Archive for the ‘weather events’ Category

AccuWeather Launches New Mosquito Zika Risk Index for US

October 18, 2017

Accuweather-zika

AccuWeather, a major source of weather forecasts and warnings, announced a Mosquito Zika Risk Index on AccuWeather.com and AccuWeather iOS apps. Availability on the AccuWeather app for Android will follow soon.

The first-of-its-kind index gives users a quick and easy way to view the likelihood of mosquito infestations that could lead to greater risk of contracting the Zika virus at a particular location in the contiguous U.S. The Index will help people understand where the greatest concentrations of mosquitos exist (which may carry other pathogens as well) and where and how this is related to possible Zika carrying concentrations.  The Index is not a medical warning or diagnosis and decisions about one’s health and related risks and is not intended to be, those decisions should always be made in concert with medical professionals.  The Index can alert people to relatively unsafe areas; keeping in mind that a Zika carrying mosquito could exist in safer areas as well.

The Mosquito Zika Risk Index level (very low, low, medium, or high) is generated by evaluating the historical habitat for the mosquito species most linked with Zika and the latest scientific research on how weather affects Zika transmission by mosquitos, then combining it with the AccuWeather Day-By-Day 90-Day Forecasts. This innovative index benefits users by providing real-time insights they can use to make informed decisions to keep themselves, and their families, safe.

“Weather is an enormous factor when it comes to our health,” said Steve Smith, President of Digital Media, AccuWeather. “We are glad to lead the way in offering an array of innovative product enhancements that help people derive important and useful information from our weather forecasts.  This new Mosquito Zika Risk index will help people make better decisions to protect their health by giving them the insight they need to avoid risky scenarios, or take necessary precautions when visits to high-risk areas are unavoidable.”

People can access the Mosquito Zika Risk Index from the Personalized Forecasts Menu on the AccuWeather.com homepage. Select the Mosquito forecast and click the button labeled “Check Your Zika Risk” to open the Mosquito Zika Risk Index page.

Risk level information for the user’s location will be presented at the top of the page. If Zika cases suspected to have been transmitted by mosquitos have been reported at this location, the number of cases will be displayed. Users can view details for additional U.S. locations by clicking on the map displayed on the page.

An interactive timeline lets visitors see predicted risk levels over a 90-day period, with color coding to indicate the risk contours on the map. This is particularly helpful at this time of the year, when rapid changes to Zika mosquito risk occur as temperature patterns change during the Fall.  Tapping the dates on the timeline triggers the map to show the index for different timeframes.

Users of the AccuWeather app for iOS can access the Mosquito Zika Risk Index from the menu located in the bottom right corner of the screen. Expanding this menu and selecting “View Map” opens a map page with a gray search box at the top of the screen. Tapping on the search box permits users to choose “Zika Risk from Mosquitos” from a selection of maps. Users can then scroll around the map, zoom in and out by pinching the screen, and tap on an area to see the current Zika risk in that location. Color-coded risk levels, from low to high, displayed on the map make the information quickly and easily accessible and understandable.

The Mosquito Zika Risk Index is AccuWeather’s latest product enhancement designed to save and improve people’s lives by providing contextually relevant information, in this case to reduce the risk of an infectious disease. In addition to ensuring safety with the most accurate weather forecasts and warnings, AccuWeather.com and the company’s iOS and Android apps already include a Pollen Index to help people protect themselves against pollen as an allergen. Having the most accurate forecasts and warnings also gives migraine or joint pain sufferers the information they need to avoid humidity, and people with asthma the information they need to avoid dry conditions.

“This new Mosquito Zika Risk Index takes our efforts to use weather forecasts for improved health one step further,” said Smith. Smith also noted that the index is especially timely during this extraordinary hurricane season, when residents of Texas and Florida are experiencing a greater pooling of standing water due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which may ultimately lead to greater infestations of mosquitoes.

Dr. Joacim Rocklov, Associate Professor in Epidemiology and Global Health at Umea University, Sweden, urges caution about the threat of Zika virus following a major flood event.  “The risk of Zika typically decreases in the first month following a flood event, then increases in the two- to three-month time frame before falling back to normal levels,” he said.

Nearly 2 billion people worldwide rely on AccuWeather to help them plan their lives, protect their businesses, and get more from their day. AccuWeather provides hour-by-hour and minute-by-minute forecasts with Superior Accuracy™ with customized content and engaging video presentations available through smart phones, tablets, free wired and mobile Internet sites via AccuWeather.com, award-winning AccuWeather apps, connected TVs, wearables, smart homes, and connected cars, as well as radio, television, newspapers, and the AccuWeather Network cable channel.

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AccuWeather Gathers Supplies for Remote Village in Puerto Rico in ‘Rays of Hope’ Initiative

October 18, 2017

Accuweather-PR ray of hope

AccuWeather, a major source of weather forecasts and warnings, is responding to the extraordinary 2017 hurricane season with a companywide effort to help people impacted by Hurricane Maria/ The company has made arrangements to adopt Patillas, Puerto Rico, a remote town located in the southern part of the island, as part of a Rays of Hope community service initiative.

Patillas was one of the first towns affected when Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane. Because Patillas has no port access, it has been largely cut off from relief efforts and shipments of supplies, putting its more than 20,000 residents in a desperate situation with a scarcity of clean water, power, cell service, food staples and other essentials.

“AccuWeather is dedicated to saving lives and keeping people out of harm’s way by providing the most accurate weather forecasts and warnings,” said Dr. Joel N. Myers, AccuWeather’s Founder, President and Chairman. “We warned the people in the area and around the world about the impending hurricanes and their expected impacts, which we know saved thousands of lives, and we are very proud of that. Still it is heartbreaking to know what the people of Puerto Rico are going through now, and, as a company that understands the effects of severe weather perhaps better than anyone, we wanted to help provide relief.”

As part of its Rays of Hope community service initiative, AccuWeather is collecting life-saving staples and goods in a shipping container. The company, based in State College, Pennsylvania, is asking employees, neighbors, businesses and residents of the surrounding Centre County community to donate needed items. Once filled, the container will be shipped directly to Puerto Rico and delivered to the people of Patillas.

Norberto Soto Figueroa, the Mayor of Patillas has provided AccuWeather with a list of items needed to help the people of his community endure this crisis and begin to rebuild their lives. These supplies will help families stay clean and healthy, and protect them from diseases and other ailments that can occur after the loss of equipment, infrastructure, fresh food and access to safe water.

“The people I am proud to represent in the town of Patillas are so grateful to AccuWeather,” said Mayor Figueroa. “We are suffering, but it is a relief to know that help is on its way and that people understand and care about our catastrophic and heartbreaking situation.”

NEMF New England Motor Freight and TOTE Shipping are partnering with AccuWeather to provide and ship the container of supplies to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The supplies will be trucked across the island to the Patillas community. From there, the goods will be distributed directly to those in need by a team that includes several employees sent by AccuWeather to help.

Local residents are encouraged to participate in this relief effort by purchasing and bringing any of the items on the collection list by October 24. The container will be located in the parking lot of AccuWeather’s Global Weather Center, 385 Science Park Road, State College, through Wednesday, October 25. AccuWeather employees are volunteering to collect and package the items for shipment.  Collection hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday-Friday, and 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. on weekends.

Financial contributions, which will be used to supplement needed items on the collection list, can be made to Centre Foundation online at centre-foundation.org. Donors should click on the Fund menu and select Heath and Social Services to access the Rays of Hope Fund.  Checks can be mailed to: Centre Foundation, 1377 Ridge Master Drive, State College, PA 16801. Centre Foundation requests that donors write Rays of Hope Fund on the memo line of their checks.

“This AccuWeather Rays of Hope project showcases the great character and concern of our employees. They care about making a difference not just here at home, but across the U.S. and our territories,” said Elizabeth Soroka, Vice President, Human Resources at AccuWeather. “We are very proud of our staff and their excitement about jumping in to show compassion and help the people of Puerto Rico. It is not surprising that such a talented, entrepreneurial group is taking this initiative to contribute time and resources to help those in need. Ultimately, we hope the great work we are doing inspires more volunteerism.”

Visit AccuWeather.com for a flyer that includes the full item collection list and additional information.

 

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Accuweather: Jose to track close enough to bring rough surf, wind, rain to northeastern US

September 16, 2017

accuweather-jose 091617

AccuWeather Global Headquarters – September 15, 2017 – AccuWeather reports  Jose will track close enough to the northeastern United States to raise seas and winds as well as to deliver rain to coastal areas next week.

People in coastal areas of the Northeast will need to monitor the progress of Jose, which will begin to track northward but remain offshore of the Southeastern states this weekend.

“It appears that Jose will miss the quick ride away from the U.S. coast and into the cold waters of the North Atlantic next week,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno.

Instead, Jose is now expected to pass within 200 miles of the Northeast coast.

“We cannot rule out landfall in New England during the middle of next week,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski.

The exact track and strength of Jose will determine the severity of the wind and surf as well as the northwestern extent of the rain.

Jose to bring significant impact, even if storm stays offshore

A hurricane does not need to make landfall to cause significant adverse effects in the northeastern U.S., since the shape of the coast tends to enhance storm effects and trap ocean water.

Rough surf and strong rip currents will be a problem along the southern Atlantic coast through the weekend.

At this point, impact in the northeastern U.S. is based on a strong tropical storm, minimal hurricane or hybrid storm that comes close to the Northeast coast but remains slightly offshore. Such a storm and track will tend to keep the most significant effects to communities along and east of Interstate 95.

At the very least, Jose will cause dangerous surf and seas, which will lead to beach erosion and minor flooding at times of high tide from eastern North Carolina to Maine.

The number and frequency of rip currents will increase along the mid-Atlantic and southern New England coasts this weekend. Breakers powerful enough to cause serious injury may reach much of the Northeast coast by early next week.

With the new moon phase early next week, tide levels are higher than most of the rest of the month. A strong storm tracking near the coast may push tides to 1-3 feet above published levels.

Winds may get strong enough to damage trees and cause sporadic power outages. Gusts to 50 mph are possible from eastern Maryland to Maine and are likely on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Some rain will reach the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts. The combination of rain and wind near the coast will lead to airline delays and slow travel on area highways.

Much worse effects are likely if landfall occurs

Should Jose be stronger than a Category 1 hurricane and/or make landfall, more significant effects are likely.

A Category 1 hurricane or the equivalent thereof can cause property damage, widespread power outages, flooding rainfall and moderate coastal flooding.

Just offshore, seas could range upwards of 20 feet, should a Category 1 hurricane or greater approach the coast.

A landfall in southeastern New England could cause heavy rain and gusty wind to spread well inland across the Northeast.

What will influence Jose’s strength?

“Jose is likely to gain back some strength into this weekend as the storm encounters less disruptive winds aloft,” Pydynowski said.

Waters are sufficiently warm to maintain a hurricane through early next week.

“The storm will move over even warmer waters of the Gulf Stream by early next week, which may lead to additional strengthening,” Pydynowski said.

Jose may reach Category 2 or 3 status at some point between Sunday and Tuesday.

“As Jose moves off the coast of the upper mid-Atlantic and New England, water temperatures drop significantly, which may lead to weakening or transformation to a sub-tropical system,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.

Even if Jose weakens or loses some tropical characteristics, the storm may spread out in size and the same adverse effects of wind, seas and rain can occur.

There is still a great deal of uncertainty of Jose’s track and strength. However, people may want to take some precautions, should the storm wander onshore. Preparation for the equivalent of a moderate to strong nor’easter may be warranted, especially in southeastern New England.

Lee and Maria may join Jose in Atlantic this weekend

Two additional tropical storms or hurricanes are likely to join Jose over the next few days. One has already become a tropical depression. These systems are likely to gather the names Lee and Maria.

Both of these systems are brewing in the same general area that gave birth to Irma.

The system farthest west has the greatest chance at bringing adverse conditions to Irma-slammed areas in the Leeward Islands, British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Turks and Caicos during the middle days of next week.

– By Alex Sosnowski, Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com

‘St. Kitts is Open for Business,’ Tourism Authority Says After Hurricane Irma

September 13, 2017
St Kitts

From a promontory on St. Kitts, you can see the rolling waters of the Atlantic Ocean on the left and the calm Caribbean Sea on the right. St. Kitts was relatively unscathed by Hurricane Irma’s wrath and is welcoming tourists © Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Basseterre, St. Kitts  – St. Kitts Tourism authorities are reporting that the Federation is virtually unscathed following the passage of Hurricane Irma. “Considering the minimal damage that was sustained, the islands’ tourism providers are in the process of reopening. Hotels are returning to business as usual and guests are continuing to enjoy their stays.  Our restaurants, attractions and shops including the many popular retail outlets at Port Zante are now open, with The Carnival Fascination confirmed to visit St. Kitts as planned,” the tourism authority stated.

“Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has kept St. Kitts & Nevis in thoughts and prayers while we awaited the passage of the storm,” said Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant.  While we are beginning to resume normal operations, please join me in continuing to send thoughts and prayers to those who have been more seriously impacted.”

St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB) is open and accepting flights.  However, due to the impact of Hurricane Jose, many airlines may have canceled flights. It is highly recommended to check with your airline for schedule and service changes.

St. Kitts is open for business. For more information about the island, visit www.stkittstourism.kn

 

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Hotels Available to Those Seeking Shelter in The Palm Beaches After Hurricane Irma

September 13, 2017
The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida

Sunrise over the Palm Beaches © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.  – Discover The Palm Beaches, the official tourism marketing corporation for Palm Beach County, has been closely monitoring the reports on ground conditions following Hurricane Irma’s impact. Due to the eye of the storm’s redirection to the west, The Palm Beaches, as a destination, was fortunate to experience very minimal damage as compared with the rest of the state.

“While The Palm Beaches are on the path to regaining normalcy for its residents and visitors, our hearts go out to those in our great state and other affected areas who have experienced damage in the path of Hurricane Irma,” said Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO for Discover The Palm Beaches. “We consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to have Palm Beaches International Airport (PBIA) reopen yesterday, and we are on the path to ‘business as usual’ with many companies expected to re-open on Wednesday.”

Several hoteliers across The Palm Beaches are offering special rates for those in need of shelter and accommodations.

Hotel and Lodging Updates:

The following hotels in The Palm Beaches are currently open. Call directly for hotel availability and rates.

Boca Raton Plaza Hotel & Suites

http://www.BocaRatonPlaza.com

Boca Raton Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

http://www.bocaresort.com/

Boca Raton Wyndham Hotel

http://www.wyndhamboca.com/

Casa Grandview Historic Luxury Inn Cottages & Suites

http://www.casagrandview.com/

Courtyard by Marriott Boynton Beach

http://www.marriott.com/pbibb

Courtyard by Marriot Palm Beach Jupiter

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/pbija-courtyard-palm-beach-jupiter/

** DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Palm Beach Garden

http://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-and-executive-meeting-center-palm-beach-gardens-PBIMPDT/index.html

** DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel West Palm Beach Airport

http://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-west-palm-beach-airport-PBIAADT/index.html

** Embassy Suites Boca Raton

http://embassysuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/embassy-suites-by-hilton-boca-raton-BCTNWES/index.html

Embassy Suites Palm Beach Gardens – PGA Boulevard

http://embassysuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/embassy-suites-by-hilton-palm-beach-gardens-pga-boulevard-PBIPGES/index.html

Embassy Suites West Palm Beach

http://www.eswestpalmbeach.com/

Hampton Inn Boca Raton

http://hamptoninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/hampton-inn-boca-raton-BCTFLHX/index.html

Hampton Inn Jupiter/Juno Beach

http://hamptoninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/hampton-inn-jupiter-juno-beach-PBIJBHX/index.html

Hilton Garden Inn Palm Beach Gardens

http://hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/hilton-garden-inn-palm-beach-gardens-PBIGDGI/index.html

Holiday Inn Express Boca Raton

https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/boca-raton/bctls/hoteldetail

Holiday Inn Palm Beach Airport

http://www.hipalmbeachairport.com/

Homewood Suites by Hilton Palm Beach Gardens

http://homewoodsuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/homewood-suites-by-hilton-palm-beach-gardens-PBIHWHW/index.html

Homewood Suites by Hilton West Palm Beach

http://homewoodsuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/homewood-suites-by-hilton-west-palm-beach-PBICTHW/index.html 

Hyatt Place Boca Raton

https://www.bocaraton.place.hyatt.com/

Hyatt Place Delray Beach

https://delraybeach.place.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html

Hyatt Place West Palm Beach Downtown

http://www.westpalmbeach.place.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html 

Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa

https://www.jupiterbeachresort.com/

** Palm Beach Gardens Marriott

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/pbipg-palm-beach-gardens-marriott/

** PGA National Resort & Spa

http://www.pgaresort.com/

Ramada Boca Raton

https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/ramada/boca-raton-florida/ramada-boca-raton/overview

Red Roof Inn Plus + West Palm Beach

https://www.redroof.com/

** Residence Inn by Marriott West Palm Beach

http://www.residenceinn.marriott.com/

Residence Inn Downtown West Palm Beach

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/pbird-residence-inn-west-palm-beach-downtown-cityplace-area/

SpringHill Suites by Marriott West Palm Beach

http://www.marriott.com/pbiwi

Waterstone Resort & Marina, Curio Collection by Hilton

www.waterstoneboca.com

Wyndham Grand Jupiter At Harbourside Place

http://www.wyndhamgrandjupiter.com/

Note, those hotels with two asterisks are open but were sold out at the time of release distribution. To continually monitor hotel availability in The Palm Beaches in real-time, refer to the accommodations list here: http://www.thepalmbeaches.com/severe-weather/accommodations

 

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Website Lists Hotel Room Availability During Hurricane Irma in The Palm Beaches

September 8, 2017
Fla-Breakers 011712 (c) Karen Rubin 299e2

The grand, historic Breakers Hotel on Palm Beach island must now brace for Hurricane Irma. Discover The Palm Beaches has deployed a storm update page as a resource regarding hotel room availability © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (September 8, 2017) – Discover The Palm Beaches, the official tourism marketing corporation for Palm Beach County, has deployed a storm update page as a resource regarding hotel room availability during the potential impact of Hurricane Irma. The page can be found at: www.thepalmbeaches.com/severe-weather/accommodations.

The page is also accessible on www.ThePalmBeaches.com and will feature a list of hotel and lodging options throughout Palm Beach County with available occupancy. In addition, the page is linked to a list of key agencies that provide important resources for hurricane preparedness in Palm Beach County and throughout Florida.

“Our top priority is the safety of our visitors, conference attendees, residents, and tourism partners. This webpage will help ensure that these groups can remain informed in real time regarding the availability of resources to assist them during the potentially severe weather,” said Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO for Discover The Palm Beaches. “We encourage everyone in the area to monitor our website as we continue to keep our eye on the storm and its potential impact on our area.”

Current weather forecasts have issued hurricane advisories that include Palm Beach County. Visitors are encouraged to exercise caution and check with airlines, hotels, meeting venues, car rental companies, tour operators, etc. to determine what actions they plan to take and what methods are in place to assist potentially displaced travelers.

Travelers, conference delegates and residents should also look to the following sources for information:

  • National Weather Service: www.weather.gov/
  • National Hurricane Center: www.nhc.noaa.gov
  • VISIT FLORIDA travel advisories on www.VISITFLORIDA.com
  • VISIT FLORIDA Partners and businesses in the Florida tourism industry hotline, (877) 435-2872
  • Florida Division of Emergency Management: floridadisaster.org
  • General tourism information: VISIT FLORIDA consumer hotline, 888-735-2872
  • Florida Power & Light (FPL) Storm Center: www.fpl.com/storm
  • Palm Beach County public affairs: http://discover.pbcgov.org/

 

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