Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ring of fire pattern brings us the heat and it is here to stay

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wow, temperatures are quickly rising out there and even though climatology tells us Jacksonville does not average a high temperature of 90 until June 23rd today nature will fast-forward us right into summer. I do think Jacksonville will tie its all-time record of 90 set back in 1978. Find a cool spot and yes a sailboat will do. I think we have a good chance of at least tying if not breaking all the records you see above. So this pattern is here to stay for at least a few days until our high pressure weakens which would not be until Tuesday. We are in what I am calling a ring of fire pattern across the country. The map you see below shows a ring of storms firing up around the cooler periphery of our large scale high pressure system bringing this record breaking warmth.

Since thunderstorms need cooler air to form in the upper-levels that is what you have a ring of fire develop. This is more of a summer pattern that is for sure. What is interesting is I cannot rule out another 1,000 or more storm reports this week with another major severe weather outbreak. Last week we had over 1,400 damage reports, including a record of over 1,032 damage reports in only 24 hours before nature sent damaging winds through our area. This time there will be more tornadoes and they could be the long-track tornadoes especially in the upper Midwest. Watch out Wisconsin and Minnesota, especially by later today and tonight. Then this activity will move east. I think the main battleground should stay north of Florida this time around, but we will still have to watch for fringe effects. We are due for a break after two crazy weeks. I do not expect scenes like this to be repeated here at home like you see in Keystone Heights.

This shed was lifted up and over a fence and there were dozens of trees that were downed in estimated 60 mph to 70 mph straight line winds. Seven homes were damaged all in about a 3 block area. Yes, we have had our fair share of severe weather and the good news is our chances of any severe storms will remain small. Here is how small.

If you are heading to Augusta to see the Masters things could get very interesting with a better than 60% chance of strong storms. Hopefully they do not lose another magnolia tree due to wind damage. Closer to home we could see some fringe effects with maybe an isolated storm firing along the cooler outflow boundary and sneaking farther south. But chances of any thunderstorm activity right now are 12% for Waycross, 8% Brunswick and only 5% for Duval and Nassau County. Since we are shaded in green this means anything that does develop will need to be watched closely with the main threats being damaging wind, lightning and hail. What I think we will likely see is what Lori and her hubby sent me in this morning from the River Walk where the First Coast was kicking it up again today! Great job!

The skies above were filled with debris clouds or a few cirrus clouds that blew off of the tops of 40,000 foot thunderstorms last night that stayed to our north. They brought us a hazy start to our morning. Even though my garden needs the rain it looks like our big story will be trying to stay cool. Make sure to find a cool spot and do not leave your pets in cars. They can heat up over 100 degrees even with the windows cracked in this kind of weather. Also, make sure they have their water bowls filled with water. My hats off to all the folks at the Diabetes Walk this morning here in downtown Jacksonville. Several thousand people made a difference while walking about  3 miles. The Jacksonville Jaguars led the walkers onto Bay Street. Organizers were hoping to raise over 500,000 dollars. As I said on the air this morning I am glad we have a nice weather day and here is another shot confirming it! Wheeewww! The pressure is off!

Stay cool and I will keep you updated throughout the weekend on the air and tube and we will take a closer look at record highs all over the country including who hit 105 degrees and who was below zero!! We will also have an update on another severe outbreak that will impact more than 20 states over the next couple days and what this stormy front will mean for us as it arrives here at home by late Monday night and Tuesday. Our weekend weather blog question will deal with our summer forecast. Is this hot spell a sign of things to come? I better get back to work on this question. See you soon and thanks for reading.

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