Saturday, July 23, 2011

Not the weekend to be complacent about the heat or lightning

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Climatologically the hottest time of year is the last week of July and it looks like nature is right on cue. My daughters just got back from the Midwest and I am very excited they are home. The sun is certainly shining brighter! Interestingly, they told me when they got off the plane it was cooler than Wisconsin which is the first time I have ever heard them say that! It is easy to see why. The scorching high pressure that has brought heat wave conditions to over 85% of the country has moved East.

We will be under the influence of not only the heat wave high pressure centered mainly over Tennessee today but an extension of the Bermuda High pressure. Both of these weather-makers will combine forces to help make it very uncomfortable here at home even by Florida standards. Heat advisories have already been issued for McIntosh and Wayne County northward where it could feel as hot as 115 in the shade. Here at home we will be in the 105-110 range with actual highs in the middle to upper 90s inland to the lower 90s at the beaches. Head the beach for relief and I do think the beaches will not have to worry about any rain once again today. I know we expect the hot weather here in Florida this time of year but you really still need to be extra careful and make sure you stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun.

With all the heat and humidity that really hit you in the face as you walk outside we can expect a few pop up thunderstorms but I think it will only cover about 30% of the area. Lori Dorman our First Coast News extraordinaire is on vacation and sent in this beautiful picture of Cedar Key. You can see the West Coast sea breeze building up some nice towering cumulus. This breeze will eventually collide with our Atlantic sea breeze helping to cool down a few of us with some splash and dash thunderstorms west of Interstate 95.

Temperatures in nature's attic are cooler than normal for this time of year so any storms that do form could bring plenty of lightning like we saw yesterday. Lightning safety is always important but today we need to take extra care. Ice crystal collisions will be abundant at 35,000 feet and this means lightning should be more frequent than normal with today's storms. Remember even though Florida is the lightning capital of the country and we are used to it remember if you are within 10 miles of a storm it can be life-threatening. Lightning is the number one killer in Florida. Make sure to get to your safe spot immediately and check out your real-time radar on First Coast News and on our web-site to keep you and your family safe. Time saves lives and we have your only radar without delay which was a huge help to folks yesterday on their busy Friday evening. Here is what you can expect with today's thunderstorms.

Tonight make sure to tune in at 6 and 6:30 p.m. for your storm tracks and the tropics that are still showing plenty of warning signs. We are tracking a vigorous wave that may try to form into DON. What about Don? I will have your answers. We will also take a look at those heat indices and I will have a few tidbits to help keep you stay cool! Remember the pets and remember not to get complacent when it comes to the hot weather or any thunderstorms that do form today! See you soon and have a great day.

No comments: