Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Record-Breaking Finish to November and Severe Season is Officially Here

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It is Gingerbread House Day for the kindergartners today, at least in my daughter's class. So I am going to go help out and have to make this update brief. There were 8 tornado reports yesterday mainly in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi including these twin sister tornadoes you see above. Luckily there were no fatalities. This same system is moving our way by late tonight and early Wednesday morning.

The highest tornado threat looks like it will stay north of our viewing area. Areas from Florence, South Carolina to Danville, Virginia look to have the highest tornado threat. Here at home areas from Valdosta to Waycross north and west have the highest risk of a severe thunderstorm. Although at this time our Georgia friends will have their chances of 60 mph wind gusts or greater at only 10% and the tornado threat within 25 miles of a given point at only 5%. Notice the graphic below does not even include Florida in the tornado threat. But keep in mind even Florida has a 5% chance of damaging wind gusts. Every severe thunderstorm has the potential of producing a tornado but right now it looks like that chance would be 2% or less. The latest model run has potentially 45 mph wind gusts if the thunderstorms do hold together over North Florida. Here is a Storm Prediction Center graphic confirming what I am seeing.

The dynamics that produced the severe weather last night and this morning are quickly moving north which will keep our severe weather threat on the low side but we will watch it carefully. If this line of storms was moving through this afternoon we would have a tornado watch but this is not the case. The line of storms will not move in until after 12 a.m. for most of us. This is a great reminder that our severe weather season begins tonight. Our severe thunderstorm season goes from December 1st through through early March, although as we all know severe weather can occur on any day or time of the year. The good news is that while we are missing the worst of the storms the latest model runs do confirm .25" to .50" of rain over our viewing area and if you get under a thunderstorm it will be much more! We are in a La Nina winter and keep in mind there have been a few studies that show our tornado chances do go up in this type of set-up, especially over North Florida and South Georgia. Here is a National Weather Service graph confirming it.

Basically you need a very strong polar jet and storm system to drag in thunderstorms and heavy rain to our area during strong La Nina winters known for their very dry and warm conditions. So even though storms are usually few and far between, when they do arrive they usually are strong. Tonight we will likely dodge the worst of the storms but any storms that do form will be watched carefully that is for sure. You never say never during a La Nina winter.

The remainder of today looks great though if you have outdoor plans and I would not even cancel those tennis plans this evening as temperatures will hold in the 70s through at least 10 p.m.  How about those temperatures! I think we could hit 85! The record high for this date is 84 set back in 1991. Do not get used to it as a freeze watch is in effect for late tomorrow night and Thursday morning. Some areas could wake up with 20s and there will be a possible frost all the way to the beaches. Yes, tis the season for big weather changes and make sure to tune in and keep checking the blog for the latest! Now off to school! I have my camera ready!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Nature's Razzle-Dazzle in the Sky! Jupiter Delights & Rain Returns!

Monday, November 24, 2010 2 p.m.

Technically I am off after a marathon weekend shift but I am getting my second wind especially with rain in the forecast.  Here is a little secret...if you are a true meteorologist and love what you do there really are no days off. Nature has just too much to offer to not look up and take in your surroundings. Speaking of looking up did you check out Jupiter over the weekend. Yes, at first I thought it was a bright plane in the sky but it did not move, nor was it twinkling like the other stars. This is a sure sign that it was a planet. In this case it was Jupiter and you can really get a good look at it thanks to Richard Beedle who is a sky gazer extraordinaire. I think at least one of those small bright lights around Jupiter is its moon Europa. He took this picture from his nice new camera in Lafayette, Indiana. Here in Florida it was just as bright. Of course Jupiter has made big news this autumn by making its closest approach to Earth since 1963. Jupiter will not be this bright again until its next closest pass to earth in 2022. This razzle-dazzle in the sky should continue for the next several weeks. Look for Jupiter as a very bright object in the evening sky setting in the West. The big red spot which is a storm that is about 4 times the size of the earth can be seen clearly with a telescope late this week in the evening hours as well! Check it out. It is an anti-cyclonic storm with 200 mph winds that has lasted for more than 300 years. So you should never complain about our weather ever again! This is just a portion of nature's dazzling display. You need to check out an even brighter Venus in the eastern sky as you wake up. Even better, Saturn will be right next to Venus. It is hard to not get your day started off on the right foot by just keeping your head up!

Here was the scene on our tower cam at Jacksonville Beach just before noon. What are those strange objects on the camera lens? Yes, rain drops. Even though the rain today will be light and brief and confined mainly to the beaches it is a sign of a much more active weather pattern. Our dew points are now in the 60s which is a good sign for rain and lots of it! Last night our in-house weather model was showing most of us receiving over .50" of rain. This is significant, especially since we have not had any heavy widespread rain since November 4th. How badly do we need the rain? Well here is a list of our driest years on record and I think we are now up to 33.03" but this is not a list you want to be on. It is worse than Santa's naughty list. We are running about 16.53 inches below average and our extreme drought continues. This is about 4 years worth of rainfall for Las Vegas, Nevada since they average about 4 inches of rain per year. Amazing!


But today our blue skies have turned gray and we even have some stratus clouds taking over. These stratus clouds will be transformed into nimbostratus (rain-producing stratus clouds) and cumulonimbus clouds over the next couple of days with our rain chances increasing. Our best chance of rain will be tomorrow night into Wednesday morning and we will have to watch for severe weather. Check back here on the blog tomorrow for an update on why we have to watch severe weather in North Florida and South Georgia a little more closely during La Nina years. In the meantime here are the latest model runs telling us how much rain is on the way!

MODEL #1 .17"

MODEL #2 .44"

MODEL #3 .55"

I am certainly leaning toward model #3 with rain amounts over an inch in some areas especially for southeastern Georgia. Convective wind gusts may hit 70 mph if any of the storms do turn severe and with plenty of wind in the upper-levels isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out.  The highest risk would appear to be overnight Tuesday into early Wednesday. Already today numerous tornado warnings have been issued in Texas and Louisiana with damage already reported in Louisiana. As this system moves our way tomorrow we will keep our eyes to the sky. In the meantime, no severe weather is expected tonight and Tuesday morning. Our weather team will keep you updated.

Last but not least....do you realize it is Cyber Monday. This day was first coined in 2005 as the first Monday after Thanksgiving when people shopped on-line for great holiday deals. Usually people would shop at work where broadband was available. But nowadays most folks have broadband at home and they can shop from their living rooms. There will be over 100 million on-line shoppers today and tonight. Here is my weather gift pick of the day for that special weather enthusiast in your life! Hint, hint....Julie...I HOPE YOU ARE READING THIS...LOL

It is the Davis Vantage Pro 2 Weather Station

It is reliable, accurate, and solar-powered. It provides a steady stream of data from your weather station to your personal computer and you can look at all kinds of graphs which includes pressure, wind, temperatures, and even has a rain gauge that automatically empties out at the end of the day.Your data is also available to anybody on the Internet which I think is cool! Here is more information. Click on


Happy shopping and have a great evening!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Travel not Best in the West, Jags the New Beast of the East

Sunday, November 28, 2010 (7:30 a.m.)

Blog Archive http://lotsofbarkandbiteinyourforecast.blogspot.com/

I may have been a little obnoxious this morning during my weather cast. Thanks for putting up with me but at least I was full of positive energy. I will blame it on a bad combination for me which is brownies and meteorology. Yes my normally high energy level was through the roof. The good news is the forecast is much more stable and on track for a great travel day across most of the country thanks to the same high pressure that is bringing us a fine finish to our weekend. It is dominating about 2/3 of the country. There are a few problem spots. While California has cleared up along with the Pacific Northwest and Desert Southwest after a rough Saturday, the storm system has moved into the Rockies where Salt Lake City that already had a blizzard for the beginning of the holiday weekend could see another 6 to 10 inches of snow. Denver may start mild and sunny but snow is on the way for tonight. Make sure to check ahead if your travels take you in that direction. There could certainly be some delays. On Monday this storm system will start tapping Gulf moisture and travel could be hampered much more than today especially across the Heartland. But for today the big beast in the East will not be the weather but our Jags. Yes, our Jags are officially in the AFC South but they can be considered the beast of the east as well after beating the New York Giants.  Here is the latest forecast for the Meadowlands where kickoff is scheduled at 1 p.m.

Last week I wore my teal shirt and tie for the third consecutive Sunday. I know anchors that wear a different combination picked out weeks in advance. But that is not me and since the Jags keep winning when I wear that lucky combo I vowed I will continue to wear the same Sunday shirt, tie, and suit as long as they keep winning. The good news (and I know Sport Director Dan Hicken is relieved) is that I washed my shirt and got my suit cleaned. So this morning I did my part and sported the teal.

The forecast also has a theme to it. Last week we played off the theme of 3 in our weather show. This week it is 4....notice west wind at 4 mph with a 4% chance of rain. Even better there is a kickoff temperature of 44. This all adds up to 4 in a row. The Jags are getting a nice break from nature with no bitter wind chills or bad weather to worry about. They have pulled off miraculous victories the last couple weeks and a little chill in the air should not slow them down. We have already been "tealgating" here at the station and you see our floor director Sallie and director Mike helping to finish off what once was a full pan of home-made brownies that I brought in from home. Thank you Julie!

Those brownies did not last long and there is nothing like a tailgate party that really started about 5 a.m. here at the station. I am blessed with tremendous folks behind the scenes here at First Coast News. They are the ones that make everything go smoothly. I am just the messenger. In television news your producers, directors, floor directors, audio directors, editors, and videographers are like a quarterback's offensive line. Without them I would be running for my life. I make sure to always take good care of them. Now if I was a millionaire quarterback I would buy them all Rolex watches and take them out for steak once a week, but for now they insist the brownies are just right. I also brought in Mexican dip on Saturday morning. So I do what I can.

I also know to take good care of you. So this morning I am getting you ready for lots of crazy weather on the way. Notice our temperature graph the last few days. We have gone from tranquil 80s to a polar plunge on Saturday. But you have not seen anything yet. The 80s will return this week but an even bigger drop in temperature is on the way. Make sure to tune in tonight at 6:00, 6:30, and 11:00 p.m. for the latest this wild weather ride and the main culprit which certainly is not me...LOL. Remember I am just the messenger.

Here is a 10 day forecast that I put together for you and you can also download it for free on your I-phone, Droid or any contraptions that have APPS. Type in First Coast Weather or FCN wx and you should be all set. You can also go to our weather page at http://www.firstcoastnews.com/weather/ and point your phone at the QR scanners for your I-phone and Droid and it will automatically download it for you without you having to type a thing. This is a perfect 10 day period to see how you like it! Not only does it have you covered with street-level mapping but our weather team takes pride bringing you the only locally made 10 day forecast available. We are only one of five stations in the entire country that actually does this. I just updated it this morning for you and it is updated sometimes more than once a day.

Make it a great day and enjoy our highs back near 70. There will be a mix of sun and clouds with a few more clouds at the beach but no rain is expected. It is looking great for your Jaguar get-together. Rain will return to the forecast as early as late tonight with maybe even strong storms on the way by late Tuesday. Make sure to check back for more. But for now it is all about getting to church and then the teal and sunshine!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Leftover Showers & Turkey Hats Give Way to a Main Course of Full Autumn Weather

Saturday, November 27, 2010   10 a.m.

What a great start to our Thankgiving Weekend. We had what I termed "shop till you drop" weather yesterday on our morning show. But the picture above tells the real story. It has been all about the great weather outside. A lot of folks were taking advantage of our 80 degree weather and deep-fryed their turkeys. They say it is hard to get in the holiday spirit when it is so warm outside but I saw more holiday spirit this weekend than I have in several years.We are not only talking adults with special turkey hats but check out the kids in the pool! Now that is the first time I have ever seen that on Thanksgiving. The kids were having a ton of fun in the sun!

When you have 4 consecutive days in the 80s the water heats up quickly and pool temperatures around the area quickly warmed from the lower 60s to lower 70s. I didn't even mind getting splashed when I took this picture. I wanted to jump in but ran out of time. It was a memorable Thanksgiving that is for sure with family, friends, and the weather leading the way! It was kind of surreal especially after getting off the phone with family in Wisconsin that was shivering in 20 degree weather, while my extended family in Lafayette, Indiana reported thunder and sleet, then heavy rain that eventually went over to a brief period of snow. Boiler Up near the heater!! You have a real snowstorm coming Indiana! Things could get very interesting with the great sledding weather for Slater Hill and Murdock Park come Pearl Harbor Day. Let me find a picture for you! Yes, this one will do...I will say it is early but 4 or more inches of snow easily...snow day for the kids...I think so!

Here in Jacksonville we need your cold front to hold together so we can get some real rain. I need your help, okay? I give you sledding weather and you bring us heavy rain! LOL....actually this is no laughing matter with our extreme drought continuing.

Speaking of rain, there is good news and bad news in this blog update. I will keep it positive. The best part of yesterday was not the hit and miss rain showers but the rainbows reported around the area. You can see a double rainbow in St.Johns County where some folks reported .25" of rain followed by raindrops being sun splashed twice over. Yes, basically a rainbow is caused by sunlight being refracted and then reflected off the backside of a raindrop.  Yesterday that sunlight was reflected twice while inside those oblate spheroids (raindrops) and the result was stunning. The rain amounts were disappointing and in what amounted to another front giving us leftover showers due to timing issues and upper support. At least yesterday's ham and turkey leftovers were much better! Thank you Mom and Dad. It was an awesome feast in Mandarin and here are your feast to famine rainfall estimates:

At least there were a few areas in Georgia near Waycross that had a stripe of .50" to 1" of heavier rain. You compare that to St.Augustine which had no rain. Here are other rain amounts across the area:
  • Jacksonville International .01"
  • University of North Floria .01"
  • Jacksonville Beach           .05"
  • Orange Park                    .08"
  • Argyle Forest                   .10"
  • Macclenny                       .10"
  • Downtown Jax                 .10"
  • Cecil Field                        .18"
  • St.Simons Island               .25"
  • St.Johns                            .25"
  • Ortega                              .33"
Now the good news is the long-range models are showing more rain in the forecast by late Tuesday and Wednesday which could be more of a soaking rain. The front looks stronger with more moisture to work with and I will certainly keep my fingers and toes crossed.

We may have missed out on rain but the good news is we will have a full plate of autumn weather for the remainder of the weekend. So far this holiday weekend it has been all about shorts, short-sleeves and turkey hats, but things are changing quickly. We will keep the sunshine but today we will only have highs in the lower to middle 60s which is about 20 degrees cooler than yesterday's near record high of 83. If you are heading to the FSU-Florida game in Tallahassee make sure you have your jackets as temperatures will quickly fall into the 50s by games end. If you are going to one of my favorite events, the boat light show on St.Johns River in downtown Jacksonville expect temperatures to fall into the 40s. We will not stop there with frost likely away from the river and ocean. It is just the beginning of a wild finish to November and a very cold start to December. Make sure to tune in and check back here on the blog. You will want to keep the whole compliment of your wardrobe ready to go...we may be changing outfits more than my 6 year old daughter which may have set unofficial world records. So yes, that is saying an awful lot! I will post your exclusive 10 day forecast here before the end of the weekend and you will see why. Just remember those Disney princess outfits really do not keep you warm even in 70 degree weather. Have a great and safe finish to your holiday weekend.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! Running 40 Degrees Warmer than 40 Years Ago!

Thursday, November 25, 2010----10 a.m.

Happy Thanksgiving! It was wonderful waking up to the smell of brownies and the sound of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Kermit the Frog's float did not blow away or take out a lamp post like it did a couple years ago with just a light wind and better yet the rain is holding off until after the parade.

Thanksgiving is a time full of great memories from those big feasts in Maryland between ping pong games in the basement to the personal pies for everyone in Delphi, the pheasant dinner in Duluth with temperatures at -2 degrees, to the pilgrim hats at the Hayes house. The Cheese heads in Wisconsin that not only fed us but sent us home with several 10 pound blocks of cheese. Yes, my family has been blessed and has a lot to be thankful for. To all our friends and family across the country that have taken us in all these years....we will be thinking of you and wish you the best Thanksgiving ever. We miss you. Our family is heading to my Mom and Dad's in Mandarin and it will be great to see my brother and grandmother or Meemaw!

Speaking of great weather it was an incredible time at Winter Wonderland in St. Augustine last night. You see the Prangley girls enjoying the Candy land trail and yes it was warm enough for short sleeves. Today it will be plenty warm for shorts and what a difference 40 years makes. This morning marks the anniversary of the coldest November morning in Jacksonville history when we started out at 21 degrees. Folks kept their turkeys frozen outside compared to today where turkeys are browning up in the sun before being deep-fryed or grilled...lol. I have the football ready to throw out in the sun and the weather looks perfect for walking off some of that turkey this evening with temperatures once again holding in the 60s. Today marks our third consecutive day in the 80s and it certainly is one of our longest strings of 80 degree weather this late in the season ever! When we hit 80 in 2005 on Thanksgiving that was just a one time thing. I think tomorrow we make it four 80 degree days in a row before cooler weather arrives for the weekend. Today's forecast high is 82 degrees. Here is how it compares to previous Thanksgivings since 2003.

  • Last year  67 degrees
  • 2008        69 degrees
  • 2007        72 degrees (rain)
  • 2006        65 degrees
  • 2005        80 degrees
  • 2004        71 degrees (rain)
  • 2003        81 degrees

The full blue moon we talked about over the weekend was still shining brightly through the fog last night as you can see. It really did have a blue hue to it and it may have been caused by a fog, smoke mixture since we have about 20 wildfires that are now on-going in our viewing area. It was spectacular. I asked my girls just to make sure I was not seeing things and they confirmed it did have a blue tinge to it. It was spectacular! As expected we had a dense fog advisory last night through 10 a.m. this morning but I think our fog concerns will now turn into frost concerns as we head into the weekend with even a freeze possible by Sunday morning in some of those cooler locations in interior Florida and Georgia. I look forward to tracking that front with you on Friday morning's early shows. Speaking of which here is the latest look outside some shopping centers on the West side!

Yes, here are some shots from our newscast last night and since some stores this year are opening at 3 a.m. folks are just setting up tents. My wife has the alarm set before 4 a.m. tomorrow morning but it may be the first Black Friday I beat here out of the house since I will help Steve out with his morning shows tomorrow since he has family in town...I will be up by 1:45 a.m. and out of here by 2:30 a.m. I am motivated by weather 24/7 and even more so on Friday since I will be beating the traffic. But seriously temperatures look great for all the shoppers with lower to middle 60s expected from 12 a.m. through 6 a.m. There will partly cloudy conditions and with a south breeze kicking up I do not think even fog will be a problem. You can shop in your shorts! The rain should hold off until the afternoon and most model runs are not very impressive with less than .10" expected.

Once again the main storm track will be well north of our area with a stubborn high pressure parked over us. Signs are this high pressure will finally be breaking down for good as we head into December with not only much colder weather expected but a better chance of more significant rain. Santa is reporting unusually warm temperatures at the workshop. I will talk more about this on the blog and air this weekend. In the meantime, go enjoy your family and weather!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nature Giving Florida a Weather Pardon While St. Augustine Turns Into A Winter Wonderland!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 (12:30 p.m.)

blog archive http://lotsofbarkandbiteinyourforecast.blogspot.com/

Checking in briefly between going to the grocery store and cleaning the house. Grandma is also coming to town! Nature is also very busy. There are watches and warnings in about half the lower contiguous 48 states. The good news is travel delays are not so bad since the main hubs are not experiencing any major weather problems. So while the maps are lighting up it is all about timing and location, location, location. It is hard to believe Sugar Mountain, California has now had over 7 feet of snow in the last 72 hours. But the good news is most of us do not have any connecting flights out there. There have been pockets of freezing rain in Illinois and Indiana but south of Chicago and flooding looks like the biggest threat. Minneapolis is dodging a major snowstorm while International Falls has at least a half-foot of snow on the way. A blizzard warning is in effect for Utah and portions of Colorado. Severe thunderstorms will roll across portions of Arkansas and Missouri but it will not be a major severe outbreak. Bitter cold wind chills continue in Montana with temperatures at 40 to 50 below zero. That can freeze exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes! Compare this to our weather in Florida where most of us will remain in the 80s through Friday. The surfers are out from St. Augustine Beach to Fernandina Beach. The sunshine is putting on a dazzling display today and the kids are enjoying their bikes and running around outside. Folks are talking about grilling their turkeys outside this year and if you have never had grilled turkey it is very good. Remember to use a little mesquite charcoal for that added flavor. Time to fire up the grills, especially with lower 80s and sunshine in the forecast tomorrow!

Yes! Nature has given us a big weather pardon here in Florida!. We are almost as lucky as two turkeys. The other big news today is President Obama gave two turkeys Apple and Cider presidential pardons. Those lucky turkeys will go be on display at the Mount Vernon Holiday celebrations through January. Once the holidays are done they will get to live a full life with the other livestock. Now if you moved to Florida from a colder climate and like looking out your window at some snow during the holidays, you can always head to St. Augustine's Winter Wonderland. Here is a link for you with more information.


Believe it or not there is snow in the forecast tonight between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. over the ice skating rink and Elf Village and you can enjoy it in mild 60 degree weather. I do think that is the best of both worlds. I have always wanted a snow-making machine. We have a hill in our backyard we could put to good use. The snow would not last for long in this weather but it the kids would love it!

In our forecast it looks like the only problem will continue to be patchy dense fog. We had more dense fog advisories this morning and we may not be done yet. Fog is a sign of a nice weather pattern but can also cause big travel troubles. Remember your low beams under the moonbeams late tonight. This is being caused by a light moist flow off the ocean and with mostly clear skies it is allowing our temperatures to cool to the dew point. This is the temperature at which the air reaches saturation. The wind will start to pick up and switch to the south and southwest by tomorrow night and Friday morning. This will help mix up the atmosphere and keep fog from being a problem. Just remember to slow it down late tonight and Thanksgiving morning so you can enjoy the nice long holiday weekend which should feature plenty of clear weather and low chances of any more fog.

Rain amounts are still looking light on Black Friday and will hold off until later in the day. I think this means we could hit 80 once again. The weekend will cool back into the lower to middle 60s Saturday and maybe a little patchy frost Sunday for our interior locations before we warm back up into the upper 60s to near 70. Travel weather across the country looks good on Sunday! No big storm systems! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and remember our weather team and First Coast News is thankful for you . Also a big thank you for reading the weather blog. Now off to the grocery store! I will try to watch out for you when I am going between aisles. It can be dangerous this time of year. Whew!!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Future is Bright in More Ways than One & Sexy Cookies for the Holidays

Tuesday, November 23, 2010  9 a.m.

What a night last night! I was honored to be a judge at the University of North Florida speech contest and even had a chance to meet my former teacher, mentor, and WTLV-TV 12 news anchor Marcia Ladendorff. It is always great seeing former teachers and having a chance to thank them for all they have done for you. I remember disappearing into the weather center during our class tour of the TV station when I was a senior in her class and the rest is history.

When I returned to UNF yesterday it became even more special after being a part of the speech contest. Those kids were smooth. From left to right you see a few of the finalists which included Jasmine Williams, Josh Yount, and the winner Ashley Rodgers. Ashley was so convincing in her speech that I cannot even look at a soda today. Even one soda can cause big problems and when she held up that big bag representing how much sugar is in a soda can that was enough for me. Each speech had about a dozen facts I think most of us never even heard of and that is not only a tribute to the students but their teachers that certainly have them on the right track. Yes, today I am more proud than ever to be a UNF alum. The future is bright in more ways than one.

Yes, our Thanksgiving still looks bright and warm with the 80s our weather team has been telling you about since last week looking like they will be a reality. We have not had 80s on Thanksgiving since 2005. Speaking of 2005 the picture of the tornado you see above from yesterday was the latest an Illinois tornado has touched down in 5 years. It touched down not far from Rockford and was one of at least 6 tornadoes confirmed in the Midwest. Wisconsin had its first November tornado since 1971. There were at least 12 homes heavily damaged near Racine. This is what happens when temperatures fall from near 75 in St. Louis to the single digits in the Dakotas. You then add a 170 mph jet stream to the mix and all the seasons literally collide. The law of conservation of energy certainly was at work yesterday and something had to give. Luckily it looks like everybody will be okay. Wind speeds with the tornado above were estimated at 135 mph which is an EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

The good news for travelers is the weather for most of the country the weather will be settling down as we head into the rest of the week into Thanksgiving weekend. Yes, there could be a few more strong storms from Oklahoma into Missouri on Wednesday with rain, but I do not think we will see a repeat of what happened on Monday. There will also be heavy snow but right now it looks like it will be confined to northern Minnesota. So while there may be a few travel delays and you will want to check ahead all in all I think most of us get to our destinations on time.

We can thank our area of high pressure here in the Southeast! Not only is this high showing its MOJO but it will help weaken systems coming across the Mississippi Delta. The latest runs are also showing it will help deflect most of the coldest air well to our north this coming up weekend. So if there is one big change to our holiday weekend forecast it would be that temperatures will be closer to 70 for highs rather than 60 which will make many of our visitors and relatives from out of town very happy. Our next chance of rain will be on Friday or the day of the Christmas tree lighting at the Landing I am still thinking any rain would be the more light and scattered variety. I would not cancel any plans at this point. In fact I am making a lot of fun plans with my kids.  I need to go pick them up at the bus stop, so I better hurry.

Last but not least I have a special holiday recipe courtesy of Chef Robert that comes in during our Good Morning Jacksonville show almost every Saturday. He is a nice guy and an even better cook! I was asking him for something I can do for my wife to show her I appreciate all she does. I flip burgers but that is about it. Well here is a sexy cookie recipe. That is right....LACE COOKIES
  • 1 stick of sweet butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons milk
Mix the butter and sugar together. Stir the ground almonds. When smooth, mix in the flour and then the milk. Butter and flour several cookie sheets. Place 1/2 teaspoon of mixture for each cookie on the sheet, leaving enough space for the cookies to spread during baking. Place in a preheated oven, 350 degrees, and remove about 8-19 minutes later or when they resemble lace! Hold the cookies up to the light and you will see why they are called lace. They are thin, crisp, and melt in your mouth. Yes! Have fun cooking and get out and enjoy all this great weather.

Look around the country: Wednesday Weather/ Temperatures:
    • Lafayette, Indiana     Rain  37
    • Milwaukee, Wisconsin     Rain 41
    • Duluth, Minnesota      Heavy Snow 32
    • Minneapolis, Minnesota    Snow flurries 34
    • Seattle, Washington   Cloudy   37
    • Phoenix, Arizona  Sunny 65
    • Los Angeles, California  Sunny 63
    • Dallas, Texas  Showers 78
    • St.Louis, Missouri  Thunderstorms 55
    • Chicago, Illinois Showers 37
    • Washington DC Sunny 52
    • New York City Sunny 50
    • Boston, Massachusetts Sunny 47
    • Burlington, Vermont  Snow 35
    • Charlotte, North Carolina  Showers 65
    • All of Florida mainly dry and 80s!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Look at MOJO Go! Moonbeams with more than a Halo

Monday, November 22, 2010  8:25 a.m.

Wow! Some say it was the full blue moon. Now the moon cannot really effect human behavior can it? I am really starting to believe that especially after the Jags pulled off another miraculous win despite 6 turnovers. Maybe they are a team of destiny and I will keep wearing my teal shirt and Jaguar tie every Sunday if it means they will win. I think all meteorologists are at least a little superstitious. WE ARE JAGUARS! CAN YOU SAY 1ST PLACE JAGUARS! Our hometown team gives the expression, JUST WIN BABY, new meaning. I took Lauren to her first Jags game along with Abbey and her friend and it was one to remember. We saw MOJO or Maurice Jones-Drew put on another show. Lauren was more impressed with the beads being passed out and she ended up with more beads than anybody. She also loved walking around and of course getting a hot dog. She eats like her Daddy which is a lot! The weather cooperated as expected and check out the snap-shot of the fly-over after the Star Spangled Banner.

It shows a good shot not just of the fly-over but the blimp and stratocumulus clouds. The forecast of only a 3% chance of rain worked well as that big cloud that lingered over the stadium much of the game did not produce any sprinkles or rain showers. I was a bit paranoid during the game because you know the history the Jags have had with the weather so far this year. Temperatures worked out perfect with a high during the game of 78 and the outcome was even better. Those thin stratocumulus clouds not only behaved during the day but put on quite a show last night. Check out the picture below.

The full blue moon was last night and just so I am clear on this I want to make sure you know that two full moons in the same month is also another definition of a blue moon. This was a newer definition that was added in 1946. The traditional Farmer's Almanac definition of a blue moon that dates back to the 19th Century is that a blue moon is the third full moon of four full moons in a season. Since it only happens about once every 2 to 3 years it is called a blue moon. It has nothing to do with its color. We had a few e-mails yesterday about this I hope this does clear it up for you. I have about 1,201 almanacs scattered throughout my house and attic so I am just full of stats and facts. Thanks for bearing with me...lol

Now we are ready to take this a step further. Last night our blue moon actually had orange, yellow, reddish and even blue rings around it. This was caused by another atmospheric phenomenon called diffraction. What we had was actually called a lunar corona caused by moonlight being forced around the edges of uniform water droplets. The water droplets in those thin stratocumulus clouds were impeding those bright moonbeams and it had a dazzling effect. Halos are different than coronas because they are caused by refraction of light, not diffraction like we saw last night. Just think of refraction of light taking place when light is actually being reflected or actually passing through a more dense medium. Halos around the moon are usually reflections of light around ice crystals and last night we did not have reflections of light but light being re-directed around those millions of small water droplets in the clouds. Yes, it was a corona and I am calling for at least a 50% chance of seeing more coronas around the moon tonight, especially since we will continue with our on shore flow. We will have a moonrise just after 6 p.m.

Yes, we are running into the holiday weekend with winning weather on and off the football field. I wanted to say thank you to everybody that showed up for the McKenzie run! It was truly inspirational and I thought of my 3 daughters throughout the race and just prayed to God to take good care of McKenzie. I did not know McKenzie but felt like I did by time I finished the 5k that will help start her foundation to help young people believe and achieve anything they set their mind to.  McKenzie had a deep faith and God and her wish was for her faith to go national and inspire others. Well McKenzie I know you are smiling right now because your faith is living on strong in me and the thousands of others I ran with in your honor on Saturday. It was awesome seeing all the young runners and how many people she has touched. It was also a thrill finishing the run on Everbank Field on the scoreboard. I ran a 21:30 which is a 5k time I will take anyday. God bless you McKenzie! I look forward to running again next year.

Now a lot of folks are ready for Thanksgiving and I hope you like 80s to go with your turkey and stuffing! It will be our warmest Thanksgiving in years here in Jacksonville. Now if you are traveling north it will feel more like Christmas as highs will be well below average. Right now it is -9 in Billings, Montana and this cold blast is heading south. The Thanksgiving snowstorm for the Midwest I talked about here on the blog a couple weeks ago will be a reality especially from areas from near Minneapolis, Duluth, and Northwest Wisconsin. Up to 18" of snow on the Minnesota iron range will be possible and maybe more. I do think you will be able to get to your travel destinations as this monster low tracks into Ontario. There will still be a strong front generating scattered showers and flurries but nothing to cancel your flights....unless you are heading into Minnesota and Northwest Wisonsin. Just remember the winter coats. I will have more specifics on this as we get closer. Have a great day!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Teal By Day & A Once in a Blue Moon Tonight

7:30 a.m. Sunday, November 21st

Blog archive http://lotsofbarkandbiteinyourforecast.blogspot.com/

Today is a big day not only on but off the football field. I was doing a little extra research this morning and realized that tonight is not only a full moon but it is a blue moon. It will rise at 5:28 p.m. It is called a blue moon not because of its color, but because it is a rare occurrence. A blue moon is traditionally defined as the third of four full moons in a season. We only have 4 full moons in a season about once every 2 to 3 years and tonight is our night. Remember we brought in autumn with a full moon which is making this possible. In fact, the next full blue moon does not take place until August 31, 2012.

Viewing conditions should be great and I do expect the moon to be more colorful than normal. Even though we now know that blue moons are not called that because of their color, there are always exceptions to the rule and tonight the moon may have a bluish tinge to it in some parts of the area especially if you live near Clinch County Georgia were they are being ravaged by an 800 acre wildfire. It has created a lot of dust and smoke particles in the atmosphere which have had no problem building up in our extreme drought conditions. Wildfires can sometime make the moon look blue because smoke particles have a wider wavelength than red light so if you get enough of these particles in the atmosphere to work with the moon will not look yellow or red, but actually blue! The normal reds or yellows you may see are obstructed by those smoky particles leaving a brilliant blue color of the moon to enjoy. Blue moons have also been observed during big volcanic eruptions. I remember the incredible images near Mount Pinatubo in 1991. So tonight if the blue moon looks a little bit blue or maybe even has a tinge of teal to it you will know why! Get out there and check it out and please send our weather team some pictures. I am at mprangley@firstcoastnews.com and yes the viewing conditons look great. If you have any further questions I would love to hear from you.

Okay the teal is for real just like this too good to be true weather pattern. Check out the latest forecast above! I used a Jaguar sweatshirt as a prop today and threw it from the chroma key off to the side because  you simply will not need it. You can also leave the ponchos at home as the dry high builds in from the north keeping any rain showers far from Everbank Field. If you want to be technical about it we actually have a 3% chance of rain as the Jaguars go for 3 in a row! By tonight there is a chance the Jags will be ahead of all 3 teams in their division. So our theme of 3 works really well and it seems like it has been once in a blue moon since the Jags were battling for first place this late in the season. So hopefully having all the planets and stars aligned will work in our favor. Remember the big 3 or the sun, moon, and earth are all lined up! Even though I may sound like one at times, I am not a palm reader and love our chances. I am very excited I am taking my daughter and her friends to today's big game and will not have to run back to work due to approaching thunderstorms! One big note is that you will need the sunscreen. I already have mine out. With sunshine winning out along with the Jags today you can get a sunburn in as little as 50 minutes. You will also want to wear the shorts and drink plenty of water. If you are facing into the sun our shade forecast in the middle to upper 70s with feel more like 90. Go Jags and nature!

Speaking of nature, yes it is on a roll like our Jags. Look at the huge watermelons still being picked off the vines. Deborah Varnes sent this in from Bostwick, Florida. I guess those watermelons are liking our warm and dry pattern and believe it or not it is only going to get warmer. Nature is certainly out of balance right now with portions of Montana staying below zero today. Yes, to reach a balance somebody has to be much warmer than normal and that would be us! It looks like we will stay on the warm side of the storm and jet stream at least until next weekend. So keep the shorts out and sunscreen handy. More good weather for the watermelons is on the way. Check out the huge temperature differences on the map below. Now that is impressive.

Watermelon may go well with this year's turkey and stuffing because we may not be far from record highs in the lower to middle 80s with a chance of a brief isolated shower mainly for our Georgia counties.  I think our better chance of rain will hold off until next Friday. Since "3" is our theme here on the blog today the computers are printing out .03" of an inch of rain for Black Friday, nothing for Jacksonville on Thanksgiving. There is nothing to slow you down or keep  you from shopping on Black Friday at least here at home! Before then make sure to check those travel plans heading north because it looks like not only will it turn very cold for this time of year but there will be a storm system coming out of the West. I will have a better look around the country here on the blog starting tomorrow. I will try to find a nice template for you that is easy to see and read. Now I better go get ready for the game. God bless and have a great day and enjoy the full blue moon tonight.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Jellyfish Low Keeps Its Tentacles of Rain Away; Now Go Make a Difference Today

Saturday, November 20, 2010 (Mike Prangley's Blog-11 am)

What a morning show! Did I really hold a pine snake? There are more charity events this weekend going on than I have seen in several weeks. There are so many ways you can make a difference today while having fun. Where do I begin? It all starts with the weather forecast that I take very seriously. It is my Super Bowl and I become even more fired up when there are so many great events. The good news is I agree with the expected rainfall map above which is not always the case. Instead of wrestling with a bull to get energy out this morning I held a pine snake and I have to admit I was a little worried but what does not kill you makes you stronger and yes I AM A MUCH STRONGER MAN now and ready to give you my best to get your big weekend forecast right!

Where do I begin? Let me just keep it simple. We have an inverted trof between Amelia Island and the Gulf Stream and this tantalizing trof will keep its tentacles of rain showers mainly offshore. These areas of low pressure are caused by the still very warm Gulf Stream that still has water temperatures near 80 while our inland locations are in many cases 30-40 degrees cooler especially in the early morning hours this time of year. This forms a trof which is another fancy term for extended lower pressure. So basically you can say an inverted trof is a Gulf Stream warm front. Looking at the pressures and surface winds this morning it does not look all that strong or impressive with most of the shower activity very light and confined to Cumberland Island. There have been a few sprinkles at Fernandina Beach but that is about it. There have been many weekends were these tantalizing trofs have ruined many plans. But not this weekend. You can see the expected rainfall map above which verifies what I am thinking.

 I have re-named our weather-maker the jellyfish low because most of its rain will fall over the jellyfish and if you are boating I still think you will be able to fish in mainly dry open seas so do not cancel those plans either.

Temperature-wise there will be a huge range. Some areas near the beaches that will be cloudier with a brief sprinkle possible will have highs in the lower 70s while inland areas that will be sunnier could climb well into the 70s to near 80. It is one of those days were you pick a number between 70 and 80 and you will be right depending on who you are talking about in our viewing area. The good news is all of our plans look great. There is the Right Whale 5K at the Sea Walk Pavilion at Jacksonville Beach. There is the American Lung Association Run/Walk at Nocatee. At 3:00 p.m. I am gearing up for the Run for McKenzie which ends at the 50 yard line at Everbank Field. I got new shoes for this event and I am ready to run! The best part is all of these events are for great causes. Do not forget the Town Center Holiday celebration tonight and the Nights of Lights in historic St. Augustine. Speaking of which there is no crisp, chilly holiday air on the weather map so if you want to get in the holiday spirit you will be able to do so in a hurry in nice comfortable 60s tonight under a mostly full moon. Any shower activity will likely hold off until later tonight and not be heavy or last very long. Check out the great forecast below! Now I am getting in the holiday spirit!

Tonight we will talk about our full moon on the way and your big Thanksgiving forecast. It looks like it is not just getting hot in the kitchen that is for sure. There will be a front that will try to bring us rain with our mashed potatoes and gravy. I will let you know what to expect. Have a great day and yes you can make a difference. It all starts with the power of one. You can do it! God bless you!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rainfall Forecast Amounts Look Light But Some Rain is Better than No Rain

Monday, November 15, 2010 5 p.m.

Well I wish I had better news but of course I am just the messenger. Rain amounts are looking light with about .10" to .25" for 60% of our area mainly late Tuesday and Tuesday night. The main problem is the low pressure system that is bringing heavy rain to the Florida Panhandle will be quickly lifting to the north tomorrow from near Montgomery, Alabama to Cincinnati, Ohio. At the same time a cold front which adds lift to the atmosphere will not be passing through the JTB-Interstate 95 corridor until late tomorrow night. This means the atmosphere will be much more stable and with most of the dynamics well north of our area I agree with the model above. The other two models I look to while forecasting are showing .01" of an inch and .07" of an inch. Well the hope is that our line of thunderstorms to the west moves our way more quickly which would help hold it together. But for now it looks like a light and scattered rain event as you can see below. The timing and our location, location, location is simply not on our side.

Well doing some research this afternoon, this rain event pretty much sums up our year for rainfall. I will be up early tomorrow morning with an update. Thanks for checking back for our special rain update here on the blog. Have a great dinner and enjoy a nice walk afterwards in our nice 60s this evening.

David Garrard Hail Mary TD to Mike Thomas..Jaguars vs. Texans 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010  7 a.m.

(Mike Prangley's Blog and archive dating back to 2007)


GOOOOOOOD Morning....the archive link you have been asking for is there and I still have goosebumps thinking about THE CATCH! I am surprised I still had a voice for last night's weather cast. It is the talk of the town and the last time I remember a Hail Mary pass working was when Doug Flutie was playing for Boston College...I was eating a steak dinner with my family when that play took place. Yesterday I will always remember being in the newsroom and going nuts with the rest of the TV crew.

Weather wise today it will not top last night's game but we do have more winning weather. Sunshine and highs near 80 today. Check out a few of the weather headlines from last night. I will be talking about just how dry we have been, the latest model runs on rainfall, an unusual optical phenomenon in the sky yesterday and much more.....I am working on some dry weather stats this morning with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville, have a meeting and a run, but will be back to update the blog this afternoon with expected rainfall!

 Check back here...where the weather is always exciting! Yes! It has not only been dry, but a chilly November with below average temperatures since November 5th. Fair attendance suffered a bit this year due to the chilly evenings, but that is changing along with our weather pattern. I will be back to explain why and enjoy the warmer weather and make it a great day!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jags Ready to Roar in the Finest Football Weather in the Entire Country

Sunday, November 14, 2010  10 a.m. (Mike Prangley's Weather Blog)

Game day is here and the weather looks outstanding. The Jags may not have the best record in the NFL but today they have the best weather. We have come a long way from those 3 lightning delays in a little over 3 weeks back in August and September.  This was after the Jags having only 1 lightning delay in their first 15 years of existence. I remember fans showed incredible support to the home team by waiting almost two hours during lightning delays and it was only a preseason game. The next time somebody in the national media says the Jags have no support those of us that live here know the real story.  I also remember the stands being filled during the Bronco regular season game on September 12th and despite heat index values up near 107 folks roughed it out. That was just a shade temperature. In the stands it felt more like 122. I remember passing several folks that had heat stroke symptoms as I ran out of the stadium so I could do a cut-in warning of storms on the way. The good news is I found a suit and tie and sent text alerts out just in time. Once again Jacksonville Jaguar fans showed their incredible Jaguar pride by waiting through another lightning delay after surviving one of the hottest games in NFL history. Today nature rewards us for all that loyalty with fine football weather. Kickoff temperatures will be in the lower 70s and we should have no problem reaching the middle 70s during the game with a nice refreshing easterly breeze near 7 mph. Tealgating is looking great. The weather is so invigorating I think a steak sounds good to throw on the grill. Yes, this is Filet Mignon weather. Go Jags! We will need the 12th man more than ever since we lost Kampman for the season. He was a leader and great player but good football teams know that it is all about having somebody else step up and fill the void.

Now this is the time of year that it really starts to get interesting and fun comparing our weather to the weather in other parts of the country. Here is a picture from the Puffers in Duluth, Minnesota. It is a winter wonderland with 9" of snow around town. The University of Minnesota Duluth football game was even postponed yesterday. Snow rates were up to about 1 inch per hour and some folks are still without power. So winter is off to a rip-roaring start that is for sure. Here at home I have to admit while most feel great about these compare and contrast exercises because our weather is so much nicer it does make me a bit jealous.. okay a lot jealous. Storms of any kind are exciting to me but I do rank snowstorms at the top of my list. The good news is snow is not far away from us in Florida. I am already planning a trip to the North Carolina mountains this winter. But for today at least all this nice sunshine here at home will help ease any snow-homesickness I may have. Here is another cool shot of their snow dog!

When I lived in Duluth I saw 230 inches of snow in 17 months...so really I have had my fill, right! I also had a golden snow shovel contest in Lafayette, Indiana. The person that guessed the first inch of snowfall would not only get a prize but I would go out and shovel their driveway. Those were the days and yes I enjoyed every second of it. But I do not think I have seen the last snowflake where I live and if we do get an inch of snow I will gladly come out and shovel your driveway. You have it here in writing! LOL

Here in Florida most people may not realize this but in our very large viewing area we have snow flurries on average about every 6 years and a skiff of snow or more on the ground every 12 years! Last year there were a few flurries reported in Putnam County. It was our first report of flurries in our area since the Super Storm of March 1993 so we were way overdue.  But now we have not had a measurable snow in 21 years or since 1989, which means we are 9 years overdue for our version of the BIG ONE! If you are looking for snow this year it will be tough in this La Nina pattern. If you want snow and that is a big if I know...it will have to come early and likely before Christmas this year. With that said I agree that we do not need all the bridges shut down again for three days starting on Christmas Eve like they were back in 1989. I will have more on this tonight during the weather and here on the blog.  But enough of this snow talk. Now it is time to go cheer on the Jags!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tons of Free Vitamin D, Pounding Surf & Keep out the Shorts and Sweatshirts

Saturday, November 13th  12 p.m. (Mike Prangley Weather Blog)

Happy Saturday and yes it is all about football for most folks today. Weatherwise it looks great but just make sure you keep the entire wardrobe handy and take your vitamins. My favorite kind of vitamin and one of the most important vitamins is Vitamin D and today nature will provide plenty of it in the form of sunshine. As little as 10 minutes in our Florida sunshine this time of year actually can help you prevent vitamin D deficiencies according to some studies. Amazing. The picture above tells the story. Plenty of vitamin D filled sunshine and cormorants in the pine trees if you look close enough! Those fresh and salt-water fish eating birds are getting their nutritional needs in more than one way as well. During our fishing forecast today on Good Morning Jacksonville we talked about the big catches of blue gill and shrimp being reported on the St.Johns. The thing to guard against though is our wild temperatures. Lows ranged from 31 in Waycross to 56 at St. Augustine Beach. Jacksonville officially hit 40 and we are on target for our forecast high of 71 as temperatures have been jumping about 6 to 8 degrees per hour. This morning we explained the reason for this is our extremely dry air mass, dry ground, and with huge temperature differences between our land and water thrown into the mix you can make a case we have the most diverse weather in the entire country. My best advice is to take a multi-vitamin with all these ups and downs so your body's immune system is in good shape to fight off all these crazy ups and downs nature is dishing out.

Tonight you do not want to be fooled if you are going to the Gators or Noles night games. Once again temperatures will drop off rapidly with clear, crisp, and calm conditions.

So yes you will once again need to get out the sweatshirts and maybe add jeans to the mix if you are packing for the big game. At least you will not have to worry about any rain which really would have made it damp and raw. By tomorrow in this slow-moving pattern you can once again get the shorts back out as highs recover back into the lower to middle 70s with mostly sunny teal! One interesting note is that we have been picking up more plumes of smoke on Live Doppler than rain lately with a huge wild fire being reported in northwest Clinch County near Homerville. Yes, our Live Doppler is sensitive enough to pick up birds, insects, and even smoke. Folks reported reduced visibilities on Interstate 10 yesterday and today with a northeast wind I would not be surprised if this scenario is repeated. You can see the big fire and its close proximity to Interstate 10.

First Coast Live Doppler shows where the fire is located and what I like even more about this shot is the live beam coming from your our very own  Live Doppler which makes it the quickest and most accurate radar in our viewing area. We take severe weather safety seriously every day of the year and this is one more way we help to keep your family safe. Next week we do have some needed rain and even some thunderstorms in the forecast so make sure to tune in to see where the rain is actually located and not an image at least 3 to in some cases more than 5 minutes old. Speaking of rain, how badly are we in need of it? Well check it out below.

The fiery red sticks out like a sore thumb on this map and  it means that severe drought now encompasses more than 90% of our viewing area due to a rain deficit over 15 inches at Jacksonville International Airport and counting. We will have more tonight on rainfall in our forecast, how much you can expect, and why the weather patterns taking place now are so important when it comes to what we can expect this winter.

Around the country and world: I will post some snow pictures from Minnesnowta and talk about their THUNDER SNOW! Yes, there is heavy snow, thunder, and lightning happening at all the same time and it only happens with your more intense storms as rapidly rising air and steep lapse rates create a vaccuum effect. There will be some areas that will pick up over a foot of snow! I think this is a sign of a huge snow year for Minnesota and the farther south and east you go from Minneapolis, not so much.  What happens in November, nature tends to remember for the rest of the winter. That is a weather saying that holds plenty of merit. We also have Virginie trying to form in the tropics. In the meantime tune in at 6, 7,  and 11 for the latest on our Florida weather that is always exciting even on a sunny day. We have had surf reports of some 7 foot waves crashing onshore today as forecasted . You stay warm at the football games, take those vitamins and I will see you soon!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Electrifying Electromagnetic Waves & Claw Storm Sends Monster Waves for the Weekend

Friday, November 12, 2010 (Mike Prangley weather blog 7:30 a.m.)

What a start to my morning....I have only about a million things to talk about and post about and I feel like I a hundred posts behind I have so much to share. Florida weather is always exciting. You wake up this time of year and many times there is a 20 degree temperature difference from the beaches to inland areas. While some folks are surfing and walking in brilliant sunshine others are shivering in patchy dense fog. This weekend will be no exception. Areas near Waycross, Georgia could get a little frosty as lighter winds and high pressure builds in while areas along the sand will be near 50.  If you look at the Jacksonville-St.Augustine-Brunswick viewing area you can make a case that there are no fewer than 9 different micro climates. So when the producer asks if I can fill extra time I usually laugh and my record 8 minute weathercast I set back in Indiana could easily go well over 10 minutes here in Florida. If you are my favorite consultant reading this from your sunny Los Angeles office...don't worry I will stick to my allotted time unless it is an emergency. That is the hardest part of my job which is fitting in a ton of weather in just a short time and still making sense. We will have to just ramp up our 24/7 local weather channel, cable channel 201 so we can track all this great weather.  Speaking of great, how about that great parade and weather downtown yesterday. You see the nice family I met above. It was absolutely great to be out there talking to folks and yes I am proud to be an American. The sky was filled with blue and bubbles as the battalions, balloons, marching bands, and fire trucks moved down East Bay Street. You just had to be there. It left you with a great feeling of pride. Yes, we have a lot to be proud of that is for sure. My youngest daughter Lauren was still in the patriotic spirit this morning. I woke up to her singing the Star Spangled Banner. The good news is she sings more like her oldest sister than her Daddy. There is lots of hope for her.

Speaking of songs....yesterday I said there was a song I was singing on the way to work. Yes, the Shipwreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot. It was about a storm that took the lives of 29 sailors on Lake Superior back on November 10, 1975. This year was the 35th anniversary. What most folks do not know is that Gordon Lightfoot has actually UPDATED THE LYRICS. New meteorological research has proven that it was not crew error that caused the boat to capsize but enormous waves of 35 to 50 foot waves. Wind speeds were clocked at close to 90 mph. Here are the updated lyrics that took out any mention of human responsibility for the shipwreck.

"When suppertime came the old cook came on deck saying "Fellas, it's too rough t'feed ya."
At seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in; he said,
(*2010 lyric change: At 7 p.m., it grew dark, it was then he said,)

"Fellas, it's bin good t'know ya!"

The captain wired in he had water comin' in

and the good ship and crew was in peril.

And later that night when 'is lights went outta sight
came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Living and doing weather in Duluth, Minnesota back in the 90s really gave me a new understanding and appreciation of nature. It was just me, my wife, and a small 10 pound Maltese overlooking majestic Lake Superior, hearing the fog horns go off every night at 2 a.m. and watching the iron ore boats in awe. Nature put on a show every day and never disappointed. I will never forget not needing a jacket during a snowstorm when it was 17 degrees with a wind chill of -10 one April evening. It felt warm to me. That gives you an example of just how extreme the weather was and it has helped make me the meteorologist I am today. We met many great folks in Duluth and yes if you are the Puffers that sent in some great first snowfall pictures you have more on the way. I am thinking you will be in the 2 to 4 inch range or what Minnesotans call a walk in the park with some nice snowman-making weather! Enjoy and send some pictures.

Look around the country...yes a rainy start to the weekend for my friends in Wisconsin and Indiana. But how about those Pacers shooting 20 of 21 in the 3rd quarter the other night! It will be good weather to stay in and watch basketball! Sunday will be the better of the two days but it will be a bit chilly. You stay warm!!

Here closer to home it is all about another storm with no name. It really is the combination of that weird storm that hit New England earlier in the week and it actually combined forces with what was left of tropical system Tomas. This may not be as intense as the perfect storm that hit back in October of 1991 but notice the impressive swirl on the yesterday's satellite picture. Chief Meteorologist Tim Deegan named it the CLAW STORM and even though it is not a tropical system wind speeds were actually gusting to 70 mph just north of the center of the low pressure yesterday! Waves were measured at 30 feet with some 40 foot breakers not out of the question. This storm will be impacting us here at home by sending us some of the biggest breakers since the middle of September when Igor sent us splendid surf. Check out the latest forecast below. Tim always does a great job with wave forecasting and I really appreciate him spending time with me every day and teaching me the nuances of marine forecasting.

Keep in mind we will have great surf weather but it will not be good swimming weather. The ocean is choppy today but things should be cleaning up nicely through the weekend with a wind shift more to the north and northwest. Sunday Fun Day will live up to its name for surfers. Yes, waves over head high and some 20 second rides likely. The best part is they are free!

The reason for this big surf is not only THE CLAW STORM but a huge high pressure to the west you see above. The circulation between these two giant weather systems has been very consistent out of the northeast for well over 48 hours, especially since the Claw Storm has been crawling eastward. This squeeze play caused by this blocked pattern is really working in our favor not just for good surf but great weekend weather. As the claw storm slowly moves east high pressure to the west slowly builds in we will have electrifying electromagnetic waves. Yes, I have been helping my 6th grader with her homework. I explained to her that the sun's energy is transferred to us through ELECTROMAGNETIC waves. The mostly clear skies will allow those electromagnetic waves to efficiently heat us up. But I think these electromagnetic waves could be more electrifying than normal since a weather system to our west will be fighting it out with our high pressure. Yes, it is fighting a losing battle but we should have some really awesome high clouds to enjoy with lots of different wavelengths to view. I will talk more about this over the weekend. We will also warm up nicely in time for the Jags game as high pressure effectively tames those cool northeast breezes off the ocean.

Have a great weekend and remember the 26.2 Ride with Donna at Hanna Park starts at 8 a.m. Sunday and you can still register in person. There is also a 50 plus mile bike ride for the more serious bikers and a beach cruiser 6 miler you can do. Yes! There will be something for everybody. You can have fun and make a real difference to defeating breast cancer once and for all....speaking of....it is time for me to get out and run before my noon show. Have a great day!