Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Unusually strong jet stream fires up Florida! Our most active pattern since September is here to cheer!

January 5, 2011  Wednesday 11 a.m.

There is nothing like a nice soaking rain. Many folks say rain is one of the most relaxing things to listen to especially when they are sleeping. Everything from nature in my book is that perfect mix of being relaxing and exciting all at the same time! I love watching raindrops splash in puddles or over the ocean as the waves crash to the shore. I love running in the rain and I still love walking in the rain with an umbrella and splish-splashing in the puddles with my kids. I love talking about the rain over a cup of coffee or tea. I love showing pictures of rain like you see above. Notice the egret and raindrops finally trying to at least keep that retention pond from totally drying up. I love showing the rain on LIVE DOPPLER RADAR and weather maps full of rain like you see below!

So yes this is our lucky day and night! We will continue to see an increase in rain coverage this afternoon and especially tonight! Yes, great running and sleeping weather. I have even set up a date with my wife already at Starbucks! Why all the hoopla? We are in an extreme drought but more importantly this will be our second real rain in the last 4 days. What I mean by a real rain is that most of us will see a quarter inch or more in the old rain buckets. I see a real change in our overall weather pattern and based on the latest model runs we could easily see a quarter to half-inch of rain in most locations. There may even be enough instability to hear a rumble or two of thunder! Guess how many real rains we had in December? Only go with our one day of snow flurries. It rained about as often as it snowed in December...for real!

Here is a MONTHLY BREAKDOWN OF HOW MANY REAL RAIN DAYS (.25" or greater) that we have had last year.

Jan.    4
Feb.    3
Mar.    3
Apr.    2
May    3
Jun.    5
Jul.     5
Aug.   5
Sep.   5
Oct.    0 (NOT A TYPO- A RECORD)
November    2
December    1 (1 SNOW DAY TOO!)

We had  an embarrassing 38 total days of rain and that 19" rain deficit last year or an average of only about 3 days of rain per month! So far this year we have had one rain day this past weekend with .32" at Jacksonville International, but closer to .75" downtown. We had about .33" at Jacksonville Beach and .25" in St. Augustine. Lake City had a generous 1.10". Well tonight we will add to the rain numbers and will have had officially more REAL RAIN days than all of December and it is only January 5th! Do you hear that? I hear cheering! Yes! Lauren, my daughter and her cheer team you see above say S-C-O-R-E, RAIN, RAIN, RAIN.... RAISE THAT SCORE! Yes, we need more points or in this case a lot of oblate spheroids (the shape of rain drops). It looks like we are going to get it with our most active pattern since September developing. Those girls will have a more to cheer about in the coming weeks on and off the basketball court. Let's take a look a why. Well the main reason will be a nice strong sub-tropical flow over Florida that is taking place and you can track this all the way back to California and Hawaii. Take a look.

This sub-tropical jet stream depicted in blue has wind speeds of about 110 mph over us tonight. This is unusually strong for a La Nina pattern. This enhances lift in the atmosphere. Notice during a La Nina below the stronger jet stream winds usually stay well north of us here in  Florida and we are lucky to get much rain at all since these jet streams are nature's main highway of activity. Our pattern is looking more like an El Nino pattern which is what we had last January that brought us near normal rainfall. A good meteorologist looks at all levels of the atmosphere and does not stereotype patterns. No two snowflakes or rainbows are alike. No two storms are alike and certainly all La Ninas are NOT alike.

So while all the other forecasts out there have us much drier than normal. I am going to go with rainfall this month of near normal or between 3 and 4 inches of rain and we should have at least 5 real rain days of a quarter-inch or more. This active jet stream will be our best friend over the next few weeks. Here is another look into the future. Notice our jet stream staying active here in the South and it may even bring a mixed bag of wintry precipitation to Atlanta  this weekend. Here in Florida it means we will have another good shot at rain!

The big blocking high pressure usually over Alaska is center more toward Hudson Bay and northeastern Canada. This will allow our jet stream to say fired up and farther south than normal. Yes! Make sure to stay with us a First Coast News. Our weather team is fired up.

Remember to stay updated and sign up for text alerts at, we have a free app with your only local 10 day forecast made right here in Jacksonville by our weather team which includes street level mapping. You can also call weather-tel at 904-356-8812, we have you covered 24/7 as well on ABC and NBC and our weather plus digital channel 201, twitter updates galore at #JaxWeather and of course our weather blogs. Do not forget we also have updated forecasts in the Jacksonville Times-Union and St. Augustine Record. All rainfall totals and weather pictures are welcome. Just send them to me at You be safe in all that  relaxing rain. Now it is time for my run. The weather song of the day has got to be Here Comes the Rain Again by the Eurythmics. Tomorrow we will talk more about January temperatures so make sure to check back, because it will not be a repeat of what we had in our December to Remember!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Mike,

I saw a fire rainbow this afternoon while I was driving home from work. Thanks to you, I know what they are.

Barbie in Frankfort.