Welcome to winter! Major below-normal cold swing begins this week

Published: Monday, December 04, 2017 @ 1:24 PM

The Storm Center 7 team has a detailed look at what the 2017-18 winter will be like.

Welcome to winter. I know you are probably thinking … wait, doesn’t it officially begin in another two weeks? Well, technically, yes.

However, meteorological winter actually arrived on Dec. 1. This is because meteorologists consider the three calendar months with the lowest average temperatures to be meteorological winter.

Created by WHIO Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell

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But whatever the calendar may say, temperatures are on their way down and likely won’t rise much, if any, through at least mid-December. The average high temperature in early December is in the lower 40s, and we will likely drop to at least 10 degrees below normal by this weekend as a piece of the polar vortex drops southward into the Hudson Bay area of Canada.

READ MORE: After a busy November, what can we expect from December weather?

At the same time, a large area of high pressure will build across the North Atlantic near Greenland. This blocking area of high pressure will force cold air that is building from the North Pole into northern Canada and southward across the eastern half of the United States.

Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell breaks down the 3 different types of Winter Weather Alerts.

The block can cause the polar vortex to weaken and even splinter into “spokes” that can get pushed southward toward the U.S.-Canadian border. Such patterns lead to some of the coldest temperatures of the year in Ohio, especially in the months of January and February. While the air that is now moving into the Miami Valley will be quite cold, it will not be as extreme as it could be if the same pattern were to occur again in about four to six weeks.

If the long-range models are correct, the pattern now developing will likely hold through mid-December. This will keep temperatures well below average with occasional bouts of snow showers and/or flurries. Such patterns often don’t lead to major precipitation events, although clipper-type systems are common. These “Alberta Clippers” will bring gusty winds, rapid temperature swings and a couple of inches of snow at most. Such a system may be on track to move into the Ohio Valley this weekend with perhaps another one passing early next week.

READ MORE: Colder, snowier winter likely in 2017

The bigger question will be if such a pattern will hold into the holiday week of Christmas, which is still just too far away to know for sure. While chances appear to be better than average (typically about 30 percent) for a white Christmas, there are some signs that the blocking pattern may begin to break down right around that time.

Eric Elwell is WHIO StormCenter 7 Chief Meteorologist. Contact him at eric.elwell@coxinc.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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5 credit card skimmers found during weekend sweep in Montgomery County

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 9:47 AM
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 10:39 AM

Chuck Hamlin/Staff
Chuck Hamlin/Staff

Five credit card skimmers were found in gas pumps during a sweep of area stations last weekend, according to Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith. 

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This was the first discovery of multiple skimmers at one time since August 2013 and was the most-ever reported in a three-day period in one Ohio county, Keith said during a press conference Tuesday morning. 

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The skimmers were found at stations in Germantown, Miamisburg, Moraine, and West Carrollton, as a part of a larger sweep that covered Butler, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery and Warren counties.

Nearly 800 pumps were checked in 100 separate locations across the six counties, but no other devices were found in other counties, Keith said. 

“All of the skimmers we found had been installed in the same type of fuel dispensers,” Keith said.

“The criminals who placed these devices were clearly targeting stations with these type of gas pumps because of their vulnerability and ease of access.” 

The locations where skimmers were found were: 

  • Marathon: 2822 Dayton-Germantown Pike, Germantown
  • Main Street Carryout: 155 South Main Street, Miamisburg
  • Ameristop: 1903 South Alex Road, West Carrollton
  • Shell: 106 South Alex Road, West Carrollton
  • Marathon: 4520 South Dixie Drive, Moraine 

The skimmers were Bluetooth-enabled, meaning those who set up the devices didn’t have to return to the pumps directly to retrieve the data collected, Keith said. 

Consumers who purchased fuel at the pump at the affected locations are urged to monitor bank accounts and credit card statements and report any suspicious activity to the financial institution. 

Keith also urged consumers to always use a credit card, rather than a debit card, when paying for fuel at the pump as another layer of protection for consumers. 

“This threat is real. It is ongoing and it demands that it be taken seriously,” Keith said. 

Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith addresses the media after five credit card skimmers were found on gas pumps during a weekend sweep. Chuck Hamlin/Staff

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Bronx fire: Huge blaze engulfs several New York City businesses

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 10:40 AM
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 10:40 AM

Fire truck (file photo). (Photo credit: SoFuego / Pixabay.com)
SoFuego / Pixabay.com
Fire truck (file photo). (Photo credit: SoFuego / Pixabay.com)(SoFuego / Pixabay.com)

A huge four-alarm fire broke out in New York City's Bronx borough early Tuesday, blazing through businesses in Fordham.

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George H.W. Bush: 9 things to know about the 41st president of the United States

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 2:13 AM

Biography of George H.W. Bush

Former President George Herbert Walker Bush was hospitalized Sunday in Houston after an infection spread to his blood, just days after the death of his wife, Barbara.

>> George H.W. Bush hospitalized with blood infection days after death of Barbara Bush

"He is responding to treatments and appears to be recovering," his spokesman, Jim McGrath, tweeted Monday.

Here are nine things you should know about Bush, who served as the 41st president of the United States from 1989 to 1993:

1. He has a form of Parkinson's disease. The former president uses a motorized scooter or wheelchair to get around.

2. He is "the longest-living president in U.S. history," Time reported last November. The 93-year-old Bush, born June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts, is 111 days older than the second longest-living U.S. president, Jimmy Carter. 

>> George H.W. Bush now longest-living president in U.S. history

3. He and Barbara had the longest marriage of any presidential couple in U.S. history. The pair wed Jan. 6, 1945.

>> Barbara Bush: What you should know about the former first lady

4. He graduated from Yale in 1948. According to CNN, he earned his bachelor's degree in economics in just 2 1/2 years.

5. He has five living children: George W., John (known as Jeb), Neil, Marvin and Dorothy. George W. Bush served two terms as president from 2001 to 2009. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ran for the Republican nomination in the run-up to November's election, but lost his bid to President Donald Trump.

Another child, Pauline Robinson "Robin" Bush, died as a child in 1953 after being diagnosed with leukemia, The Washington Post reported.

>> PHOTOS: George H. W. Bush through the years

6. He served in the Navy during World War II. Bush, who reportedly enlisted on his 18th birthday in 1942, flew 58 combat missions during the war, including one that required he be rescued by a submarine after his plane was hit by Japanese anti-aircraft fire. For his bravery, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

7. He launched his political career in 1963. He served as a congressman, CIA director and Ronald Reagan's vice president.

8. In 1989, he became the first sitting vice president to win the presidency since 1837. According to CNN, he "offered his predecessors  Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan  secure telephones so he could reach them day or night."

>> Read more trending news 

9. He "has parachuted eight times," CNN reported. His most recent skydive was a tandem jump in celebration of his 90th birthday.

>> Click here to watch

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Biography of Barbara Pierce Bush(www.accessatlanta.com)

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Court rules against monkey in copyright infringement case

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 10:50 AM

Crested macaques -- and other animals -- cannot sue for copyright protection, a federal court ruled.
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Crested macaques -- and other animals -- cannot sue for copyright protection, a federal court ruled.(Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Monkey see, monkey can’t sue.

A federal appeals court, in a unanimous decision, ruled Monday that animals cannot sue for copyright protection, The Los Angeles Times reported.

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The ruling came in the case of Naruto, a 7-year-old crested macaque living in a reserve in Indonesia. In 2011, the monkey allegedly took selfies with a wildlife photographer's camera when it was left unattended, the Times reported. Photographer David Slater later published the pictures.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sued Slater in 2015, arguing the copyright belonged to Naruto. PETA and Slater later settled the case out of court, but the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided to rule on the case.

"We must determine whether a monkey may sue humans, corporations, and companies for damages and injunctive relief arising from claims of copyright infringement," Judge Carlos Bea, wrote for the three-judge panel. "We conclude that this monkey — and all animals, since they are not human — lacks statutory standing under the Copyright Act.”

Judge N. Randy Smith, who concurred with Bea’s opinion, said PETA's suit was "frivolous" and that federal courts lacked the authority to hear a lawsuit filed on an animal’s behalf.

"The concept of expanding actual property rights -- and rights broadly -- to animals necessitates resolving what duties also come with those rights," Smith wrote, "and, because animals cannot communicate in our language, who stands in their shoes?"

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