Monday, February 28, 2011
We say goodbye to meteorological Winter feeling like Summer!
Monday, February 28, 2011
What a finish to February and yes I do think we have a good shot of at least tying if not breaking the record high of 87 at Jacksonville International Airport set back in 1962. St. Augustine will also have no trouble reaching well into the 80s and you may want to go to the top of the lighthouse to take in some of those refreshing southwest breezes. We have all the ingredients in place to have the warmest February 28th in modern recorded history! The 5,000 foot temperatures are now up to 58 degrees and with plenty of sunshine this time of year and tons of warm air advection you can add about 30 degrees to come up with your surface temperature highs! You go nature! Even at the beaches temperatures will reach their highest levels of the year in the middle 80s.Yes, it is all roses and sandcastles as we say goodbye to a winter we will never forget that included our first trace of snow in many spots since 1989! Meteorological Spring officially begins on March 1st and many really would like to have some Spring weather. Here on the blog yesterday I did say that the pattern did favor going right into summer with warmer than average temperatures expected for March based on prior years that have behaved like this one, but in the short term though we do have some cooler Spring temperatures in the forecast so we will have to enjoy them while we can.
This cooler weather will be ushered in by the strongest cold front in weeks and it will sweep through first thing Tuesday morning. Now that it is March and the heart of our severe weather season we watch these fronts very closely. The good news is that it is coming through late tonight and first thing Tuesday which means our atmosphere will be much more stable. We may have a rumble of thunder up near Waycross and Alma late tonight, otherwise I do not think this line of rain will bring much in the way of lightning and will continue to weaken as it moves south. This is the same front that has caused over 50 damage storm reports across the country including an EF-2 tornado in Dubois County, Indiana with wind speeds near 120 mph. Two homes had collapsed walls and lost their rooftops. An RV was tossed across the road like a toy. Luckily, everybody is okay. We can count are blessings that we will not have to worry about any severe weather here at home. But we really could use the rain and unfortunately the latest models show the rain drying up as it moves south. I think most of us will see amounts of less than a quarter-inch.
This is not good news for our drought but at least I do see better chances of rain for us over the next 2 weeks. I do not think we will see another stretch of almost 3 weeks without a drop of rain. You can see those familiar green rings around our retention ponds showing the dropping water levels. After starting the year with a rainfall surplus we have had a rain deficit of 2 to 2.5 inches of rain over the past bone-dry 18 days. The good news is the southeast ridge that has been blocking all our rain is not expected to be a permanent fixture like we saw for much of 2010. But the overall pattern does still favor drier and warmer than normal this Spring and wildfires will continue to increase across the area. Now to our weather blog question of the day. Will we get to see the Discovery Space Shuttle fly-by at night over Jacksonville?
Here is a shot of the Discovery taken from the International Space Station before it docked up. There are really no words to describe this incredible image.( Goosebumps!)Now here is the good news. The latest from NASA is the shuttle will be staying in orbit a little longer than originally planned. This is exactly what we needed to hear to see the shuttle here at home, because it is in the earth's shadow over our part of the globe at night through at least March 8th. Without sunlight illuminating our space ship at night we cannot see it.
Now if it is still in orbit on March 9th which now looks more likely we will be able to see it in our night sky. Look north-northwest at an elevation of about 17 degrees beginning at 7:50 p.m. The magnificent light will cross our skies in 2 minutes and exit to the north-northeast at 7:52 p.m. at a higher elevation of 52 degrees. Now keep in mind it will be preceded by the International Space Station at 7:49 p.m. Even better, we should be able to see both separately in the sky at the same time without binoculars. A lot also depends on our weather. It looks like we do have a lot of clouds in the forecast this week beginning on Tuesday, but next week favors us clearing out once again for good viewing. I will keep you updated here on the blog as we get closer. Exciting stuff!
Well I better get back to some Spring cleaning and maybe work on some dance moves. You see anchor Len Kiese working with me on a dance called the Len Bounce during commercials on Good Morning Jacksonville. Len was trying to be patient with me. That guy is not only one of the most professional anchors I have ever worked with but an awesome dancer and teacher. My goal is to take my wife dancing. I was having problems coordinating my shoulder shrugs with a little swagger in the hips and legs. He was trying to get me to loosen up like I was in front of the weather wall pointing at a storm. It did work. Practice makes perfect. I am not ready for any you tube videos just yet but just wait! My garage also needs some work. I will also make sure not to pack away the jackets in the attic just yet with cooler 60s returning to our forecast tomorrow and even some lows in the 40s by the middle of the week. You have a great day and keep those great questions coming and thanks for reading. We are less than 2 weeks away from the Gate River Run and tomorrow here on the blog we will have a sneak peek forecast. I know its brave this far out but we hit the Donna Marathon forecast right on the head several weeks out. Today's running mantra: A new season is here and it is time to run with no fear! Do not be afraid to sweat! Your a running machine without a regret!