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WATCH: Swimsuit-clad North Carolina family frolics in snow in hilarious viral video

When a winter storm hits, many people just want to stay warm, curl up by a crackling fire and drink some hot cocoa. 

>> PHOTOS: Winter storm blankets South in snow, ice

Apparently, the Gilliam family of Alamance County, North Carolina, had other ideas, according to WGHP.

>> #Snowmageddon2018: Photos, videos show winter wonderland

After snow and ice blanketed much of the South this weekend, the family, clad only in swimsuits, bravely headed outside to show off their dance moves in a hilarious video.

>> Read more trending news 

The clip, which the Gilliams posted on Facebook and shared with WGHP, quickly went viral, racking up more than 165,000 views and 2,000 shares in just 10 hours.

"SWIMSUIT SNOW CHALLENGE! Crazy!" the High Point TV station captioned the clip.

>> Click here to watch

Photos: Winter storm blankets South in snow, ice

A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain across a wide swath of the South on Sunday — causing dangerously icy roads, immobilizing snowfalls and power losses to hundreds of thousands of people.

#Snowmageddon2018: Photos, videos show South blanketed in snow, ice

A winter storm system is slamming the South this weekend, bringing snow, ice and sleet to the region – especially the Carolinas. The dangerous mix also knocked out power to tens of thousands of people.

>> On WSOCTV.com: Winter storm slams the Carolinas: Live updates

Stunned Southerners, journalists, meteorologists and even comedian Patton Oswalt took to social media to share their photos and videos of the wintry mix. Check out some of them below:

>> Read more trending news 

1. Raleigh, North Carolina

Video by Patton Oswalt

2. Old Fort, North Carolina

Photo by @moaleck, Twitter

3. Raleigh, North Carolina

Photo by @lazarusrang, Twitter

4. Watauga County, North Carolina

Video by @Cmoore704, Twitter

5. Apex, North Carolina

Photo by @MsRosales_AFMS, Twitter

6. Lubbock, Texas

Photo by @pup_smudge, Twitter

7. North Raleigh/Wake Forest, North Carolina

Photo by @jencan823, Twitter

8. Asheville, North Carolina

Video by @DHenryTV, Twitter

9. Cary, North Carolina

Video by F@FeistyFeminista, Twitter

10. Durham County, North Carolina

Photos by the Durham County Sheriff's Office

Photos: Snowstorm blankets Midwest, snarls holiday traffic

A winter storm blanketed much of the central Midwest with snow on Sunday at the end of the Thanksgiving weekend, bringing blizzard-like conditions that grounded hundreds of flights and forced the closure of major highways on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Leonid Meteor Shower 2018: 9 must-see photos of the celestial light show

The annual Leonid meteor shower peaked this weekend, offering a stunning natural light show.

>> On AJC.com: Leonid Meteor Shower 2018: How to see this weekend’s celestial spectacle

Skygazers took to social media to share their photos of the celestial phenomenon. Here are some of our favorites:

>> Read more trending news 

1. Llyn Padarn, Snowdonia, Wales, United Kingdom

Photo by @gareth_mon_photography, Instagram

2. South Stack, Wales, United Kingdom

Photo by @bigolivesphoto, Instagram

3. Cannon Beach, Oregon

Photo by @lestertsaiphotography, Instagram

4. Coleman, Alberta, Canada

Photo by @bound_for_mountain, Instagram

5. Blauen, Germany

Photo by Stephane Vetter, Facebook

6. Lone Mountain, Big Sky Resort, Montana

Photo by @davepecunies, Instagram

7. The Rumps, Cornwall, United Kingdom

Photo by @chrisfletcherphotography, Instagram

8. Oregon

Photo by @thezachhayes, Instagram

9. Llyn y Dywarchen, Snowdonia, Wales, United Kingdom

Photo by @_belial, Instagram

Photos: California wildfires kill dozens, destroy entire town

Dozens of people are dead as wildfires blaze through northern and southern California. Officials say the entire town of Paradise was destroyed.

How – and when – to protect your pipes from freezing

When temperatures fall below freezing, water pipes are at risk of freezing and bursting. They can release several hundred gallons of water per hour, resulting in a big – potentially costly – mess in your home.

What causes pipes to burst?

Pipes burst because of the pressure that's exerted when water freezes. It can exceed 2,000 pounds per square inch, so it's no match for metal or plastic pipes, which will burst under this extreme pressure.

Ice particles can also cause problems in your pipes by blocking valves or other areas.

What should you do to protect your pipes?

When temperatures are expected to drop to about 20 degrees, you should take the following steps to keep your pipes from bursting:

  • Leave water dripping or trickling slowly from your faucets. This helps reduce the buildup of pressure inside your pipes. If the water stops dripping, it could mean that ice has formed and is blocking the pipe, providing a good indication that the situation needs close monitoring.
  • Closely monitor all pipes. This is especially important for those located in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls and near electrical outlets, because these have the most exposure to cold temperatures.
  • Learn where your water shutoff valve is located. That way, you'll be able to shut it off in case your pipes burst. If your home is built on a slab, your shutoff valve is probably near your hot water tank. If you have a basement, you'll probably find your shutoff valve there. And if your home is built on a crawl space, the valve will probably be located there, under the front wall of your house. If all else fails, you can also shut the water off at the city water line's covered box near the front of your home.
  • Open cabinets beneath sinks. This is especially helpful if the sink is on an outside wall, because this helps keep the pipes underneath it warmer.
  • Use an insulating dome or similar covering. This can cover and protect outdoor spigots. 
  • Check the areas around pipes and hoses that come into your home. Look for signs of daylight or outside air that's getting into your home. Block the holes with insulating foam or caulk.
  • Wrap your pipes. Look for thick foam or fiberglass insulating sleeves, UL-listed heat tape or other insulating products at a home improvement store. Wrap your pipes tightly and secure with acrylic or duct tape, cable ties, or aluminum foil tape or wire every foot or so to make sure it stays secure. Wrapping your pipes isn't expensive, and it can save a great deal of money and aggravation.

North Carolina mom charged after son dies in Hurricane Florence floods

Authorities filed criminal charges against a North Carolina woman for driving around barricades on N.C. Highway 218 last month during Hurricane Florence, an act that led to the drowning of her 1-year-old son, officials said.

>> Watch the news report here

>> On WSOCTV.com: Body of missing 1-year-old swept away by floodwaters found in Union County

Dazia Ideah Lee, 20, of Charlotte, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and a misdemeanor charge of driving on a closed/unopened highway.

They said the mother continued driving on N.C. 218 until her vehicle came across rushing water flowing across the road. Her car left the road but eventually stopped among a group of trees at Richardson Creek near New Salem. 

>> Read more trending news 

Authorities said the mother was able to free herself and Kaiden Lee-Welch from the vehicle, but she lost her grip on him in the rushing water. 

This type of weather could increase your heart attack risk, study says

There are several factors that could increase your heart risk, including a poor diet and obesity. However, the weather may also contribute to that risk, according to a new report

>> On AJC.com: Eat this meat twice a week to avoid heart attacks and strokes

Researchers from Lund University in Sweden recently conducted a study, published in JAMA Cardiology, to determine the association between different weather conditions and the incidence of cardiac arrest. 

To do so, they examined 3 million weather data points from the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute and more than 275,000 heart attacks from the country’s online cardiac registry. They looked at the data from 1998 to 2013.

After analyzing the information, they found that days with below-freezing temperatures, which is 32 degrees Fahrenheit and below, had the highest incidence of heart attack. The rates of heart attacks declined when temperatures rose to about 37 degrees. 

>> Read more trending news 

The analysts also calculated that each temperature increase of 13 degrees Fahrenheit was linked to a 2.8 percent decrease in heart attack risk and that the association between snowy, windy weather and heart attacks was strong, particularly in the northernmost region. 

“In this large, nationwide study, low air temperature, low atmospheric air pressure, high wind velocity, and shorter sunshine duration were associated with risk of myocardial infarction [heart attacks], with the most evident association observed for air temperature,” the authors wrote. “This study adds to knowledge on the role of weather as a potential trigger of myocardial infarction.”

The analysts said there are several physiological mechanisms that could explain the relationship between weather and cardiac arrest. They believe the cold temperatures can constrict the blood vessels in the heart, which they said could “induce plaque fracture.” They added “season-dependent behavioral patterns” like less physical activity, dietary changes and depression, may also contribute to higher occurrences of heart attacks during colder months.

>> On AJC.com: You can avoid strokes and heart attacks with these two household fruits, study says

How can you lower your risk? The researchers recommended reducing cold exposure by staying inside and wearing warm clothes. To learn more about findings, take a look at the full report here. 

Canada earthquakes: Several quakes reported near Vancouver Island

Three powerful earthquakes, as well as several smaller ones, struck late Sunday and early Monday off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, near Vancouver Island, the U.S. Geological Survey is reporting.

According to the USGS, the first quake – magnitude 6.6 – hit about 10:39 p.m. PDT about 135 miles (218 kilometers) southwest of Port Hardy, Canada. It occurred at a depth of about 6.8 miles (11 kilometers).

>> Read more trending news 

Less than 40 minutes later, a second quake with a recorded magnitude of 6.8 struck nearby, about 122 miles (197 kilometers) southwest of Port Hardy. It occurred at a depth of about 6.2 miles (10 kilometers.)

A third 6.5-magnitude quake was reported at 11:22 p.m. PDT about 138 miles (223 kilometers) southwest of Port Hardy. Its depth was also about 6.2 miles (10 kilometers).

Several smaller quakes followed, including a 4.9-magnitude temblor at 11:36 p.m. PDT.

No damage or tsunami warnings have been reported.

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