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 is time for me to get out and run before my noon show. Have a great day!

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