Monday, March 7, 2011

A rollercoaster ride and another breezy week as fire concerns rise

Monday March 7, 2011

Brrr. It was a chilly start to our work week with highs only reaching the upper 50s. Nature was reminding us that officially it is still winter and we will need to throw on an extra blanket tonight with lows dropping back down into the upper 30s to lower 40s interior to the middle to upper 40s along the waterways. There will be no frost to worry about thanks to a few straggling clouds and light northeast breezes. On a much warmer note, you see my and two of my daughters Lauren and Abbey enjoying the American Cup this weekend where it was just great to spend some time with them. They are growing up so fast and I need to enjoy them while I can. It was icing on the cake being able to see some of the world's best gymnasts compete. Jordyn Weiber and Jonathan Horton made it an American sweep. Now I have been to many sporting events including watching Michael Jordan dunk over three players. But this event was in a world of its own and those athletes are breath-taking. I am still in awe.

Speaking of taking your breath away we went from near 80 with towering cumulus clouds this weekend to a wintry sky and my dog was not too happy on his dog walk. I was not either in my long sleeves and shorts I was wearing before my You can see the change in the weather pattern by looking at the clouds. You see the Spring-like maritime tropical air mass above and the wintry stratocumulus clouds below.

We were talking about these clouds during tonight's newscast. Those stratocumulus clouds kept the Fernandina Beach pier in the upper 40s today! Ouch. The polar air mass going over the warmer ocean which is now up to 60 degrees did the trick and it was more like an April Fool's joke out there especially if you were trying to fish off the pier. Even more of a joke was the amount of rain we received on Sunday. Yes, this was no laughing matter for me. Eventually I came out of hiding to do some gardening later Sunday afternoon. Basically we had everything on the table you need for some nice downpours on Sunday, but a pre-frontal line of weakening showers came through about 8 a.m. Sunday and not only did it stabilize our atmosphere but it pulled down extremely dry air which overwhelmed our second line of showers and storms that caused it to almost entirely fall apart. Absolutely none of the models picked up on this, not even our rapid update cycle models. Yes, nature reminded me of who is in charge. Weather keeps me humble that is for sure. A small consolation was the zoo picked up .10" and the west side had some reports of a quick .15". By time you got to Mandarin and the beaches the amounts were .05" or less.

The good news is that it is March and these cold spells simply do not last long. We can put away the sweatshirts by Tuesday afternoon as temperatures recover to near 70 inland. It will be a little cooler at the beaches. Wednesday have your shorts handy as we flirt with 80 degrees. The cause of all this topsy-turvy weather is an active jet stream that is energized across the country due to big temperature differences we normally see from north to south this time of year. Some of these higher winds will continue to be mixed down to the surface and with breezy conditions expected for much of this week we will have to watch the fire situation closely.

Already this morning there were accidents along Interstate 95 that were blamed by smoke mixing with fog in Central Florida. In the past 24 days we have had a meager .06" of rain. This compares to the previous 24 days when we were all ready to build an arc. We had an incredible 7.77" of rain. Unfortunately this drier period of weather looks like it will continue with rain amounts on Wednesday night and Thursday morning looking scattered which means the extreme drought conditions will continue to expand along with the fire danger. Notice the extreme drought is back after it disappearing from our drought map for a few weeks after our big rains. Stay safe and make sure to follow all burn bans.

Make sure to check back on the blog for more on some incredible sights to check out in the sky. I will show a star lapse you will not want to miss tonight at 11 p.m. Tomorrow's blog question will deal with the SUPER MOON. See you soon. Take care.

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