Seniors to get Coronavirus shopping relief, severe thunderstorms and even tornadoes forecast, spring is here

As the elderly and people with underlying health conditions are more susceptible to COVID-19, some retailers are dedicating time or opening earlier for senior shoppers. Beginning Thursday, most Walmart stores will be open from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m local time — stores that open later than 7 a.m. will continue their regular starting hours, according to the retail giant. Walmart stores will introduce a weekly hour-long senior shopping event March 24 for customers 60 and older, which will start one hour before stores open.

Meanwhile, Albertsons, which has 2,200-plus stores under banners including Safeway, Acme and Vons, says it is reserving two hours every Tuesday and Thursday morning for vulnerable shoppers, including senior citizens, pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems.

Whole Foods Market stores will let customers who are 60 and older shop one hour before opening to the public.

Tornadoes may take aim at central, southern US

Severe thunderstorms and possibly hail and even tornadoes are forecast for portions of the central and southern U.S. on Thursday. Yet another round of severe weather is expected from eastern Texas, eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas to Missouri, Illinois, southern Iowa and eastern Nebraska.

“Thursday poses the greatest risk of tornadoes of the entire multiple-day severe weather risk this week,” said AccuWeather’s Alex Sosnowski.

Cities in the line of fire Thursday include Indianapolis, St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Cincinnati and Louisville.

Finally, some good news: Spring is here, and it’s here earlyThe vernal (spring) equinox — which marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere — happens Thursday in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. The equinox usually falls on either March 20 or 21: 2020 marks the earliest vernal equinox since 1896, according to AccuWeather. It’s earlier this year due to technical reasons involving leap years, century years and the the length of time it takes Earth to revolve around the sun. The equinox, which takes place at 11:50 p.m. ET, is one of two days in the year – the other being the autumnal equinox in September – when there is roughly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness all over Earth.
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