Friday, May 29, 2009

Gators Seek Higher Ground & We May Need to Get to Our Safe Spots Late Today & Tonight

It has been quite a run when it comes to all the wild and rainy weather and when I say "run" it is not just because today will be our 17th consecutive day with rain in the area. A lot of folks have been running from alligators that have infested many areas that have been swamped with flood waters. The picture above shows one of the many gators spotted around the area over the last couple weeks in places they usually are not found. This was a seven foot alligator spotted just a few feet from a West Side business last week on its new waterfront property. Some areas have had close to 20 inches of rain so far this month, especially to the south of Jacksonville and I could not find a wetter month in the record books since records have been kept. Even though the airport has had 13.51" and it looks like it will fall short of the all-time monthly rainfall record of 14.81 inches it does not matter. Nobody lives at the airport. The real weather story is this is the wettest month ever for most of us here in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine areas. It has been like a monsoon out there that you would normally find in India. The rising waters have forced not just alligators but many snakes them from their normal habitats. Some gators showed up in some of the flood waters at Clark's Fish Camp in Mandarin this week and they were in no mood to order gator tail. The huge Town Center shopping area near UNF had its power knocked out for about an hour yesterday due to some unruly snakes that have had enough of this weather.

Be on the outlook for more gators, snakes, and thunderstorms today! We are not done yet believe it or not. The Storm Prediction Center has areas from downtown Jacksonville northward in a slight risk for severe weather and the outline above may not cover the entire area but I think we will all have to keep a close eye to the sky by late today and even overnight. So expect the storms to come a little later today and the storms that due develop could bring some damaging winds and more dangerous lightning across the area like we saw yesterday that exploded a tree near Green Cove Springs. We average about 90 thunderstorm days per year here in Jacksonville so it is easy to let your guard down as they come through the area. Remember all storms are dangerous and today you need to pay extra close attention to the thunderstorms that fire up because these storms will be working with a few extra ingredients that lead to stronger storms here in Florida. Notice the latest CAPE values (convective available potential energy). The higher these values and the more reds and whites you see on the map below the more likely you will see severe thunderstorm warnings.

If you have walked and outside you can cut the air with a knife due to dewpoints in the 70s. This sauna-like atmosphere can give way to updrafts that build thunderstorms by carrying up to 10,000 tons of water laloft. Adding to the instability is our strongest front in weeks on the way along with a slug of dry air in the mid-levels. This drier air will cause the atmosphere to overturn and allow our updrafts to really rocket upward. I can easily see 50,000 foot plus tops developing on these thunderstorms today. The good news is that better days are ahead and we will see our driest pattern setting up in three weeks along with our first 90 degree days since May 9th on the way for the weekend. Just rememer the sunscreen with a sunburn possible this weekend in as little as 15 minutes as we dry out and the Sunshine State of Florida finally lives up to its name.

This is a good reminder that the sun angle is so strong and high in the sky it gave way to a rare phenomenon the Jacksonville sky off Baymeadows Way on Wednesday called a fire rainbow. Now my camera did not capture this amazing sight. It only lasted a brief minute after I first spotted it. By time I pulled off the Interstate it was gone. But at least I did capture a picture of the group of clouds that helped briefly light up the sky like I have never seen before. The cirrus clouds making that "C" shape is where I saw a the bright glow of orange, red, and blue. I checked all of the requirements to see a fire rainbow and the conditions matched up perfectly. You need a high sun angle which I had in the early afternoon. You have to have cirrus clouds....check! The cirrus clouds seemed to be debris clouds from developing thunderstorms to our south and west. These were not the typical wispy cirrus clouds I am used to seeing. The third thing you need are for ice crystals to be aligned at a perfect 90 degree angle along with the sunlight entering and exiting the ice crystals at just the right angle. It is like what you would need for a perfect storm to form but in this case it was the perfect rainbow that formed. I did go through several fire rainbow pictures and this one below looks most like what I saw.

This picture does not really tell the whole story and I know it was the first time I have ever seen one of these rainbows and I hope you get a chance to someday as well. The silver lining is finally here in our Jacksonville sky as I think we totally dry out over the weekend and our next chance of any significant rain after today and tonight would not be until next week. The same front bringing us the big change has made it through Atlanta with beautiful results. Get used to seeing fair weather clouds like you see below over our backyards.

Bring it on! We are all ready for the sunshine. Now for my Midwest friends the same northwest flow helping to dry us out here in Florida will bring a couple weak disturbances your way. The first one will arrive late today and this evening with a pop up shower or thunderstorm. Watch for some small hail with the cooler air aloft. On Saturday the second disturbance moves through in the morning and early afternoon but I think most of the rain will stay south of Interstate 74. So all in all a great weekend from Florida to Indiana is on the way. I know I am looking forward to the Sail Jacksonville festivities and the fireworks on Saturday night at 9:45 p.m. The good news is we are talking man-made fireworks for once.
Have a great weeknd and I am working on adding forecast video to go on this blog that will fill in all the important forecast details. This is still a work in progress and I am looking forward to this blog going national in the next couple of weeks and reaching a whole lot more folks. I appreciate all my Midwest friends keeping in touch and I love reading your posts every day and of course the pictures. Here is a nice bright picture sent in by Justin New that tells our weather story this weekend very nicely. It may not be a fire rainbow but it is quite impressive! Developing....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rainbows, Fire Rainbows, & Now Tropical Depression One Forms Oh My!

The big news this morning is tropical depression one has formed and it could briefly become tropical storm Ana before it moves into cooler waters and becomes extratropical. You can see the bright white swirl in the Atlantic which is showing better organization. That bright white color is being caused by thunderstorms reaching up near 60,000 feet and they are now wrapping around its low pressure center giving us a good indication this is not only a tropical depression but it will briefly become tropical storm Ana. The good news is this is a "fish storm" and it poses no threat to land. The NOAA storm track which I agree with takes it quickly out to see as you see below.

I do think it is a sign of a busy start to our hurricane season which officially does not begin until Monday. A few long-range maps just in this morning show more trouble in the tropics by the middle of June. So as of now I still think our tropical season this year peaks in July and August before quickly diminishing in September due to increased wind shear and El Nino conditions. I am forecasting 10 named storms with 4 hurricanes this year which compared to average is slightly below average. But again numbers do not matter, it is all about preparation and mitigation as I learned from Craig Fugate back when I was a meteorologist in Gainesville, Florida. It takes only one storm to ruin your life and Craig helped me do a story on a mock storm we named Zack and what people should be doing as it grew from an area of thunderstorms to a hurricane. It was an education for me to say the least. Craig Fugate is a Florida native from Alachua County and he actually helped develop that county's emergency management back in the late 1980s. Craig became the Florida Emergency Management Director in 2001 and in 2004 he managed the largest federal disaster in our country's history as hurricanes Charlie, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne turned the land of paradise upside down. I am excited to say that Craig is our new FEMA director and I can tell you based on meeting, talking, and working with him in the past I know he will do a great job. Here are a few tips from Craig of what you can do BEFORE hurricane season begins.

1) Develop a family emergency plan.

2) Take a first aid emergency class and learn a skill.

3) In the event of a disaster be prepared to secure the family first and then go and check on a neighbor.

I know these tips work well for everybody in our country whether you live in hurricane country or not. I will have more details on these tips and much more here on the blog over the next few days and weeks including hurricane evacuation routes. This will be a must-see and another reason to check back and also become a blogger. My best advice is for all my friends back in the Midwest is to also follow these tips because as you know tornadoes and severe weather also ravage your area and the meat and potatoes of your tornado season is on the way over the next 4 to 6 weeks.

Now today if you are going to be running some errands and making me proud by stocking up on disaster supplies be ready for another round of storms. By 10 a.m. you can see a new batch of storms already forming on the Gulf side of Florida and they will quickly move our way by early and mid-afternoon. I do think like yesterday most of the rain should be done by 6 p.m. thanks to a nice southwest to west breeze at 25 to 35 mph up at 10,000 feet. This is where you look to see what direction storms are moving from and how fast they will move. Many times in Florida the upper-levels of the atmosphere are stagnant with no strong fronts nearby and thunderstorms hold off until later in the day. But we are in a much faster flow as you see below.

Now since last week when the system with no name came through the area (many are now thinking it should have been named in the meteorological community) I have had nearly 14 inches of rain so we are not done yet. Look for another .25" to .50" of rain today with locally heavier downpours. We will wash, rinse, and repeat one more time tomorrow before our most significant front brining drier air for the weekend moves our way. I will have more on this front here on the blog as it draws closer and I DO THINK PARTS OF FLORIDA WILL SEE SEVERE WEATHER WITH IT TOMORROW AND TOMORROW NIGHT. I cannot leave you on a bad note so here is something to make your day.

Look for more beautiful rainbows to form around the area today. Here is what it looked like yesterday near Creekside High School. I of course quickly pulled off to the side of the road and captured it for you. I also saw my first fire rainbow yesterday! This almost caused an accident on Interstate 95 but luckily I had enough sense to keep on moving and got a better look at it off the Baymeadows exit! What is a fire rainbow and what causes it? Your answer is on the way. I did at least get a picture of the batch of clouds that caused it before it dissipated.
Make it a great day!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Case of Deja-Vu But This Weekend Tracking Something New!

Here we go again. Well this is the lighting capital of the world. Today will be our 15th straight day with rain in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida area. I am not superstitious but am really starting to believe in deja-vu! Yesterday, you see the cumulonimbus clouds building in all of the heat and humidity and as expected we tracked the dominant Gulf Sea Breeze that helped to fire up late day and evening storms. Today look for this scene to be repeated. We do have a deja-vu pattern continuing with another round of thunderstorms on the way mainly between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. You see why below. Notice the high PW values!

What is PW? It stands for Precipitable Water values which is the average amount of water vapor that is evaporated in a column of air from the ground to 36,000 feet. What happens is the higher these values in Florida, the better chances of thunderstorms forming especially when you involve sea breezes this time of year. Notice all of the values throughout the peninsula are in the 1.5" to 2.0" range. This warm and humid air mass is what helps fire up and feeds our thunderstorms. These thunderstorms actually compress all of this moisture and can even entrain more moisture in this tropical air mass in our air column of concern. This means it is possible to have some areas under a slow-moving localized thunderstorm to see even more than 2" of rain. Today I think a good average will be another .50" to 1" of rain as our thunderstorms squeeze out plenty of water in our sponge-like atmosphere. Look for thunderstorms to move northeast at 15 to 20 mph. We cannot rule out a few wind gusts near 45 mph. Even if we are not expecting widespread severe weather you always want to remember your lightning safety rules. Here I am wearing this big reminder on this sunny morning. I want to thank my daughter Megan for taking this picture.

Yes, get to your safe spot when you hear thunder or see lightning. Yes, your safe spot in this case would be to get away from this magnolia tree and get inside toward the lower interior of your home and away from windows. Do not touch anything that is plugged in and stay away from all plumbing. When you hear nature rumble this means you are in danger and are close enough to be struck by lightning. Most people get struck by lightning well ahead and after the main part of the storm has passed. Remember the weather saying. If you hear it clear it! If you see it flee it! This is not just a saying it can save your life. Most people are in fact struck by lightning when it is not raining outside and there are many jet skiiers in Florida that can attest to this. I do not want you to also learn this lesson the hard way. Yesterday we went from sunny to stormy in a hurry and you can see the gust front that whipped through St. Johns or just south of the Mandarin area.

There were a few low-hanging scud clouds but no rotation as the thunderstorms moved through. The main threat was some vivid lightning and it was a good tune up for what is on the way today. If there is good news I do see an end in this never-ending thunderstorm pattern. Check out the strongest front in about 3 weeks ready to move our way this weekend.

The picture above is small but this front is a big deal. I circled it in blue for good reason. Rain chances could actually be less than 10% by Sunday into early next week after today's 16th straight day of rain in the area. Even Saturday looks drier with only an lone shower or storm possible impacting less than 30% of us.

We can look forward to great pool weather like we saw on Memorial Day as you see above. Check out my daughter's hair standing on end due to the extreme friction created by one of the fastest water slides I have ever been on. My wife tried to take the picture of my big wipe-out but it was a big blur of water and my legs up in the air. So I thought this picture above would be a little easier to see. This weekend it looks like you will not have to worry about your hair standing on end due to lightning about to strike for once. This front will also be strong enough to keep a dry pattern going for us and much of the Midwest including Indiana and Ohio. That is right Wea, Wainright, and Southwestern Middle Schools it still looks like it will be a great weekend to go to Kings Island and you will have some nice relief from the humidity. I cannot let the cat out of the bag but be ready for a special visitor from Florida coming your way. She is super excited! How about some more good news since I am on a roll? Here is the latest in the tropics.

Even though you see a pretty good spin-up of clouds off the coast of the Carolinas thunderstorm activity is not organizing around a common center and this tropical low is not only poorly organized but will be moving over cooler waters. Here is the latest from the National Hurricane Center as of 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning.


I could not agree more. This is a reminder that our hurricane season is only 5 days away and begins on Monday. Stay tuned for more on this here on the blog as to why I think an early start and finish to the season is likely this year and how you can keep your family ahead of the storm. Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Storms Ready to Fire Again As Summer Pattern Takes Hold

Here was the scene yesterday in Mandarin as a huge turtle was taking a walk in my parents yard enjoying the sunniest day in more than a week! Memorial Day was a day to give thanks to those that have served our country and folks were also thankful they got all their plans in even if nature made it interesting late in the day as storms fired up in the Highway 17 and 301 corridor before quickly weakening as they moved toward the beaches. Today will be a lot like yesterday although the Gulf coast sea breeze will be more dominant and it will work with an upper-level disturbance so that I think all of us have a good chance of seeing some heavy downpours including the beaches. So make sure to get your walks in like the turtle above before 6 p.m. There could be a quick shower or thundershower along the East Coast sea breeze in the early and mid-afternoon but most of the action will hold off until late today. It looks like the later we go into the day and evening the better chance of thunderstorms. Already you can see storms flaring up near the Gulf Coast of Florida just after the noon hour. These are moving our way.

The main line of storms will fire up in Baker, Union, and Bradford Counties as early as 4 p.m. before moving to the northeast and through the Jacksonville area between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. The storms could be strong, especially in the inland areas with nickel size hail and wind gusts near 60 mph possible as the upper-level disturbance adds more lift to the atmosphere. Stay tuned and be ready. All thunderstorms need to be taken seriously and we were reminded of that over the weekend as two children died on Lake George on Sunday as thei boat they were in capsized during a thunderstorm. Remember when the clouds start building storms can take as little as 20 minutes to form. Stay alert to changing weather conditions at all times now that we are in thunderstorm season here in Florida. This is the time of year where we track thunderstorms almost every single day across the Florida peninsula and today will be our 14th consecutive day in the Jacksonville area where the radars will light up in our viewing area. There never is a dull moment this time of year for meteorologists and it will only get more interesting with hurricane season less than a week away. More on this here on the blog this week.

Teri Trent sends us this picture from Lafayette, Indiana where the peonies are out in full force after a nice weekend across much of the Midwest. Today it looks like those hit and miss showers that moved in late yesterday will become more widespread today across the Lafayette area as the tropical Florida low that dumped almost 12 inches of rain on my neighborhood or more than 300 million gallons of water moves your way. I can tell you first hand that it is a beast and you need to be on the outlook for not only lowland flooding but a few strong thunderstorms. Be ready like us here in Northeast Florida by late this afternoon and stay safe. Teri took 300 kids to Indiana Beach today and the good news is the rain at least did hold off until later in the day. I will not take credit it for it this time Teri. I will just say good things happen to good people! Thanks for the picture! Also for all the Southwestern Middle School kids heading to Kings Island on Friday I am giving you the all clear with a great day to ride the rollercoasters. There will be plenty of sunshine with highs in the middle to upper 70s in Cincinnati, Ohio.



Friday, May 22, 2009

More Flooding on the Way with 30 INCHES PLUS FOR PARTS OF FLORIDA!

It is race weekend in Indiana and the weather is still looking great! But it is anything but great at another famous speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. The track that is usually full of race cars has been taken over by fish. Up to 20 inches of rain and then some is on the way for Daytona, while areas near Bunnell, Florida will likely see more than 30 inches of rain before this monster storm pulls away. In Jacksonville, where I am on my way to the IMAX on a field trip with the 4th graders I will be warning the bus drivers of flooded roads with more flood warnings likely to go into effect this morning. You can see why below.

We are actually heading to St.Augustine and if I can I will try to talk the school out of the field trip so I am going in early to see what I can do. The big tropical plume of moisture is moving northwest with another 3 to 5 inches of rain on top of saturated ground. This would bring rain totals up to 15 to 20 inches in many parts of the Jacksonville and St.Augustine areas. These areas already have had numerous road closures. I will be back to tell you about your weekend. For now it is all about protecting the kids. Be safe and if you do not have to travel do not.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Record-Setting Storm Finally Showing Signs of Relinquishing Its Grip!

Yes, this was one a road or Blanding Boulevard and it was washed away by the storm with no name! Dangerous driving conditions will continue today with flood advisories in many areas through late this afternoon.

This tropical nor'easter of May 2009 is certainly one for the books. I am up to 11.50 inches here in St.Johns, Florida with some spots near St. Augustine close to 15 inches of rain. Downtown Jacksonville has also been hit with 10 inches of rain with a ton of road closures. If you are in Middleburg where about 11 inches of rain has fallen there have been reports of some roads swept away so please do not attempt to even try to cross water-covered roads.Yesterday we saw in amazement as a portion of Blanding Boulevard caved in as you see above. Areas on the Westside have new waterfront property as you seen below.

This storm has not been fit for man, woman, or beast. But the frogs here are loving it! They were so loud last night that it sounded like a jet airplane was ready to take off in my backyard. This morning one of my daughters had to chase a frog out of the garage that looked more like a guinea pig. I can tell you that my yard looks much better, and our magnolia tree looks much healthier. Bu it will be an adventure trying to cut the grass that is growing before my eyes.

I do have good news...the improving conditions begin this afternoon. Rain will become more sporadic and while we could still see a few more downpours any additional rainfall will likely stay at an inch or less. We will also start warming up after three days in a row with record low high temperatures. Highs will rebound in the middle to upper 70s. Latest guidance on Friday still shows plenty of clouds but we could finally see some sunshine for the first time since Sunday. Notice the latest maps do show our storm pulling away on Saturday taking most of the rain with it as you see below! The beaches and most of Jacskonville looks good but if you are headed toward Gainesville, Tampa, or the Panhandle it could be a much soggier story.

Any shower or thunderstorm activity should be widely scattered with a half-inch of rain or less expected. Do not cancel those pool parties just yet! Saturday and Sunday looks even better with weather more typical of summer in Florida. Look for a pop up shower or thunderstorm mainly with the daytime heating in the afternoon. Highs will rebound into the middle to upper 80s. By Monday look for highs back near 90!

One important thing of note: There have been reports of over 28 inches of rain near Bunnell which is more than the 27.5 inches of rain we saw during Tropical Storm Fay in August. Areas near Daytona Beach and Bunnell have gone from a rain deficit of 10 inches to a surplus of about 10 inches. Now that is one good thing out of all this! The drought is over!

I will have more on this historical storm later today with more pictures.


I have no reason to change my great weekend forecast for you. I stuck my neck out there for you on Tuesday for a dry weekend and I will stick by that forecast. It looks great at the track. But keep in mind this record-setting storm in Florida will eventually work up into the Midwest by the middle of next week and behind it chilly weather will return. So enjoy those 80s while you can. Have a great day!! I am off to lunch. I still have a Teri picture to post of peonies that are basking in all the Midwest sun. Maybe that will cheer up some Floridians that are just not used to all these clouds!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Deluge Continues With More Than 12" Possible Now in Some Areas

Dropping my kids off at school this morning was scary and we had to pull off to the side of the road. You see this picture showing the wind shield wipers being no match for nature! Flooding and bad accidents were common across the area. Here are a couple of pictures from First Coast News showing roads and backyards looking more like lakes and rivers.

We have been making national headlines and you know it is a big deal when the Weather Channel shows up in your backyard. You see Mike Siedel fighting the elements this morning at Jacksonville Beach where winds were still gusting from 30 to 40 mph and pounding waves were causing more beach erosion.

This storm may not be named but it will outdue Tropical Storm Fay in terms of rainfall before all is said and done. Faye is the storm that changed Florida forever and to put this storm in the same breath with it is pretty amazing. Up to 8 inches here in St. Johns, Florida with another 3 to 6 inches on the way. Black creek flooding is likely with a crest above 17 feet by tomorrow afternoon. Flood stage is 16 feet! Thunderstorms will be added to the mix tonight and tomorrow with heavy bands of rain continuing at times. The main low pressure will not pull away until Friday and that is when we could see a break from the worst of the weather. But flooding and clean-up will last well into the holiday weekend. I have been through many storms but this one may bring the most rain I have ever seen. Now I am off to the beach getting some pictures for the WTLV TV-12 newscast tonight. Make sure to send all your pictures to I will check back with more pictures and rainfall amounts...and of course forecast upddates!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Storm with No Name Makes A Name for Itself as Relief Turns to Grief!

Here is the picture that you saw on WTLV-TV 12 tonight during Chief Meteorologist Tim Deegan's weathercast. We have had 4 inches of rain now here in Durbin Crossing as of 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The saturated ground coupled with wind gusts of 35 mph here in St. Johns, Florida caused this once majestic palm tree you see in the above picture to fall to the ground.

I was picking up my oldest daughter from the bus stop and noticed this storm damage. Yes, the meteorologist quickly came out of me and without even thinking about it I quickly took this picture. You can also say the Hoosier came out of me. Once you have lived in the Midwest you are changed forever and I would like to think for the much better! :) I am a little more sensitive to weather change and a subtle change in the wind will cause me to wonder what is coming our way. I was used to the weather changing every few minutes. That should make me a better meteorologist that is for sure no matter where I live and here in Florida I will prove to you that there is plenty of weather to track. It is not just the Sunshine State but the Lightning Capital of the World! Then there are hurricanes and the mix of mid-latitude weather with sub-tropical weather that can be quite combustible.

Speaking of a big confrontation between the tropics and mid-latitudes that is exactly what is causing our wild weather...

We have gone from really nice to a riproaring storm. You can see why above we have an upper-level low pressure just southwest of Florida and a subtropical low pressure near the Bahamas. This storm is a two headed monster. If the water temperatures had been about 3 to 5 degrees warmer in the Atlantic it would have gotten a lot more interesting. Right now it looks like the water is just too cool for an official tropical storm in the Atlantic and the Bahamas low is expected to be absorbed in the upper-level low. I still say there is about a 20% chance of this being named Storm Ana as it moves over the warmer Gulf of Mexico which does have water temperatures of 80 or above needed for tropical development. If you are traveling to the Panhandle of Florida for the big Memorial Day weekend I would think twice. If you are heading to the East Coast of Florida it does not look as bad as things heat up and we slowly start to dry out! There will still be a chance of a few pop up thunderstorms each day.

This storm may not get a name but it could be every bit as bad as a tropical storm in many ways. When it comes to rainfall as I will not rule out some portions of Florida receiving 15 to 20 inches of rain on the East Coast and the Panhandle. You see the bands of heavy rain coming off the Atlantic.
In essence before all is said and done portions of Florida will receive more rain between now and Friday than they have seen in the past 6 months. This includes southwest Flagler County that has seen 12 inches of rain already. Even here in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine areas we will see as much rain from this tropical nor'easter than we have had in the past 3 months. Most areas will receive between 5 and 9 inches of rain before all is said and done with the higher amounts to the south and east.

The wind is also whipping up! Whew! There have also been 54 mph wind gusts reported at the Jaksonville Beach pier with wind speeds along the beaches to St. Augustine in the 35 to 40 mph. I have pictures coming here on the blog tomorrow that will amaze you. Remember you only need sustained winds of 39 mph for a tropical storm. But of course it will just not be organized enough over the Atlantic but do not be surprised to see more wind gusts in the 40 to 50 mph range on the beaches through at least tomorrow night. There have already been downed signs and powerlines at Jacksonville Beach along with some power outages and street lights that are out. This is making travel even more difficult. It is hard to believe that some areas did not have a drop of rain for 24 days before this rain hit now we cannot get rid of the rain. Southern portions of the Jacksonville area are still officially in a moderate drought which includes St. Johns County. Well this a drought buster and then some. No more drought to worry about after this monster is done with us. Our fire threat will also be vanquished, but unfortunately we will be going from relief to grief with too much rain on the way. In Florida when it rains it pours! That is one of my favorite weather sayings here and you will certainly see why over the next few days. With the slow movement of this storm beach erosion will also be a problem along with high surf. Look for 10 foot waves to pound the beaches and unfortunately this hybrid nor'easter will cause more beach erosion in spots than a hurricane or tropical storm would of because of not only its slow movement but huge size.

It was like a winter day out there today. Look at that dark sky above and with temperatures in the upper 50s and 60s across the area it felt like it too. I talked to some neighbors that actually got out the hot chocolate. Now you would be laughed at if you lived in the Midwest but do not be offended. Temperatures did run 20 degrees below average today and after being in the middle 90s less than two weeks ago even I had a few chills run down my spine while trying to walk the dog. Keep the hot chocolate coming and send some my way. We can sit down and talk about the blizzard of 2007 that hit the Lafayette area and the May storm of 2009 that will likely be one we will all remember before all is said and done. What you see above is Race Track Road that was brought to a crawl during rush hour with not just heavy rain making it tough to see but plenty of ponding of water causing hydroplaning and accidents. This scene was repeated over many roads during this evening's rush hour and is a sign of things to come. Please slow down and remember to leave plenty of room in front of you over the next few days.


Now I have already had quite a few e-mails about many concerned Hoosiers about this coming up weekend in the Midwest. Here is a sunny picture received from Monticello yesterday from Doralea Farrell. How the tide has changed. You would think this was taken in Florida. LOL Here on this Tuesday evening I am going to stick my neck out there and tell you that the holiday weekend looks dry for the Lafayette area and this includes Monday. Get used to the sunny weather while here in Florida I may not see much sunshine until Saturday. Am I crazy? Well yes since I am a meteorologist. But it is race weekend and this is unheard of for meteorologists to give the all clear for the race on a Tuesday. Well I am now in Florida and I am a little more brave making this call from a thousand miles away. I do know that I still take every forecast seriously no matter who it is for and I know I have nowhere to hide when all our friends from Indiana come and visit this summer. But, the reason I think you will be okay for the Indy 500 is this hybrid tropical system is slowing down the overall pattern. Florida is being swamped with 10 to 20 inches of rain and this storm is moving extremely slowly. The longer it pours outside my window the better news for Indiana and yes it is still pouring. I hear it loud and clear over the radio without a doubt. I do not think this big storm will pull out of the Gulf of Mexico and make a real move toward Indiana until the middle of next week. Now you may have a better chance of having a pool party than me! :)

The European model backs me up on this as you can see above! Now if you are reading this from Indiana make sure to stay updated with my friends at Weather Team 18 as well. One thing is for sure and that is Lafayette will be in the lower to middle 80s the next couple days and it looks like temperatures will once again be near 80 for much of the holiday weekend after a weak and dry front makes it through the area on Friday.

I will catch y'all later. I have some gators to wrestle or at least a tread mill and then some more models that come in later tonight. Sleep tight and do not let the bed bugs bite! Now I need to get the video forecasts up and much to do and so little time. By the way the London Broil did turn out good tonight! Few things make me happier than stormy weather, good food, and company here on the blog. I wanted to thank Ana for being the first Floridian to write me here on the weather blog that originated in a special Midwest town on the Wabash River. Now the sky is the limit and I look forward to enjoying nature to the fullest with you. Life is too short not to have fun and we are all connected weatherwise and otherwise. Thanks for all your support.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Indiana Gets Taste of Florida this Week and Florida is Swamped with Rain & Flying Turkeys

You have heard of it raining dogs and cats, but even BJ Prangley is amazed by it raining turkeys in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine areas today. The Prangley family pet did not move much from this mat throughout the day as the relentless rain pounded the area with one to three inches of rain!

What a day! First off....I just have no idea how stay at home Moms pull it off for not a few weeks, but years! I got up today and have been busy ever since. I have barely had time to brush my teeth but don't worry I did and so did Lauren. I just wanted to say I appreciate all stay at home Moms and Dads and even though my situation is temporary and challenging its rewards are far greater than I ever realized.

Being here, helping with homework, driving kids to practices and extra-cirrucular activities, cooking dinner, and doing a lot of things I have missed out on during the evenings has been a real wake-up call. I did not know what I was missing. How did my wife pull it off alone all these years in the evenings after a full day of work? I think she really is Super Woman! I do not think my kids will let me go back to work at this point, but I told them we will just all enjoy this time together while we can. It has just been nice to take a step back and see life from a different perspective and it has been a great experience for me, no matter how much air I am gasping for.

There have been plenty of funny moments. I did get to see how my family responds to big storms and it was quite interesting. I did not have to run into work yesterday during some vicious storms for the first time since the mid-1990s. My family did receive an "A" but they did do a little bit too much worrying. I taught them to stay calm....calm....and used my calm television voice and it seemed to work which made me feel great. We had 55 mph wind gusts and a shelf cloud rip through our neighborhood but everybody stayed safe and sound and they would not let me near the windows with all the lightning and I was not allowed to leave their side. So we had a TV with Live Doppler radar on and I did a continuous update for my family and explained what to look for on radar. I did not worry about anybody missing their Wheel of Fortune or going over on commercials and it was refreshing! They gave me an education on just what is going through a typical familys mind during these storm events. This could help me immensely in the future that is for sure! What I have learned over the past two weeks is that running a marathon is great but being there for your family and managing the household from the crack of dawn until the kids are asleep is a much bigger accomplishment. Now I have not looked at many weather models today, not with all the cooking, cleaning, vacuuming, and other errands going on but I will find a way and am doing the best I can. Thanks for your patience.

I am going to go run my five miles and pump some iron and then I will be back to talk about the big nor'easter impacting Florida which in essence will help build a huge high pressure in the Midwest bringing some of Lafayette's nicest weather of the entire Spring. I will be back to track temperatures in the Midwest. Could the models be underdoing daytime highs? Absolutely! Also, who could see close to 10 inches of rain here in Florida! We are not just talking gully washers but enought to bring the turkeys out of the woods and trees! The turkeys are out here in St. Johns County in the middle of our neighborhood roads! GOBBLE, GOBBLE! My wife tried to snap a picture but the turkeys were too quick, especially after they heard the Prangley peanut gallery in the mini-van scream with delight after seeing them. The wind was also picking up and the turkeys were having trouble getting off the ground to find shelter in their tree nests! This was quite a sight and there is something about Florida. I will never forget getting calls about flying frogs before my first weathercast ever back in 1995! Now this! The excitement is just beginning.

We already have 2.5 inches at the Prangley house in St. Johns. We are just getting started with flooding and beach erosion looking to be problems throughout much of the week! I will be back....for now it is time to run like a wild nor'easter and a Dayton this point I will probably look more like one of those turkeys I ran into but at least I never, ever give up, no matter what! I will check back soon. In the meantime watch out for flying turkeys, which is better than flying trees!

Friday, May 15, 2009


Can you hear the theme music from Rocky? I love you and miss you bloggers! The PRANG GANG lives! I first wanted to say that I celebrated my birthday on Thursday and I counted my many blessings which of course includes my family and wife Julie you see above! Notice we are all a little more tan than when we lived in Lafayette! This despite me putting on SPF 50 sunscreen. Believe it or not you can still get a dark tan with that on in the hot, blazing Florida sun! I have been wearing lots of hats instead of layers! What a change! We were even able to eat outside tonight for my birthday dinner! I lived it up with steak, shrimp, and Maryland crab cakes. The girls seemed more interested in feeding the fish some leftovers and they attracted some big trout! They did not see any alligators or manatees that sometimes frequent the area. It was a fun time in Ponte Vedra on the Intercoastal Waterway. That was some good eating!

I can tell you my family's blessings certainly include all of our friends back in Indiana. I know my girls go through dozens of texts a day from the weather hub of the country and I just got an I-phone so I can keep in better touch with you. Watch out, I can be dangerous with this thing! I have so many ideas...your seven day forecast may be coming to you in ways you never thought possible! I am working on providing video weather forecasts and will finally get more time for weather (no offense to the great producers of my past).

I will take it one day at a time as always! I know you will always be a part of me and it is inspirational to have life-long friends in the Midwest. We have a bond that will never be broken no matter where I live. We are all connected, especially when it comes to our world of weather! It should be fun writing to you again! I missed it so much! A beach and sand can only go so far. I have so much energy and am just ready to getting back to doing what I do best. I am a family man, marathon runner, meteorologist, blogger, and of course your bud!

Forecast Focus for North Florida

Let's talk some weather my friend! I will start telling you about the tropical twists and turns of Florida weather which may include a named storm ANA next week. Hurricane season may begin officially on June 1st but like in Indiana you keep your guard up no matter what time of year it is. I really will stick by my idea of an early start and finish to the hurricane season this year due to an El Nino quickly building in. As this takes place you tend to have more wind shear in the upper-levels and that tends to dimish your numbers of storms. But of course it only takes one ugly storm like Andrew in 1992 to make or break a season. That year was an El Nino year and even though it only had about a half-dozen named storms that category five storm made it a horrific season. So I try not to get caught up too much in forecast numbers of storms. It is all about location, location, location. Now next week's storm will be extra-tropical but it will try to gain tropical characteristics if it can make it to the Gulf where water temperatures are already near 80 degrees. This is the critical temperature at which tropical storms like to form. It should be interesting to watch it play out. Right now I would at least plan on the most rain in weeks for the First Coast. Hopefully you do not have any beach plans. It will not only turn rainy, but windy at least for the first part of next week. This weekend I would keep out the sunscreen and I know you will see me running and playing some frisbee on the beach. But that will change next week. It is easy to see why with all of that moisture forming in the deep tropics!
The satellite picture is firing up!

A lot of times in Indiana meteorologists look to Kansas and Missouri to see what is on the way. In Florida it is a totally different ball game with Cuba and even Puerto Rico sending weather systems our way! We had a severe thunderstorm go from the Airport and it drifted southwest toward Ortega before finally fizzling out. So instead of looking West many times meteorologists look to the East and Southeast to see what is coming our way in Florida. Storms and weather systems move clockwise around a semi-permanent Bermuda high pressure that only gets stronger as we head into the summer.

But you can even say this time around the tropics coming alive are a sign of a pattern flip-flop not just for us in Jacksonville but for the Midwest including Lafayette, Indiana! It should be a lot of fun as I tie in the tropical FLORIDA weather to the weather in the Midwest! The talk of the town here in the Jacksonville area was how some of us had not seen a drop of rain in over three weeks! I WAS HAVING SOME MAJOR METEOROLOGICAL WITHDRAWALS....but did like going to the beach and pool. :) Now it looks like the flood gates are ready to open here in Florida by next week with a pattern change favoring low pressure over the Florida Peninsula and Gulf of Mexico. To compensate for this lowering of pressures and to keep things in balance it will help build up high pressure and heat you up in the Midwest that really has not had much in the way of any real warm weather. This will allow all the heat sitting out West to finally build to the East! First we do have more storms on the prowl in the Plains and heading to Indiana. This is the last of the gazillion (well not quite that many but it seems like it) systems to have impacted us. Here is the latest.

Forecast Focus for Indiana

1) Latest trends have front moving through in the middle of the night which would keep Lafayette's severe weather chances lower. I have a chance of a few pop up showers between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. but would NOT cancel plans with the bigger line of storms likely between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m. late tonight.

2) Upper-level dynamics once again favors severe weather farther west (this time Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma get hit the hardest)

3) Rainfall will be .50" to 1" for Lafayette with the big rains this time around hitting Chicago with one to three inches of flooding rain. We need to watch this closely but right now it looks like Lafayette dodges both the severe weather and worst of the flooding this time around.

4) Pattern change on the way next week just in time for the farmers to get out in the fields! The rains shift farther south including Jacksonville, Florida! While the hot and dry Florida pattern heads north into the Midwest. Preliminary numbers show plenty of 80s on the way!

Why have we missed out on so much severe weather in the Midwest and what will finally help us in Florida break out of our parched pattern? Take a look at this map. The answer does lie in the sea-surface temperatures that have made a dramatic reversal. These colors and numbers do not lie. We will also take a look at a ton of moisture building near Hispaniola and why our Sunshine state may need to be renamed the Soggy State next week! It must be Jazz Fest time in Jacksonville. Have a great day whether you are in Florida, Indiana or somewhere near Oz. I will have twitter updates on the storms and of course your weekend from Indiana to Florida at