The odds of getting hit by lightning in any given year are about one in 500,000. You are about 350 times LESS likely to win the Powerball lottery.
Wham!! Wham!! Wham!! The lottery struck at least three lucky victims at the same time Wednesday night with a total jackpot of $448 million, Powerball said on its website.
Record-breaking temperatures have been searing large swaths of China, resulting in dozens of heat-related deaths and prompting authorities to issue a national alert.
People are packing into swimming pools or even taking refuge in caves amid attempts to escape the fierce temperatures. Local governments are resorting to cloud-seeding technology to try to bring rain to millions of acres of parched farmland.FULL STORY
The heavens will deliver a rare treat to moonstruck romantics and werewolves Sunday who rise before the sun.
A feat of lunar synchronicity will create a Supermoon.
This happens when the moon is full and at the same time reaches its perigee - the closest point to Earth in its orbit, according to NASA.
It makes for the biggest, brightest moon of the year.
As many as 100,000 residents of Calgary, Alberta, could face evacuation because of flooding, the director of emergency management said early Friday.
Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for 20 communities, Bruce Burrell said. Parts of of southern Alberta face rising floodwaters and the possibility of more rain.
The levels of the Bow and Elbow rivers are expected to peak overnight, but not drop until late Saturday at the earliest, he said.
"I have never experienced any flooding of this magnitude," he added.FULL STORY
As hundreds of firefighters began to get the upper hand on a huge blaze near Colorado Springs, Colorado, investigators stepped up their probe into the cause of the most destructive wildfire in the state's history.
The 16,000-acre Black Forest Fire was 65% contained Sunday, but part of the burn area has been declared a crime scene, according to El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa. The sheriff said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been called in, along with state authorities.
"It has far expanded beyond just my arson investigator," he said Sunday. "We have brought experts in to give us the greatest possible chance to not only determine the cause, but whether there was criminal intent or not."FULL STORY
Hundreds of people were being evacuated from their homes in Missouri after a levee was breached Monday night.
Officials in St. Charles County near St. Louis activated warning sirens after the levee broke, a statement from the county said.
Earlier Monday, a bridge connecting West Alton, Missouri, and Alton, Illinois, was shutdown after a temporary flood barricade gave way.
Forecasters say there could be major flooding Tuesday. The Mississippi River at St. Louis was 10.1 feet above flood stage Monday night, according to the U.S. Geological Survey website.FULL STORY
Oklahoma had barely started clearing the rubble from a monstrous tornado two weeks ago when another rash of twisters plowed through this ill-fated swath of Tornado Alley.
At least 14 people died and six are missing after tornadoes raked the state late Friday, the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Monday.
Among the dead were seven Guatemalan citizens, according to the country's Consulate General in Houston. Four Guatemalan citizens were missing, the consulate said. It was not immediately clear if the dead and missing were part of earlier tallies provided by Oklahoma officials.FULL STORY
David Stottlemyre was inside an oil field repair shop in El Reno, Oklahoma, when he saw a tornado "looking at us dead in the eye."
The lifelong Oklahoman said he and two coworkers stayed inside as the building took a direct hit - the roof collapsed and the structure blew apart. Though the three survived unscathed, "We're all pretty shook up," the oil field mechanic told CNN. "Surreal - really no other way to explain it."
Friday evening's twisters killed at least nine people - two of them children - and injured scores more in Oklahoma, the office of the city's medical examiner said. Five victims had not been identified.
Canadian County Undersheriff Chris West said the seven fatalities in his county were inside vehicles.FULL STORY
Hurricane Barbara crashed ashore Wednesday afternoon along Mexico's southern Pacific coast.
Barely a hurricane, Barbara made landfall in the state of Chiapas, about 20 miles west of Tonala, the U.S.-based National Hurricane Center said.
Barbara had sustained winds of 75 mph, and was moving north-northeast at 9 mph. It was located about 80 miles east of Salina Cruz, in the state of Oaxaca, according to the hurricane center's last advisory.FULL STORY
Two women died Saturday - one of them swept away after being inches from her would-be rescuers - due to raging floodwaters in San Antonio, which braced for yet more drenching rains.
San Antonio International Airport received 9.57 inches of rain Saturday morning alone, CNN meteorologists said, and a number of rivers and creeks were well above flood stage.FULL STORY
[Updated at 4:48 p.m. ET] Moore, Oklahoma, Mayor Glenn Lewis said Wednesday that the six people missing from this week's tornado have been accounted for. Five were found alive. The sixth was located at the Medical Examiner's Office and is presumed dead. The mayor was not sure whether the death was in addition to the 24 already reported, or whether it would raise the overall toll to 25.
[Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET] About 4,000 insurance claims have been filed so far in the tornado and storm that rocked the Oklahoma City area on Monday, said Kelly Collins, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma insurance commissioner.
[Updated at 2:26 p.m. ET]¬†CNN's John King has just been taken around the ruins of Plaza Towers Elementary School where seven children were killed. "It's numbing and it's sad," he said. "It's gone. The neighborhood around it is gone."
But given the scale of devastation, it's notable how many were saved. "It‚Äôs a miracle that the death toll wasn‚Äôt higher," King said.
[Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET] Yesterday we told you NBA star Kevin Durant had donated $1 million to the Red Cross. And today he paid them a visit.[tweet¬†https://twitter.com/redcrossokc/status/337271601651392514]
[Updated at 2:05 p.m. ET] Residents have been showing our CNN colleagues what is left of their homes. These are the dreadful kind of scenes that will greet so many in the coming days.[tweet¬†https://twitter.com/edlavaCNN/status/337266338777141250] [tweet¬†https://twitter.com/edlavaCNN/status/337265802464083968]
[Updated at 1:56 p.m. ET] Six adults are still unaccounted for after the tornado struck Moore,¬†Albert Ashwood with the Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management told CNN's Nick Valencia.
[Updated at 1:38 p.m. ET]¬†Residents of Moore will be allowed back into their neighborhoods as of 3 p.m. local time (4 p.m. ET) today, Mayor Glenn Lewis said. Light vehicles will be allowed but heavy equipment, trailers and satellite trucks will be prohibited, he added.
[Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET]¬†President Obama will travel to Oklahoma on Sunday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced.
[Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET] Earlier today CNN's Pamela Brown shared the survival story of Candace Phillips and her newborn son.
[Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET] Roads and public areas are being cleared as the recovery in Moore begins, Gov. Mary Fallin said.
But the most devastated parts of Moore are still off-limits to residents, CNN's John King reports. It's just too dangerous right now, he tweeted.[tweet¬†https://twitter.com/JohnKingCNN/status/337254831553122305]
[Updated at 12:14 p.m. ET]¬†Those neighbors who have are helping those who've lost all that they own. CNN's Kyung Lah found ¬†people leaving and collecting essential supplies in Moore, Oklahoma.[tweet¬†https://twitter.com/KyungLahCNN/status/337238440938700801] [tweet¬†https://twitter.com/KyungLahCNN/status/337237881179480064]
[Updated at 11:42 a.m. ET]¬†We've learned the names of 18 of the 24 people known to have died in the tornado Monday. Some were babies, ¬†just months old, according to the Oklahoma City Medical Examiner's Office. Then there were the children who died in their ravaged elementary school. And adults – parents and grandparents.
Here are the names of those who lost their lives. We'll bring you more about who they were when we know it.
Terri Long, 49 years old.
Megan Futrell, 29 years old.
Case Futrell, 4 months old.
Shannon Quick, 40 years old.
Sydnee Vargyas, 7 months old.
Karrina Vargyas, 4 years old.
Jenny Neely, 38 years old.
Antonia Canderaria, 9 years old.
Kyle Davis. 8 years old. Kyle was a force on the soccer field, nicknamed "The Wall."¬†
Jenae Hornsby, 9 years old. Jenae was "a ball of energy, a ball of love," her father, Joshua, said.
Sydney Angle, 9 years old.
Emily Conatzer, 9 years old.
Nicolas McCabe, 9 years old.
Christopher Legg, 9 years old.
[Updated 11:26 a.m. ET]¬†About 2,700 insurance claims have been filed so far for tornado and storm damage, Oklahoma's Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak said. He expects more to be filed.
[Updated at 11:22 a.m. ET]¬†A total of 324 people are now known to have been hurt in Monday's tornado, Gov. Mary Fallin tweeted.[tweet¬†https://twitter.com/GovMaryFallin/status/337224670308888576]
If you're looking to help those affected, remember to go to CNN.com/impact where we've got details of organizations who are working in Moore and the other badly-hit areas.
[Updated at 11 p.m. ET] This post is no longer being updated. For full coverage, check out CNN.com.
[Updated at 10:52 p.m. ET]
About 2,400 homes were damaged in the Oklahoma cities of Moore and Oklahoma City, said Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokesman Jerry Lojka. Some 10,000 people were directly impacted by the tornado, he said.
[Updated at 10:43 p.m. ET]
A teacher talks about how she and her students survived the tornado by hiding in a closet and bathroom:FULL POST
[Updated at 3:31 p.m. ET] Tina and Billy Clark saw the funnel cloud approaching and did what many of their neighbors did.
"We just ran and hid in the closet," Tina Clark told CNN after one of a swarm of tornadoes descended Wednesday night into their neighborhood in Hood County, some 30 miles southwest of Fort Worth, Texas.
"I was holding the door shut," Billy Clark told CNN. "You could feel the pressure from inside the house. It was like pulling on the door a little bit. The whole house was shaking really bad. It felt like the house was getting ripped apart, but we couldn't see anything from inside the closet, so we didn't know what exactly was going on."
"You could just hear stuff hitting the house," his wife said.FULL STORY
The hurricane season opened Wednesday with a flourish, and more specifically, with the debut of its first named storm, Tropical Storm Alvin.
Tropical Depression 1-E was upgraded and named a tropical storm on Wednesday, which happens to be the first day of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season, according to the National Hurricane Center. The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts on June 1, and both seasons end November 30.
"Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours," the Miami-based hurricane center said, "and Alvin could become a hurricane in a couple of days."FULL STORY
Two tornadoes ripped into a New Orleans suburb Wednesday afternoon, damaging homes and knocking down power lines, but no injuries were reported, a local government spokeswoman said.
The storm hit in Kenner, Louisiana, near the city's international airport. The tornadoes damaged cars and roofs and brought down trees and electrical wires, Jefferson Parish spokeswoman Kriss Fortunato said.
Mike Efferson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in New Orleans, said the twister had estimated top winds of 90 mph. The second one had winds of 75 mph, the agency said on its Twitter account.
A powerful spring cold snap brings more rain and snow to a soggy U.S. heartland Wednesday, putting more pressure on riverside communities from the upper Midwest to the Deep South.
The residents of Grafton, Illinois, north of St. Louis, will see the worst of the floodwaters through Friday as the Mississippi River peaks at more than 11 feet above flood stage, the National Weather Service says.
Many along the river's edge decided to evacuate.
But Jerry Eller thought he would wait it out.
"I've got water coming up through cracks in the floor, so I have about 3,000 gallons an hour of pumps running down the basement keeping water out, and that seems to be keeping it down to about an inch," Eller told CNN affiliate KPLR.FULL STORY
A powerful storm that swept across the country will lose its fury Friday and blow out over the Atlantic by day's end, forecasters said.
The weather system stretched from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, and dumped snow in the north central and northeastern United States.
In the Ohio and Mississippi valleys, it poured torrential rain and spawned tornadoes in the Deep South.
The storm took three lives in separate incidents in Missouri, Mississippi and Nebraska.
A "major winter storm" was developing over the western Plains on Monday evening, promising "a plethora of interesting weather conditions," The National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center said.
"Blizzard conditions are likely over parts of Wyoming, Colorado, western Nebraska and western Kansas" beginning late Monday and lasting through much of Tuesday, the weather service said.
The Denver metro area could see as much as a foot of snow, and the foothills and mountains can expect even more than that.
More than 220 people have been rescued after two ice floes broke off from the Latvian coast and were blown into the Gulf of Riga, Latvian emergency services said Friday.
All 181 people on the larger floe near the capital city of Riga were removed by boat, and 42 people were rescued by helicopter from the smaller floe off the coast of Jurmala, a nearby seaside resort town.FULL STORY
Wait a minute, didn't spring start last week? Apparently not.
Folks in parts of a dozen states from Missouri to New Jersey and down to North Carolina and Tennessee are getting an ugly start to their work week. All are under winter storm warnings Monday, according to the National Weather Service.
Accumulations of up to 7 inches will be common in places like St. Louis, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh. Some areas will receive a foot of snow.FULL STORY