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
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!!