Dry, hot California winter closes ski resorts, stalls wildflower blooms and revives drought fears

Weather / Weather News /

TRUCKEE, Calif. -- In the Sierra Nevada, snowpack levels are running below even the darkest days of the drought, with cross-country ski resorts closed and mountain biking becoming the sport of choice until the snow returns.

In the Bay Area, cities like San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Rosa are experiencing the hottest starts to a year on ...Read more

Tsunami alert startles East and Gulf coasts

Weather / Weather News /

PHILADELPHIA -- And you thought the Philadelphia Eagles' improbable Super Bowl win was a seismic event.

Some Jersey Shore residents were startled Tuesday morning when their cellphones went off with a tsunami alert that rippled all along the East, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean coasts. It turned out to be a false alarm.

The National Weather ...Read more

What's the chance for a 'normal' rain year now? Grim, if history is a gauge

Weather / Weather News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Hoping for a March Miracle to bail out California's dry winter? It's not likely.

A review of more than 100 years of rainfall records of major cities in California -- including San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Rosa, Redding and Fresno -- shows that none have ever finished the rainy season with normal rainfall totals ...Read more

Amid record heat in Southern California, fears of new drought

Weather / Weather News /

LOS ANGELES -- January in Southern California is typically marked by rain, chilly temperatures and snow-capped mountains.

But this month is ending on a decidedly hot and dry note, with umbrellas and sweaters giving way to bathing suits and air conditioning.

The region is in the midst of a heat wave that on Monday brought record high ...Read more

Icy roads cause hundreds of crashes, at least 4 deaths in Chicago area

Weather / Weather News /

CHICAGO -- Hundreds of traffic crashes, at least four of them fatal, were reported Wednesday morning as freezing rain glazed roads in the Chicago area.

Illinois State Police reported more than 200 crashes alone in its district in the Joliet area.

The fatal crashes included a fiery collision between a car and semi in Riverdale, another ...Read more

California county issued conflicting evacuation warnings before deadly Montecito mudslides

Weather / Weather News /

LOS ANGELES -- In the days before deadly mudslides devastated Montecito, Santa Barbara County officials released conflicting evacuation instructions that left some hard-hit neighborhoods out of the warning zone.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office posted on its website and on Facebook a list of voluntary and mandatory evacuation areas for...Read more

At least six people killed in Montecito mudslides were in voluntary evacuation zones; 11 others on border

Weather / Weather News /

LOS ANGELES -- At least six of the 21 people killed in the devastating mudslides in Montecito nearly two weeks ago were in voluntary evacuation zones, while 11 others were along the border of the voluntary and mandatory evacuation areas, authorities said Sunday.

Four people who died were swept away from neighborhoods under mandatory evacuation ...Read more

As Montecito cleanup continues, a search for where to dump thousands of tons of mud

Weather / Weather News /

MONTECITO, Calif. -- For days, crews have filled dozens of dump trucks with tangled metal, tire tread, mud and tree branches they cleared from the mudslide wreckage in Montecito.

This week they discarded at least 3,500 tons -- or about 7 million pounds -- of the muck at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, where it will be stored temporarily until ...Read more

Deep South grapples with yet another winter storm

Weather / Weather News /

ATLANTA -- People across the Deep South hunkered down Tuesday as yet another frigid winter storm blanketed the region in snow, sleet and ice, shutting down interstates, canceling flights and prompting officials to close schools and government offices.

Before dawn, flurries of snow fell across parts of Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee, causing ...Read more

Rain expected this week may hamper Montecito and freeway cleanup efforts

Weather / Weather News /

LOS ANGELES -- Rain expected later this week could hamper the cleanup process for crews trying to remove tons of debris and mud from Montecito and surrounding areas, after mud flows killed 20 people and destroyed more than 100 homes last week.

The area is far from recovered from last week's deluge. Officials say three people are still missing, ...Read more

A week after California mudslides, Trump sends condolences in press statement

Weather / Weather News /

WASHINGTON -- Nearly a week after horrific mudslides hit California's Central Coast and killed at least 20 people, President Donald Trump sent his condolences to those affected in his first public statement on the disaster.

The two-sentence statement was released by the White House press secretary on Monday.

"The President has been briefed and...Read more

Montecito victims mourned as toll rises to 20

Weather / Weather News /

MONTECITO, Calif. -- Soon after the sun set over Santa Barbara, Ann Hagan grabbed a marker and wrote a short message to the 20 strangers who died in the devastating Montecito mudslides.

"In our hearts," she wrote before signing her name on a whiteboard put up at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.

Hagan was one of thousands of people who ...Read more

Buried in mud, Montecito faces a daunting cleanup with no end in sight

Weather / Weather News /

MONTECITO, Calif. -- The cobbled parking lots outside boutiques are empty. The Italian trattoria known as Oprah Winfrey's favorite haunt is shuttered, as is the Four Seasons resort owned by Ty Warner, the Beanie Babies tycoon.

A place famous for coastal affluence and extravagance is now unlivable and grappling with one basic and primitive ...Read more

When debris flowed, Montecito families had little chance to flee

Weather / Weather News /

MONTECITO, Calif. -- The realization that houses might simply vanish didn't start to set in until a 30-foot tree trunk barreled by.

Trina Grokenberger stared out the upstairs window of her white Colonial house Tuesday morning, as a river raged through her front yard.

It was 3:58 a.m.

"Dave!" she called to her husband. "We can't leave now, ...Read more

Death toll in Montecito mudslide rises to 19, while 101 Freeway will remain closed indefinitely

Weather / Weather News /

MONTECITO, Calif. -- As the death toll in the Montecito mudslides increased to 19 on Saturday, officials announced that the 101 Freeway would remain closed indefinitely.

Search and rescue crews recovered the body of Morgan Corey, 25, who was found in debris near Mill Road about 9 a.m. Saturday, officials said. She was among at least five people...Read more

Victims of Montecito mudslides include couples, retirees, children

Weather / Weather News /

LOS ANGELES -- Peter Fleurat and his partner, Lalo Barajas, wanted to ride out the storm together.

Their house on Hot Springs Road in Montecito was in a voluntary evacuation zone. The couple decided to stay home, keeping an eye on their sprawling property -- especially their beloved garden and koi pond.

Early Tuesday morning, the floor began ...Read more

Number of people missing in deadly Montecito slide reduced to 5, officials say

Weather / Weather News /

LOS ANGELES -- The number of people still missing in the wake of a deadly mudslide in Montecito now figures at five, officials said Friday morning.

Authorities said late Thursday that roughly 43 people were unaccounted for after heavy rains pounded the Thomas fire burn scar earlier this week and unleashed a torrent of mud, boulders and debris ...Read more

One-two punch of the Thomas fire and debris flows leaves trail of destruction

Weather / Weather News /

LOS ANGELES -- Santa Barbara County crews worked through the holidays to defend coastal communities from the second half of Southern California's familiar cycle of fire and flood.

They cleaned out the 11 debris basins that dot the Santa Barbara front country, making room for the dirt and ash and rocks that winter rains would inevitably send ...Read more

A deadly combination of factors raised mudslides' toll

Weather / Weather News /

LOS ANGELES -- Josie Gower woke up to the sound of rain hammering the roof of her Montecito home around 3 a.m. Tuesday. She walked downstairs, where her boyfriend had been keeping an eye on the storm, and together they opened to door to look outside.

A wall of mud and boulders as big as pickup trucks crashed toward Gower's house, sweeping the ...Read more

Rescue efforts continue in Montecito as community reels from deadly mudslide

Weather / Weather News /

MONTECITO, Calif. -- Rescue crews continued to search for survivors amid the mud and wreckage of Montecito's massive debris field on Thursday, but acknowledged that the window to save lives is rapidly closing.

At least eight people remain unaccounted for following Tuesday's massive mud flow, which killed at least 17 people and obliterated ...Read more