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Governor Dannel Malloy offered a briefing from the Emergency Operations Center in Hartford on Wednesday morning.

He ordered all first-shift, non-essential state employees to stay home due to the difficult weather conditions, and has advised that anyone who does not need to be on the road during the storm should avoid it. He has also instituted a soft ban on tandem trucks on interstate highways.

The day before the legislative session begins, Governor Dannel  Malloy proposed on Tuesday that the legislature raise the stage minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Malloy signed legislation that raised the minimum wage to $8.70 on January 1, and will raise it to $9.00 January 1, 2015. 

More Snow on the Way; Metro-North Upgrades Coming

Feb 4, 2014

A Winter Storm Watch has already been issued for Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning for the next snow storm that could start out as sleet and bring another eight inches of new snow. Temperatures will be in the low 20s on Monday night.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

If you've looked out on the Connecticut River this winter, you may have seen something a bit unexpected: a Coast Guard cutter. It's called the USCG Bollard, and it's been on the river for weeks, dutifully breaking up ice.

Barbara/flickr creative commons

Down it comes, and when those crystals hit, the covering is beautiful, quiet, and sometimes threatening.

Tell us a snow story, whether it's one of delight or one of fear of destruction. Do you have snow traditions—sugar on snow, a sleigh ride, igloo building, snow shoeing?

Here's Daniel Tammet on the science of snowflakes.

We all probably sort of knew this already, but a new map seems to show quite clearly that it doesn't take much snow to close schools in the Southern U.S. — and that it takes a lot to close them in the Northern half of the nation.

The National Weather Service is warning, once again, that brutally cold weather is going to be spreading across much of the nation, from the upper Midwest down to the deep South and up through the mid-Atlantic, Northeast and New England.

The Weather Service even throws an exclamation point into its forecast for this week:

As the snow from the most recent winter storm ends, cold temperatures are moving in. Total snowfall accumulations ranged from one to four inches in northwestern Connecticut to six to 12 inches to the south and east of Hartford. Highs were into the teens across most of the state today. The deep freeze is expected to remain through the end of the week with high temperatures in the teens going up to 20. 

When it comes to tackling obesity, eating right and staying active are usually the way to go. But a research team in the Netherlands says there's an environmental factor that might help and that is often overlooked: the cold.

We're not talking bone-chilling temperatures that'll make you shiver endlessly, but a milder cold between 62 and 77 degrees.

The 52 scientists and paying passengers who spent more than a week aboard a ship that was trapped in ice off the coast of Antarctica over the holidays are now safely back home in Australia.

From Sydney, correspondent Stuart Cohen tells our Newscast Desk that
"three weeks after being rescued from their stranded research vessel," the members of the exhibition are in the city of Hobart.

Winter Storm Warning Continues; Pothole Problems

Jan 21, 2014

Shawn Nystrand/flickr creative commons

Down it comes, and when those crystals hit, the covering is beautiful, quiet, and sometimes threatening.

Tell us a snow story, whether it's one of delight or one of fear of destruction. Do you have snow traditions—sugar on snow, a sleigh ride, igloo building, snow shoeing?

Just as we're getting used to hearing about the polar vortex, there's another cool-sounding weather term being thrown around that we've had to look up:

Bombogenesis

This post by Philadelphia meteorologist John Bolaris caught our eye: "Old Man Winter to drop bombogenesis."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to pay Springfield, Massachusetts $25 million for the destruction of public property by the 2011 tornado.  It is a final settlement that city officials worked relentlessly to obtain.

We've been following the coronal mass ejection that headed toward Earth after an intense solar flare was emitted from the sun earlier this week. And now NASA tells us that such events can be heard, in a sense, by tuning in to CRaTER Radio, a "sonification" project that uses data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to generate musical sounds and stream them on the Internet.

Update at 3:05 p.m. ET:

NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center now reports:

"The coronal mass ejection (CME), originally expected to arrive around 0800 UTC (3:00 a.m. EST) today, January 9, was observed at the ACE spacecraft just upstream of Earth at 1932 UTC (2:32 p.m. EST)."

The SWPC goes on to say that "the original forecast continues to be for G3 (Strong) Geomagnetic Storm activity on January 9 and 10."

"Aurora watchers may be in luck for tonight."

The deaths of at least 21 people are now being blamed on the winter storms and severe cold weather that have gripped much of the nation since late last week, The Associated Press reported early Wednesday.

At least half have been attributed to weather-related traffic accidents. The wire service adds that:

There's good news from Antarctica, where two ships that had been stuck in ice — one of them for about two weeks — have managed to get to open waters.

WNPR/CPTV

Governor Dannel Malloy is urging communities to open warming centers for those needing assistance. Officials with the Department of Transportation say they have crews out on the state's roads, but they're reminding motorists to drive with caution. By Wednesday afternoon, temperatures will rise into the 20s, and highs will be above 30 across most of the state by Thursday afternoon.

We've mentioned the polar vortex several times in recent days.

We've said, for instance, that it's "a low pressure system that's usually whirling around the North Pole but has weakened and come south."

But we're still getting asked this question:

While this week's super-cold conditions across much of the nation are fascinating and fun for many of us, there is a far more serious side to the story.

A wind chill advisory is in effect from midnight on Monday until 6:00 pm on Tuesday. Strong winds will combine to create low wind chills. Frostbite and hypothermia are a concern as temperatures drop. Precautions should be taken if you are heading outdoors. Wearing gloves and a hat and covering all exposed skin is recommended. Shelters are reaching out to the homeless in advance of dangerously cold temperatures expected overnight and Tuesday.

Rosie O'Beirne / Creative Commons

With single digit temperatures and below-zero wind chills in the forecast for Monday night and Tuesday, Governor Malloy has enacted the state's severe weather protocol, which coordinates homeless shelters and various state agencies though the state's 211 information and referral line. 

WNPR

Connecticut endured the first major winter storm of 2014, leaving much of the state with between five to nine inches of snowfall,which finally ended Friday morning. The major concern now is a blast of arctic cold temperatures that are expected to reach -15°F in some areas by Friday night.

Digital Vision/Photodisc / Thinkstock

When skin and underlying tissues freeze after exposure to very cold temperatures, that's frostbite. Hands, feet, nose and ears are most at risk. The key to treating frostbite is to gradually warm the skin, which may feel red and painful as it thaws. 

One day after helping to rescue 52 people from a ship stuck in Antarctic ice, a Chinese icebreaker is in danger of also being stranded for a while.

Australia's Maritime Safety Authority says the crew of the Xue Long sent out an alert Friday saying their ship may not be able "to move through heavy ice in the area."

The blast of winter weather that dumped 2 feet of snow in some parts of the Northeast and New England was being blamed for at least 13 deaths as of Friday afternoon.

National Weather Service

In addition to many school closings throughout the region, here are some of the other closings and cancelations we're seeing. The snow should start to taper off late Friday morning.

If you must go out, bundle up and take it slow as road crews continue to clear the snow and treat the roads.

Catie Talarski / WNPR

The winter storm hitting Connecticut is bringing "light, fluffy snow" to many parts of the state. Have you wondered what exactly makes the snow fluffy? 

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