12:20 p.m. EST
The Associated Press: "About a dozen killer whales that were trapped under sea ice appeared to be free after the ice shifted, a leader of a northern Canada village said Thursday."
A pod of around 12 whales, first spotted Wednesday, are confined to a small patch of open water slightly bigger than a pickup truck in Inukjuak, Quebec, Canada. Inukjuak is more than 900 miles north of Montreal.
Killer whales, being mammals, must breathe air. However, most of the area is now solidly covered in ice. Ice analysis shows at least 90 percent ice coverage throughout Hudson Bay and the Hudson Strait. The Hudson Strait links the bay to the open, ice-free Labrador Sea, roughly 700 miles away.
According to a local resident interviewed by Reuters, it's unusual to see killer whales in the area in January, but the ice-over happened later than usual this year. Local residents have no means to help the orcas; they have asked the Canadian government to send an icebreaker.
The normal January high temperature for the area is 5 below zero F with a low around 18 below zero F. Temperatures locally will be somewhat above normal -- still well below freezing -- through about Monday, followed by somewhat colder-than-normal weather next week.
The withering grip of prolonged drought, draining the Southwest of life and agricultural prosperity, continues to worsen.
As temperatures rise through the weekend in the South, so will the risk for heat-related dangers.
A tropical threat from the Atlantic on the United States and Caribbean islands may increase into next week.
United States residents may pay higher heating costs this fall as colder air is expected to grip the Rockies and Plains at times and some quick-hitting chilly shots may impact the Northeast.
A swath of steady, soaking rain will slowly shift from the northern Plains to the Canadian Prairies this weekend, making people reach for their umbrellas.
Chicago is facing more rounds of thunderstorms over the next several days after heavy rains flooded local neighborhoods and caused travel delays.
Boston, MA (1851)
Track of tornado - Waltham, Belmont, Arlington (see other 1843 stories around this time). Apparently caused by excessively humid S or SW flow at western edge of a Bermuda high.
Woodland, WI (1857)
42 miles west of Milwaukee at night - "Every building save one blown down; freight cars blown off the track."
San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico (1906)
103 degrees, hottest ever in Puerto Rico.