Tuesday, June 30, 2009

First June Since 2004 With No Named Storm Bodes Well for 4th Forecast!

Hi, it has been a few days since I checked in. I have plenty of pictures to post and stories to tell. First things first....we will NOT have a named storm in the month of June in the Atlantic basin for the first time since 2004 and this is great news when it comes to our 4th of July Weekend! We have tons of friends from Indiana on the way to Florida this weekend and without a tropical system to worry about this makes my forecast much easier and brighter. Usually this time of year if the tropics get busy it can ruin your trip to the Sunshine State but NOT this year. We also have to be weary of old frontal boundaries that die out over Florida this time of year but it looks like the front washing out over Florida today will have lost most of its punch by time we head into Friday and the holiday weekend. So for now I will give the all clear to all my Indiana friends. I also just talked to my sister Shelli and Wisconsin and oh how jealous I am of her having the windows open with a fresh breeze in OshKosh. I do think the 90 degree weather will be history for much of the Midwest including Lafayette for at least a couple weeks, but it should still be warm enough to take a nice swim at Tropicanoe Cove. I will have more details on this. For now though it is family first. We are heading to the pool. I will be working with Megan on laps and Lauren on her swimming. Abbey will hopefully get some of her energy out....LOL

Have a great day!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Back to the Basics! A Day That We Will All Remember

Today was a rough day as two American icons Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson moved on. I prayed to God for giving me such a wonderful family and so many blessings. You just never know and today was an "awakening" for many including me. Time does fly and life is too short. This picture is from Lauren's 3rd birthday. Soon she will be turning five years old.

It will be a day I will never forget. It started off nicely. I picked Megan up from swim practice and the girls and I all had a nice big breakfast with my special recipe egg omelettes. Then I got word about Farrah Fawcett passing away at the young age of 62. I will always remember her as of course the Charlie's Angel who wasn't just a pretty face but an actress that played parts in different movies to help bring many sensitive issues such as spousal abuse to the forefront. This way certain taboo subjects could finally be addressed in a way where they could be discussed and dealt with properly. Then there was her courageous "public" fight against cancer that inspired so many that her spirit will always live on not only from above but here on earth. We all knew this day was coming soon for Farrah but it was still tough to deal with. This was Farrah Fawcett, the girl all my friends and I would talk about in elementary and middle school. I had a heavy heart for sure so I tried to lighten the mood by doing some extra cleaning around the house. I even cleaned out the dog bowl. I guess this has always been a good way for me to clear my mind and the marathon runner mentality I have of just keep moving no matter what really kicked in to high gear. I proceeded to cook up a huge lunch that included two pizzas, spicy noodles, and rice. Yes, the Prangley's love carbohydrates. I should just all my girls the Carb girls. My cooking must be getting better since I have become the parent that "feeds" the neighborhood friends. That is fine by me. I certainly liked the extra company and it helped me feel better about Farrah.

I quickly did the dishes and wiped the counters clean. We had
a nice invite to be treated to the Night at the Museum 2 Courtesy of my Dad. We actually made it to the movies on time! My generous Dad got us our tickets, big buckets of popcorn, candy, and drinks. Suprisingly, I really liked this sequel better than the first one and if you have kids it is a must see. I loved all the historical figures in the movie even if was at times hard to believe. Just remember to keep your active imagination turned on if you are a parent which I did. The movie had a couple of deep lines for being more of a science fiction comedy which was fitting on a day like today. I will just say I AGREE THAT THE KEY TO HAPPINESS IS DOING WHAT YOU LOVE WITH THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE.

We thanked my Dad for a fun time and got home. Then I had to run to the library to returns some books and movies. I checked out a religious book, "If You Want to Walk on Water You've Got to Get Out of the Boat." It is actually a book about being more connected to God and living in the transcendent with a touch of humor. Well on the way home my boat of life was rocked when I was listening to a sports program when the guy starts talking about Michael Jackson dying. I thought it was just one of those many unfair rumors about the poor guy we have heard over the years. Only this time it was all too real. I just did not want to believe it. I quicky called my wife and broke the news to her. She was worried about something like this because we of course lost America's side-kick Ed McMahon earlier in the week, then Farrah and she was wondering who the third would be since in her words it always happens in threes. That is one prediction my wife was hoping did not come true. I am not sure why but I sat in front of the television for more than four hours scanning all the cable coverage. I have not done this since 9/11. It will just be one of those days you will know what you were doing when you found out. I just have to say that Michael Jackson was certainly one of a kind and of course is the King of Pop. He was the 80s version of Elvis and the good news is that in one of the hundreds of interviews they replayed on television tonight he did say that TRUTH ALWAYS PREVAILS AND HE BELIEVES IN GOD. I will never forget one of my college roomates playing Michael Jackson music for at least two hours every day. Luckily I loved his music and I studied for many weather exams with Billie Jean in the backround. It kept me fired up.This was huge for me. To this day I still play Michael Jackson songs and through his music he will certainly live on forever.

I feel God does speak to all of us through others and I know that this week he is speaking loud and clear to me. Even if I am not sure of exactly how and why there are no limits on possibilities with God. We are not supposed to understand everything, but God is at work on us and others which will be revealed later on. This evening I will now get back to basics and watch the Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy with my kids. This after all is what it is all about. This is where I should be and I will make sure to enjoy every second of it. God bless!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Big News: Heat Wave Ends With Refreshing Sea Breezes

Lauren and Dad enjoying the beach. Last week you had to be in the water to actually cool down. Today the sea-breeze kicked in and it made a world of difference!

Wow! It was a great day. I am still in a transition between jobs and the biggest news in my life is what a wonderful time I am having with my girls this summer. You make choices in life and your choices make you. This slogan was what I saw on my way to a couple of important job interviews that went really well this morning. Now today at my interviews I met tons of folks that flew into Jacksonville from all over the country including the Midwest. It was great getting first-hand accounts of the hotter weather that has moved into Wisconsin after such a long and cold Winter and Spring. I understand it has also been sizzling in Indiana. Here in North Florida it was actually cooler than Lafayette today where it hit 94! I told you I would send some love from Florida! We only had a high temperature of 89 which broke a string of 14 consecutive days at 90 or above. There was a refreshing breeze off the ocean that made all the difference in the world and the dewpoints actually fell to 67 which mean the heat index was only in the lower 90s. This means it felt almost 20 degrees cooler compared to the weekend when it felt like 110 degrees. I am ready to go do a sunset run and I may do it in record time. I never thought the upper 80s could feel refreshing but they really do. The comfortable dewpoints will stick around at least for one more day before the heat and humidity combine once again to make it feel like close to 100 once again this weekend. I still see the long-term forecast that includes temperatures closer to normal instead of running about 10 degrees above normal during the day like we were during our first heat wave of the summer. Enjoy! I better go get that run in! :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cool Front Pushing Through Area With More Afternoon & Evening Storms

If you have been outside it is still very hot with the latest heat index temperature up near 100 to 104 across the area. You can see why above as the main cold front has really not cleared the area. I am just calling it a cool front because temperatures behind it will still be plenty hot but will indeed be cooler and we will not have to worry about dangerous heat index values of 105 to 110 we have seen over the past several days. The good news is the much heralded cool front will clear the area by late tonight and we will finally have some noticeable relief by tomorrow as highs remain in the 80s at the beach to only near 90 in inland locations. First things first! We do have more storms on the way as some drier, cooler air meets our sultry air mass. It is lightning safety awareness week. Make sure to click the link below for more details.

One of my favorite sayings is if you hear it, clear it when it comes to thunder. This means you are in danger of being struck by lightning. On the First Coast we average about 90 thunderstorm days a year and a lot of times folks let their guard down because these pop up storms happen so often. This is not smart! I will be back with more lightning safety rules and a cooler 10 day forecast. Have a great day.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Great Family Weekend Beats the Heat!

I had a wonderful family weekend and it was a very special Father's Day. There were many ways folks were trying to stay cool over the weekend. I stayed cool in the pool with my three daughters above. The pool temperature at my Mom and Dad's house was 86 degrees. The outdoor temperature hit 100 in Mandarin but it did not keep us from being outside a good part of the afternoon. Folks here in Florida just take the heat in stride and the Prangley family has learned to adapt to it in a hurry. We played fun pool games like Monkey in the Middle and my version of Sharks and Minnows. The big news is our family's minnow Lauren has now learned to go below the water and hold her breath. Yes, I will take credit for that and I can just tell you how much it meant to me for her to trust in me and to actually be there when she did it for the first time. It was a Father's Day to remember and I want to thank my lovely wife Julie for making it all happen. You can see us below at my Mom's birthday bash earlier in the weekend.

Julie always treats me special no matter what day it is but made sure to really make sure I had a great day on Father's Day. I love the new bathing suit she got for me but as I told her I really did not need any presents. Her and the girls spoil me rotten. What more can I ask for? Speaking of lucky here is my Mom who has always been there for me. You see my Mom enjoying her birthday below and yes Lauren is helping her blow out her candles. I was happy to be with her instead of a thousand miles away for once. It made a huge difference for me and her too as you see below.

I also got to spend time with my Dad on Father's Day probably for the first time in about 15 years since I have been working all across the country as a meteorologist all these years. It was good to be home with Dad and yes he is looking forward to doing a lot of good golfing with me!

My Dad tracks weather with me all the time as well and were were talking about an increase in storms due to a backdoor front by late today and tonight. Yes! Father knows best! Now there officially is a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 10 p.m. for our Georgia Counties and keep in mind these could be extended into our Florida counties this evening as well. The main threats will be heavy downpours, small hail and brief wind gusts to near 50 mph. This is all coming in with our strongest front in weeks! More details coming here on the blog. Have a great day and night! Stay safe!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Brunswick Hits 100 at 3:35 p.m. Records Are Breaking & The Heat Advisory Continues

Yes, records are falling once again today in south Georgia and Florida. The latest temperature in Tallahassee as of 4 p.m. was 101 degrees and Brunswick, Georgia just checked in with 100 degrees. I have 99 degrees here in St.Johns, 100 degrees in downtown Jacksonville, and 96 degrees at the Jacksonville airport. Now while official records may not be broken at the airport in Jacksonville you better believe the rest of these numbers I gave you or at least tying or breaking record highs. In fact, I just got a 100 degree temperature in on the west side at Cecil Field. Here is the latest from the National Weather Service in Jacksonville.


Latest model data in at 4 p.m. is showing highs once again on Sunday in the upper 90s to near 100 with more records falling! But one change on the way....thunderstorms will erupt and cool us down late in the day and tomorrow night! Stay tuned. Highs only in the 80s by Wednesday.....stay cool and safe! I am glad that all my Indiana friends are safe. Teri sent me some incredible pictures of the storm clouds that whipped up tornadoes in Illinois and 65 mph wind gusts across the Lafayette area. I will share a few....but finally I can say it will really feel like summer in Lafayette for the entire week! Enjoy and do what I do here in Florida to stay cool! Hit the pool! I am off to my Mom's dinner! God bless!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Our Weather is Hot, But Latest Tropics Forecast is Not!

Yes, hot! hot! hot! We all know it is hot with our first 100 degree temperature possible in Jacksonville this weekend since 2000. But let me dig deeper to help take your mind off this heat. The even bigger story is the UKMET office has dropped its forecast number of tropical storms this year to only six! This is huge news! If it verifies, it would be the lowest number of named storms since 1992! You can read all about how this number was derived. It is a rehash really of some of the factors I have gone over with you here on the weather blog. Check out this link. Our weather may be hot but this year the tropics are not, which is great news!
Records to watch this weekend are 100 for a record high on Saturday and 99 on Sunday which were both set back in 1990! I think we have a shot of at least tying or breaking both numbers. I will have a record update for you this weekend! I am getting back to my big family weekend which includes celebrating my Mom's birthday! I love you Mom!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ice Cream Weather & Heat Advisories This Weeekend

Our longest day of the year and first day of summer officially is on Sunday and it is also Father's Day. I think taking Dad out for a scoop of ice cream is a great idea. You see Lauren and Abbey enjoying their ice cream on Waffle Cone Wednesday. It was melting pretty quickly but they managed to eat it in time. This weekend that may be a tougher task. You may want to take the ice cream inside. It still looks like we could have our first 100 degree weather in almost 10 years here in Jacksonville by Saturday and Sunday. A heat advisory may be needed as heat indeces will likely hit 110 or above. Already heat advisories are in effect today for Savannah, Georgia that has one of my favorite boardwalks. The last time we took a stroll here in Jacksonville in 100 degree heat was way back on July 5, 2000!! This year it will be hot as a firecracker before Independence Day. The big news in the long-range is this heat will break big-time next week. We even have a northeast wind back in the forecast by Wednesday and Thursday with highs only in the lower to middle 80s!
I am heading to the Villages to visit my Grandmother and will continue to keep an eye on things for you. We will be watching another cluster of storms moving our way today as the main heat ridge builds in. Once again strong gusty winds and dangerous lightning will be likely with the thunderstorms that could actually hit the area before noon. So I better scoot quickly. I will leave another picture below on how my girls have been staying cool. Yes! Expect the long-lines at the splash pool to continue and to my Hoosier friends. I will send some of this heat your way, but you have a couple of rough days to get through with severe weather and yes even some tornadoes will be possible. Stay calm and alert AND GET TO THOSE SAFE SPOTS. For now here in Florida, we are getting to our COOL SPOTS!

I cannot wait to tell you about my trip to the Villages, Florida to visit my grandmother and the REAL GOLDEN GIRLS!! Be safe and all my best to all my friends in family from Florida to Indiana and Maryland!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Three Digit Weather on the Way!

Okay now I will make a big deal out of the heat. The latest data into me this morning is showing our first 100 degree weather of the year on Saturday. You see the forecast highs based on the GFS model data. The question is will we set any records and how many 100 degree days do you think we average in Lafayette. I will have your answers coming up and yes it still looks like the heat will break in your 10 day forecast by the middle of next week. No changes there. I feel like I have a hundred pictures to share with you and will catch up on posting them. For now though I need to take my oldest daughter to get new goggles before we have a picnic at the pool. It was quite a night last night with wind gusts near 60 mph at Mayport. That was the "ring of fire" pattern catching up to us that we talked about here on the blog a few days ago. Now over the next couple days we will continue to see less in the way of thunderstorm activity before we totally dry out and heat up this weekend. Best chances of storms the next couple afternoons will be near the Interstate 75 corridor. There could be a few strong storms again like we saw last night with small hail, damaging wind, and frequent lightning. Here are the storm reports from last night courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.





Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day Number 8 of Heat Wave That Will Not Break Until Next Week!

You see the big bubble of orange showing the big hot dome of high pressure that is bringing us our eighth consecutive day of 90 degree weather. The big orange blob is made up of 5,000 foot temperatures that are generally higher than 60 degrees. During this time of year you can add 30 degrees in hot weather with mainly full sunshine to get your forecast. So you can be a meteorologist with me and figure out that there is a huge portion of theouthern tier of the country with highs of 90 or above. Many folks are starting to complain about the heat but keep in mind this will be our 9th day of 90 degree weather which is average for the month of June and many folks in the Chicagoland area which are running more than 5 degrees below average are wishing they had this real summer weather. In fact, normally we average 17 days of 90 or above in the month of June. This weather is par for the course, nothing more, nothing less and my family is absolutely loving all the great swimming weather. People move to Florida and live in the Sunshine State for the sun, fun, and hot weather. Bring it on! We are heading to the pool once again today but I can tell you what you need to know.

1)The heat wave will break next week.

2) The tropics will become more active as summer officially begins. Watch the Caribbean.

3) It looks great for tomorrow morning's early space launch.

Notice why I think our 90 degree streak ends by the middle of next week. The orange bubble of warm air aloft which translates to hot weather at the surface shifts west and this will allow a trough to move to the East Coast which will impact us here in Florida. Cooler air aloft means better chances of more typical afternoon thunderstorms set off by our sea-breeze fronts. It also gives us a better chance of having cold fronts move our way. We sometimes have to watch for tropical development along these fronts that stall over us here in the south. It could get interesting in a hurry! Highs will still be warm but get ready for 80s instead of those persistent 90s. So if it is too hot for you relief is on the way! You just have to be patient. I will have your exclusive 10 day forecast showing this later today and tonight. But for now it is family first as summer vacation is getting into full swing! I need to make sure all of my girls have their sunscreen on!

Late Today and This Evening Forecast Update: Best chance of thunderstorms of the week for us as some energy from a stalled front to our north moves over our area and collides with our hot and humid weather. Since it will be near the coastline, the storms could actually straddle the beaches before filling in and moving south. The bottom line is I think 60% or more of us seeing rain today and not the more of the same forecast you are seeing on the weather channel.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ring of Fire Sets Up Next Few Days With Heat, Humidity, and an Increase in Thunderstorms

Good Monday morning! A new week and the same old hot pattern is setting up. But I am a meteorologist that knows even in a persistent weather pattern you can have big changes from day to day like we saw and I forecasted on Saturday. Those storms were vicious and I am very excited that I did have a lot of Floridians check this blog to see what would really happen! Thanks for your support. I have some storm pictures I will share with you later today.

My middle child Abbey gets an A+ getting through the storms this weekend. She was at the Avenues Mall when the storms hit of course. Sound familiar? The joke in Lafayette is when all my girls were shopping at the mall and storms were in the forecast, watch out! But this time around we talked on the cell phone and I kept her calm. She has come a long way. The lightning capital of the world lives up to its name and for now it looks like her case of keraunophobia is not as bad as it was in Indiana. Keraunophobia is a morbid fear of thunder and lightning. She still has that fear but it is not as intense. I think all those tornado sirens going off in Indiana while Dad had to be at work really took a toll on her. Now Dad is able to be at home much more often with family and most importantly during severe weather! She loves my new schedule and actually so do I! My family and friends are the true cumulonimbi of my life. :)

Right now I am loading up the car with my daughters and their friends and we are heading to the beach before this "ring of fire" pattern catches up to us! Yes, it will be hot once again today with highs in the lower to middle 90s but keep in mind the hot dome of high pressure you see above is a little weaker due to a front to its north and the center of it has drifted a little farther west. This will allow us to go from rain-free like we saw on Sunday to at least 50% of the area seeing thunderstorms this afternoon and evening.

What happens in this set-up is the front that could bring parts of the Midwest including Indiana tornadoes and damaging winds will never make it here. But the cooler air on the periphery of this high pressure will develop storms and they will move around this area of high pressure and its clockwise upper-level winds which will bring storms our way from the northwest. Add in heat, humidity, and a sea-breeze and we will have plenty of collisions taking place in the atmosphere.

In essence we will see a ring of storms "fire" up around this high pressure today and thus the "ring of fire pattern". Now eventually the front to our north will wash out and this will allow the big heat ridge to gather strength and build back toward Florida which will dry us back out by Thursday and yes IT WILL BE HOT AS A TAMALE! I see more middle 90s on the way in the long-range which I will show you on your exclusive 10 day forecast before you get it anywhere else.

But I do see a more permanent pattern change to our pattern possibly as early as next weekend. So make sure to check back for that and of course the latest on the tropics. Have a great day! I better get to the beach before the storms move in between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. across the area. They will drift southeast with the main threats being lightning, gusty winds of 40 mph, and heavy rain. Have a great day! To all my Hoosier friends. I will be thinking of you as things go downhill later today, tonight, and Tuesday.Be ready to get to your safe spots and God Bless!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Round Two of Thunderstorms on the Way, Heat is Here to Stay!

It has been an interesting afternoon to say the least. All my neighbors are wondering if we will get the neighborhood cookout in. Yes! But I cannot rule out another line of storms moving our way from Georgia during the evening so we are not totally out of the woods. It will not be as intense but more heavy downpours and dangerous lightning will be moving into the area. I am going to gear up for my cookout. I will post your most up to date and local ten day forecast before I go a grilling! Hang in there and I will have it for you by 5 p.m.

It looks hot, hot, hot! The call of more than 10 days in a row we made here on the blog before the 90s hit looks on track. The one change in the long-range is the area of high pressure to our west stays stronger longer and the tropical moisture from the Carribean I expected to cool us down and break the 90 degree spell next weekend may not come to fruition as wind shear remains very high and storms disorganized. So we will continue to sizzle. Have a great rest of your weekend. I will check back with you if nature throws any curve balls our way!

Tornado Warnings Issued But Damaging Wind Gusts Remain the Biggest Threat Near Flagler Beach

We have a nasty looking storm on doppler radar with a tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service for portions of southern St. Johns and Flagler Counties. It is a doppler indicated tornado which means it is showing some signs of rotation that could reach the ground as a possible tornado. This means there have been no confirmations of tornadoes. There was a report of a funnel cloud near Crescent Beach earlier but this was most likely a scud cloud caused by the gust front and rain-cooled air moving into the region.

The Weather Service would rather be safe than sorry so a warning was issued. You have to realize that since the airport is located about about 90 minutes away from where this possible funnel cloud was reported the beam gathering data on this possible tornado is shooting into the top part of the cumulonimbus cloud and out into space. So the public is its eyes and ears at this point. A big clue on what really is going on is the latest radar view is not showing the storm bowing out like it was earlier when it produced some 60 mph wind gusts in the Mandarin and St. Johns areas. Tornado warnings are in effect for two of our counties but right now as of 3:54 p.m. the worst part of the storm is in the Palm Coast and Flagler Beach areas. If you are in these areas seek shelter or get to your safe spot immediately. You could still see an isolated wind gust near 60 mph.

The good news is there have been no confirmations of tornadoes and based on the latest radial velocity data the storms moving south are only showing slight rotation if any at this time. Most of the damage we have seen with this storm has already taken place between Mandarin and St. Augustine with some 60 mph wind gusts reported. So if you are in Flagler County this is the area to take cover in betwen now and 4:30 p.m. If you are in Clay and Putnam Counties there is another strong storm moving through with the main threat being penny size hail and an isolated wind gust near 45 mph. Another complex of storms could set off a thunderstorm warning or two for areas of Columbia, Baker, Union, and Alachua Counties over the next hour. Main threats will be isolated wind gusts near 60 mph and small hail. Here are your updated storm reports.






Thunderstorms Explode With Frequent Lightning & Wind

Well we knew it was coming and I am glad I warned you here on the blog. There will be a few thunderstorm warnings as storms move through the area between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. I think there will be some isolated wind gusts to 60 mph. The other big threat will be the nearly continuous cloud to ground lightning expected as there is an unsually high amount of ice at the top of these thunderheads that are quickly building to over 40,000 feet where temperatures are near zero degrees. Movement on these storms will be to the southeast at about 10 mph. Keep an eye to the northwest because that is where the storms are coming from.

Thunderstorms Return to Forecast With Gusty Winds Likely

This has been the familiar scene on radar but do not get used to it as we could go from severe clear to severe weather. It has been high and dry for the past four days in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area but just in time for our Saturday afternoon plans things will get more interesting today. We will still be plenty hot at the surface with highs in the lower to middle 90s but the big change is some cooler air aloft moving over our area. This same pool of cool air brought 4 to 7 inches of rain of rain to portions of Georgia overnight with some severe thunderstorms to boot. For thunderstorms to form you have to have some cooler air aloft and this missing ingredient will be present today here at home due to the outflow from those Georgia storms. Even though things have settled down this morning the upper-level winds will bring that disturbance into Northeast Florida this afternoon and collide with plenty of heat and humidity.

There could be SOME STRONG THUNDERSTORMS with the main threat being damaging winds. There could also be some locally heavy rainfall amounts of over one inch and much of that could fall in 30 minutes or less so be careful of flooding. In a nutshell, do not cancel your plans to the beach and pool today but stay alert to changing conditions. Any storms that do form will likely last less than an hour. Right now I put our rain chances at 70%. Stay safe.

Here is a satellite picture showing the "ridge rider" (shown in white) disturbance running around our hot high pressure that will help flare up storms this afternoon. Sunday should be much quieter with just a lone shower or storm as high pressure once again builds east and gains more strength keeping the atmosphere warmer at all levels and not allowing any more ridge-riders to play havoc with our plans. No big changes to your 10 day forecast, but I will make sure to post an update for you before you can get it anywhere else. It is the competitive spirit I developed at WLFI TV-18.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Forget El Nino! It's Calma Ponto Time this Summer!

We are all aware that El Nino does have an impact on our weather patterns all across the world and by the end of the summer it should really start to kick in as the equatorial Pacific Ocean temperatures continue to heat up to above average levels. This is only one of several factors meteorologists use to forecast long-range weather. So we will not totally forget about El Nino. But a bigger player for us this summer will in fact be CALMA PONTO! This is a name I have given the unusually cool Atlantic Ocean temperatures that are taking place. It is a Spanish phrase for "cool waters". The Climate Prediction Center came out with big news yesterday by showing Atlantic Ocean temperatures running almost a half-degree Celsius below normal. This cool reading is significant because this favors below average numbers of hurricanes and tropical storms in the Atlantic Basin. Only one year produced greater than 13 named storms with Atlantic waters running this cool. You can really see CALMA PONTO with two huge areas of cooler than average water above depicted by the blue and deeper bluer colors. El Nino is showing up in the equatorial Pacific with the green and yellow colors starting to take over. So remember the big factor this summer will be CALMA PONTO in the tropics and what this means is not only fewer numbers but hurricanes that will form closer to land areas with all of that cool water located off of Africa. The Carribean Sea and southern Gulf of Mexico will be the hot beds of activity this year and will have to be watched closely. Here in Florida we will have to watch these areas more carefully and a tropical system will try to move our way by next weekend, but it is still very early. But for our season as a whole the news is good.

Happy Friday! Another reason to celebrate is the Saharan Dust is being found well out over the Atlantic Ocean. This is related to higher pressure in place related to the Calma Ponto. Less convective activity or thundersotrms in this region allows the dust to really build up and this is yet tidbit of good news we can use to help forecast our hurricane season. Over the years, the higher amounts of Saharan Dust over the Atlantic it correlates to a fewer the number of tropical sytems you can expect to develop. So we will have a plan and remain ready this tropical season because as we know it only takes one storm and being in the wrong place at the wrong time to make it a bad hurricane season. We will plan for the worst and hope for the best but at least for now the atmosphere has the "best" winning out and hopefully that will continue.

Another reason to be excited this Friday is the Space Shuttle Endeavour forecast is looking wonderful! The Prangley family is looking forward to seeing the Space Shuttle Endeavour lift off for the first time in person. I heard it is a sight to behold and the ground will shake like the earthquake I went through in Lafayette back in April of 2008! I am ready for another adrenaline rush! I look forward to having a blast, literally! The forecast above does look great, thanks to an early morning launch and yes the winds look light. Any wind speeds over 20 mph pose a threat to launch. I will check back with you this evening which will include all the hot numbers and when our plants will get some needed rain in the 10 day forecast. It is also rip current awareness week in Florida so I will have a graph that will amaze you.

In the meantime go to this link since most of us will be heading to the beach this weekend. It could save your life. Have a great day weatherwise and otherwise! I think it will be another good day to get some ice cream!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lemonade Days, Haze, & Great Pool Weather! Snow Days this Winter?

This is what most of us have been waiting for! We finally have that vintage hot Florida weather and it is just perfect for selling lemonade. It went fast in this hot weather! My daughters made a quick 5 dollars in less than an hour this morning by selling water, traditional lemonade, and raspberry lemonade for only 25 cents per cup! The outdoor workers really appreciated it. My girls are quite the entrepreneurs and they are off to a great start on their first full day of summer vacation. The neighborhood kids pitched in and made sure to bring plenty of ice to keep the refreshing beverages cold! Today's high will reach 96 with a heat index of 100 to 105 so remember to drink plenty of fluids and of course take advantage of this weather by hitting the pool!

Here are Abbey, Alyssa, Lauren, and Megan cooling down in the pool after selling all of that lemonade. Now today will be the 13th day with temperatures of 90 or above at Jacksonville. Pool temperatures around the area are now in the lower 80s and the ocean temperatures should hit 80 degrees for the first time this year over the weekend. Yesterday I told you that Jacksonville averaged 82 days of 90 degrees or above per year but this year we will likely see less than that. This does not mean we will not have plenty of great swimming, surfing, and boating weather this summer but it is a reflection of a forecast that includes having more clouds and rain than average due to an El Nino seting in. This is good news for our lawns and gardens and those that like the cooler 80 degree days. Some of the latest long-range maps are picking up on this. Check it out!

Notice much of the country falls into the cooler than average territory and more importantly you can see that if any heat ridges build this summer they will not last for more than a couple weeks and this includes Florida. As a result I look for us to have closer to 65 days of 90 degrees or above and locations in Remington, Attica, and Lafayette Indiana will be hard-pressed to more than 6 or 7 days above 90 degrees this year for the entire summer which is less than half of normal. Here in Florida, not quite as dramatic of a drop-off but still a good 17 days below the average. This means Julie and I better keep the Florida house tidy. The Hoosiers are coming, the Hoosiers are coming for real summer weather because it may be tough to find it in good ol' Indiana!

Now the big question is how strong will the El Nino become. This has a big bearing on our hurricane forecast and winter forecast. It is not a matter of if we will have an El Nino but when. Notice all the different model forecasts above. The thing to pay attention to is the 1 degree above average line. This is how far above average the Pacific Ocean temperatures are expected to be and notice there is a big variation in our computer model forecasts. If we get to the one degree line in actuality or much above it....that is considered a moderate to strong El Nino. I do not see this happening based on several indeces. I will put an easy to see graph on here by later tonight but here is what you need to know in Florida I think we are heading into a weak El Nino by July and it will continue for the rest of 2009.

What does this mean for huricanes? During a non-El Nino year there are about 7 hurricanes or more, a weak El Nino brings 5 hurricanes which is about average, and a moderate to strong El Nino usually 3 or less. This makes a huge difference on numbers! I still think my original forecast of 10 named storms and 5 hurricanes is on track but remember Jacksonville's 2 percent chance of a hurricane will be a little higher this year based on it being a non-traditional season. This graph also tells me that Indiana is in for a big winter this year. This past year was disappointing with snowfall as we had amounts of only 18 inches. Average snowfall per year in Lafayette is 22 inches. This year I like 30 inches or more of snow. The problem will not be the cold air, but maybe a lack of moisture. If you get enough moisture watch out Indiana! Here in Florida these below average temperatures are expected to continue into the winter with a suppressed El Nino jet stream, AND I WILL NOT TOTALLY RULE OUT SNOW FOR FLORIDA THIS WINTER, and we are due here in Jacksonville. Every six years the First Coast has snow flurries. The last time this happened was way back in 1993 when I lived here and I absolutely had a blast! This could be the year we see snow again and I am not just talking about my beloved Indiana. I have your updated 10 day forecast on the way which shows when the heat will break! Tomorrow we will take a look at some interesting graphs and Saharan Dust over the Atlantic Ocean that could even keep our hurricane numbers even lower. Now your exclusive 10 day forecast!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Last Day of School Sizzles & I Do Have A Long-Range Forecast that Will Cool You Down

The excitement is in the air! We are not just talking about the unusually fast-moving air molecules that are causing our thermometers to almost burst. It is the last day of school today for many kids. My daughter Abbey is seen in green here and I wanted to thank her fourth grade teacher April Doughtry for sending this my way. I hope all the kids have a fun and safe summer. There will be plenty of fun in that hot sun today. We had a heat index up to 90 degrees by 10 a.m. The old saying is, "it's not the heat but the humidity". Well this UNF graduate and meteorologist that knows Florida weather knows better. The way we say it here on the First Coast is that it "it is the heat and humidity" that will cause you to work up a good sweat just walking to your car.

Here is a pictue of my last trip to the bus stop this year. I am very proud of how wonderful Megan and Abbey adjusted to their new schools and state of Florida. It went much better than I thought possible. I thank them for having an open mind and making the best of this move. This adventure we call life takes unexpected twists and turns but no matter what happens or where you live it is all about staying close to your family and God. We also have a great support network of friends stretching from Florida to Indiana. Our Indiana friends are in fact life-long friends and I cannot thank them enough. I also love hearing from my weather watchers and loyal bloggers.

Speaking of Indiana, here is a nice picture sent in from Richard in Attica, Indiana. These clouds are called turkey towers. They are among some of my favorite clouds. I name these towering cumulus clouds turkey towers because they can make meteorologists look like turkeys if they call for thunderstorms in the forecast. They are a sign of the atmosphere not quite having enough moisture or instability to allow these towers to grow into thunderheads or cumulonimbus clouds. Now over the next few days in Indiana do not expect to see turkey towers but the real thing. Look for more thunderstorms and some of them could once again be on the strong side. Thanks Richard! Here in Florida we will be lucky so see any clouds whatsoever today.

This is all in response to a strong high pressure system with its anti-cyclonic circulation and its sinking air taking hold of the atmosphere. When you have sinking air you have plenty of heating this time of year and a lack of clouds or cooling storms as evidenced by this picture. Not a cloud can be find in the sky around the First Coast. Here is what it looked like in Downtown Jacksonville this morning. The sky was as blue as the Main Street Bridge. It may look picture-perfect but looks can be deceiving when it comes to all the heat nature is throwing at us.

I am going to stay cool by taking my girls to the pool once they get out of school and we will go get some shaved ice. If you are thinking about cutting your lawn and I know my lawn needs it after all of the rain, it would be smart to put it off until after 7 p.m. tonight when things start cooling down. The new updated forecast high for today is 95 degrees but it will feel like 100 to 105 in all of that heat and humidity. Nature's air conditioner which is the nice sea breeze we are used to this time of year will not hit the beaches until late afternoon and will likely not make it to Interstate 95 as a west wind continues to hold it back at near 10 mph. The beaches have been unsually cool and stormy like the rest of us and they are going to have their first 90s of the year as a result over the next several days.

Now if you are heading to the beach for some relief from the heat you will have to actually get in the water and swim or surf like my daughters to stay cool. Water temperatures are still in the comfortable middle 70s. One thing you do not want to do is to suntan in this weather. Once you develop a sunburn your body quickly loses its ability to cool itself down. Then you add in the scorching sunshine and high humidity and it is a very bad combination. We have a burn time of only 10 minutes today. Make sure to apply and reapply that sunscreen and do it before you get to the pool or beach or it will already be too late!

Here is my ravishing wife Julie laying out in the sun a couple weeks ago. When we go to the beach as a family this weekend I will make sure everybody has on SPF 30 or higher and make sure we have a beach tent or umbrella for all of us to eat our lunch under. I know a lot of folks love this hot stuff and take the heat in stride but it is always good to be reminded of a few common sense ways to help make sure you can enjoy this weather to the fullest without getting a nasty sunburn, dehyrdrated, or worse yet a heat stroke. It really is the first heat wave of the year and now we are ready to have some fun in the sun.

Now if you are a fan of cooler weather and need a forecast to help cool you down even if the 90s will not break until later next week. I will let you know why I think we will have less 90 degree days than average this year and the latest on the El Nino and tropics. Here are your updated forecast numbers and you ten day forecast which is a full three hours sooner than you can get anywhere else. Most folks are on the go this time of year and do not have time to sit in front of the TV. Well you finally have a place you can always come to for your local forecast with always more than a lemon twist. Just wait wait until we start the video forecasts. :) I will check in with you this evening to help cool you down. Happy SUMMER!!! Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Lemonade Advisory: Longest Hot Spell in More than A Year Bakes Jacksonville Area

If you have been outside you can feel the difference. My kids are ready to set up their lemonade stand at the pool and they should do quite well based on your up to date forecast through the weekend you see above. This is why I have issued a lemonade advisory. The clouds and scattered showers and storms that have been cooling us down are nowhere to be found. The Jacksonville area has had rain on the radar 23 of the past 27 days. Now today we will have only isolated shower or thunderstorm activity which means more of us will stay dry and hot than not. The difference-maker is a ridge of high pressure building in. Check out the clear real estate below. You see the latest NAM model showing very little in the way of rainfall this afternoon. This is what I mean by isolated shower and thunderstorm activity! Get used to this picture over the next several days!

This is the reason today is just the beginning of nature's 90 degree onslaught. In the Midwest 3 or more days reaching 90 or above is considered a heat wave. Here in Florida it usually takes 10 or more days of 90 degrees or above for it to be considered a heat wave. We may reach that criteria. In fact, I could see us reaching up to 12 consecutive days of 90 degrees or above. The last time we had 12 or more days of 90 degrees or above was more than a year ago when we sizzled from May 31st through June 11th. The latest long-range models are showing this hot spell or heat wave extending for more than 10 days as long as the tropics do not flare up. Now remember it could have been a lot hotter if it wasn't for all of our record rains like we talked about on the blog yesterday, so no complaints. :)

I do expect tropical trouble or at least plenty of moisture from the Caribbean to move our way but probably not until later next week and especially next weekend. But that is a long way out and we will continue to monitor it day to day. You see the area of most concern right now is in the far southwestern Carribean but there is just too much shear taking place or high upper-level winds keeping the thunderstorms from organizing or showing any consistent presence. The yellow lines above represent the amount of shear tearing the thunderstorms apart and notice in the Caribbean there is a good 20 to just over 50 knots of shear taking place. I expect the shear to start relaxing but again that will not be likely until later next week.

Since nothing is imminent and with no organized fronts or tropical systems in the near future, the heat is on. June usually produces 17 days of 90 degrees or above and we have only seen one day of 90 degrees or above which is only 20% of normal. Now nature will be playing catch-up and while we will not set any records, you certainly will have to take notice of the heat. You see the five day forecast above. I will take it a step further and take it out 10 days for you below. You stay cool and I will have an El Nino update coming your way by tomorrow here on your First Coast Weather Blog.

Now it is time to hit the lemonade stand and then of course the pool and with temperatures like these. The ocean should also warm up to near 80 degrees over the next week. I will be adding your beach and boating forecast here as well on the weather blog so make sure to check back. We have only just begun! I also have some more great pictures from Richard Beedle and Teri Trent that include some unusual clouds called "turkey towers". You thought the 'whale's mouth clouds" were interesting. Wait until you see those turkeys!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Silver Lining In Clouds Arrives But Do Not Get Used To It!

It has been quite a struggle to get much sunshine in the Sunshine State these days. You see the St. Augustine lighthouse on Saturday which almost had to be illuminated during the day since it got as dark as night at times in all of those storms that pounded the area. But finally it is not the only beacon of light in your new and improved forecast. The good news is there are brighter days ahead for the country's 10th tallest lighthouse and all Floridians courtesy of high pressure moving our way from the Gulf of Mexico. We in fact should say sizzling sunshine returns this week with plenty of 90s in the forecast beginning tomorrow. We are ready for a break in the weather. This weather pattern has taken its toll. Notice the damage at a convenience store near Brunswick, Georgia last week. While a tornado was not verified the damage does look like it was caused by downburst or straightline winds which can be just as bad as a tornado. This picture proves it!

I did have a great time this weekend and wanted to send a special shout out to WLFI TV-18's reporter and producer Julie Krizen who was in town for a wedding. It was great to see her and her boyfriend who is on the Purdue cheer team. We did Boiler Up! We hit all the shops in St. Augustine including the historic castle. Since Julie is a native Floridian from Sarasota she taught me a thing or two about coquina shells while we went for a walk on the beach. She did hold me accountable for us getting caught in the rain but that is okay. It was warm and humid outside so the rain actually felt good. Here is a picture above of Julie and I. Keep up the great work in Indiana Julie! I would not be surprised to see you on television back home here in Florida someday.

Now one good thing about all the rain we have had is that it has been keeping our temperatures in check. Even when we start drying out all the rain we have had will play a big role in our weather forecast. Normally with 5,000 foot temperatures up near 20 Celsius on the latest model runs that would be enough for me to call Mom and Dad in Mandarin and warn them about highs of 100 degrees. That forecast would have worked over the past couple of years, but not this year. It has been so soggy that a good portion of the sun's energy will go into evaporating all of that ground water that has built up across the area. Remember the earth is heated from the ground up and not the other way around. Since last Friday much of the First Coast has had between two and three inches of rain. Of course this is following the wettest May on record for most of our area. Since the middle of May we have had an astounding 15 to 20 inches across much of the First Coast. Think about it! Some areas have already had a summer's worth of rain since the middle of May. Now it will still get hot in this forecast, but it could have been a lot worse. Another thing saving us from the worst of the searing heat will be the strength of the ridge moving our way. We do not have the protoypical strong monster high pressure we see this time of year that normally builds in the Gulf of Mexico. Notice the bullseye for this heat-maker or center of the high pressure ridge stays back in Mexico.

If anything the high presure ridge will weaken as we head into the weekend as stormy weather to the North continues to suppress it well to the south. This tells me here at home not only will we have highs only in the lower to middle 90s but we will have to keep at least a few scattered thunderstorms in the forecast this week. But the good news is these will be the more typical splash and dash Florida showers and thunderstorms you are used to. They will not ruin your plans and should not last more than an hour. This will be a big change. This pattern shift is long overdue! You can see one of many rainbows spotted along CR-210 in St. Johns County this week. We will finally find our pot of golden sunshine back in the forecast this week.

Now the question is will it last? We have not seen a deluge like this in Florida since the last El Nino and we will talk more about this during the week here on the blog. El Nino conditions are still likely as we head into the July and August. This will have a big impact on our rainfall and numbers of tropical storms and hurricanes over the next several months. Based on the latest long-range maps, the polar jet stream will continue to stay well south of its normal position and more blocking is likely across Canada. This tends to keep things stormier than normal here in Florida as we have seen over the past few weeks. Here are the long-range outlooks for precipitation in this El Nino pattern across the country.
Even though it may be tough to see. I can decipher this map for you. Let me zoom in for you to just include the summer of 2009.

All the green above are areas that will have greater chances of seeing more precipitation than average which includes us in the St. Augustine, Jacksonville, and Golden Isles. You see the blue over Indiana! This means get ready for a deluge of rain and more stormy weather. The red and orange areas are forecasted to be drier than normal. Florida is expected to have above average precipitation all the way through February of 2010. So everybody that has been wishing and praying for rain for years may in fact see more rain that they ever thought possible. This wetter pattern is here to stay. We should be able to save a lot of money on lawn and plant watering this year so that is some great news. I do see a drier week but again some of us will see some rain with even heavier rain moving our way from the Caribbean by later next week. That is right the tropics are flaring up again! I will have another tropical update coming your way along with your long-range forecast tomorrow.. .enjoy these "drier" days this week while you can.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Stuck in the Liquid Sunshine in Florida, A Winter Wonderland in the Dakotas

You can see the lingering lousy low that will not go away in southeast Georgia this morning. This low pressure is the culprit for all of the heavy rain across the First Coast and do not expect it to move away anytime soon. We are in a holding pattern as this area of low pressure is stuck between a high pressure in the northern Gulf of Mexico to its southwest and a high pressure over the Carolinas to the Northeast. This is unusual for Florida in that we once again saw several hours of continuous rain yesterday. Usually it rains for less than 40 minutes this time of year and then you can get on with your plans. Not this time around. The rain was relentless and our rain-maker was the product of a trough split. You can say this beast formed due to the unusually stormy and snowy weather in the Plains and Midwest. Dickinson, North Dakota turned into a winter wonderland with its first June snow in 60 years.

Kids usually have the shorts out and swing away. Yesterday they were searching for sleds in their hats and gloves as two to four inches of snow blanketed the area.

The picture above tells it all. The sun pops out for a few minutes but do not let it fool you. It should really be called "liquid sunshine". With plenty of moisture, lift, and heating of the atmosphere this fires up more rain showers and thunderstorms. It's like nature turns up the heat on a stove and our atmosphere is that pot of boiling water. It certainly boiled over yesterday. You can see how the sunshine quickly gave way to a sky that was almost as dark as night. Here is how it looked before I got on Interstate 95 yesterday.

I quickly put away the camera and then went through a torrential downpour. This low pressure if anything will slowly drift south and then southwest over the next couple of days. I do not think we will return to our more typical summer pattern in Jacksonville until Tuesday at the earliest but at this point we will just have to take it a day at a time as this storm has a mind of its own. This weekend here in St. Johns we have totaled almost one inch of rain and look for another one to two inches of rain before this system finally winds down by the middle of next week.

At least I did get to the ballpark with my two oldest daughters on Friday night and watched the Suns beat the Mudcats 5 to 2. It was their first baseball game and they had a great time. We sat near the field near the first baseman and that kept us all on our toes. We did not catch any balls but had a few close calls. We saw a few towering home runs as the wind blew out to left field. It was also Hurricane Preparedness Night and we got our tracking charts. That is what a great night at the old ballgame. Check back on the blog for a tropical update coming your way on Monday which does include a tropical wave in the Caribbean that is trying to get its act together. Nothing is imminent but it may be a sign of a named storm in June over the next couple of weeks. I am heading to a birthday party. Thanks for reading and take care. Do not let the rain wash you away!