Monday, November 1, 2010

Southern Hospitality Storm Brewing! October Malaise Gives Way to November Craze

Monday, November 1, 2010 10 a.m.

There are my three daughters and yes Cleopatra and the rock star girls had a very successful night of trick or treating and it was very sweet of them to leave me a nice big bowl of candy and note for me when I got home last night. Usually when you see our weather team work the evening shift there are many nights we do not get home until well past midnight and if there are storms we just don't come home. That is a life of a meteorologist and that is why it is so important to have the support of my family. Without them, there would be no TV for me. They make all the crazy hours worth it. Now speaking of amazing, how about that great weekend of weather! I spoke to many Florida and Georgia fans and they agreed it was some of the best weather ever for one of the best games ever played by those two storied schools.

Yes, you can see it was clear sailing for the blimp. This picture is a microcosm for our weather in October! We had more blimps in the sky than clouds. It was a winning weekend of weather and a celebration of the great city of Jacksonville we live in. I want to thank the Pattersons and neighbors for all the great food at the cookout. Yes, I enjoyed those meaty ribs the best! The good food and company could not come at a better time. I have to admit October was a bit tough on me as a meteorologist. There were days where I just wanted to wear a bag over my head or stay locked up in my weather office at home. Many areas were held without a drop of rain and while I do not control the weather, I do take the weather personally. It is a part of me. When all 8 weather fronts that came through Jacksonville fizzled I felt frazzled. I went to church an extra couple times and still no rain!! Some folks were asking me if meteorologists were like well-oiled politicians that tell you what you want to hear. Now I actually did laugh at that and did explain that the models really did show us having at least some rain in October, but the drought cycle took hold due to a parched ground that is devoid of 15 inches of rain this year compared to normal. This was one of many factors that dried up our showers and thunderstorms that literally vanished as they moved over most of Florida. Tampa and Orlando had their first rain-less Octobers as well.

Now what does not kill you makes you stronger and while I may be extra dramatic this morning from all that chocolate I do feel stronger and a lot better about our rain chances this week! Some models have heavy downpours by later Thursday into eary Friday! WOOHOO! It is time to put October 2010 behind me. I am not running for office and I AM CALLING FOR RAIN THIS WEEK! No sugar-coating the facts. Today we start November like October ended. It will be day number 33 without a drop of rain. What will change our fortunes? We had the second strongest non-tropical low in US History last week but still could not squeeze out beneficial rain. It is all about location, location, location. While we have had numerous weather fronts come through over the past few weeks, the main support has remained in many cases hundreds and even thousands of miles north of us. Last week's Autumngedden Storm tracked into Minnesota and Canada.

But this things have changed on the weather I am not crying werewolf or had too much chocolate (I had 1 piece of wheat bread, 3 eggs, and 10 chocolates already....good thing I run). The latest maps are showing a November craze with another blockbuster storm this week that is coming together right over us here at home! Snowflakes could fly as close to home as northern Georgia and Alma, Georgia that averages its first frost in late November may have it come as early as this weekend and six weeks earlier than last year. It will bring bonfire weather all the way to St. Augustine with lows in the upper 30s likely! You can see what is going on above. There is a lot of energy on the hemispheric satellite map. We have clouds of Texas, Colorado, the Pacific Northwest, and more moisture that will start streaming up from the Caribbean.  You can see its clouds out over the open Atlantic. Basically over the next we will have 4 low pressures combine forces and phase with a powerful polar jet stream to form one big storm that will track right through our backyards! Yes, it look like it is finally our turn. I will be going into work today on my day off just to double and triple check everything so make sure to check back here on the blog  for more specifics and rain amounts.  Last but not least the tropics are still causing problems. Tomas went through Barbados and the Windward Islands over the weekend. Here are some pictures sent in from Janelle Dowrich, Gina Skeete and Kim Wiggins. They actually live in Barbados and are friends of Rob Straker who I had the pleasure of working with on the State Farm Catastrophe Team. Yes, a big thank you!

This was actually the worst picture they sent me and it looks like some wind damage to an older structure. There were a few wind gusts near 75 mph with many reports of power outages and downed power lines. But the roof damage you see hear is one of the few extreme reports.  But the good news is our Barbados weather watchers only reported a couple small water leaks and they are okay. I cannot wait to share some nice sunny weather pictures in the near future from Barbados which truly is an island paradise.

The good news on Tomas, is that it has weakened to a tropical storm and hopefully that trend will continue as it pulls northward toward Haiti by late in the week. It will not take much to cause big problems in Haiti still recovering from the earthquake so our weather team will continue to update you on that serious situation. In the meantime, one thing will remain the same in November. The tropics will stay busy with Virginie likely our next named storm.  October set a record with 5 hurricanes and Virginie will be our 20th named storm. The average is only 10. Yes, what a year it has been and the wild ride nature has taken us on will continue into November WITH RAIN for us here at home. God bless and have a good day. Time to run! Running and workout the day by doing it your two rainbows are alike, and while others may say why, you say why is your time to shine in your own way today!

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