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    Hurricane season is here, and right now people in Florida can stock up on storm necessities without paying sales tax. >> Watch the news report here >> Florida’s 10 safest cities in a hurricane Florida’s Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday runs through Thursday, June 7. >> 5 things to know before hurricane season Some of the qualifying items include:  Reusable ice (selling for $10 or less) Candles, flashlights, lanterns, and any portable self-powered light source powered by battery, solar, hand-crank or gas (selling for $20 or less) Any gas or diesel fuel container, including LP gas and kerosene containers (selling for $30 or less) Nonelectrical coolers and ice chests for food storage ($30 or less) Bungee cords ($50 or less) Ground anchor systems ($50 or less) Radios (two-way or weather band) powered by battery, solar, or hand crank ($50 or less) Ratchet straps ($50 or less) Tarps ($50 or less) Tie-down kits ($50 or less) Visqueen, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths, and other flexible waterproof sheeting ($50 or less) Portable generators that can be used for light, communications, or to preserve food in the event of a power outage ($750 or less) >> Hurricane evacuation: Helpful apps for finding gas, hotel rooms, traffic routes Food and other canned goods are not included in the tax holiday. >> Read more trending news  Click here to read the complete list of qualifying items and restrictions.
  • Governor Rick Scott issued Executive Order 18-150 on Saturday, declaring a state of emergency in all 67 Florida counties as the state continues to monitor and prepare for Subtropical Storm Alberto. DOWNLOAD: WFTV Weather app >> Read more trending news  By declaring this state of emergency, Scott's office said he is ensuring that state and local government has ample time, resources and flexibility to get prepared for this storm, WFTV reported. What is a subtropical storm? Scott said, “As we continue to monitor Subtropical Storm Alberto’s northward path toward Florida, it is critically important that all Florida counties have every available resource to keep families safe and prepare for the torrential rain and severe flooding this storm will bring. Today, I have declared a state of emergency in all 67 Florida counties to make sure that our state and local governments are able to coordinate with federal partners to get the resources they need. Yesterday, I directed the State Emergency Operations Center activate to Level 2 and I will continue to be in constant communication with state and local emergency management officials as this storm approaches Florida. TALKING THE TROPICS WITH MIKE: Alberto forms near Yucatan Peninsula - stays west of Jacksonville - heavy rain for local area  “If any Florida family doesn’t have an emergency preparedness plan, now is the time to act. Remember, the track of these storms can change without notice. Do not think that only areas in the cone will be impacted – everyone in our state must be prepared. I encourage every Floridian to visit FloridaDisaster.org and get your plan before this storm hits so you can keep your family safe. We will continue to provide updates to Florida’s residents and visitors and do everything to prepare for and respond to this storm.” READ: Alberto to drench Memorial Day weekend plans FOLLOW: Live WFTV weather radar CONTACTS• The State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) contact number is 1-800-342-3557. • Follow @FLSert or @FLGovScott on Twitter for live updates.• Visit floridadisaster.org to find information on shelters, road closures, and evacuation routes.  Click here for local and nationwide hurricane news, tracking maps, photos, video, satellite, radar, alerts, blogs and storm preparation guide.
  •    Whenever severe winter weather approaches, grocery store aisles are always clear of eggs, bread and milk. But why is that the case? >> Read more trending storiesThe CDC recommends bread as a no-cook food to stock ahead of a storm, but not perishables like milk and eggs. A power outage means those foods may not last until the storm passes. The Atlantic reported that buying perishables may be a matter of psychology. Duke University behavioral economist Dan Ariely said it’s a matter of seeing others doing something and feeling the need to join in. “If we go somewhere and we see other people buying those particular things, all of a sudden (we’re) even more interested in those (things),” he said. “It’s like saying, ‘The storm will be over soon and I won’t be stuck in this situation for long,’” clinical psychologist Judy Rosenburg told HowStuffWorks. So it may be fine to get bread, milk and eggs as long as you have enough non-perishable foods as well.           
  • Emergency Supplies: Water, food, and clean air are important things to have if an emergency happens. Each family or individual's kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula. It should also be customized to include important family documents.. Recommended Supplies to Include in a Basic Kit:  Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both Flashlight and extra batteries First Aid kit Whistle to signal for help Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food) Clothing and Bedding: If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies to account for growing children and other family changes. One complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including:  A jacket or coat Long pants A long sleeve shirt Sturdy shoes A hat and gloves A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person Below are some other items for your family to consider adding to its supply kit. Some of these items, especially those marked with a * can be dangerous, so please have an adult collect these supplies.  Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book or a print out of the information on www.ready.gov Rain gear Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils Cash or traveler's checks, change Paper towels Fire Extinguisher Tent Compass Matches in a waterproof container* Signal flare* Paper, pencil Personal hygiene items including feminine supplies Disinfectant* Household chlorine bleach* - You can use bleach as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to treat water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners. Medicine dropper Important Family Documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • A powerful storm system swept through north Georgia overnight, sending trees into roads, damaging homes and businesses, knocking out power to thousands and leaving south Fulton County a disaster zone. >> Watch the news report here >> PHOTOS: Storms blow through the South, leave damage in wake More than 130 severe weather reports of large hail, damaging wind and possible tornadoes came in Monday, according to WSB-TV in Atlanta. >> Tornado facts and safety: Everything you need to know “The severe thunderstorm and tornado threat is over in north Georgia,” WSB-TV meteorologist Brian Monahan said. “But the cleanup is about to get underway.” In Cobb County, a tree crashed into a home on Glenroy Place. Lightning hit a home in Gwinnett County. And in Clayton County, a fire damaged an eight-unit apartment in the 7200 block of Tara Boulevard. >> These are the safest places in your home during a tornado Food, shelter and other essentials were provided for 17 people affected by the fire, American Red Cross of Georgia spokeswoman Sherry Nicholson said. But the most severe damage was reported in south Fulton and Haralson counties. >> What's the difference between tornado watch and warning? Storms ravaged homes and cars in a subdivision off Campbellton Fairburn Road. “We expect a busy day ahead as daylight approaches, increasing visibility in hard-hit areas,” Nicholson said. “Currently, a team is on the ground in Fairburn, where homes in the Jumpers Trail neighborhood suffered significant damage.” >> For complete coverage of the storms’ aftermath, head to AJC.com and WSBTV.com The Haralson County School District canceled school and activities Tuesday “due to storm damage throughout our community that may make bus service impossible,” the district said on Facebook. Georgia Power reported 273 outages affecting 10,025 customers. “The electric membership cooperatives were hit hard as severe weather, and possible tornadoes, pounded many parts of Georgia last night, interrupting power to 13,000 customers, primarily in the west part of the state,” Georgia EMC spokeswoman Terri Statham said. >> Read more trending news  Ontario Alvarez was at his mother’s home in the 7100 block of Jumpers Trail with his 13-year-old brother when the storm moved in late Monday. To protect the family, he dragged a mattress in a bathroom, where everyone hid to avoid the storm’s path. “We’re from Florida, so we’re used to hurricanes,” Alvarez said. “But this was different. We didn’t see it coming. We didn’t know what to do.”
  • Spring is finally here with the arrival of the vernal equinox, as determined by people who base their seasons on the Earth’s position relative to the sun and stars. Here are five things to know: 1. What is it? During the vernal equinox, the sun shines directly on the equator, and the northern and southern hemispheres get exactly the same amount of rays. Night and day are almost equal length. >> Spring 2018: What’s the difference between meteorological spring and astronomical spring? 2. What does equinox mean? The Earth spins on a tilted axis, which means its northern and southern hemispheres trade places in receiving more light as it orbits the sun. The axis is not inclined toward or away from the sun at the equinox, which is derived from the Latin words for equal (aequus) and night (nox). 3. Why is it important? For ancient societies, the vernal and autumnal equinoxes marked when winter turned to spring and when summer turned to fall, respectively, and helped people track time-sensitive things, such as when to plant crops. >> Read more trending news  4. Didn’t spring start already? Meteorological spring started March 1. Forecasters like to start the season on the first day of March because they prefer a calendar in which each season starts on the same day every year. It helps with record keeping, among other reasons. But the Earth, sun and stars don’t quite conform to the Gregorian calendar – thus the vernal equinox doesn’t fall on the same day every year. 5. What's next? The summer solstice is June 21, but meteorological summer begins a few weeks earlier on June 1. – The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.
  • Have you noticed it’s cold? >> Frozen Florida iguanas cold-stunned, but probably not dead The recent freezing weather across most of the country has wreaked havoc on wildlife, including sea turtles along Texas' Gulf Coast. According to Texas Monthly, the turtles have been suffering from hypothermia, leading them to float near the surface of the water and putting them in danger of being eaten by predators or hit by boats. >> Nor'easter leaves cars frozen, flooded after icy waters fill high school parking lot The good news, though, is that emergency crews are helping nurse the turtles back to health. According to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, as of Tuesday afternoon, rescue crews had found 41 “cold-stunned” sea turtles in the water along the coast. >> Read more trending news  In December, the Texas State Aquarium took in more than 100 hypothermia-stricken turtles to rehabilitate them.
  • Call it fortuitous timing. Hours before U.S. President Donald Trump issued a tweet last week panning climate change, a University of Georgia climatologist offered a lengthy pre-emptive explanation. >> ‘Bombogenesis': What is it and why is everyone saying it? “What we are seeing right now in the United States is just … well … wait for it … winter,” wrote Marshall Shepherd, director of the atmospheric science program at the University of Georgia and a former president of the American Meteorological Society. >> What is a Nor’easter and how does it form? Shepherd wrote that he would urge people to keep in mind that “weather is mood, climate is personality” and that weekly weather patterns say little about longer-term climate change. >> Trump tweets ‘good old Global Warming’ could help with frigid temps It came about 12 hours before Trump tweeted that forecasts were calling for record cold New Year’s Eve temperatures. >> See the tweet here Shepherd wrote that even as climate warms, the seasons will always change to winter and yield frigid weather, snowstorms and blizzards. After all, he said, winter is related to how the Earth is tilted on its axis as it revolves around the sun. >> Read more trending news  Concludes Shepherd: 'For now, the message for this week and the next seven days is that winter is reminding us that it still exists and always will even as our climate warms. Prepare accordingly, stay warm and help others.
  • Did you miss the supermoon that delighted skygazers Sunday night? Here’s the good news: Photographers around the world shared must-see snapshots of the phenomenon on social media. >> Click here or scroll down to see the photos >> MORE PHOTOS: Supermoon 2017 around the world >> Sunday supermoon kicks off trilogy of spectacular lunar viewing >> Supermoon 2017: How to see, photograph the majestic ‘Full Cold Moon’ this weekend >> Read more trending news You’ll also get a chance to see other supermoons on Jan. 1 and Jan. 31, 2018.
  • 4:37 a.m. EST Wednesday: The satellite launch scheduled for this morning was canceled due to upper level winds, according to NASA. ORIGINAL STORY: NASA, in partnership with the NOAA, will launch a satellite today that will help improve weather forecasts. >> PREVIOUS STORY: NASA postpones JPSS-1 weather satellite launch The launch for the JPSS-1 satellite is scheduled for 4:47 a.m. EST, according to NASA. A live stream of the launch will be available on NASA’s website. The satellites will help improve NOAA forecasts for the three- to seven-day time frame. The data collected from the JPSS is fed into the numerical forecast models to help improve them. The satellites will also collect atmospheric measurements, ground conditions and ocean conditions like vegetation, hurricane intensity and atmospheric moisture.  >> Read more trending news  The JPSS-1 will be launched from Vandenburg Air Force Base in California pending proper flight conditions. The launch was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was delayed until today. This satellite is a polar orbiting satellite, which means it will orbit the earth from the one pole to the other passing the equator 14 times a day. Full coverage of the planet will be provided then twice a day.