Friday, October 29, 2010

Curse O' Extremo Tiempo Continues into Halloween Weekend & Our Winter


Yes! Isn't nice to see a picture from the last time we had widespread heavy rain and thunderstorms over our area. This was taken by Craig O'Neal in Ponte Vedra Beach back on September 29th. It seems like we have not had a good rain in months. Last night once again many of us missed out on any appreciable rain. The heaviest amounts stayed up in Georgia as expected. But even Brunswick and Waycross did not have much to write home about with just over one-third of an inch of rain reported. By time you moved into North Florida, Lake City only had .05" and a dismal .02" was reported near Bolles School. The rest of us were once again left with a big rain. Nature has gone by the beat of its own drum and I am even beginning to wonder if it has really cast a weather curse over on us. Nobody takes missing a foreast harder than I do, so I will deal with it by having a sense of humor. Although it is tough! I am calling it the curse o' extremo tiempo, which means "extreme weather" in Spanish. Check out this impressive lightning near Saint Simons Island last night that was texted to me. Now this makes me feel even sicker and more superstitious.

It seems as if nature has put a big dome over most of the Jacksonville-St.Augustine viewing area that does not allow any rain to fall. None of our sophisticated weather models had the robust line of showers and storms over Georgia totally vanishing by time it arrived in north Florida. What really happened to our rainfall? Well the front actually wrapped in unusually dry air in the mid and upper levels into our area from the Gulf of Mexico. This is the same dry air that has kept all those tropical systems away from us so far this year. Also our cold front slowed down and by time it arrived late at night we lost a lot of our instability that helps hold together lines of showers and thunderstorms. These were just a couple factors but it goes to show you why I love being a meteorologist. There are great challenges when looking a hundreds of variables every day while forecasting.  This curse o'extremo tiempo began over the winter which was our coldest since 1977. Then came our second hottest summer on record including a 50 day streak of highs reaching 90 or above which was the first time that had taken place since records were kept in 1871. Then came the drought that really has taken a stranglehold this October. It has now been 30 straight days without rain at Jacksonville International Airport. Tampa and Orlando are also going to have their first rain-less October ever! Take a look at last night's rainfall...and the dry doughnut hole over our area. Now this picture really tells the story.

Meteorologically you can say that we have had one of our strongest El Nino's on record give way to a strong La Nina in an usually short time span. These huge changes in Pacific ocean temperatures can cause huge fluctuations in weather all across the globe. Even if they are just a couple of many variables that are looked at, I would say it is one of the main factors of crazy weather not just here at home but all over the globe. This winter our La Nina pattern will cause more wild times. Look for a bad and early fire season along with a warm and dry winter which will cause drought conditions to become worse. Here is the latest NOAA forecast for us this winter showing more dry and warm weather ahead.

This does not mean our November will be dry...I do think we will see a much more active November with closer to normal rainfall. The first part of December could bring a few surprise snow flurries but by mid and late December we will be drying out again in a big way as a ridge of high pressure builds over the southeast and it could last well into the Spring. Temperature-wise we may get off to a cold start this winter but it will not last and I DO NOT agree with the temperature map below. This gives us equal chances of above or below average temperatures. I give us an 80% chance of above-average winter temperatures.

Our drought is a huge concern and we are now 15.36 inches below average for the year. Now as La Nina sets in and hurricane season officially ends on November 30th our concerns will only grow stronger. I had an opportunity to visit with Steve Letro at the National Weather Service. Here is what he had to say.

 "We do see a lot of our rainfall statistics skewed by the presence of a strong La Nina which speaks to drier weather to begin with and anything that comes comes along to try to counter-act that will only act to balance it out rather than produce a significant increase in rainfall which is what we would    really like to see when we are going into a winter as dry as we are right now. This means fire season could be not only bad but come much earlier than normal.

Things can get more significantly  serious in the Spring when things are growing a little bit more but even in the winter we can have significant fire problems as well. The thing that people need to get used to or thinking of over the next few months is getting used to the idea that you will be told not to burn, asked to conserve water and when you do hear these requests from the authorities please make sure when you hear these requests to comply with them." …. 

I could not agree more and while none of us can control the weather including me (I would have made it rain 2 inches everywhere last night) we can at least all do our part to make a bad situation a little bit better. Now since I always keep the glass half full here is the good news in the forecast. If you are going to the big Georgia-Florida game the only bark and bite will come from the field with game-time temperatures in the middle 70s falling to near 70 by game's end. We finally have some fine fall weather. Shelli Krings my sister from Oshkosh, Wisconsin will complete our nice weekend ahead by sending us a nice autumn scene since that is the only thing our picture-perfect forecast is missing! THANKS SHELLI! There may be a few clouds coming off the ocean but our rain chance will remain less than 5%. Since tens of thousands of folks are coming from all over the country this weekend even though we have a lot of weather issues at least nature will provide some nice weather for all the festivities.

Check back over the weekend for a real Halloween forecast you will not find anywhere else....if you are brave enough.....haaaaahhaaaaaahaaaa...take care!!! We will also talk about Shary and Tomas...two tropical systems we will be tracking over the weekend and just how unusual our season has been. Take care, now it is time to run my Friday 7! Weather running mantra..Feeling 20 degrees cooler and no drought can slow you down, run the whole town. Let nature lead the way and make it your best running day.

We are only 107.25 days away from the RUN WITH DONNA MARATHON...It is officially on February 13, 2010...time to go train! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Here Comes the Rain Again, Falling on My Head Like a Memory....

Thursday, October 28, 2010 2:30 p.m.

Yes, it has been a great day full of Halloween parades and having fun singing the Eurythmics famous song, Here Comes the Rain Again. This is a big day for Jacksonville that officially has not recorded a drop of rain in 28 days. The record for most rainless days is 46 set back in 1970. The good news is that is one record we will not be breaking in our year of extreme weather. Today as forecasted we broke our 4th consecutive high temperature record by hitting 89 and we may nip 90. The old record was 87 set back in 2002. Let's talk....well yesterday there were 3 models we were going over here on the blog and two of the three insisted that we would not get much rain. I disregarded them and went with the juicier model. Well, the good news is that the bullish weather model that has done well all week with the second strongest non-tropical storm to hit the United States is winning today. Yes, look at our FIRST COAST NEWS WEATHER is showing some rain...we can see it and it feels like rain outside. Dewpoints are an amazing July-like 73! You can see some of that thick moisture from this morning's patchy dense fog. It was indeed the calm before the storm.

High dewpoints or this true measure of humidity will help feed our rain showers and thunderstorms by late today and this evening. Expect at least .25 to .50" of rain over much of our Jacksonville-St.Augustine viewing area with higher amounts over portions of southeast Georgia.

Folks told me today that I am not the only one unusually excited about this rain. Yes, our lawns are screaming for rain like the rest of us. Even better the new long-range maps are showing quench your thirst rain next week with several days of good rain chances especially beginning late on Tuesday into Wednesday. We will have more specifics on this but first things first on timing tonight's rain.

If you have softball games and other outdoor plans it does look like the rain will make it to interstate 95 between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. and continue through the evening hours. Another reason I think the rain will hold together is that our Convective Available Potential Energy is over 2,000 j/kg as you see above. This means the atmosphere is as excited and charged up as the rest of us over this rain. This abundant energy and moisture will work together with a cold front moving through tonight providing plenty of lift, coallision coalescence, condensation, and rain. Keep an eye to the sky to the west and northwest. That is where our showers and thunderstorms are moving from. Expect downpours, lightning, and wind gusts to 35 mph. There may be isolated wind gusts near 45 mph in Georgia but I really am not expecting much in the way of severe weather. Here is why....

We do not have the high upper-level winds or wind shear we saw over Indiana and the 19 states that were ravaged by more than 450 damage reports and 61 tornadoes. The wind speeds currently over Jacksonville up to 10,000 feet are a mere 10 to 20 mph. When storms moved over the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and North Carolina the wind speeds were closer to hurricane force or 70 mph just above ground surface. What those thunderstorms were doing was capturing those high winds and pushing them toward the ground and since there was plenty of instability and speed shear there was enough rotation for even an EF-2 tornado in Vale, North Carolina last night with wind speeds close to 120 mph. The picture above shows a wall cloud in the gem city of Frankfort, Indiana caused by high upper-level winds and wind shear in the atmosphere. These ingredients are missing over southeast Georgia and Florida today so I am not expecting us to add to the tally of tornadoes which was the largest October tornado outbreak since 2007. That is when 62 tornadoes hit betwen October 17th to 19th. But remember your lightning safety rules and be careful if you are driving in some of those heavy downpours. I will post rain amounts and feel free to send some into me at Your trick or treat forecast is also coming up.

Before I go I think I need to share at least one picture from today's awesome Halloween parade a Durbin Creek Elementary School. It was an hour long parade and I think the most popular costume for boys was a firefighter....for girls it was Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz...Awesome! I have only watched that movie 1,233 times and it is one movie I will watch many more times. Also, check back for an update on the busy tropics. For now it is time to get ready to sing in the rain. Finally!! The great pre-Halloween dry spell nature has cast on us is about over and even Snow White will see some rain to enjoy with her prince.

Midnight Model Run Looking More Promising for Badly Needed Rain

Thursday, October 27, 2010 12 a.m.

Well I could not go home until a snuck a peak at the latest model runs and the good news is the model of choice is now up to .60" of rain for Jacksonville. The maps are starting to light up with some blue and purple areas in Georgia and extreme North Florida which are areas that could actually be drenched with over an inch of rain. This is a good sign. The FCN Futurecast is trending stormier! This is rainfall through 8 p.m. so even though south of Interstate 10 there is much lighter and scattered activity I do expect shower and thunderstorm activity to linger late into the night for these areas and I do still think most of us see rain. The farther north and west you go the higher the amounts but this does not mean you will be missed St. Augustine. I still think .25" to .50" is on way for you. The newsroom is still hopping past midnight here at First Coast News...a lot happening and a great group of hard-working people. I will be off doing Halloween events with my kids the next couple days but will make sure to check in with you. Tonight, I feel like I do sometimes before a snow event when I have been known to stay up most of the night until those first flakes actually fall. The good news is I can sleep tonight because it is the calm before the storm. It has been so long since some of us have seen a good rain I will be on edge until I actually see it. But I will keep the faith and I do think we will have enough lift, moisture, and instability to finally give us some welcome rainfall! Now for those of you that did check back here on the blog before that midnight snack here is an extra bonus!

Here is your exclusive 10 day forecast that you can find on our free weather app. If you do not have access to this I will make sure to post this 10 day forecast at least a few times a week for you. I am happy to say a spooktacular weather weekend  is on the way along with a dry election day. You will be able to get all those plans in and vote, then our lawns get some more help with rain back in the forecast by Wednesday. Of course I planned this...LOL. Have a good night, don't let the bed bugs bite and I will try not to worry about the rain.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Snowy Pictures to Keep you Cool in Hot August Pattern!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 11 a.m.

Just when you thought it could not get hotter, today's forecast high is 90 degrees. If you add in the humidity it will feel like 100 in the shade by later today. The good news is I have some nice snowy pictures to share with you from Duluth, Minnesota. In Duluth it is currently 32 degrees with a wind chill in the upper teens. This is a nice autumn day for the hearty Minnesotans. Many are enjoying this early taste of winter as you can see. A big thanks to Stephanie Puffer and family. There is nothing like your first snow and much of Duluth had close to 4 inches of the white gold as they call it. I love the pumpkin head snowman and her boys apparently like eating snow like I used to back in my sledding days in Maryland.  I feel much cooler already!!

Now if you are Donna Deegan that absolutely loves this weather you can look forward to two more days of record-breaking weather. Instead of doing snow angels in the can always have fun doing them at the beach in the sand. Try can be fun!! LOL Jacksonville hit 88 on Monday which broke the old record of 87 set back in 1949. On Tuesday we hit 89 which broke the old record of 87 set back in 1997. Today's 90 will smash the old record of 88 set back in 1939. What is interesting is our average last 90 degree day is the last day of September! So even by Florida standards this is some impressive heat. Thursday looks to be our last day having temperatures at mid-August levels. Expect highs of 89, which will belittle the old record of 87 set back in 2002.

What is the cause of our 4 day jaunt into record-record land. Well it is a never-ending summer at this point because we have a storm that is taking up a good chunk of Canada and the U.S. You see the impressive visible satellite picture taken above. It has clouds extending from the Arctic Circle to the Gulf of Mexico. Last night I called it the Monstrous Pre-Halloween Storm..well that does not give it enough credit. This behemoth spans 3,000 miles north to south and is 2,000 miles wide. It will go down in the record books as one of the strongest non-tropical storms to ever impact North America. It racked up over 300 storm reports including 287 reports of damaging wind gusts and 24 tornadoes. This storm's circulation is so large that it has helped whip up this hot weather for us and the good news is this storm will also usher in fine fall weather just in time for the weekend. Basically it started controlling our weather on Monday and will continue to be our main weather maker until early next week! Pretty amazing! Minnesota set a new record for lowest pressure ever. The storm literally bombed out and its pressure dropped from 983 mb to 955 mb in just over 24 hours when it crossed from the Dakotas into Minnesota. This compares to the pressure of 956 mb that Hurricane Karl had when it crossed the Yucatan back in September. Karl had 105 mph sustained wind speeds. While this inland hurricane did not have wind speeds that high it did produce some brief 81 mph gusts over Ohio, which is amazing for a non-tropical system. Also, some of the Indiana tornadoes it produced had wind speeds easily over 120 mph.

The next big question is whether this monstrous pre-Halloween storm going to bring us any severe weather like we have seen across the country? Some scary clouds, but kind of beautiful clouds formed on Monday night ahead of a rain shower in St.Johns County. Based on the latest 3D look at the atmosphere I really am leaning against any weather watches or warnings. Any severe weather which can never be totally counted out looks to be isolated. The atmosphere may be able to support 40 to 50 mph wind gusts, but the wind direction at all levels of the atmosphere are moving in from the same direction and with the main front not coming through until the middle of the night this will also make for a more stable atmosphere. But sure we can get a rumble of thunder to go with some of our rain showers without a just will not have to worry about a severe weather outbreak...THE BIGGER QUESTION...HOW MUCH RAIN?? I think I just shouted .....well at least at myself, not you...I can be hard on myself and even though I do not control the weather, I know how important it is for us to get some rain in our drought ravaged area.

On Monday evening  a few lucky folks a quick .25" of rain as you can see on the doppler estimates, but many including the Jacksonville airport were totally missed. Notice how there was a nice big 2 to 4 inches of rain for the fish, helped by the more unstable gulf stream. Jacksonville has not had a drop of rain in October! The record driest October was back in 1909 when we only had .08" of rain. Will we get the needed rain many of us have been praying for since late September or break another record? Tune in tonight for the latest and I will post the latest exclusive First Coast Futurecast on just how much rain is on the way. I will give you a few tidbits since you have taken some of your generous time to check this blog. The top 3 models right now that I am looking at while forecasting tomorrow and tomorrown night's rainfall.....MODEL #1 .07"   MODEL #2  .10"   MODEL #3 .45" ....Will model 3 win out? Tune in tonight at 5, 5:30, 6, 7 and 11 p.m.

Also and last but not least, if you have an I-Phone or Droid or a contraption that can add apps make sure to add our First Coast News Weather app....Check out a nice sample from Monday night's rain showers...IT HAS STREET LEVEL MAPPING THAT WORKS...yes I got in my car to make sure....I better stop shouting...anyway,just type in FCN Weather or First Coast Weather and best of all it is free and we are only one of five TV stations in the entire country that actually does its own 10 day forecast...yes I better go work on that....LOL...Thanks for your time and yes make it a great day weatherwise and otherwise! Remember not to be shy..I need to hear from you. Send in some weather, Halloween, football pictures to Thanks. Talk to you soon with a special rain update post tonight before your late night snack!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Record Highs Smashed to Smitherines by Record-Breaking Midwest Storm

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 11 a.m.

I have been on the phone and social media catching up with folks in the Midwest this morning. Here is a picture texted to me of some TV images out of Indianapolis. You can see siding and shingle damage to homes after some gusts hit an incredible 90 mph, especially near Greenfield. This is one of the strongest storms ever on record in a region known for its wild weather. Yes, this storm has opened many eyes this morning. The good news is my old birch tree in Lafayette, Indiana is okay and more importantly all of my friends. This storm will also get our attention here at home and has lower pressures than not only Hurricane Lisa, but Hurricanes Paula and Richard to put it all in perspective for you. This is our weathermaker over the next several days here in Florida and Georgia. Not only will it help break record highs but it may bring in some more needed rain before a big weekend cool down. I will check back in later with you today with more on a historic day in the world of meteorology. I will be singing Gordon Lightfoot on the way to work today....yes the Edmund Fitzgerald...this storm is even bigger than that behemoth of a storm...make it a great day and remember to expect the best of others and give that little extra that really does make a big difference! Stay cool!!

The picture above is my wife Julie who got caught in that downpour here in St.Johns last night on her power walk with friends. Usually I get in trouble when that sort of thing happens...but it had been nearly 4 weeks without a drop of rain and she loved it....after I got her a towel!! LOL...although I may be in trouble after posting this picture it really does prove that we HAD RAIN LAST NIGHT as forecasted. Join me tonight at 5,5:30, 6, 7 and 11 for more on Live Doppler. I do think more rain is on the way and we need it! Thanks Julie for being my better half. I love you!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekend Waterspouts, Sun Dogs Herald Much Need Rain on the Way

MONDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2010  10 a.m.

What an incredible weekend! It all started with the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure. The energy levels and enthusiasm were incredible and I really enjoyed cheering on everybody after my weathercasts ended on Good Morning Jacksonville. Yes a cure is no longer just a dream but a reality. We will continue to pray and take it one step at a time. I look forward to showing my support by running the 26.2 with Donna marathon coming up in February. I heard a lot of great and uplifting stories on Saturday that were even more impressive than the picture you see above. Yes, how about the waterspout that formed just east of Ponte Vedra Beach. It formed just after 4 p.m. on Saturday when I started taking some interesting calls in the weather center. I told folks to stay calm and what they were likely seeing was a waterspout. I got confirmation of this with these pictures. Here is another good look at the waterspout.

The good news is that it did not reach the ground or cause any damage. It was caused by the warm ocean temperatures, low wind shear, and the warm tropical conditions that moved into the area this weekend. This created just enough lift in the atmosphere to stretch the invisible spinning column of air created by those easterly winds over the Atlantic Ocean. This column of air quickly condensed in our more humid air mass and the funnel became visible. This waterspout was created by fair weather cumulus clouds and usually do not cause much damage. They have been known to bring 40 to 50 mph winds and fisherman have told stories of flying fish, but it is not the type of waterspout that would form into a tornado. It is what is called a fair weather waterspout. The Florida Keys averages about 400 of these phenomena per year and that is why it is called the waterspout capital of the world. Jimmy Buffett needs to add a waterspout song to his repertoire. They truly are a wonder of nature!

Speaking of awesome! How about the air show at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station. I had never seen the Blue Angels....well since I was one month old according to my Mom and Dad who live in Mandarin. They do live up to the hype and then some! There are a couple of friends I met...Vannessa and Gabryel Williams. We talked about how important that math homework is and that without doing that math I would not be able to forecast the weather. I seemed to leavheye a lasting impression on them and I look forward to at least one of the Williams sisters becoming a meteorologist some day. I got the pleasure of hanging out with Ken Amaro and I can tell you he really is on your side and is one of the most genuine people you can ever meet or work with. He is going to work with me on my attire. Notice the sporty hat he is wearing. Ken also thanks you for all your support and viewership. We simply have a wonderful community we live in and we both feel privileged to serve you and give that little extra every day for you.

The weekend only got more interesting on Sunday with sun dogs spotted in the sky. This is a picture I took from the roof of our TV station and that bright object you see in the center of your screen which this picture does not show as bright as it was in person is called a sun dog. They are caused by cirrus clouds reflecting sunlight and creating a mock sun or bright object to its right. Sometimes you can have two sun dogs at a time on either side of the sun. They usually mean a storm system that can produce rain is on the way. Speaking of rain today is our day!

Expect our rain chances to go up by late afternoon. My girls and wife are home with me today so we are going to go have a family fun day. I do think we should dodge those nasty tornadoes Texas had, although I cannot rule out a strong gusty thunderstorm with isolated gusts near 50 mph. The best chance for this happening would be in Georgia and here in northeast Florida along a sea-breeze boundary. In fact we have rain chances 6 of the next 10 days....I will have more on this here on the blog, but for now it is all about FAMILY! Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day. Enjoy the rain!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Drought Intensifies, Richard May Bring Rain Relief

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2010 12:30 P.M.

It is the talk of the town! We all know of Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak of 56 games. Now we have a dry streak that will not soon be forgotten. Today will be our 23rd consecutive day without a drop of rain. In some ways it may be more impressive than "the streak" because we could go down with the driest October since at least 1871. Think about it! The eleven time all-star was inducted into the Hall of Fame and I am sure most of our lawns will agree this weather pattern belongs in the hall of shame. We love our nice October weather but most folks have had enough. The good news is I do think we will finally see some needed rain not only early next week but by later next week. It could not come soon enough. Notice the severe drought conditions taking up most of the First Coast especially from near the St.Johns River eastward. This includes all of Duval and St.Johns Counties.

I may not be able to control the weather but today I went out in search for rain. We all know First Coast as of right now has the only LIVE doppler radar in town as shown on television. Well I went to the National Weather Service to make sure their doppler radar was having the same problem picking up any drops of rain since September. Sure enough they agreed, no matter what radar you have been looking at we have picked up more bats, insects, and smoke from forest fires than rain. On Wednesday there were a few sprinkles in Pierce County, Georgia but that is the best we have been able to do. I spoke to Steve Letro the Meteorologist In Charge and we discussed why we should all be concerned about being this dry so early in the season. We are already now offically in our DROUGHT SEASON or what I call the dry season and if you are already running a deficit of 15 inches in some areas it likely will only get worse, especially when you are heading into a LA NINA winter. Check back over the weekend and on tonight's newscasts and I will have more on this developing weather story and phenomenon. Yes, fire season looks bad!

What you have all been waiting for....the latest on Tropical Storm Richard. It could become our best friend as we head into later next week. Not only is a ridge of high pressure to the north keeping it south but it does look like it will intensify before reaching Honduras over the weekend. Then the hurricane should slowly weaken. Richard should have plenty of leftovers or tropical moisture that a strong Halloween front coming later next week into our neighborhoods will tap. Not only could we see rain but maybe even some heavy downpours before we clear out for trick or treaters. Is this the last of the storms? Absolutely not! Scary Shary could be on the table Halloween weekend in the southeast Caribbean. That is right, storm number 18! What a season! It is pretty incredible how lucky the United States has been when it comes to being missed by a direct hit. Hopefully our luck can continue at least for the next few weeks.

You may hear what sounds like thunder in the sky this weekend, but do not worry. We have blue skies and Blue Angels in the forecast with comfortable sunshine and highs in the lower to middle 80s.Yes, rain is back in the forecast by Monday and once again later next week, but for this weekend keep those plans! I think there will be about a  quarter million people out there so the good news is we will have what I like to call million dollar weather. You can also enjoy the weather while making a difference this weekend!

This is one event you do not want to miss! It will be perfect. Temperatures will be in the middle 60s and more importantly we are one year closer to coming up with a cure. Have a wonderful weekend and of course I will keep you updated 24/7 here on the blog and it does look like all our prayers for rain will come true next week. I will post the winter forecast for you this weekend. It is a big one! We have had the 2nd hottest summer follow our coldest winter in 33 years! What is next? Check back and please send any cool weekend weather pictures to me at You may not only see yourself on TV but will be here on the weather blog. Thanks! Make sure to also leave some comments so I can write about any weather questions you  may have. I can write about 100 diffferent weather things or more each day.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sunniest October on Record Gives Way to Bright Full Hunter's Moon Tonight

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2010 8:15 A.M.
Good Morning! I will start with Mike's Motivation this morning. We have the sun, moon, and stars and today is your day to shine. Go out and walk or run so you can fully enjoy all three! Let nature lead the way and you can win the day! Yes, I woke up cheering the beautiful sunrise which the fog accented just perfectly. I snapped a picture you see above for you in case you missed it. I was really excited about the fog at breakfast which my daughters thought was quite strange. But, as strange as I may be at times the fog was something to celebrate because it has been hard to find much in the way of clouds in the sky or even ground clouds or fog so far this month. Usually in a quiet pattern that has now reached 22 days without a drop of rain for most of us you do tend to have plenty of fog. But not in this pattern. The atmosphere has been drier in Jacksonville, Florida than the deserts of Nevada. Even Las Vegas has had .82" of rain compared to our big GOOSE EGG! We could very well go down as the driest October since 1871 and SUNNIEST October ever on record without a doubt.
Now if there is good news this severe clear weather pattern will allow us to enjoy a sunset at 6:49 p.m. in all its glory. Highs will reach the lower to middle 80s today and we will have comfortable conditions this evening to enjoy the FULL HUNTER'S MOON which will rise at 5:50 p.m. at Jacksonville Beach and 5:59 p.m. in Lafayette, Indiana over the Tippecanoe Courthouse who even Mark Twain commented was one of the most impressive structures he has ever visited. Well tonight even Samuel Clemens would be moved to write a new story or poem about the moonlight. My neighbor and professional photographer Deirdre Kovalcik was so kind to take a picture for us last night when the moon already was so breath-takingly bright! Tonight the moon will be even brighter and offically full at 9:46 p.m. as the earth, sun, and moon are all lined up just right. Yes!!! My five mile run will be truly inspiring and it will probably not even seem like I am running.
Now are the stars aligned for rainfall? I feel like I have been teasing you here on the blog the last couple days. I really have not. I still expect this scary dry pattern to change next week as we finally will see a more tropical flow in the atmosphere. Highs could actually reach near record highs near 90 with thunderstorms. Yes, nature is going to wake up! I texted this to my wife yesterday, SO I AM SERIOUS. The amount of rain is still really tough to call. It all depends on the tropics and if Richard develops. If we could tap some of this tropical moisture the rain gates in the sky would open in a hurry. Some models have Richard developing into a major hurricane and threatening the US by Halloween weekend and this is certainly not out of the realm of possibility. Here at home the hope is we keep Richard south of us while reaping its rainy benefits. I still see at least an inch of rain by the end of the month and if the tropics explode we could see much more than that. Yes it is a wait and see game we have no choice but to play. But at least you know what we are dealing with.
Now speaking of HALLOWEEN WEEKEND. If you are in Lafayette, Indiana do not blame me for forecasting a few flying flakes of snow. Blame the full or at least a powerful winter-like jet stream that will punch into the US next week. Your average first flakes of snow fall the first week of November so it would not be all that unusual. Here in Florida my daughter Lauren was asking how many days there were to Halloween and I told her we have 10 more days and to pick a warm costume. Highs even here on the First Coast could struggle into the 60s and quickly fall through the 50s for the trick or treaters. Now do not blame me...send an e-mail to your Indiana friends since that is where the cold weather is moving from. That special place on the Wabash can really whip up some weather can't it?
Make sure to post comments, questions, and send weather pictures to I look forward to hearing from you. God bless and keep on smiling no matter what the weather!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Running Toward a Bright Future at Durbin Creek Weatherwise and Otherwise!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 5:30 p.m.
What a great morning it was at Durbin Creek Elementary school in St.Johns, Florida just off Race Track Road. Those kids were off to the races! I got to witness an incredible display of over 200 kindergarteners and first graders who ran just over 2 miles in sunny beautiful weather with just a few altocumulus clouds. The big story was that the Boosterthon Fun Run raised $41,300 dollars. This is what the actual profit was for the school and it was a team effort between the teachers, parents, and the kids.
You can find out more information on the great organization that helped organize this at Many parents donated about a dollar per mile and by time the approximately 1,000 kids ran those 35 laps the school raised the most money in the entire state of Florida. Now that is support! This is the same public school that had the number one ranking in education in all of Florida. GO DURBIN CREEK!

You see Ana McCann cheering on her first grader with a loud cheering voice and sign! Ana not only thanked me for the weather but understood how important this was for the kids to learn life skills and build character through this great program. This year's theme was Leadership LAUNCH. The L stands for learning, A-active, U-uplifting, N-no bullying, C-courageous, and H-helpers. I was very impressed by the huge contingent of parents and volunteers. You can even see in the pictures above that the kids stayed plenty hydrated with a nice water stop in that warm Florida sun.
I have run 8 marathons and was truly in awe and how receptive all the kids were to running and how good of a time they were having. I wish I had something like this when I was in elementary school back in Maryland. I may not have waited until I was 35 years old to start running! To be able to teach them how much fun exercise can be at this early age is invaluable. I am not sure where I would be without running my 20 to 25 miles a week which ramps up to about 40 miles a week while training for half and full marathons. Those kids were amazing and the atmosphere incredible. I saw a lot of future marathoners and leaders out there. Yes, I loved taking a victory lap with my 6 year old daughter Lauren you can see above.
The weather could not have been better! Speaking of weather I have an update coming your way this evening that will include not just rain, but thunderstorms back in the long-range forecast! Finally! Yes, our future is bright thanks to the kids above and we can finally see the light at the end of this dry, dry tunnel for Northeast Florida by next week.

Beautiful Altocumulus Clouds Signal A Front on the Way!

Breaking Weather News! Rain is now within 250 miles of Jacksonville!! Why am I so excited. Well when you have had the driest October since will take every little bit of hope and run with it! Good morning and yes it was much warmer at the bus stop this morning! The 60.6 degrees was a huge jump from the upper 40s we saw on Monday. There was also more humidity in the air. How about those altocumulus clouds! They are signaling a front on the way by later today and I do think our Georgia friends could squeeze out at least an isolated shower from Waycross northward. I will have more on this and when the rest of us will receive some badly needed rain by later today. I am heading to a Fun Run at my daughter's school. I also have those fall picks to post. Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rainless in Jacksonville! Lafayette's First Snowflakes Not Far Away!

Hello, IT IS GREAT TO GET THIS WEATHER BLOG BACK UP AND RUNNING!! It is something I truly enjoyed doing when I worked at WLFI in Lafayette, Indiana. This blog came about because of the special relationship I formed with a wonderful community. It was just a token of my appreciation for our viewers which in essence became more like my family. We used this blog to share amazing pictures, life experiences, and just how awe-inspiring nature can truly be. This blog is used as an outlet for all of us. This is not all about me, it is really all about you and nature! I want this to be your blog as much as mine.

To all my Indiana friends my family cannot even begin to thank you for all your support and love you gave us over the 10 years I was privileged enough to be your meteorologist. The good news is we have this blog still to stay better connected and do not hesitate to send in pictures and stories. Your weather pattern is important for what happens here in Florida and southeast Georgia and I still watch your weather carefully along with what is happening all over the country, including Alaska, Greenland, Australia, Japan, Asia, and even Europe and Siberia. Yes, we have a world economy now and that is also true when it comes to how inter-related our weather patterns truly are.

I also will share great stories from Wisconsin where my cheesehead family lives (my wife is from Wisconsin before she moved here and went to Nease High School and UNF---SHE IS MY BETTER HALF). Her sister and who I call my sister Shelli has some great autumn pictures I cannot wait to share with you!

IT IS GOOD TO BE BACK HOME!! I was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area but I am a University of North Florida graduate and did go away to school for meteorology at Lyndon State College in Lyndonville, Vermont. I have family here including my Mom and Dad who have lived in Mandarin for 20 years. I have basically done a big circle around the country. I did an internship with Tim Deegan way back in 1994...first TV job in Gainesville, Florida, then went to Duluth, Minnesota where my weather watcher recorded a new state record low of -60! Julie and I then moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where I loved doing hurricane coverage on the beach! Then the past 10 years I have been in the MIDWEST where I covered all types of weather including a blizzard and 55 tornadoes!! Wow!

Now 16 years later it is fitting how things have come full circle! You can count on me giving 110% every day because like Lafayette, Indiana I truly love and care about the First Coast. You deserve the best I and will do everything I can to make sure that happens. I put my heart and soul into my forecasts where I take it one day or should I say degree at a time. I am glad to be back at First Coast News that has a proud weather tradition. It is even better that I can work with my mentor Chief Meteorologist Tim Deegan who has not only taught me many valuable lessons about forecasting but about life. Yes! He is a great guy that has definitely helped make my childhood dream of being a television meteorologist come true. Now are you ready to talk a little weather! Well first things first! It has been awhile since I have done this blog thing...LOL...bear with me.

I first wanted to say great job to all the Jags fans that showed up last night. Yes, the game was heart-breaking but the big positive you can take out of it is that we actually did show the country what Jacksonville is all about. We all felt a little beat up after last night but we need to stay positive. We proved that we are a passionate fan base and Jacksonville is a first-class city more than worthy to have a football team! This is football country without a doubt!

Weatherwise today will also be a WIN-WIN if you love sunny weather. Highs will be in the lower 80s. The drought conditions will continue but I am finally seeing some drought relief in some of the long-range models. Halloween Week is still showing over an inch of rain here at home! I will be back and post more specifics on timing and rain amounts. Make sure to check back. I will have daily updates on here by 10 p.m. each night. The more comments you post the better and pictures and weather stories are even better! Send those pictures to

Your comments and pictures will not only drive this blog but my weathercasts on First Coast News. I want to talk about what interests you. Yes you!!! will also try to check in with you every day in the morning with little snippets of any hints of weather change and bus stop updates where you will usually find me since I have 3 daughters that go to school here in St.Johns County. When the weather turns is you and I on here when I am not on the air doing weather shows! Thanks for your time and have a great day!! I need to go get a normal weather shift is Thursday through Sunday, but here on the blog it is 24/7!!

NEXT BLOG UPDATE BY 10 P.M. EST October 19, 2010