Monday, June 13, 2011

Super smoke moon impresses and everything on track for some needed rain today!

Monday, June 13, 2011

I am just checking in  on my day off and two of my three daughters are home with me. There was a lot of hoopla last night over the red-orange moon in the sky. What was unusual is it was not near the horizon but well up in the sky. I have never seen a more colorful moon that high in the sky without some sort of eclipse taking place. It was caused by all the smoke from the over 100 forest fires burning in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia. The moonlight which is usually white light is scattered by smoke particles that have smaller wavelengths in a process called Rayleigh scattering. This gave the moonlight that incredible colorful glow last night. The moon will officially be full on Wednesday and it should be even more dazzling as the week goes on. The picture above was the colorful super moon we had a few months ago as it rose over the ocean. I think we can nickname this moon the super smoke moon.

Now back to today. Yes! Summer vacation is here and it has been hectic but it is good to spend time with them. I have to enjoy it while I can. The house has been cleaned, dishes done and vacuuming completed. Now it is time for a pizza lunch. Nature's menu is appetizing as well. I wanted to pass on the good news that all of our meteorological maps are still supporting RAIN today in the form of scattered thunderstorms. Check out the building cumulonimbus clouds. This is a great sign for rain. Some cloud tops could reach well over 45,000 feet. This means a few gusts that reach the ground could reach near 50 mph as the rain-cooled downdrafts have plenty of momentum by time they reach the ground due to heavy downpours. There will also be plenty of lightning with the cooler than average temperatures in nature's attic. Look to the north and west, that is where the rain is moving from. Folks in Yulee tell me it looks like a dusty scene from the Wizard of Oz at this point. The rain will hopefully clear at least some of the smoke out of the air!

The bad news is that with a west wind we will have smoke all the way to the beach which will keep the air quality in the moderate health risk range for the next few days. We also know that our area has scorching hot weather this time of year without a good onshore flow or sea breeze. Notice Sunday's highs pushed over 100 degrees in some areas. Temperatures will stay up near 100 through at least Wednesday so make sure to slow it down and there will be no relief at the beach with temperatures on the sand even well up into the 90s. My girls and I have decided to stay out of the sultry, smoky weather and we are going bowling. Yesterday I said to keep those positive thoughts and yes I really did pray in church for rain. Today keep thinking rain, rain, rain! I look forward to posting rain amounts soon! It is going to be a busy week just the way I like it. Have a great day!

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