Monday, January 31, 2011
Spring Moves in before Ground Hog Forecast! Venus gets February off to dazzling start!
Monday, January 31, 2011-----11 p.m.
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Here was the picture of Venus and the moon I promised you! So many folks have been commenting on an immensely bright light in the pre-dawn sky. I snapped this picture Sunday morning from my station's parking lot at about five in the morning.You see the crescent moon with Venus directly over it. Yes, that bright light is in fact not a UFO or a plane, but Venus! It is bright because the sunlight is being reflected off its clouds. The evening will also feature another bright planet. Keep your eyes to the sky for Jupiter in the west. Take a nice walk in our warm weather and finish January in style by enjoying nature to the fullest. Tomorrow morning you can get your February off to an outstanding start by looking up to the heavens at Venus. Nature has been putting on quite the show. The four brightest objects in our sky are the moon, Venus, Jupiter and of course we cannot forget the sun! This is how it looked in our beautiful city on Saturday morning from First Coast News. I was extra excited through all my shows after seeing this!
That sunshine has been going to work for us! It was our third consecutive day with most areas at 70 or above. Spring fever continued in Mandarin with a highs of 73 to go with 72 in St. Johns. Macclenny soared to 71 and Glen St. Mary has gone from hot chocolate advisories to shorts! The warmest location was Lake City at 75 degrees! Now we will warm up at least 3 to 5 more degrees over the next couple of days as the counter-clockwise circulation around a historic storm bringing winter weather advisories and warnings to 33 states keeps us unusually warm! It is amazing how nature works. It always tries to find a balance. While some areas will have 2-3 inches of snow per hour with two feet of snow possible near Chicago we could have our warmest weather of the entire year and it will feel more like March. No we do not have to wait for the Ground Hog this year because Spring is here and I think here to stay. Long-range models are showing our temperatures staying warmer than average with only a slight chance of freezing temperatures over the next two weeks! Yes! To get a balance nature has to go to the extreme and it will be extremely nice here at home. But my thoughts and prayers to go out to my Midwest friends. The worst ice storm on record is likely for many parts of Indiana while Chicago and Bloomington, Illinois could see their biggest snowstorm ever. Unreal! My Midwest friends will send us plenty of pictures and we will certainly be counting our blessings! The good news is my Wisconsin family got home ahead of the blizzard so I can breathe a sigh of relief. Since we do have a lot of Midwest folks that check this blog here is a couple synoptic maps that can help you plan ahead.
Yes, this is a historic map and I do think a state of emergency will be needed for Indiana and Illinois. I still think 1 to 2 inches of ice are on the way through a good portion of central Indiana. The 18 to 24 inch areas in the pink could see white-out conditions reducing visibilities to near zero at times in wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph! Expect thunder snow to drop 4 inches of snow per hour at times. This map is breath-taking and really life-threatening so although I love tracking storms, this map is very bittersweet for me and I am just hoping and praying everybody stays safe. When will this storm be at its worst? Check out the latest below.
You see things really go downhill tomorrow afternoon. Chicago's blizzard warning is officially in effect from 3 p.m. Central Time Tuesday through 3 p.m. Wednesday. Let us not forget February is now officially severe weather season here in the south and the bright yellow and orange areas could bring severe thunderstorms with even a tornado threat from Louisiana into Mississippi, Alabama, far western Florida and Tennessee. Yes, this storm will have everything. We may have to keep an eye to the sky here at home in Florida for a strong storm or two by Wednesday. I will have more on this here on the blog tomorrow along with some severe weather tips. After all it is severe weather awareness week. Enjoy the nice weather here in Florida and be safe if you are in the Midwest. I am glad they already cancelled schools for tomorrow in Lafayette, Indiana where I do not think the kids will be in school until at least next Monday. Hopefully this weather blog's tranquil pictures from Florida will help you feel at least a little better, but as my old neighbor Kathy told tonight during our conversation about the weather while laughing....it is kind of rude talking about all this nice weather in Florida.....lol...yes, I guess it is Kathy. So as not to be rude I better just say good night for now. The Prangleys will all be thinking about you and send our best Florida.