warm weather.</p><p>"The water that's out there that might have mosquito larva in it isn't cooling down, and slowing things down, so the warmer things stay, and the warmer the water stays, the more potential there is for mosquito breeding," Zazra said.</p><p>Zazra said he's not usually thinking about mosquitoes around this time. He can't recall ever having to prepare before May.</p><p>The National Weather Service is predicting temperatures into the 70s for the rest of this week and next week. Zazra said that could increase the chance of seeing mosquitos sooner, but it doesn't mean there will be more of them than usual.</p><p>Other than being a nusiance, Spencer said the early arrival of insects won't seem too out of the ordinary. He said if temperatures stay up, plant growth will also come much earlier than usual.</p><p>But if there's a cold spell around Easter, Spencer said, like there has been in the past, those mosquitoes won't be coming early any more.</p><p><em>Correction on 03/14/12 at 12:52: An earlier version of this story misspelled Zazra.</em></p></p> Tue, 13 Mar 2012 17:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/warm-march-weather-means-mosquitos-come-sooner-97250 Heat wave leads ComEd to suspend electricity shutoffs http://www.wbez.org/story/heat-wave-leads-comed-suspend-electricity-shutoffs-89494 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-21/ComEd.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Northern Illinois residents behind on their electricity bills don’t have to worry about Commonwealth Edison disconnecting them. They don’t, that is, until the heat wave lets up.</p><p>If a day’s National Weather Service forecast predicts temperatures of at least 95 degrees, Illinois prohibits a big power company from disconnecting homes that depend on the juice to keep cool.</p><p>ComEd spokeswoman Arlana Johnson late Thursday said her company, given the heat, had not cut off any of its residential customers since last week. “We have been evaluating that on a daily basis,” she added.</p><p>The company’s restraint won praise from Elce Redmond, an organizer of the South Austin Coalition, a neighborhood group on Chicago’s West Side that is pushing for an overhaul of utility shutoff policies. “That’s a good first step,” Redmond said. “But, once the weather breaks, are they going to start massive disconnections?”</p><p>At a press conference Thursday afternoon, the coalition demanded a three-month moratorium on shutoffs and, then, more affordable reconnection and repayment terms.</p><p>ComEd responded that it cut off power only as a last resort. “No business can continue to operate if customers don’t pay for the service,” Johnson said.</p><p>During the year’s first six months, ComEd disconnected 46,493 customers for nonpayment and reconnected 28,252, according to the Illinois Commerce Commission. Those figures were up 4.1&nbsp;percent and 28.5&nbsp;percent, respectively, from the same months of 2010.</p></p> Fri, 22 Jul 2011 10:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/heat-wave-leads-comed-suspend-electricity-shutoffs-89494 More snow to hit Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/cook-county/more-snow-hit-chicago <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/ClarkMaxwell.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Another winter storm is expected to dump more rain and snow on Chicago tonight.</p><p>Paul Merzlock is with the National Weather Service in Chicago. He says a winter weather advisory is in effect for Cook and DuPage Counties.</p> <p>&ldquo;It's bringing snow across Minnesota and southwestern Wisconsin right now,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;And that's forecasted to bring snow into the area later this evening and overnight and that's when most of the accumulation is expected.&rdquo;</p><div>Four inches of snow or more could build up by Tuesday morning. Merzlock says runoff from rain could cause flooding in some areas. The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for Lake and Will Counties in Illinois. Cook County is under a flood advisory due to rising waters in the Des Plaines River.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Merzlock said the accumulation from tonight&rsquo;s storm shouldn&rsquo;t affect flood stage levels, but another weather system that&rsquo;s expected to hit Wednesday night could bring rain and more snow.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;It's a little bit early to tell right now,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;But that one could aggravate the flood situation on area rivers, bringing in more significant precipitation toward the end of the week right around Wednesday night, Thursday time frame.&rdquo;</div></p> Mon, 21 Feb 2011 19:16:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/cook-county/more-snow-hit-chicago Warmer temperatures mean melting snow for Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/blizzard-2011/warmer-temperatures-mean-melting-snow-chicago <p><p>Chicago's bitter cold is on its way out for now, but the more than 20 inches of snow left over from the blizzard will take a bit longer to disappear. Samuel Shea is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. He said he doesn&rsquo;t expect any major issues with the snowmelt.&nbsp;</p> <div>&nbsp;&ldquo;A lot of things can come into play when you&rsquo;re looking for a faster snow melt, one of those things is if we happen to get a big rainstorm falling over the snow that&rsquo;ll really help to melt it a lot faster,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Good news is from what I&rsquo;m looking at here into next week will have some light showers but we won&rsquo;t have any heavy rainfall events.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Shea says daytime highs are expected to reach 30 degrees on Saturday and into the mid 30's on Sunday. But the real warm up comes Tuesday or Wednesday when temperatures could crack 40. A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Transportation says the department is not anticipating any major issues with melting snow, but Shea said it&rsquo;s important to keep an eye on the forecast, as weather conditions can change quickly.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The National Weather Service will issue a new spring hydrologic outlook next week to determine how melting snow from the blizzard will impact river conditions.</div></p> Fri, 11 Feb 2011 23:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/blizzard-2011/warmer-temperatures-mean-melting-snow-chicago February snowfall is inching up to a record high http://www.wbez.org/story/national-weather-service/february-snowfall-inching-record-high <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/snowfall.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>February in Chicago&mdash;okay, you&rsquo;d expect a lot of snow.&nbsp;But this year we're almost at the record. The February snowfall record was set in 1896 when the city got almost 28 inches. So far this year we've had about 26. Richard Castro is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. He said it's too soon to put away the shovels.</p><p>&ldquo;After all, it is February and things could change right back to where they&rsquo;ve been for most of the winter season, which is cold and snowy,&rdquo; he said.&rdquo; &ldquo;We still have plenty of time for the rest of the month to get that 1.8 inches of snow to tie, and if we get two inches we break the record.&rdquo;</p> <div>Castro says there's no snow expected right now. He says it's likely temperatures will drop below zero over the next few days. But he says after that we can expect temperatures above freezing for the rest of the week. Castro says snowfall may be above average this year for February, but it&rsquo;s on par for average snowfall for the season, which stretches from December to February. So far 53.3 inches have been recorded at O&rsquo;Hare since December.</div></p> Tue, 08 Feb 2011 23:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/national-weather-service/february-snowfall-inching-record-high Snow ends, but dig out and recovery just beginning http://www.wbez.org/story/blizzard/forecast-includes-heavy-snow-strong-winds-thunderstorms-and-extreme-cold <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Lake Shore Drive bulldozer BLIZZARD - AP Kiichiro Sato.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><strong>Updated: 3:09 PM</strong></p><p>Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley says the city's public schools will be open tomorrow. But Daley says there is still a &quot;long way to go&quot; as the city digs out from the third-largest winter storm in its history.</p><p>Daley spoke Thursday morning, two days after the snow started falling in Chicago. The storm left more than 20 inches of snow at O'Hare International Airport. The mayor says &quot;while all the snow has ended, the effects of the snow will be with us for a while.&quot;</p><p>Chicago's iconic Lake Shore Drive was reopened early Thursday morning, after being closed down since Tuesday night due to the massive snow storm that hit the city.</p><p>Crews continued working to clear and reopen Lake Shore Drive overnight, which was closed on Tuesday evening after blizzard conditions, snowdrifts and a series of traffic accidents made the road treacherous and impassable.</p><p>Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley&rsquo;s chief of staff, Raymond Orozco, told reporters Thursday morning that plowing the city&rsquo;s side streets are now the top priority.</p><p>&ldquo;Most of the focus has moved to the side streets, just eight hours after the storm ended,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>The announcement comes after crews worked through the night to re-open Lake Shore Drive around 5:30 Thursday morning. Orozco said the city has in its possession 519 vehicles that were abandoned on Lake Shore Drive during the snow storm. He said a <a href="http://www.alertchicago.org">website</a> has been created for vehicle owners to search for their license plates to find out where their cars are being held. Orozco addressed concerns from the public that they couldn&rsquo;t find where the city had taken their car which had been abandoned on Lake Shore Drive.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Because the situation was fluid as we got to a relocation site that may have been full, we moved that vehicle to another relocation site. So early on the situation was fluid.&rdquo;</p><p>Hundreds of motorists were stranded on the Drive as a result of the closure, and some waited for hours to be evacuated from their cars.</p><p>Frigid temperatures and subzero wind-chills threaten to make travel and recovery efforts difficult during the next few days.&nbsp; That's according to emergency management leaders with the City of Chicago.&nbsp;</p><p>During a news conference late Wednesday, city officials urged people to stay home if at all possible, as temperatures are expected to drop sharply during the next 12 hours.&nbsp; Public health officials, however, encouraged people to check on friends, family and neighbors.&nbsp; So far there have been at least four deaths attributed to the weather in the Chicago area.</p><p>Emergency officials are also urging those shoveling snow to be extra careful, especially those with heart conditions&nbsp; 40 people in the Chicago-area died of heart attacks sparked by shoveling snow during the major blizzard of 1999, according to the National Weather Service.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 01 Feb 2011 12:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/blizzard/forecast-includes-heavy-snow-strong-winds-thunderstorms-and-extreme-cold New England Buried Again; Snow Now On Ground In 49 States http://www.wbez.org/story/around-nation/new-england-buried-again-snow-now-ground-49-states <p><p>Thousands of people in New England are without power as another blizzard hammers the region. Some places up there, <a href="http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2011/01/_by_4_am_today.html" target="_blank">as the <em>Boston Globe </em>writes</a>, can expect to get about two feet of the white stuff before the storm moves on later today.</p><p>According <a href="http://www.wbur.org/2011/01/12/winter-weather-7" target="_blank">to our colleagues at WBUR</a> in Boston, "wetter, heavier snow than anticipated has knocked out power to tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents. ... As of 9:30 a.m. [ET], more than 87,000 homes were without power, mostly in southeastern Massachusetts."</p><p>It's the same storm that "shut down much of the South" yesterday, <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=131750766" target="_blank">the Associated Press notes</a>.</p><p>You might recall that last February, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/02/he_did_it_grad_student_has_pic.html" target="_blank">we posted about the news</a> that there was at least a trace of snow on the ground in all 50 states. Well, <a href="http://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/nsa/" target="_blank">according to the National Weather Service</a>, the only state that this morning didn't have at least a bit of snow on the ground was Florida.</p><p>Yes, <a href="http://www.nws.noaa.gov/" target="_blank">according to the Weather Service</a>: "This includes Hawaii where about seven inches of snow is atop Mauna Kea."</p><p>Here is the Weather Service's latest look at the snow cover in the lower 48: Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1294849638?&gn=New+England+Buried+Again%3B+Snow+Now+On+Ground+In+49+States&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=National+Weather+Service,snow,Weather,National+News,The+Two-Way,Around+the+Nation,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=132859529&c7=1001&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1001&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110112&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=132859693,132859540,127605625,127602855,103943429,132783213,132769262,132764894,127602855,127602446,103943429,132857522,128010892,127602855,127602331,103943429,132856711,132856707,132856705,132783213,127602855,127602446,103943429,132855959,132855957,132855955,132783213,127602855,127602446,103943429,132783213,132783213&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Wed, 12 Jan 2011 09:42:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/around-nation/new-england-buried-again-snow-now-ground-49-states Winter weather advisory lasts through evening rush hour http://www.wbez.org/story/national-weather-service/winter-weather-advisory-lasts-through-evening-rush-hour <p><p>Get ready for a rough commute home Tuesday. The National Weather Service is expecting lake effect snow to hit the Chicago region throughout rush hour. Meteorologist Samuel Shea says he expects the snow to taper off later this evening.</p><p>&quot;Across the area, yeah, I'd say Lake County, Cook County nearest the lake are getting some higher snowfall totals just because of the lake enhancement,&quot; Shea said. &quot;Otherwise, across the region of the Chicago region that we look after, it's probably going to be three to five inches.&quot;</p><p>More than 480 flights have been cancelled at O'Hare and Midway Airports. A winter weather advisory for the region is in effect until 8:00 p.m.</p></p> Tue, 11 Jan 2011 19:44:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/national-weather-service/winter-weather-advisory-lasts-through-evening-rush-hour Snow, strong winds and winter storm warning for Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago/winter-storm-warning-chicago <p><p>The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the Chicago area until midnight tonight.<br /><br />Increasing winds, sharply decreasing temperatures and snow are expected throughout the day. Snowfall of 3 to 5 inches is possible along and north of Interstate 80, with 1 to 3 inches to the south. Locally, higher amounts of snow accumulation are possible.<br /><br />Frequent wind gusts in excess of 45 miles per hour could lead to blowing and drifting snow and reduced visibility. Bitterly cold wind chills are expected to reach around 25 degrees below zero Sunday night.<br /><br />Wind chill readings will remain at dangerously cold levels from Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon. <br />&nbsp;</p></p> Sun, 12 Dec 2010 16:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago/winter-storm-warning-chicago