La Nina’s back. Here’s what it will do to your weather this winter

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 1:53 PM

What You Need To Know: La Niña

This week, weather officials announced that the  La Nina climate pattern has arrived.
If you are not sure how to react to that news, you are not alone.

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday a weak La Nina has formed and is expected to stick around for several months.

La Nina is a natural cooling of parts of the Pacific, and the phenomenon is a major factor in weather around the world as we move into late fall, through winter and into spring.

Here’s what the return of La Nina means.

How is it formed?

According to National Geographic, La Nina is formed “by a build-up of cooler-than-normal waters in the tropical Pacific, the area of the Pacific Ocean between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Unusually strong, eastward-moving trade winds and ocean currents bring this cold water to the surface, a process known as “upwelling.”

What does “La Nina” mean?

  • La Nina means “the little girl”
  • La Nina’s full name is El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)
  • It is the counterpart of El Nino – a pattern that warms waters in the Pacific
What happens in La Nina years?
  • During periods of La Nina, sea-surface temperatures across the equatorial eastern central Pacific Ocean will be lower by 3 to 5 degrees centigrade.
  • La Nina brings warmer-than-normal sea-surface temperatures to the southern Pacific Ocean around northern Australia, New Guinea and the islands of Indonesia.
  • The pattern generally lasts around five months.
  • La Nina causes above-average precipitation across the northern Midwest, the northern Rockies, Northern California, and the southern and eastern parts of the Pacific Northwest.
  • It will be dryer in the Southwest and Southeast.
  • It triggers stronger-than-average hurricanes in the Atlantic and fewer hurricanes in the Pacific.
  • The Southeast and Mid-Atlantic will see warmer-than-average temperatures during a La Nina winter.
  • In Canada, La Nina brings more cold and more snow.
  • This is the second consecutive La Nina winter.
  • Last year's episode lasted only from November to February which was unusual.
  • Texas A&M University agricultural economist Bruce McCarl told USA Today that La Nina years are often bad for agriculture in Texas. The same goes for other parts of the United States during a La Nina year.

Woman jumps on hood as carjackers take car with baby brother inside

Published: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 11:55 PM

(WSBTV.com)
(WSBTV.com)

A 24-year-old woman was thrown from a car on Sunday after trying to save her baby brother from carjackers in DeKalb County, Georgia, police said.

>> Read more trending news

Two men, one of whom had a gun, forced the woman from her car and took off with the eight-month-old baby still in the back seat, according to WSB-TV.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said she was strapping her brother into his car seat when two men approached them at an apartment complex. 

"This is very terrifying to watch a gun getting pointed in your face and watching your baby brother getting taken away and you can't do nothing," she said.

The woman risked her life to try and stop the suspects.

"She jumped on the vehicle and was holding on to vehicle,” DeKalb County police spokeswoman Officer Shiera Campbell said. 

When she couldn’t hold on any longer, the woman fell to the ground.

"All I could think about was my brother,” she said. “My brother is in that car. I don't care what they do with the car, just give me my brother."

An assistant store manager later found the child on the sidewalk of a Quik Trip convenience store off Wesley Chapel Road just before 10 p.m. 

The men ditched the baby a half-mile away at the convenience store, assistant store manager Alex Robles said. 

"He drops off the baby on the sidewalk, runs back into his car and just speeds off,” Robles said. “He hits a right on Rainbow and we don't see him again.”

Police are still searching for the stolen car and the armed suspects. 

Robles watched the store's surveillance video; he said they found the baby just before 10 p.m. Sunday.

"No parents, no nobody. I was in shock," Robles said. 

Minutes later, the baby was reunited with his family.

The woman said she or anybody in the area, including her baby brother, could have been shot. 

Police have not released a description of the stolen car, but said one of the men was wearing a red hoodie. 

The store clerk said the other man was wearing a white athletic jacket, but other than that, there was nothing identifiable about the suspects.

Scary dashcam video of suspected drunk driver who nearly kills five people

Published: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 11:25 PM

(Getty file photo)
Jill Waterman/Getty Images
(Getty file photo)(Jill Waterman/Getty Images)

Five people, including three police officers, are lucky to be alive after a suspected drunk driver plowed into their stopped vehicles on the side of the road in Forest Hill, Texas.

Police officers had stopped to tend to a disabled car along Southeast Loop 820, according to the Star-Telegram. They were waiting for a tow truck, with full lights on, when the unthinkable happened. A car headed straight for them, and every terrifying second was caught on dashcam video.

>> Read more trending news

One officer is clearly the first to notice the speeding vehicle. He shoves everyone out of the way after drawing his gun. The out-of-control car barreled into one patrol car, sideswiped a second police car and narrowly missed the disabled car and everyone on the roadside. It then veered into traffic and swerved back onto the side of the road. Sparks flew as the car ground to a stop.

The driver of the speeding car, 26-year-old Cedric Keith Henson Jr., was detained at the scene and cited for driving while intoxicated. Police rushed to remove him from the car as soon as it stopped.

One patrol car was heavily damaged in the crash. Miraculously, no one was hurt and no other motorists were injured.

Police are using the footage to remind people about the dangers of drunk and impaired driving, according to WILX.

It’s a massive national problem. Someone dies in one of these crashes, on average, once every 51 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alcohol-impaired driving deaths alone account for nearly one-third of all driving deaths nationwide, and kill over 10,000 people every year.

New letter from infamous hijacker D.B. Cooper leads to accusations of FBI cover-up

Published: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 10:52 PM

Who Is DB Cooper?

On Nov. 24, 1971, a man identified himself as “Dan Cooper” to an agent at the Northwest Orient Airlines counter in Portland International Airport. He boarded a flight to Seattle. Once on board, he claimed to have a bomb, hijacked the flight, freed the 36 passengers aboard, demanded a ransom of $200,000 and four parachutes, directed the plane to fly to Mexico and then parachuted out of the back of the plane somewhere over Washington.

>> Read more trending news

He’s never been found, nor has any of the money — save for $5800 in rotting $20 bills found by a child digging along the Columbia River in 1980. While law enforcement planes were following the plane he hijacked, no one even saw the jump.

His case — dubbed the D.B. Cooper case after a misspelling that stuck — has captivated the nation ever since.

The FBI called off the search for Cooper last year, reassigning the lone agent on the case, according to the New York Times. They say they did so because the decades-long investigation was taking “investigative resources and manpower” from “programs that more urgently need attention.” Effectively ending the investigation was “really an attempt by the bureau to spare the office from irritating calls, wacky emails and more,” said Geoffrey Gray, a journalist who’s written a book on the investigation.

>> Related: D.B. Cooper: Volunteer sleuths find potential evidence in unsolved 46-year-old hijacking

While the FBI would still follow a specific lead if one turned up, there is no longer a dedicated agent assigned to the crime.

Now, on the week of the 46th anniversary of the hijacking, a newly revealed letter from the infamous case is raising new questions about the unsolved mystery — and an eerie opening line is raising questions about an FBI cover-up from at least one Cooper sleuth.

The letter, which was mailed to the Washington Post, Seattle Times, New York Times and Los Angeles times in just weeks after the hijacking, opens with: “I knew from the start that I wouldn’t be caught.”

“I didn’t rob Northwest Orient because I thought it would be romantic, heroic or any of the other euphemisms that seem to attach themselves to situations of high risk,” the writer adds. “Unfortunately [I] do have only 14 months to live.”

He also lists a few “things working against the authorities,” including:

  • “I’m not a boasting man”
  • “I left no fingerprints”
  • “I wore a toupee”
  • “I wore putty make-up”

Finally, he offers clues to his trajectory — “I’ve come and gone on several airline flights already and am not holed up in some obscure backwoods town” — before signing off with “Thank you for your attention.”

That letter was part of a batch of court documents released in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Thomas and Dawna Colbert, two investigators who run a website dedicated to finding the answers to the mystery and who boast an investigative team of over 40 people.

>> Related: D.B. Cooper case no longer actively investigated by FBI

An excerpt from a FBI memo also from the FOIA release is proof of a conspiracy to hide the identity of D.B. Cooper and the FBI’s own management of the case, according to Thomas Colbert. The excerpt, published in the Daily Mail, ties a letter from the Airline Pilots Association to the just-revealed letter published in the FOIA release. That memo dates back to Dec. 29, 1971.

But FBI redcated the name of the individual who connected the Airline Pilots Association to the Cooper letter. And that, said Colbert, is everything — and combined with the FBI’s move to cease the investigation last year, proof of a cover-up, he said.

The FBI released these sketches of the infamous D.B. Cooper.(FBI )

Batman fans are selecting some odd successors to Ben Affleck's cape

Published: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 10:22 PM

Ben Affleck (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Ben Affleck (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)(Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Ben Affleck’s relationship with Batman has been shaky, to say the least. To begin with, nerds across the globe had meltdowns when it was first announced that he would be inheriting the coveted cape and cowl from British actor Christian Bale, whose tenure in the role was acclaimed by fans and critics alike, despite that weird growling voice thing he used. Not only that, but the two movies in which Affleck has appeared as the Dark Knight have not been warmly received.

>> Read more trending news

Affleck is apparently signed on for five DC movies, but when asked by Extra TV if he intended to fulfill his contractual obligations, he un-enthusiastically responded with “I don’t know about that. We’ll see what the future holds.”

The actor got the rumor mill spinning even more when, in a recent USA Today profile, he revealed that he hasn’t actually committed to appearing in the upcoming standalone Batman movie, ingeniously titled “The Batman,” adding that he’s still contemplating if the movie is right for him. He also hinted that he’s considering going out with some dignity, despite only appearing as the caped crusader in two poorly received movies: “(It’s) something I’m contemplating,” Affleck said. “You don’t do it forever, so I want to find a graceful and cool way to segue out of it.”

So with rumors abounding that Affleck is about the hang up the cape for good, the internet’s greatest minds began speculating about who his successor will be. And boy, did they have some wacky suggestions:

“I wonder what that boring dude from ‘The Matrix’ would look like in a cowl,” said literally nobody ever aside from this Twitter user:

How about a womanizing advertising executive Batman? Or… who’s that other guy?

Michael Cera as Batman? Imagine it. Good thing Conner here is clearly trolling. Well-played, sir.

OK this one’s actually not so bad. We could live in a world where Idris Elba is Batman.

The kid at Meg’s pool has some lofty aspirations:

Curious about what Jake Gyllenhaal would look like in the cape and cowl? Well you’re in luck, because BossLogic did some mock-ups:

Not everyone is on board with Gyllenhaal as Batman though. Some people were baffled by the mere suggestion:

And this guy just really likes Oscar Isaac. Who doesn’t?!