Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dog days begin with more bark than bite! The heat holds off for one more day!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Today is a big day for meteorologists! Well it is not as big as Ground Hog Day to me and I am not going out to dinner to celebrate, but it is the official beginning of the dog days of summer. You see some of St. Augustine's finest dogs above! They need to be in a movie! Most do not realize that the dog days are not named for man's best friend but the dog star Sirius that rises in the East this time of year close to sunrise. Since it coincides with usually the hottest weather of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, the dog days are equated with hot and sultry weather. The dog days officially last through August 11th.

Biscuit, Crouton, and Bijoux are celebrating in style today and they even have water bowls full of ice to chew on. This is a good reminder to remember to have a cool spot for your pets this time of year since our average temperatures here in Jacksonville are in the lower 90s but if you factor in the humidity it feels like it is 100 on most of our dog days and that is when nature is behaving according to plan which doesn't happen too often anymore.

But for today there is more bark than bite to our dog day weather with one more day of comfortable humidity with highs ranging from the middle to upper 80s at the beaches to near 90 inland. This morning we had a low of 67 which was only 4 degrees shy of our record low. Cecil Field dropped to 63! Wow you do not see that often in July! Thank you dry air and it was nice to see our forecast of good sleeping weather confirmed! Jacksonville International has had two consecutive days of 80 degree weather to start July after recording 90 degree weather on 18 of the last 19 June days! It has been a nice break! Today we may briefly nip 90 at the airport but it will be a close call with still many areas east of I-95 remaining in the 80s!

But do not get used to it! The heat, humidity and storms are never far from home this time of year and we do have the humidity making a comeback. You will notice it a bit on the Fourth of July and really start to feel it by Tuesday as it will feel like 100 once again. With the increasing humidity we could pop a storm. But it looks like man made fireworks will trump nature's fireworks this year including tonight's display in Green Cove Springs!

The latest Futurecast is showing a few areas of green mainly along the Interstate 75 corridor. But even for folks in Lake City it will not ruin your plans to celebrate the red, white, and blue! What is interesting is that we are now tracking a tropical wave that will act to enhance our rain by the middle of the week. It currently is near Hispaniola. After checking the latest shear maps I am not expecting a named system but it is a vigorous tropical wave over very warm Atlantic Ocean temperatures and it should hold together enough to once again help our drought conditions. The highlighted bright areas show you where the atmosphere is conducive for tropical development while the blue areas show unfavorable regions for developing. It looks like our wave stays too far north to really get into that zone where we could talk about it organizing into anything significant.

This should bring us a nice swell for surfers by Wednesday with possible surf of 2 to 4 feet. This is long overdue especially after the dismal conditions of the past couple weeks with the west wind. But the rest of this weekend will be a little better with a surf near 2 feet. Boating looks terrific today. You can crank the Bruce Springsteen and enjoy the light inland chop. If you are taking the boat out for deep sea fishing friendly seas will be at 2 to 3 feet!

There is a low tide late this afternoon and remember swimmers even though it is a beautiful beach day, rip currents will be an issue with more of an onshore flow. Make sure to be alert, stay calm, and break the rip of the grip by swimming parallel to shore!

The blog question deals with just how big our June swoon was! What a turnaround. In only one week much of our area went from extreme drought in the deep red to a moderate drought as of yesterday. Take a look at the huge difference between the two maps below. Keep in mind burn bans are still in effect in most of the area. But we can truly enjoy this nice holiday weekend weather after looking at this!

Only Baker County is now in the deep red or extreme drought conditions and even though this index does not cover southeast Georgia. Conditions have also been downgraded to a moderate drought over much of the area. We are still living on the edge and remember burn bans are still in effect as a result. I am working on your July rainfall and temperature maps. I still agree with the Climate Prediction Center is on target with their forecast of improving drought conditions this summer. Now we can really crank Bruce!!! I will see you tonight at 6, 6:30, and 11 and we will talk more about the tropical wave, surf, and rain returning to your forecast by the middle of next week. See you soon. Until then take care and be safe!

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