Saturday, August 6, 2011

Beat the heat by helping to Stuff the Bus! The heat wave is here to stay

Saturday, August 6, 2011


• Hero Central Stuff the Bus is our drive to collect school supplies for needy kids – in partnership with Publix, Community First Credit Union, The Salvation Army and United Way of NE Florida.

• Why should you donate? In these tough times, the need is greater than ever. Thousands of kids start the school year off each year without the tools they need. Last year the Salvation Army served over 2,000 kids…and this year we expect to serve many more.

• What should you donate? Anything you would purchase for your own child: pencils, pens, crayons, markers, highlighters, erasers, loose-leaf paper, spiral notebooks, folders, 3-ring binders, calculators, rulers, compasses, backpacks, lunch boxes, dividers, pencil boxes, tissues, hand sanitizer, plastic zip lock bags, glue sticks, index cards, graph paper, etc.

There is a special need for backpacks, highlighters, scientific calculators index cards, 3-ring binders.

• Would like to help, but you are pressed for time? Publix shoppers can purchase a “pre-stuffed bag available at all Publix locations – there are different priced bags to choose from.

• Where can you donate? Donation bins are at all area Publix Super Markets and Community First Credit Union locations. You can drop off your school supplies donations any time during normal business hours through this weekend.

I could not think of a better way to beat the heat! You can shop in the air conditioning and help those in need. You have until 10 p.m. tonight so hurry up! I wanted to thank everybody for all their contributions and this morning on Good Morning Jacksonville it was great seeing hundreds of folks show up to help make a difference. It goes to show you how giving of a community we live in!

I wish we could thank nature for showing some mercy with this heat but there is no end in sight! Heat indices continue to rocket upward. Here is a picture from a car thermometer from Doug Lockwood. Now usually I would say that this is much warmer than how it really feels outside because the thermometer is not six feet high and in a sheltered, grassy location facing northwest. Well this thermometer is too cold!!! Yes! We have Waycross now with a heat index of 115 at noon and it feels like 111 in Keystone Heights. This is dangerous heat and another reason we will not treat this just like any other typical hot day in Florida. Keep in mind if you take a temperature reading in the sun and combine the temperature and humidity it will feel even warmer.

Now the highest heat index of the year in Jacksonville is 108 set yesterday and today I think we will could hit 110! This is the same heat wave that has caused hundreds of deaths across the country this summer. We have been very lucky up to this point so make sure to be careful out there. An inner tube in the pool or ocean is the place to be.

Any cooling storms should pop mainly west of I-95, and slowly drift erratically. The main threats should be heavy rain like we saw yesterday with 2 to 3 inches east of Ratliff, lightning, and wind gusts near 50 mph. But it is so warm at all levels of the atmosphere many of us will miss out on the rain. This high pressure bringing us the heat wave will keep a pretty good cap on the atmosphere through at least Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday I think will be better days when most of us can count on the rain. As far as the heat wave goes thte new is not so good and it looks like it will be with us for much of the next week with highs in the middle to upper 90s!

Speaking of the ocean how about this great picture sent in by Kathryn from Jacksonville. She is not sure who the little boy is but this picture is priceless! We have had surf reports of 2-3 feet so far this Saturday and we need to enjoy it before a west wind moves in on Sunday taking most of our surf down from 1 to 2 feet. A wave period will also fall to about 7 seconds. So have fun and be safe! I do think the beaches will miss out on our widely scattered storms to day but tomorrow there could be a storm or two that reaches the beach.

Emily was a wake-up call for all of us this week and even though it is quiet in the tropics again we need to keep our guard up! The latest NOAA forecast has increased the number of named storms from 12-18 to 14-19. Our average per season in the Atlantic basin is close to 11. The reason is even though the La Nina has become almost neutral or what is called a La Nada the atmosphere and ocean will still feel the effects of the La Nina for at least the next couple of months through the peak of the hurricane season. Already I am worried about the African Wave Train coming to life. Check out the impressive convection and thunderstorm activity coming off Africa!

This is the area to watch with Franklin possibly developing by next weekend in the open Atlantic. There is impressive convection and thunderstorm activity coming off the coast of Africa and building high pressure along with low shear. This is not a good combination and it is a La Nina signature which supports the updated NOAA forecast. I still think we have a quiet week but watch out in the 7-10 day period. Once the tropics come to life again they will likely stay active for the duration of the season with at least one named storm to track per week. Prepare now and if you missed our hurricane special you have another opportunity to watch it tonight on ABC.

Remember to stuff the bus to stay cool and celebrate National Root Beer Float Day. Today would be a great day for a scoop of vanilla ice creamy and a frothy refreshing drink! A heat advisory continues all the way through 9 p.m. so you can pick up the root beer and ice cream after donating the supplies. That way everybody wins and stays cool! Take care and thanks for reading!

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