Sunday, January 30, 2011
No more mulligans needed for nature with more 70s on the way! Ground Hog Storm will be one to Remember for Midwest
Sunday, January 30, 2011----12 p.m.
We all woke up to a dazzling Venus brighter than a commercial aircraft next to the jaw-dropping crescent moon. They were the perfect compliments to our finest weekend weather of the year. I have pictures and will post them here this afternoon but I like keeping family first! I am so proud my oldest daughter who just texted me a picture of herself from the par 3 at Palm Valley! Way to go Megan! Does this mean you are ready to go golfing with Dad and teach me how to really swing the club? My relatives are in town from Wisconsin and absolutely loving this weather and I am glad I have had a chance to spend some good quality time with them. They may never leave it is so nice here! Speaking of the Midwest which to me is like my extended family I am not out playing in the sunshine today because you could have a paralyzing storm that will impact and may cost millions. I have had several e-mail requests for a look at this storm that we have all been hearing about and what it means for them and the rest of us.
Some of the latest model runs are mind-boggling and if you live in Indiana all the way up to state road 24 in Monticello. I would prepare for the worst ice storm since March 1991. I have already nick-named it the Ground Hog storm since it is taking place close to and during Ground Hog Day. What makes things worse is there could be 50 mph wind gusts on the backside. A blizzard could develop from Rensselaer northward with somebody seeing two feet of snow near Chicago, which could see one of its top 5 snowstorms ever! I hope I am totally wrong on this, but if you are in the Midwest make sure to have a generator or a friend with a generator because I see clean-up not being on order of a few days, but maybe several weeks with power outages likely and travel not recommended or even possible. Wisconsin looks like it will stay all snow and southern portions could also be measuring it in feet.
All week you have been told the cut-off for ice is Interstate 70 south, but that is ridiculous considering the new pattern across the country. The center of the polar air has shifted north and you have to understand that the more energy you have coming out of the southwest the more the main storm track will shift farther north and west. There is also a southern bias on many of these models because they simply cannot handle all the thermodynamics at work that are constantly changing. Once the model catches on it usually adjusts farther north and west like we have seen so often on the East Coast this winter. This means more ice than snow for most of my beloved Indiana.
The second cause for concern is the latest upper air-charts are showing temperatures at 5,000 feet near 34 degrees during the worst part of the storm. This is why heavy freezing rain and thunder freezing rain is looking more likely. The surface temperatures may stay below freezing but that warm air aloft is just too much. It will melt the snow that will not likely re-freeze until it reaches your frozen roads and porches. My prayers are with you and unfortunately this will be a Ground Hog Day that will never be forgotten as things quickly go downhill Tuesday into Wednesday. It will be the most memorable Ground Hog Day weather event in the Midwest since my weather watcher in Tower, Minnesota set the state record low of -60 with exploding trees. Please be safe and my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Coming back closer to home this storm will turn us stormy as well. The latest models are lighting up once again with heavy rain amount from one to nearly three inches of rain. I think this is overdone as our southern weather models actually have more issues than those on the East Coast and Midwest believe it or not. Add in the ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and tropical meteorology and you have chaos. Yes, when it is sunny outside I am usually busier than ever. But I do think all of us this week will see at least .50" or more of rain with 1'' amounts not out of the question. The monster Midwest storm will eventually send us a cold front and we could actually have waves of low pressure form along it. I am thinking this front will be farther north which means the heavier rain stays in central and northern Georgia. But we will take any help we can get in this extreme drought. In the short-term we will all have a taste of Spring Fever as we stay on the warm side of this developing storm with well above average temperatures. What is average? Our weather has been so crazy. Let's take a look.
Our average highs have now gone up to 65 degrees! Notice our average high temperatures have now risen by one degree and will be near 70 in just four short weeks. Meteorological Spring begins on March 1st which is only 29 days away and Daylight Saving time begins March 13th and by then average highs will be in the lower to middle 70s! The longer daylight hours are helping with tonight's sunset not until 6:01 p.m. or 35 minutes later than it was during the shortest day of the year.
Check out the buds on the trees in the background taken from Durbin Creek Elementary yesterday. They are responding to longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures! Are you sniffling and sneezing? It may not be a cold! We have a pollen count now showing up and will make sure to post some readings. Those azaleas will be blooming and bursting along with the trees in the next couple weeks. Yes, Spring Fever is here!
The weather blog will continue to be buzzing throughout the week! Tina Warner has some sunset pictures for me to post and we will talk about more brilliant sunsets on the way over the next few days thanks to the main storm track staying to our north and it will be even warmer by mid-week! Tune in tonight at 6, 6:30, and 11 to find out if tornadoes that could hit Alabama this week will make their way into Florida due to that Ground Hog Day Storm. We will also talk about how it will impact travel here at home and all across the country and take a look at another historic storm on the way for the deep South after the Ground Hog Storm. More snow for Atlanta? Make sure to tune in and check back here on the blog to make some sense out of our weather that now knows no boundaries. This seems to be the new normal, the new climate. Also stay tuned for and logged onto http://www.firstcoastnews.com/weather/blog.aspx for your sneak peak at the weather for the Breast Cancer Marathon here in Jacksonville on February 13th. I cannot wait! Also I will show you some of those amazing Venus and moon pictures on and off the tube. Thanks for reading. Now a quick run before work!