More snow hits Upper Midwest

Cold winter continues across northern tier of country while health officials warn of air quality in Oklahoma.

BY STEPHANIE BACKUS | BALTIMORE | February 27, 2009


The West Coast and Upper Midwest, already battered by cold temperatures and heavy snow this winter, is expecting to see more winter weather Friday.

The region -- from Washington State to Michigan -- is expecting anywhere from six to 10 inches of snow, with thundersnow forecasted in some areas.

With the Lenten season beginning, churches say it is even more important to make sure walkways and parking lots are cleaned for their congregation.

"If the snow comes and it's done with and people know they can get here for the 11 a.m. services, it's OK," said Carol Gallatin, office manager for Grace Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Eau Claire, WI. "It's it's snowing and icing (the morning of services), then the membership count is down; especially in the morning because that is when our older members come out and they won't adventure out in that weather."

According to Gallatin, Grace Lutheran Church has two blocks that have to be cleaned when snow comes. She said the custodial staff of two works four to five hours on removing the snow and that the church hires a company to help remove the snow as well.

Gallatin said this winter has been worse than most, but said it is not much different than years past.

"Wisconsin winters are bad," she said. "What's helped us has been this warm period of time. We have lost a lot of snow in the last two to three weeks with temperatures getting up to 40, but now this round of snow is supposed to come and the low is supposed to be zero (degrees) tomorrow or Saturday."

Gallatin did note that on Thursday morning, the sun was shining and there was no sign of the upcoming winter weather.

North Dakota and parts of northern Minnesota are also under a wind chill warning. On Thursday morning, wind chill temperatures were well below zero. Actual air temperatures were hovering right around 0 degrees in the region.

The Pacific coast of Alaska is currently under a blizzard warning. Areas of near zero visibility are expected in some areas.

Meanwhile, warmer climates are seeing red flag warnings. Much of western Texas and New Mexico are under the warning, which is issued when conditions are likely for wildfires. Parts of northern New Mexico are also under high wind warnings, which could spread wildfires quickly.

Recent wildfires in Oklahoma have caused the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality to issue a warning that pollutants could be in the air. Highly sensitive people are especially at risk of experiencing reactions to the smoke in the air, such as a scratchy throat and watering eyes among other symptoms. Officials expected air quality conditions to improve on Thursday with higher winds coming into the region.

In Arkansas, minor flooding on the White River is still an issue. High precipitation levels are blamed for the rising river levels.

A 4.0-magnitude earthquake hit at 1:53 a.m., Pacific Coast time Thursday , off the coast of Oregon. The epicenter was 200 miles west of Klamath Falls, OR. No damage was reported.


Related Topics:

Winter storms could spell doom for some churches

Bitter cold forecast for Northeast

Snow? Whoa! New England braces for even more!


More links on Winter Storms

Advertisers:

DNN Sponsors include:

Advertisements: