weather

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The National Weather Service says a tornado struck the Smithfield area killing four people in Madison County and leaving tens of thousands without power and causing significant damage through the region.

A line of severe thunderstorms moved through the entire region of western, central and northern New York Tuesday evening causing damage in various areas, but Smithfield suffered the worse.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

  Trees were on front yards, on cars, in roads, on power lines and on top of houses in East Syracuse after a powerful storm system swept through the village Tuesday evening.

A few hours later, residents were using the remaining daylight to survey damage, many walking around or sitting in their driveway, others checking in on neighbors. Chainsaws were already roaring to begin cleaning up.

Emergency crews requested power be shut off to the entire village as power lines were down across several streets and yards.

Photo courtesy of Oswego County resident Rick Grosvent

10:04 p.m. update:

The National Weather Service says three people died from the storms in Madison County.

Family members confirm to WRVO News that three people were killed in Peterboro when the homes they were in on Goff Road collapsed after being pounded by thunderstorms.

The deceased include a mother and her four-month-old daughter who were in a single family home. Another woman, approximately 70 years old, according to family members, was in a mobile home that was also destroyed. In all, four homes collapsed.

From earlier:

Verona cleaning up after tornado touches down

Jun 19, 2014
Provided by Fritz Scherz

The Oneida County town of Verona is still cleaning up after a tornado touched down and caused damage to homes, road signs, trees and businesses Tuesday night.

Town Councilman Fred "Fritz" Scherz lives only a few miles from where the tornado landed. He says he quickly reached out to the National Weather Service to survey the damages.

WRVO

It’s summertime. It’s hot. Your car has been parked in the blazing sunshine all day. You get in and the seats feel like they’re burning your legs and the steering wheel is untouchable. You may think of it as uncomfortable, an inconvenience. But a car’s interior can reach a temperature high enough to be dangerous.

Click "Read More" to hear our interview with Jan Null.

In this archived broadcast from September 11, 1992, John Weeks talks about waking up early one morning and how he wanted to see what difference a shift of 12 degrees in latitude would make. Weeks said that he woke up too early and that the stars were still shining in the sky but eventually the fog and dew were heavy enough to blur the street lights. He talks about the different sounds that he hears from the birds as well as the grasshoppers and the flowers that he sees.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO/File photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo gathered local leaders from around the state to talk about reaction to past storms, and to plan for future ones.

Cuomo invited government leaders from Long Island, the North Country, central New York and other locales that experienced damage from Hurricanes Irene, Lee and Sandy. They gathered to praise their past efforts to react to the storms, and to report on the steps they are taking to prepare for future disastrous weather events.

Closings and delays for Thursday

Mar 13, 2014
ecksunderscore / via Flickr

The blizzard that started in central and northern New York Wednesday is still clearing out of the region today. Some schools and other organizations are delaying opening. Please check back here for updates throughout the morning.

National Weather Service

Spring is just over a week away, but winter storm warnings are in effect for most of central and northern New York from early Wednesday morning until early Thursday, as a large winter storm is expected to sweep through the area Wednesday afternoon into Thursday. 

You'd think that Global Warming would make for less snow, but in this episode of the Campbell Conversations we learn why it might produce more snow, at least in Central New York.  Host Grant Reeher talks with Mark Monmonier about his latest book, Lake Effect:  Tales of Large Lakes, Arctic Winds, and Recurrent Snows.  Find out what fascinated this Geography professor so much about our local snowfalls that he wrote an entire

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

This winter’s cold temperatures are creating tough survival conditions for honeybees. Come spring, the bees will be relied on to pollinate upstate New York apple, cherry, and other fruit trees.

Mike Martino began the winter with a hundred bee colonies on his Honey Hill apple orchard in Chittenango. He estimates he’ll lose about 30 colonies by spring time. He’s hoping the prolonged frigid temperatures of the past few months don’t kill off more.

Talking About Spring

Feb 20, 2014

In this archived broadcast, Talking About Spring, John Weeks talks about how the weather is becoming nicer and all the snow is beginning to melt. He mentions that the rapid disappearances of snow is causing green brown pasture and weed fields all over. He also talks about how flooding can occur due to the amount of snow melting and he talks about different questions that he has received about the spring weather.

Meteorology professors, students track weather patterns

Feb 17, 2014
Jake Mulholland / OWLeS

While most of those living along the eastern shore of Lake Ontario and the Tug Hill Plateau have been cursing this winter and its seemingly constant snowfall, a group of researchers from 11 colleges, including SUNY Oswego, couldn't have been happier with the situation.

National Weather Service

A fast moving winter storm is dumping heavy snow along the Southern Tier early this morning and could leave a foot or more of snow on the ground by this evening. 

National Weather Service

Winter storm warnings have been posted for all of central New York and parts of the North Country as a winter storm is expected move through the region Tuesday night and Wednesday. 

Downed trees from ice storm will be turned into energy

Jan 22, 2014
Joanna Richards / WRVO

All the power lines have been fixed after last month’s ice storm, and the crystal coatings have melted off the trees, but there’s still a persistent sign of the damage: lots of downed limbs.

Yards in the northern half of Jefferson County are full of tangled branches, sunk in the snow. Extricating them is going to be a long process, but there’s a plan in the works to give them a new life as fuel.

Carlet Cleare / WXXI (file photo)

In his annual State of the State address Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined a major initiative to ramp up New York’s capacity for dealing with natural disasters.

Part of the multi-million dollar proposal involves installing a state-of-the-art weather detection system to provide more accurate, real time warnings.

Jennifer Gaffney

Travelers got back on the road yesterday afternoon after Interstate 81 reopened following the massive snowfall. Many spent an unexpected night in the north country – some in hotels, some in fire halls, some in the homes of strangers. The experience might have been a lousy advertisement for the climate here, but natives seemed to be at their best as Good Samaritans during the storm.

Catherine Loper / WRVO

The last portions of Route 81 between Watertown and North Syracuse are open again, after lake-effect storms closed much of the highway down.

Through the storms, hardy North Country natives have been helping stranded travelers. Many people spent last night in fire halls - the one in Adams took in 150 people. Watertown hotels right off the Interstate 81 exit were full, of both drivers and staff who couldn't get out, either.

The lake effect snow warning for northern New York has been extended until Thursday at 1 p.m. as upwards of four feet of snow has fallen in some spots since Monday. A state of emergency remains in effect for 14 counties, including Oswego, Jefferson and Lewis Counties.

Forecasters predicted snow to fall at a rate of two to three inches an hour Wednesday morning in an area in the Tug Hill area.

National Guard helping New York dig out of blizzard

Jan 8, 2014
Ryan Delaney / WRVO

More than 200 National Guard members have been called on to help parts of New York dig out of the blizzard and frigid temperatures, but roll call was all volunteer.

Twenty members of the 174th Air National Guard Wing based in Syracuse signed up to bundle up and join units from Niagara Falls, Utica and Buffalo to respond to the blizzard that hit western and northern New York this week.

Catherine Loper / WRVO News File Photo

Pounding snow in the North Country and bitterly cold temperatures across the state will around for at least one more night.

Government officials in New York state from the governor on down are urging residents in parts of northern, central and western New York to stay indoors as lake effect snow, wind chill advisories and frigid temperatures are causing dangerous conditions.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO file photo

Bitterly cold temperatures, strong winds and heavy lake effect snow is causing travel problems and school closings and delays around the region late Monday and Tuesday. 

Durrie Lawrence/WRVO File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the worst of the winter storm is now over, but New Yorkers now face another challenge -- extreme cold.

In a conference call with reporters, Cuomo says the storm, which dropped several inches of snow, is moving east and out of New York.

“Mother nature has moved on, somewhat,” Cuomo said.

And he says all roads are now open. Cuomo defended his decision to close parts of the New York State Thruway, the Long Island Expressway, and I-84 overnight.

Cold weather grips central, northern New York

Jan 2, 2014
Loren Sztajer / Flickr

Much of central New York is under a winter storm warning until tomorrow morning. Snow will fall heavily at times around the region, with the heaviest of the snow falling from Syracuse south. Six to 12 inches of snow is possible around central New York by tomorrow with lesser amounts to the north.

In addition to the snow, the region will be facing bitterly cold temperatures. Wind chill advisories are posted for the region through tomorrow morning.

Jenna Flanagan/Innovation Trail

The winter months can pose a headache for drivers navigating the roads after a snow storm. Plowing can only do so much and too often a slick, hard pack of snow and ice can cover streets making them dangerous to drive.

So what are road crews trying now? Beet juice.

It’s not used everywhere, but it is catching on. The New York State Thruway Authority is one of several state agencies pre-treating and treating roads with and mixture of beet juice extract and brine water.

Joanna Richards

The lights are coming back on in Jefferson County after the ice storm left most residents in the dark for some period over the weekend. National Grid says it expects to restore power to nearly all customers by midnight tonight.

Sixteen-hundred field workers from as far away as New Jersey and the Ohio Valley are helping to make that happen. Despite the progress, the utility says some customers could be in the dark through Christmas.

North Country scraping its way out of blanket of ice

Dec 23, 2013
Joanna Richards

Updated at 3:40 p.m.

Storms and Wildlife

Dec 17, 2013

John Weeks tells us about the signs of winter we can find so early on. Sitting at the shore on Lake Ontario he is able to define trends with only one week of winter to go by. Wildlife is remarkably good at giving signs of the weather that will soon approach and John Weeks discusses them.

This episode of Nature of Things was originally aired December 23rd, 1990.

John Weeks discusses deep winter weathers that arrive around times of the year like this one. Animals have to face severe conditions to survive in these cold harsh winters. The sub-freezing temperatures characterize the weather conditions upstate New York. Seasonal shedding is an annoyance to pet owners but it is an adaption to this weather. Wild animals find way to adapt to the weather too. Just like we have clothing that helps us adapt to weather, animals too have natural adaptions to weather that help them prepare for the seasons to come.

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