Communication Builds Our Community

(112) stories found containing 'weather'


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  • Community Mourns Former Bok Carillonneur William DeTurk

    Cassie Jacoby|Updated May 1, 2024

    Former Bok Tower Gardens carillonneur William N. De Turk Jr. passed away on Thursday, March 14 after a fall at his home in Lake Wales. The 78-year-old worked for the National Historic Landmark for 18 years, including seven years as director of Carillon Services. Only the third carillonneur since the opening dedication in 1929, De Turk succeeded Milford Myhre before resigning on Oct. 31, 2011. Myhre was the Singing Tower's second carillonneur who played the bells for 36 years...

  • Only Two of Five Candidates Show for Final Election Forum

    News Staff Report|Updated Mar 30, 2024
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    With an election only three days away, three of five candidates seeking to occupy seats on the Lake Wales City Commission skipped a last chance to meet and hear from voters. Both incumbents skipped the chance to interact with voters, just as they had a March 4 forum hosted at the Lake Wales Woman's Club theatre. At an outdoor forum hosted in perfect weather at the B Street Center in the city's Northwest Neighborhood, only Carol Gillespie, seeking Seat 4. and Brandon Alvarado,...

  • "Lake Wales Live" Continues to Draw Crowds to Downtown Music Series

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Mar 16, 2024

    Downtown Lake Wales was a "happening scene" Friday as the sounds of the south Florida-based "The JamBand" filled the air as they performed from a special stage in Linear Park. The event drew a large crowd on a beautiful spring evening who danced, clapped along, and sometimes sang with the band. Numerous vendors and a food truck catered to the crowd. The free performance was another installation of "Lake Wales Live," a six-performance series intended to help bring more...

  • Lake Wales Arts Festival Happening This Weekend

    News Staff Reports|Updated Feb 27, 2024

    Ideal weather conditions and a wide area of beautiful works of art are expected to draw residents and visitors alike to the shores of Lake Wailes this weekend as the 53rd annual Lake Wales Arts Festival take place in Lake Wailes Park. The show will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, and from 10: a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday. Seventy artists have been accepted into the juried showing hosted by the Lake Wales Arts Council and will offer an array of media and...

  • More Wild Weather on Tap for The Coming Days

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Feb 3, 2024

    If you're planning to be out and about this week, you may want to "hold on to your hat" as another round of windy weather will follow bands of rain expected to begin on Sunday and continue into Monday evening. According to forecasters from the National Weather Service, an "anomalous" or unusually-strong low pressure system will move over Florida from the Gulf of Mexico during that period, creating the possibility of more strong thunderstorms. Widespread rain and showers are...

  • Frigid Termperatures to be Replaced by Spring-like Warmth

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Jan 22, 2024

    After weeks of rainy weather, accompanied by wild swings in temperature, a more stable near-term outlook is becoming established for Florida and most of the southern United States. A series of Pacific high-pressure systems are expected to replace the parade of arctic air masses that put much of the nation, and central Florida, under below-normal temperatures in recent days. Although we escaped freezing temperatures on the Ridge, residents are ready for a warm-up, and that's wh...

  • Dangerous Weather May Impact Area Tuesday Evening as El Nino Takes Hold

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Jan 13, 2024

    The wild swings of weather seen in central Florida in recent days is expected to continue this week with a dash of severe threats thrown into the mixture, as the long-predicted El Nino weather pattern takes hold here. The immediate concern is for Tuesday evening, when a strong, fast moving squall line is expected to pass over the Lake Wales Ridge with the potential for damaging winds. Cloud to ground lightning and a slight risk of tornadoes has been forecast as well....

  • Frostproof Native Crosses Lake Okeechobee on Paddleboard

    Special to the News|Updated Jan 13, 2024

    Frostproof native Mason Gravley was part of a two-person team that has apparently established a new endurance record for Florida. The duo paddle-boarded approximately 34 miles over the course of 11 hours and 27 minutes, navigating the vast and unpredictable waters of Lake Okeechobee. Mason Gravley of Palmetto and Jordon Wolfram of Lakeland successfully completed the crossing on January 1 after a 5:00 am start, marking the first-ever recorded journey of its kind. The...

  • Hurricane Season Still Has Potential for Trouble From Caribbean

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Nov 15, 2023

    Even as the Lake Wales area enjoys pleasant and mild weather, it's important to keep a weather-eye out for late-developing tropical storms and hurricanes that could threaten to disrupt our idyllic autumn days. Now two long-range models are depicting just such a potential. Hurricane season runs through November 30, and there have been occasional storms that have developed even after that date. The unusually-warm water in the Atlantic basin, coupled with unseasonable warmth,...

  • History Museum Will Emerge Better, Community Support Needed

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Oct 30, 2023

    Major improvements are underway at the Lake Wales History Museum that are expected to make the facility a center of community activity as well as a draw for residents and visitors alike, according to Executive Director Melissa Stoller. The ongoing project includes needed repairs to the 98-year-old building as well as reimagined and refreshed exhibits. The non-profit museum is seeking volunteers with carpentry skills to help with the ongoing reconfiguration. Stoller promises...

  • Sharp Cool-down to Follow Significant Rain Event

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Oct 11, 2023

    It's time to start digging out the jackets and sweaters. The long-awaited seasonal cooldown after the end of an exceptionally hot summer will arrive in earnest next week after the passage of a series of reinforcing cold fronts. Heavy rains are expected over Florida beginning Wednesday night, and rain will linger for several days before a series of fronts sweeps in a colder air mass that will leave morning lows in the 50's for the Lake Wales Ridge area. The potential for...

  • Soggy Weather May Usher in Caribbean Storm Season

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Sep 27, 2023

    An early-autumn bout of very soggy weather has left the Lake Wales Ridge area with as much as nine inches of rain in some locations, raising lake levels and saturating marshes. Now long-range models are beginning to depict a weather pattern favorable to tropical storm development in the western Caribbean. The wet weather has generally been welcomed across central Florida after a drier-than-normal year, and the various models are in agreement that the pattern will remain in...

  • Rains, But No 'Canes in Weather Outlook

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Sep 24, 2023

    After a two-day spell of autumn-like weather to mark the official start of the season this weekend, summer-like rains are expected to return to Florida, but the threat of a tropical storm or hurricane remains distant. Computer models are showing a benign pattern remaining over the central Atlantic basin, with protective upper-level winds deflecting storms northward and away from Florida. After the rapid pop-up of Tropical Storm Ophelia just off the east coast of Florida last...

  • Heavy Rains Possible in Coming Week, But Hurricane Threat Remains Low

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Sep 15, 2023

    As the 2023 hurricane season peaks this week, storm threats to Florida appear to be at low ebb. Conditions in the tropical Atlantic basin are continuing to deflect storms northward. As once powerful Hurricane Lee makes landfall on the coasts of Maine and Nove Scotia, Floridians breathed a sigh of relief. At is peak the storm reached the much-feared Category Five intensity, but Florida received nothing more than dangerously high surf and beach erosion. This week the first of a...

  • "Doomsday Storm" Lee May Impact East Coast

    Robert Connors, anaging Editor|Updated Sep 13, 2023

    The strongest hurricane to form over the Atlantic basin in recent years may be in the offing as National Hurricane Center forecasters are predicting that now Tropical Storm Lee will strengthen into a fearsome Category Five hurricane by the weekend, menacing the east coast of the United States with winds of 150 mph or more after a period of "explosive" intensification. That rapid rise in power is largely due to heated oceanic temperatures, as much as three degrees above...

  • New Potential Tropical System Emerges in Distant Atlantic

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Sep 6, 2023

    While multiple named storms have swirled harmlessly all week in the mid-Atlantic, a weak tropical wave that emerged off the coast of Africa several days ago is now the system to watch for Florida. The National Hurricane Center in Miami is now assigning the system a near-100 percent chance of development during the coming three days, during which time it is forecast to be approaching the area of the Virgin Islands. By that time it should be a powerful hurricane. Despite still...

  • Threat of Idalia Here Rapidly Dropping as Storm Continues Northward

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Sep 5, 2023

    The chance of severe weather from Hurricane Idalia is dropping rapidly this evening as the storm continues on a steady northward track, now advancing at 16 mph. Precautions are still advised for possible gusty winds and heavy rains overnight but the storm center is expected to stay well away, moving nearest to Florida's Gulf Coast overnight but remaining some 200 miles west of the Pinellas County coast. The 5:00 pm update from the National Hurricane Center in Miami actually...

  • Idalia Leaves Heavy Rains, But No Wind Damage

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Aug 30, 2023

    After causing a scare in the east Polk region by approaching Florida from the southwest, Hurricane Idalia behaved much as the computer models had predicted, staying well offshore of Florida's west coast before slamming into the Big Bend Area of the state as a Category Four hurricane. That course left the Lake Wales area and surrounding communities undamaged due to winds. Three times during the overnight hours tornado warnings caused alarms to sound on phones and tablets in...

  • 11:00 am UPDATE: Hurricane Idalia Still Moving Mostly North, Intensifying

    Robert Connors|Updated Aug 29, 2023

    Precautions are advised for strong winds and heavy rains due to the approach of Hurricane Idalia, still expected to move near Florida's Gulf Coast overnight on Wednesday. The 11:00 am, update from the National Hurricane Center in Miami indicates that the center of the storm is still on a generally northward track of five degrees, indicating a slight eastward movement. Any increased eastward adjustment in the course would raise the potential impacts of the storm in the east Pol...

  • UPDATE Tropical Storm Warning Issued for Polk as Hurricane Adalia Approaches

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Aug 29, 2023

    The National Hurricane Center has issued Hurricane Warnings for much of the Florida west coast north of Longboat Key, and raised the former Tropical Storm Watch in Polk County to a Tropical Storm Warning. Residents of the Lake Wales area can expect gusty winds of up to about 60 mph overnight Tuesday evening, continuing for much of the day on Wednesday before gradually relaxing Wednesday night. Along with the winds, substantial rains can be anticipated, with up to four inches...

  • UPDATE: Tuesday Morning Hurricane Trends

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Aug 29, 2023

    The threat of a direct strike from Hurricane Idalia on east Polk and the Lake Wales Ridge area continues to diminish this morning as the storm has continued on a northerly track with no sign of a dreaded turn to the east. That much-feared jog would bring the storm ashore on Florida's populous west coast rather than the sparsely-populated Big Bend area. Nevertheless, precautions continue in Polk County for anticipated tropical storm-force winds and the possibility for heavy...

  • 5:00 pm UPDATE: Hurricane Idalia Still a Threat, But Trends are Positive for Lake Wales

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Aug 29, 2023

    The 5:00 pm update from the National Hurricane Center contains some positive news for the Lake Wales area as the most recent model runs for future movements of Tropical Storm Idalia trended very slightly to the west, which would keep the center of the storm away from the central Florida coastline, aiming it instead for the sparsely-populated Big Bend area of the Gulf Coast. On the cautionary side, however, is an increased expectation of rapid intensification, assuring that it...

  • Hurricane Idelia Expected to Have Some Impacts on Lake Wales Ridge Area

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Aug 28, 2023

    The rapid intensification of Tropical Storm Idalia into a major hurricane just off the west coast of Florida has Lake Wales area residents on edge. Three times in the last 19 years similar forecast tracks led to storms that turned east ahead of forecast, causing direct strikes on the city. Now forecast to become a hurricane today (Monday) before entering the Gulf of Mexico, Idalia is expected to reach Major storm status with a high likelihood of rapid intensification due to...

  • Potential Tropical System Impact Becomes More Likely for Region

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Aug 24, 2023

    The possibility of a tropical storm or hurricane impacting Florida and potentially threatening the Lake Wales area is increasing as models are indicating the potential development of a new system in the western Caribbean. If the system strengthens, it would likely move near the western tip of Cuba before entering the Gulf of Mexico and approaching the west coast of Florida. The waters of both the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico are far warmer than historic records, potentially...

  • Potential Tropical Storm Threat Grows for Florida as Peak Season Approaches

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Aug 18, 2023

    A significant shift in weather patterns in both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean basins has increased chances of tropical storm development that could potentially threaten Florida and the Lake Wales Ridge area. The Atlantic hurricane season is heating up just as the historical peak weeks of the six-month period approach. Models are now showing an increased likelihood of storms that could affect Florida. Water temperatures in the Atlantic basin are at record levels, as is the tot...

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