Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Frosty Roses to Warmer 70s by Saturday! But We are only Halfway Home Meteorologically!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010 (9 a.m.)

I jumped out of bed this morning and neighbors I am sorry if I woke you up when I ran outside and announced Jack Frost's arrival. Now it was just a couple nights ago that my daughters and I watched Jack Frost the movie. He wasn't the most kind of characters in the movie but this morning in real life he came through by turning everything into a beautiful holiday post card. It looked like there was a snow on some of the roses the frost was so thick. But to those that have had enough of my cold weather caroling here on the weather blog I have great news for you too! Just like in the movie, Jack Frost's heart will be warmed and we have milder 70s in the forecast this weekend!

Now I think this server is frozen this morning and all the pictures I took for you are not loading but there is no time to wait. I will post them later. The glass backboards on the basketball hoops were also turned into winter's windows. The reason I have been harping on cold, cold, cold is because we are now running an astounding 11 degrees below average for the month and this morning we did set a record low as expected when Jacksonville fell to 24 degrees. The old record of 28 set back in 1959 is history. We have been slam-dunked by nature. We have been colder at times than Greenland and it has felt more like New Jersey than Florida. This is the pattern we had last winter and I still think it breaks the last week of December for good. This is based on ocean temperatures in the Pacific and Atlantic and about 10 other long-range factors that would take a week to go over that are all indicating a huge rubber band snap back to warm due to a very strong La Nina. Now if you are in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, most of New England, the upper Midwest, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Upper Peninsula of Michigan out to the Pacific Northwest this winter could be one you talk about for years to come.

 Here in Jacksonville and most of Florida, December 2010 will always be remembered for the month where we had not ONE, TWO, THREE, BUT FOUR ARCTIC BLASTS. That is right, we are only half-way home to the warmer weather all of us have come to know and expect here in Florida. It will make Santa's extreme weather list. Does this mean we have all earned more presents this year and even an extra present or two for those celebrating Hanukkah? I think so! So could we see snow?

Well in December 1899 there was a blizzard that paralyzed much of the East Coast and here in Jacksonville we had our record snowfall of 1.9". Snow fell even in Tampa and all the way down to Fort Meyers. Blizzard conditions due to ocean-effect snow fell just north of Tampa. Folks could not see 10 feet in front of them. There are many great library books on this storm and some very good reading. In December 1983 we had our coldest low of 11! In December 1989 we had 50 hours of frozen precipitation which was mainly sleet, but also 1.4 inches of snow fell. The city was shut down for 3 days and my wife was here for it. It was a storm of unparalleled proportions and hit on Christmas Eve. Folks were stranded and some did not open their presents until a couple days after Christmas. I moved to Jacksonville a year later in 1990 and regret not being here for that storm so much that it still bothers me very much! But I did have an excuse as I was at Lyndon State College or home of the world's best meteorology  (ALONG WITH PURDUE)  school learning hands-on lessons from nature from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont to Mount Washington. Mount Washington is known to have the world's worst weather but back in December 1989 it was like the end of the world in North Florida.

This December I still think we have a shot of snow flurries before Christmas! Now late tonight there is a 5% of a few stray sleet pellets before clearing skies move in. You can see the scene this morning near Eglin Air Force Base. Even though the radar looks impressive, none of that precipitation is reaching the ground. There have been a few sleet pellets reported on the Louisiana-Arkansas border but could not find any reports of precipitation reaching the ground here in Florida. This air mass that started up where the polar bears roam is very dry and I think here in North Florida and Georgia we will be too dry to see anything substantial.

Now on Sunday with our next chance of rain there will be a little better chance of snow flurries. We could go from thunderstorms and wind for the Jags game to snow flurries by early Monday morning.

For those reading this blog around the country and specifically in Lafayette, Indiana it still looks like 6-8 inches of snow is on the way this weekend just like we discussed on the blog here yesterday. All the models which showed an inch or less for you yesterday and coming around to my way of thinking. At last check the models are showing 8 to 10 inches of snow for you. Yes, it is time to hit the grocery store and tell them Mike sent you....LOL. You will also have blowing and drifting snow and dangerous cold. Please be careful. I care about you even if I am so far away.

Here in Florida we are not talking accumulating snow with our chances of snow flurries at 10%.. I still think it is a big deal here in the land of palm trees. Any snow chance in Florida needs to be watched closely and mentioned. I will keep you updated on this and those thunderstorms on Sunday ushering in Arctic Blast #3! Highs on Monday may only be near 40!! Wind chills will also be a huge problem with gusts near 30 mph! But let us all take it a day at a time. I am going for a nice long run on the beach this afternoon. You stay warm and take care. Thank you.

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