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Kirk Mellish Blog

    After three consecutive nights with a hard freeze we start pulling out of the frosty cold snap, but no big warm-up coming just a moderation on the thermometer.  Temperatures none-the-less will remain coolish and near-normal to slightly below-normal through next Monday.  We even had some teens for lows this morning in the usual cold spots: EUROPEAN MODEL ENSEMBLE TEMPERATURE AVERAGE DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL NEXT 8 DAYS: EUROPEAN MODEL ENSEMBLE TEMPERATURE AVERAGE DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL DAYS 8-15: CFSv2 MODEL 20-DAY MEAN TEMPERATURE DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL OUTLOOK FEB OPEN (weathermodels graphic): EUROPEAN MODEL ENSEMBLE PRECIPITATION NEXT 15 DAY DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL: EUROPEAN MODEL ENSEMBLE SNOW NEXT 15 DAYS: BLEND OF MODELS TEMPERATURE OUTPUT: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • “There’s a chill this evening, a hard freeze is coming by the dawn” Lyrics from an old country music song I just made up. I do remember, “When there came a killing frost...” from the song Wildfire. There is also a book by that title.  The air may be too dry for frost with dew points in the single digits to low teens Monday through Wednesday, that’s worthy of Minnesota and is split-ends and chapped lips weather with a static electricity alert after walking across a carpet. Very low humidity, very dry air that gets even drier when heated indoors.  GFS MODEL FORECAST DEW POINTS: Actual thermometer lows projected would at least tie for the lowest seen this Fall or Winter, and may end of lower: MODEL BLEND FORECAST LOWS MONDAY MORNING: MODEL BLEND FORECAST HIGHS MONDAY: FORECAST WIND CHILL FACTOR (”FEELS LIKE”): However, like our previous cold waves the Polar Air Mass is transient so that a warming trend quickly returns temperatures back to normal for this time of year Thursday and 60 could return before the month is done. Remember that old saying about “Thunder in winter, snow X days later”. Well how is that working out for ya?  I’ve lost track of how many times there has been thunder in all or parts of Metro Atlanta this Fall and winter. I guess if that old wives tale folklore is right then we are due for multiple snowstorms lol.   *Thus far at least there are none on the table for the Southeast in the foreseeable future.* As far as history is concerned, JANUARY is by far the month with the most big snow events in Atlanta #1. MARCH is #2, and FEBRUARY is #3 with DECEMBER fourth.  Give up? Well, given the chaos in the weather patterns across the Northern Hemisphere I still would not yet say winter is over with the next mild spell with history telling us it can happen in the two months ahead of us.  That having been said there are presently no concrete signs of it, and I just can’t trust the models beyond 7 days as for many months they have been performing worse than normal beyond that timeframe, and after two false alarms I am just gonna take a pass on any long lasting cold projections. It only takes one quick buckling of the jet stream to trigger a chain of events that could lead to winter precipitation with little advance notice.  For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • As has been the pattern since the Autumn, we get cold snaps that come and go and that pattern looks to continue the rest of this month and the next two. For months now the global computer models have periodically tried to change the pattern to one that would allow cold to come and stay, but they always end up reversing themselves and correcting to warmer modes. The normal or average high and low this time of year are 52 and 34.  We’ll be near-normal today and tomorrow then the bottom drops out Sunday into Wednesday. From our temperatures this Wednesday to temperatures next Monday we will see about a 32 degree temperature drop as we go from 20 degrees above normal to 10 degrees below normal. (GFS Model forecast temperature departure from normal shown in map above). Ahead of the polar cold front a few scattered showers move in tomorrow between 7 and 11 am, with rain coverage increasing afternoon and early evening, ending after midnight with amounts a quarter inch on average.  Below-normal temperatures start Sunday and last into next Wednesday with the lowest readings since mid-November. SURFACE WEATHER CHART SATURDAY MORNING: SURFACE WEATHER CHART SATURDAY EVENING: ESTIMATED RAINFALL AVERAGE BETWEEN 7AM SATURDAY AND 7AM SUNDAY: MULTI MODEL BLEND TEMPERATURE OUTPUT AROUND THE METRO: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The change in the prevailing jet stream weather pattern I mentioned here Monday morning still looks to be on track as seen in forecast model maps above. The jet stream flow flips from coming out of the Southwest to coming down from the Northwest. Forecasting highs today of 68-71 not far from a record. The normal or average high this time of year in Atlanta is just 52!  If we get enough sun we could tie or break the record. The downward temperature trend will occur in steps with the first step down Thursday, another Friday and the big one starting Sunday and on through next week. A HARD FREEZE is due several mornings in a row starting Monday with lows in the 20s, a few readings in the teens not out of the question by Tuesday or Wednesday. These will be the lowest readings since mid-November as a taste of winter returns. We also dry out along the way, especially after Saturday. Just a few showers or an isolated thundershower today, mostly dry tomorrow and Friday. Then showers and maybe a thundershower Saturday. Then dry Sunday-Thursday. ESTIMATED AVERAGE RAINFALL TODAY THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT: ECMWF ENSEMBLE PRECIPITATION DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL NEXT 15 DAYS: ECMWF MODEL TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE: As is always the case my specific forecast will vary from others and from models. For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • Old man winter is asleep on the Southeast but he’s not dead yet.  We have more rain and more unseasonably warm weather ahead in the coming week (temps 18-26 degrees above-normal) as the cold front that brought the severe weather Saturday stalls out and then drifts back North as a warm front through Tuesday before another cold front moves through on Thursday that will bring back noticeably cooler weather to end the week 50s and 30s and the downward trend will continue next week. It will turn colder in the medium to long-range period and we may have to monitor another strong thunderstorm chance somewhere along the way in the transition, after a marginal risk of a strong thunderstorm Tuesday afternoon or night. 5-DAY RAINFALL TOTAL ESTIMATE: 1-2 inch rain totals are expected by the time the week ends on AVERAGE, with isolated 4 inch totals possible for localized flooding.  500MB JET STREAM FLOW PATTERN TUESDAY: An arctic air mass is seen in Southwest Canada while a broad mild Southwest to Northeast jet stream flow is seen for much of the U.S. below I-80 including an active  sub-tropical jet flow across the Southland.  However, there is mounting predictive data supportive of a change to a pattern that will support periods of colder weather back to normal highs and lows for dead winter or even some spells of below-normal roughly January 19 into early February with some milder spells in-between but not nearly as warm as recently.  But given poor model performance for many months I will not jump on any long-lasting frigid air yet.  None-the-less the “Modoki El Nino” atmospheric behavior continues and the MJO is forecast into more favorable phases and there is consensus among the various numerical variants for a pattern flip with +PNA West Coast ridging in the jet stream pattern and a -EPO which can deliver colder air and is the opposite of the upper-air flow pattern we have now seen in map above.  The +IOD in the Indian Ocean area and the MJO in the West Pacific have kept the U.S. pattern mild to this point, but changes are afoot as seen in the WxBell Charts: Weather has cycles and they typically last on the order of 45 days or so sometimes 60 before changing, we are getting close to that from the last chillier jet stream pattern in the U.S that occurred in November and early December after the warm autumn so that fits. Likewise current data suggest stratospheric warming over the North Pole another signal of pattern change and the warm sea-surface “blob” persists beneath Alaska in the NE Pacific.  The analogs continue to be supportive of a flip in the pattern since there is precedent in past warm winters to end noticeably colder, as recently as 2015 for example. That has been a common theme of many winters in the 2000s with February and March and I think we’ll do it again as the SE upper ridge gets beaten back down and squashed out of here with the change starting next weekend and increasing in the weeks beyond. So January 17-27 is a transition period it probably won’t happen overnight but it looks like the pattern will flip and last in on and off fashion into March.  Any snow or ice threat unlikely through Jan 21 but final 11 days of this month OR next month can’t be ruled out. Confidence highest I-40 or a little South but I-20 or South not off the table.  I am just saying winter is far from over, it’s just too early to cancel it.  But keep in mind I am not predicting anything because specifics that far out in time are not scientifically valid so I don’t do that.  IF if and when there is something stronger to say I will.  I try to be right not first to mention snow or ice, this is not supposed to be a game of look at me. I don’t get extra pay for blogs or tweets or Facebook so I don’t seek attention or likes, retweets, shares or forwards. Nothing in it for me. I also consider unscientific long-range hype to be unethical and unprofessional.  But data is mounting that at the very least  we are going to change to at a minimum more neutral conditions in the key teleconnections to one that allows at least the possibility of something to occur in that time frame, maybe maybe January 24th give or take a few days but odds are highest I-40 North not I-20 but nobody can be sure this far out. So let me reiterate it’s not a forecast for any snow or ice because that can NOT be known this far in advance by anybody or any gadget. KEY TELECONNECTION LOCATIONS: I am simply saying a “window of opportunity” as I like to call them may be opening as we end January and continuing at times next month and first half of March.  I do not yet see any EXTREME cold however so far, nor do I see weeks of non-ending cold. The global numerical prediction models projected pattern flip MJO and GFS ENSEMBLE 500MB JET STREAM: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The worst is over, the warnings have expired. The tornado watch is cancelled for Metro Atlanta.  Reports of damage continue to come into the news and weather center. It’s all about the clean-up and recover. Quiet weather tomorrow, showers return Sunday night into Wednesday. MY exclusive 5-day forecast is always available HERE.
  • The squall line is moving in and through the metro area on schedule. Be prepared to move to a place of safety with little or no warning. Severe thunderstorm warnings for damaging winds have already been issued and more are likely across the rest of the area during the next 3-4 hours. These counties in gray have been ADDED to the earlier Tornado Watch: Live updates ongoing  as needed tune-in to 95.5 WSB on any device.
  • The news headline making low pressure and frontal system (mid-latitude cyclone) is advancing our way, but is expected to weaken at least somewhat as it moves through Metro Atlanta, but not enough to eliminate a risk of severe weather: In fact the Storm Prediction Center has increased the coverage of Risk Level 2 and brought in more Risk Level 3 (enhanced in orange) to the West side as seen above.  Here are some various models output of forecast (SIMULATED) radar projections between 5pm and 10pm... The best estimate of the PRIMARY WINDOW for damaging thunderstorm winds or an isolated spin-up tornado along the squall line (QLCS) for the METRO ATLANTA AREA is 3pm-10pm give or take a couple hours.  Remember winds will be gusting to 30-40 mph at times even outside of a thunderstorm when it’s dry or just showers and that alone can bring down a weak tree or tree branch. Even without a tornado thunderstorm winds may gust to 65 MPH in the stronger storms. NOTE: not everyone will get a severe thunderstorm, and some places may not even get a regular thunderstorm just heavy downpours and strong wind gusts.  A Tornado Watch already posted to our West this morning: SPC SEVERE WEATHER TECHNICAL DISCUSSION: ESTIMATED RAINFALL NEXT 24 HOURS: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB. Live team coverage as needed on the radio 95.5 WSB or your favorite listening device. DOWNLOAD the WSB RADIO APP HERE.
  • A news maker type system is taking shape for much of the country East of the Rockies to the Atlantic Coast Friday through Sunday with a blizzard and ice storm in the cold sector and flooding and tornadoes in the warm sector of the low pressure system.  A classic deepening mid-latitude cyclone and frontal system Texas-OK Pan Handle hooker type storm track. Spring-like temperatures will clash with winter temperatures trying to advance for a very March type cyclone (low pressure system). While the heat and moisture factors for severe weather are limited by this being January, this will be compensated for by suffice CAPE values/surface dew points and strong kinematics, dynamics and sufficient thermodynamics with a strong low-level jet and mid and upper level jet stream for diffluent flow, divergence aloft for large-scale assent with strong warm and cold air advection and venting of the upper atmosphere, wind shear will provide ample helicity for tornadoes and a squall line with cyclonic vorticity at mid-levels. Thankfully for us in Georgia the system looks like it will be weakening some as it arrives here compared to states to our West.  But soils here are sorta soggy already from recent rains and there will be gusty winds even without a severe thunderstorm just from synoptic scale pressure gradient winds and from downward momentum flux from any downpours, so isolated power outages or traffic light problems and tree branch falls will be possible even outside of any strong storm.  Trees can fall and home damage possible in a few areas if we get any severe thunderstorms.  RGEM MODEL SATURDAY 7AM (Pivotal weather chart): 3-KM NAM MODEL SATURDAY 7PM: ESTIMATED RAINFALL BETWEEN NOW AND 7AM SUNDAY: MORE HEAVY RAIN NEXT WEEK AFTER A LULL SUNDAY: MULTI-MODEL ENSEMBLE TEMPERATURE OUTPUT (10-25 degrees above normal): 3-KM NAM MODEL FORECAST ATMOSPHERIC SOUNDING THERMODYNAMIC DIAGRAM 7PM SATURDAY (Pivotal Weather): SPC SEVERE WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR SATURDAY: It is highly likely there will be Tornado Watches issued from Oklahoma/Arkansas and Texas East through Alabama to the Florida Pan Handle, but it can’t be ruled out that one will be issued for a part of Georgia late Saturday or Saturday evening. For Metro Atlanta the main risk of a damaging thunderstorm looks to be 3pm to 10pm, subject to updates of course.  Threat Level currently 2 on a scale of 1-5. I’ll be working this weekend so stay tuned for updates on 95.5 WSB and download the WSB Radio APP. For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • We stay dry with quiet weather today and tomorrow. Then... Georgia will be in the squeeze between a cold jet stream trough centered to our West/NW and a warm high pressure ridge in the jet stream centered to our Southeast. The resulting Southwest to Northeast upper-level wind flow will bring in high dew points of Gulf moisture more like Spring and copious rain amounts, with temperatures running 10-28 degrees above-normal this weekend.  We get a relative lull in rain Sunday with some sun, before it comes back by Sunday evening into much of next week. However, as of now any way, NO all-day constant rain days are seen. But before all is said and done we may have flooding in parts of Georgia and maybe damaging thunderstorm winds in some areas as well.  It WON’T rain every day but over the next 2-3 weeks precipitation will average above-normal. By the time the next lasting dry spell arrives parts of the Southeast may pick-up a couple months worth of rain. SURFACE WEATHER MAP TODAY: SURFACE WEATHER MAP FRIDAY: SATURDAY MORNING AND EARLY AFTERNOON MULTI-MODEL ENSEMBLE: LATE SATURDAY/SATURDAY EVENING MULTI-MODEL ENSEMBLE: 500MB JET STREAM FLOW PATTERN FRIDAY: 500MB JET STREAM FLOW PATTERN SATURDAY: 5-DAY ESTIMATED RAINFALL: The cold front trailing from the Midwest-Great Lakes snow and ice storm will produce severe weather in the Southern states with a danger of some tornadoes, centered on the Arklatex, Deep South and Tennessee Valley regions. A chance of strong thunderstorms in Metro Atlanta Saturday afternoon and night but it’s too early for specifics yet. As of now I am not overly worried. I’ll focus more on that in the days ahead as needed.  SEVERE WEATHER THREAT SATURDAY-SATURDAY NIGHT: GFS MODEL ENSEMBLE TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.

News

  • An 8-year-old was driving a car that crashed into another car in the parking lot of a Walmart in Washington state on Tuesday afternoon, police said. Renton police officers responded to the store at 743 Rainier Ave. S. around 2:45 p.m. They said a father and his son were shopping inside when the son got the keys from his dad, ran ahead, started the car, put in in reverse and struck another moving car. The car hit by the young driver had a mother and her 2-month-old child inside. Renton police said there were no injuries.
  • Florida's St. Augustine Police Department said they are searching for the suspect who robbed a group of children at gunpoint at a popular park. The robbery happened at Project Swing park on Saturday around 9:30 p.m. Several signs at the park read, “For your safety, park is closed from dusk to dawn.” According to the report, the victims, whose ages are redacted, were sitting at the tables in the middle of the park when a man approached them and demanded money. In the report, one of the victims said the suspect pointed the gun into his chest when he told him he didn’t have any money. Police said the man took $16 from one of the victims before he tried to grab a backpack from the other. The victims told investigators when the suspect tried to take the backpack, they ran towards the parking garage for help. Detectives said the suspect took off running in the opposite direction toward Ketterlinus gym. By the time police responded, the suspect was gone. Investigators said they found a bag believed to belong to the suspect near the tennis courts next to the park. It was sent to the lab for DNA testing. Anyone with information on the suspect is encouraged to call the police department.
  • A 77-year-old man was punched in the face as he walked into a grocery store in Gwinnett County, Georgia, and now police are looking for the person responsible. It happened at the Kroger on Braselton Highway, and it all started in the fire lane in front of the store. It happened at the Kroger on Braselton Highway, and it all started in the fire lane in front of the store. The victim, who did not want to be identified by name, said on Jan. 23 around 4:30 p.m. he pulled up, saw someone parked there, and on his way inside the store, he said, “You're not supposed to park here.” Police said surveillance video shows a woman, who was in the parked car in the fire lane outside, go in the store, walk up to the victim and say something. Officials said a man who was with her then assaulted the 77-year-old man. “And the next thing I know, this jerk comes around and just cold-cocks me right flat on the floor,” the victim said. Witnesses told police they couldn’t believe it happened. The suspect took off and police are still looking for him now. There’s video of the assault that Kroger cameras recorded, but investigators said they’re not releasing it yet because the case is still open. “I had no idea he was even in the place until he came round in front and punched me,” the victim said. The incident is a reminder to shoppers that you may want to tell police when someone is doing something illegal instead of saying something to that person. You never know what they are going to do.
  • A bill sponsored by Utah Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, would restrict people from purchasing a hunting license if they aren’t up to date on child support payments. The “Fishing and Hunting Restrictions for Nonpayment of Child Support” House bill would prohibit “the issuance of a license, permit, or tag related to fishing or hunting if an individual is delinquent in child support.” According to KUTV, the bill would affect anyone who owes more than $2,500 in child support. Once a person is no longer behind on their child support payments, they can obtain a hunting license. If the bill passes, it will go into effect in the summer of 2021.
  •  For the first time, NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal opened up about the death of his former teammate and friend, Kobe Bryant. Bryant, his daughter 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed Sunday when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed in Calabasas, California. O’Neal’s comments came at the start of TNT’s pregame show, as he sat on the court at Staples Center along with the rest of the network’s studio team. TNT was supposed to televise a doubleheader, but the NBA canceled the Lakers-Clippers game that was scheduled to be the nightcap because the Lakers organization is still too devastated after the death of Bryant and his daughter. I haven’t felt a pain that sharp in a while,” O’Neal said. Shaq said he was working out with his son and nephew, when another nephew walked into the room crying and showed him the phone. “I snapped at him,” O’Neal said. “I said, ‘Get that out of my face.'” O’Neal said he thought it was a hoax at first, and then he started getting phone calls from friends and other fellow basketball players. “Forty-seven years old, I’ve lost two grandmothers … lost my sister. And now I’ve lost my little brother,' O’Neal said. O'Neal and Bryant teamed to help the Lakers win three straight championships from 2000-02, but they occasionally feuded and O'Neal was traded to Miami in 2004. He would win another title there, while Bryant would win two more with the Lakers. O’Neal said his heart broke even more when he learned who else was on the chopper. “It’s sort of like a triple stabbing to the heart because after you cry and wonder about that, then I get back on the internet – Rick Fox is on the (helicopter). So now, I’m sick even more,” O’Neal said. “And then the final blow, his lovely daughter was with him on the helicopter.” They eventually patched up their relationship and O'Neal said they texted frequently, though he said he hadn't actually seen Bryant since the final day of his career in 2016. O'Neal said he told Bryant to score 50 points and Bryant instead scored 60. O’Neal said Bryant even checked in with his son Shareef, who underwent heart surgery in December 2018. “Shareef called me, devastated, and said Kobe just texted me to check and see how he was doing. And he used to do that from time to time,” O’Neal said. O’Neal said this year’s NBA Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be a solemn event. “The fact that we’re not going to be able to joke at his Hall of Fame ceremony. The fact that we’re not going to be able to say, ‘Ha, Ha. I got five. You got four.’ The fact that we’re not going to be able to say, ‘If we had stayed together to get 10,’ those are the things we can’t get back,” O’Neal said. O'Neal's comments were his first that were televised since Bryant's death. He had previously only posted on social media and spoken on a podcast. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • Last week, the head of a Chinese government expert team said that human-to-human transmission has been confirmed in the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that people avoid travel to China. Here are some tips for travelers who may be making their way to or from China or other destinations:  Check the CDC website for updates on the outbreak The CDC has a dedicated page that is kept up to date with travel information to China, impacted transportation in China and status of medical care in the country. Maintain good personal hygiene According to The New York Times, passengers should avoid touching their faces and practice proper coughing etiquette, such as coughing or sneezing into an arm instead of your hands or the environment. The CDC recommends washing hands for at least 20 seconds. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used when soap is not available. The Times also reminded travelers that seatbacks and tray tables are wiped down by ground crews, but cleaning them again with a disinfecting wipe is recommended. Lastly, try to keep a safe distance from anyone who appears to be ill. If you are seated next to someone who may be ill, you can ask a flight attendant to reseat you. Please note that they may not be able to accommodate the request. Do I need a mask while traveling? Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of medicine in Vanderbilt University’s division of infectious diseases, told CNN that the benefit of masks may be impractical. “The scientific basis showing that people in the community wearing masks actually has any benefit is very thin and questionable,” Shaffner told CNN. Schaffner also told CNN that U.S. travelers who are traveling only within the United States should not be as concerned about the virus. Other noteworthy tips Henry Harteveldt, of Atmosphere Research, told USA Today that travelers should consider keeping air vents open above the seat to improve ventilation but also noted that he aims them away from his body. USA Today also suggested bringing tissues with you to use to avoid touching door handles when you use the bathrooms on flights. Book a window seat. A study published in 2018 concluded that the window seat is more likely to keep a passenger away from people who might be sick because it is furthest from the aisle where more people move through the cabin. What are other countries doing in response to the outbreak? Many countries are checking the temperatures of arriving airline passengers and adopting precautionary quarantine procedures in response to a new virus. India, Nigeria, Japan and the United States are some of the countries where airport screening procedures were in place. Below are some of the public health measures in multiple countries intended to prevent a repeat of the 2002-2003 outbreak of SARS, which started in China and killed nearly 800 people (Source:The Associated Press, Jan. 21, 2020) MAINLAND CHINA China’s often-secretive Communist government was blamed for making SARS far worse by initially hiding information and blocking the work of the World Health Organization. This time, leader Xi Jinping has called for tough measures and said “party committees, governments and relevant departments at all levels should put people’s lives and health first.” At the airport in Wuhan, the temperatures of departing passengers were checked and outbound tour groups were banned from leaving the city. Virtually everyone in a public role, from traffic police officers to bank tellers, is wearing a protective face mask. JAPAN Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged officials to step up quarantine checks at airports and other entry points, and Japan will require visitors arriving from Wuhan to fill in health forms. HONG KONG The semiautonomous city is one of the most popular destinations for mainland Chinese. It has stepped up surveillance and ordered more cleaning and disinfecting for planes and trains from Wuhan, as well as for train stations and the airport. Acting Chief Executive Matthew Cheung said authorities are ready for a worst-case scenario and are on extremely high alert. A lack of information and low levels of vigilance were blamed for Hong Kong becoming the second-hardest hit area by SARS after mainland China in the early 2000s. As in much of mainland China, Hong Kong residents favor traditional markets where live poultry and other animals are sold. The government advises people against visiting such markets or touching animals or their droppings. SOUTH KOREA South Korea reported its first case of the virus in mid-January, in a Chinese woman who works at a South Korean company. At Incheon International Airport near Seoul, the only airport in South Korea with direct flights from Wuhan, two special gates are designated for passengers from the city and ear thermometers are used to check their temperatures. Arrival halls are being sprayed with disinfectant twice a week, up from once a week previously, and escalator handrails, elevator buttons and other sensitive surfaces are wiped with disinfectant twice a day. NIGERIA Nigeria’s government says health authorities at points of entry are on alert for cases of coronavirus arriving in Africa’s most populous country. The Nigeria Center for Disease Control asked that travelers from Wuhan report to a medical facility and the center if they feel ill. China is Africa’s top trading partner. South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases said anyone with a severe respiratory illness should be tested if they have traveled to Wuhan within two weeks or had close physical contact with a coronavirus patient or treatment at a facility where a confirmed case has been reported. There were more than 200,000 Chinese workers in Africa as of the end of 2017, not including numerous informal migrants such as traders and shopkeepers, according to the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University. INDIA India will expand thermal screening of passengers arriving from China, including Hong Kong, to seven airports from the current three. In-flight announcements before arrival will direct passengers with a fever or cough who have traveled to Wuhan in the previous 14 days to declare themselves to health authorities. Thermal screening will begin in Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Cochin, and continue in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said. SINGAPORE AND MALAYSIA Singapore will expand temperature screening at Changi Airport, one of Asia’s busiest travel hubs, for all travelers on flights arriving from China beginning on Wednesday. The health ministry said individuals with pneumonia and a history of travel to Wuhan within 14 days of the onset of symptoms will be isolated in a hospital as a precautionary measure and investigated. Neighboring Malaysia has also beefed up screening at Kuala Lumpur’s airport. Deputy health Minister Lee Boon Chye said staff are being trained to handle possible cases. “If a case emerges, then we may have to take more drastic measures, but for now, we hope we can nip it at the entry point,” Lee told reporters. BANGLADESH Bangladesh civil aviation authorities have ordered airport managers to start screening incoming passengers from China. A.H.M. Touhid-ul Ahsan, director of the main Shahjalal International Airport, said doctors at the airport would look for fevers, coughs, breathing difficulties and sore throats. The country’s Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research will be notified of any passengers with symptoms for further examination, he said. AUSTRALIA Brendan Murphy, Australia’s chief medical officer, said biosecurity staff and state health officials in New South Wales are meeting flights from Wuhan and are distributing pamphlets printed in English and Chinese to all passengers. The pamphlets describe symptoms of infection and ask people to identify themselves if they are experiencing any. RUSSIA Russia’s Healthcare Ministry described the virus as a biological hazard, with Deputy Minister Sergei Krayevoy saying the virus was a “striking example” of the biological threats Russia faces. The Russian public health service, Rospotrebnadzor, said it had developed a testing kit that would allow labs to detect the new coronavirus quickly. Russia is one of the three most popular tourist destinations for people from China, according to Russian officials. They estimate that about 2 million tourists from China visited Russia in 2018. ITALY The Italian Health Ministry says passengers making direct and indirect flights from Wuhan, China, to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport will be checked for potential signs of the virus. People with suspected infections will be quarantined at an infectious disease hospital in Rome, the ministry says. No cases have been reported so far. Posters at the airport advise travelers to consider delaying trips to the Wuhan area and if they do go there, to avoid touching animals or uncooked animal products. The Associated Press contributed to this story. Associated Press journalists Moussa Moussa in Canberra, Australia, Kim Hyung-jin in Seoul, South Korea, Cara Anna in Johannesburg, South Africa, Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Daria Litvinova in Moscow, and Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report. xxx