Sunday, May 29, 2011
Heat wave breaks, gorgeous weather and sunsets will continue!
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Chris Lee sent in this beautiful picture of our sunset last night from St. Johns County. The added smoke in the atmosphere combined with cirrus clouds helped light up the sky and turned our sunset into what looked more like a postcard. While they can provide beautiful atmospheric scenes like this one unfortunately we now have over five dozen wildfires across the area with no rain relief in sight. Thunderstorms today will be isolated and stay west of Interstate 75. The next best chance of rain will be Friday into Saturday but even that is not guaranteed with a weak front moving our way. It looks like the hot and dry weather will be the weather rule across much of the eastern 2/3 of the country through at least mid-June. The trough will continue to dominate out West keeping the ridge in firm control in the East.
There is no rain relief in this pattern but at least nature is offering us up some relief from the heat for the next few days here at home with forecast highs only in the middle 80s beaches to the upper 80s at Jacksonville. I say "only" because we have had 9 consecutive days at 90 or above which is very unusual this early in the season. High pressure responsible for the hot pattern will reorganize and stay farther north and west of our area. This will allow nature to send us some refreshing breezes off the ocean, while areas from Texas to Washington, D.C. sizzle. Some portions of Texas could hit 110 degrees while the warmer spots around the nation's capital should have no trouble reaching near 100 degrees by Tuesday!
What is amazing is we have already had 23 days of 90 or above and the average up to this point of the year is 10. So far in May we have 14 days of 90 or above and our monthly average is only 8. Last year we had 14 days of 90 or above as well and it ended up being our second hottest summer on record with 99 days of 90 or above compared to our average of 82! Got all that! LOL...I do love numbers but in this case these statistics do not lie. At this pace we could give last year a run for its money but we will see. My forecast all along has been temperatures and rainfall near normal this summer as the high pressure ridge sets up farther west allowing us to see more of our typical summer thunderstorms as well as rain from tropical systems. We will have to wait and see and I will update my summer forecast next week here on the blog to let you know if I see any big changes.
Today we do have great pool and beach weather but make sure to apply and reapply the sunscreen with a UV index of 11 which is extreme. You can burn in as little as 10 minutes. Also, as we talked about on the blog yesterday rip currents are becoming more of a concern with only experienced swimmers advised to go out in water deeper than thigh high. The wave period is now closer to 10 seconds which tells us there is a whole lot more motion in the ocean. Surf will actually be increasing to near 2 ft. today and 3 ft. on Monday. Boating still looks decent with 2-4 foot seas today building to 3-5 ft. on Monday with no advisories expected.
This weekend is just getting started and tonight there is a big fireworks show at Riverfest in Green Cove Springs. Watch for a brilliant sunset at 8:22 p.m. and great viewing conditions at dusk with temperatures in the upper 70s with an east wind at 5-10 mph. Tomorrow there are many ceremonies celebrating our veterans and it is fitting that it will be a sunny beautiful day with highs in the middle to upper 80s. There is also the inaugural Freedom 8k Run at 8 a.m. out at the Riverfest. It should be bright with a smell of smoke in the air with temperatures in the lower 70s. It is put on by Freedom Marathon Inc. and all proceeds benefit our veterans. Have a great Sunday! Let the sun shine and freedom ring!!