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!!

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