Saturday, October 22, 2011

Resplendent, Riveting Rollercoaster Temperature Ride! Hang on, it is just the beginning!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What a day it has been! The positive pink energy in the resplendent riveting weather was unmatched anywhere else in the country. This was the scene in downtown Jacksonville this morning and the Race for the Cure was incredible. I did not get to partake in it since I was doing Good Morning Jacksonville but I did go out and shake hands with folks and even paws! Even the dogs were out showing their support so we can finish not just this 5K but breast cancer once and for all.

The bright sunshine and wonderful heart-felt stories warmed us all up in a hurry which was a good thing. We officially tied the record low of 39 in Jacksonville set back in 1976. It was even colder at Cecil Field with reports of frost on some rooftops which is about a month early. You compare that with lows of 50 just 8 miles away on the tropical St. Johns River and that is pretty amazing. The river temperature is still a balmy 77 degrees thanks to it flowing from south to north from Central Florida. I know the manatees were relieved!

Even more riveting was the fact our temperatures rose about 30 degrees from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and before all is said and done we should top out at 70! You can thank the polar air mass which is very dry along with our Florida sunshine for the nice comfortable afternoon. The only clouds I could find anywhere close to home were made in our television studio this morning by Atomic Allie! I need to get some of that dry ice so I can become the mad meteorologist for Halloween! LOL. You also see it was nice having Deanna Fene in the house this morning filling in for Lenworth Kiese. She is always great to work with that is for sure.

The second part of the weekend will bring some of nature's clouds but not enough to keep us from enjoying mostly sunny skies and any rain shower activity will likely stay offshore and not impact our weather.  We may not have any rain showers but plenty of meteor showers to enjoy tonight! Make sure to look southeast especially earlier tonight before increasing clouds move in toward morning. There should be 10 to 15 shooting stars per hour or about twice the normal. This debris hitting our atmosphere is from Halley's comet.

But do not get too relaxed in this pattern. We have big weather-makers taking shape. We are watching the southern Caribbean which could spawn a tropical depression or possible named storm and a disturbance that will bring a huge snowstorm to portions of Denver and possibly the Midwest and Northeast this week.These two systems could combine forces to give us one heck of an interesting set-up by later next week and weekend. I see our temperature roller coaster just getting started with possibly a 50 degree range! So let's all enjoy this nice weather while we can. Next week we have everything in your seven day forecast except SNOW!

I look forward to seeing you at 6, 7, and 11 with your seven day forecast and I will tell you why this wild pattern may be something to get used to as we head into the winter! See you soon!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Colder in Sunny Florida than Buffalo, New York and the coldest is yet to come!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mostly sunny skies will continue with chilly breezes. Highs will only be in the lower to middle 60s. A small craft advisory will be discontinued after 5 p.m. offshore. A sunset will be at 6:51 p.m. tonight and once it goes down the winds will diminish and the skies will clear. Expect plummeting temperatures into the lower to middle 50s by 8 p.m. to near 60 at the beaches.

Tonight will be even colder than last night with lows near 40 inland to the upper 40s beaches. Keep the jackets handy as temperatures will only slowly moderate into the weekend.

A sneak peek for the Jaguars game: It looks good for tailgating Monday night with comfortable temperatures in the lower to middle 60s.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Strongest Cold front of the season arrives! Get out the Jackets!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It is easy to pick out the big changes on the way. Notice the wavy clouds over the Gulf of Mexico. These are cold air stratocumulus clouds caused by rapid, intense cooling of the atmosphere and this polar air mass is being ushered in by a cold front that is now howling through the area with wind gusts of 35 mph and brief heavy downpours.

We may have missed out on the severe weather last night but we are not missing out on one of the strongest surges of cold air this early in the season on record. I am heading to the attic to find the family jackets which will be a necessity by morning. The record for Jacksonville is 40 set back in 1989. I do not think it will get that cold at the airport. We will have too much wind and not totally clear out the clouds until the wee hours of the morning. This will keep lows in Jacksonville closer to the middle 40s with near 50 at the beaches and along the river. But, sure the normally coldest spots from Cecil Field into interior Georgia could see lows easily drop to near 40. The coldest morning will likely be Friday. I will be back to explain why and even show you the beautiful pumpkin moon pictures from this past weekend. So how strong is this front? Five-thousand foot temperatures will be dropping 2 to 3 degrees per hour for the next 12 hours. That tells me COLD AIR ADVECTION means business and this chilly autumn air mass may be here to stay for a few days. Have a great afternoon and stay warm!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Squally Saturday, Dangerous Surf, and the Nor'easter with no Name

Ponte Vedra electrified! Wow! The nor'easter with no name made a name for itself last night even if the National Hurricane Center does not name it Rina. This is not your typical nor'easter, not even close. This nor'easter will combine forces with a very broad unorganized area of low pressure developing in the Florida Straights and southwest Gulf of Mexico. Take a look.

There is so much shear involved and the temperatures aloft are so cold that this if it was named it would be called extratropical Rina. The latest satellite picture shows a burst of thunderstorms that have become a bit more organized. But also notice the tops are being sheared to the northeast. The area of low pressure is so large that it would be tough for it not to be torn apart even more by the Florida Peninsula as it rides to the north. So no we are not talking a hurricane or typical tropical storm. But maybe two systems that form into a formidle storm called Rina. What it means for us is unusually heavy amounts of rain, high surf, flooding, beach erosion, and yes even damaging wind gusts possible outside of thunderstorms. Take a look at the latest rainfall forecasts! Pretty impressive!

Keep in mind this is 8 weeks worth of rain in less than a week! Now timing is everything and based on the latest model data in this early afternoon on Saturday the worst part of this hybrid storm will be Sunday night into Monday. Not good news for the Monday morning commute but better news for your weekend plans. This tropical low pressure to the south will take its time developing due to high wind shear.

We are not talking about a total washout. But points farther south in Central and South Florida on our Saturday into Sunday will see some big problems including rain amounts over 6". Be careful traveling south. The farther south you go the worse the weather. This heavier, more widespread rain is what will likely move our way late Sunday hopefully after the Jags game. You will still need the ponchos but hopefully this weawther model is correct which does show the heaviest widespread rain south of Everbank Field until after everybody gets home safely.

But this will change by Sunday night at 10 p.m. as our two storms team up. I am not only worried about coastal flooding but inland flooding and drainage problems in those normally flood-prone spots in St. Augustine from King Street to near downtown Jacksonville in the San Marco and Riverside areas. Things could get really nasty if we get those heavy downpours occur near times of high tide. High tide is 7:40 p.m. Sunday and 7:58 a.m. on Monday in St. Augustine. Dowtown we have a high tide 3:50 a.m. Monday morning and again at 4:16 p.m. in the afternoon. Mayport has a high tide at 7:51 p.m. on Sunday and 8:12 a.m. on Monday. High surf advisories will continue all the way through Monday with seas building from 12-16 feet. Surf could easily make it over 12 feet. But this is not a storm you want to surf or swim in with those deadly rip currents.

The howling east-northeast wind will continue to bring gusts from 40 to 45 mph with  maybe gusts closer to 50 mph outside of thunderstorms by Monday morning. This is high enough to cause power outages and bring some trees down especially with saturated ground. Make sure to secure all loose objects in your yard. It looks like this nor'easter with no name will not relinquish the worst of its grip on our area until later on Monday. You stay safe and tonight I will talk more about this unusual nor'easter and also have an optimistic Jags forecast that calls for more of a white-out rather than a wash-out before our nor'easter gets really nasty!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Not your typical Nor'easter! Batten Down the Hatches

Good Friday morning! It was quite a wake-up call this morning with some thunder and heavy downpours for some of us. This activity will only increase and become  more widespread as we head through the weekend into next week. We have a local nor'easter that is just starting to crank up.

But this is a nor'easter with an attitude. Instead of only lasting a day or two this one could be a five day event with improving conditions not moving our way until at least Tuesday of next week. We are not only concerned about beach erosion and coastal flooding but inland flooding and drainage problems at the times of high tide this weekend.

It is easy to see why with the latest models showing the heaviest rain forecast I have seen all year long. That is right! Some areas could see in excess of a half-foot of rain. Some areas will see twice our normal amount of monthly rain in less than a week. If there is good news is that this could be a real drought-buster for many. We are still in a 10 inch deficit in many portions of Florida since 2010, while many areas in southeast Georgia need 20 inches of rain to finally break the drought.

This nor'easter will be energized by a tropical low pressure forming along an old stationary front in the Florida Straights. This will move northward by late Sunday into Monday. So believe it or not the worst of this nor'easter may in fact hold off until after the Jags game which would be nice! Now if this subtropical low pressure is named Rina it will not become a hurricane but the bad news is it will enhance our flooding, wind and beach erosion. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Let's go autumn! October comes in more like November!

It is great to check in with you! I have been a popular guy around town this weekend with folks enjoying our nice first real taste of autumn. You know it is autumn when there is not a cloud in the sky. The thunderheads are nowhere to be found even though thunderstorm season really does not end until later this month. Yes! This is a true continental polar air mass we have been tracking since last week near the Arctic Circle and not only is the air mass dry but it is comfortable! You see the upward cheerleaders yesterday at Fruit Cove Baptist church cheering on the great games and real football weather! The baby of the Prangley family, Lauren is on the far left. I know it is hard to believe how fast they grow up. There is a good reason folks were ready for this big change! Look no further than below.

We had, count them, 114 days of 90 degrees or above in Jacksonville. This is the most 90 degree days since 1955! We had the second most on record since 1871. We usually average 80. It may have not been a top 10 hottest summer but the 90 degree days along with the humidity made it feel like it was. Or if you live in Alma, Georgia it really was the hottest summer on record since you did not receive as much rain as areas farther south. The sun's energy was put to work and very efficiently heated you up! You had an incredible 14 days of 100 degrees or higher. I also do not want to forget our friends in St. Simons Island. You had your second hottest summer on record! The good news is I do not have any more 90 degree days in your seven day forecast. The big story is this autumn air mass and why I think it will stick around for awhile.

It all starts with Ophelia which is our third major hurricane of the season. You see the eye this morning which is a little more ragged as it now weakens over cooler water. But it still has winds of 125 mph and last night it was an incredible sight to show on the air when it had a very distinct eye with sustained winds of 140 mph. Ophelia may still brush Newfoundland with gusts near 60 mph and heavy rain. But the big story here at home is even though it stayed well east of us by about 1,000 miles this deep tropical cyclone and area of low pressure has helped build a huge area of high pressure over much of North America. Our clear skies go all the way back to the Rocky Mountains and into southern Canada. Nature likes to keep a balance and for every big low pressure or in this case a hurricane you have a very strong high pressure. Nature likes to keep an equilibrium.

So if you notice our weather maps this week, they will not change much thanks to this sprawling area of high pressure. Temperatures will slowly moderate back closer to normal by Thursday but not before 100 year plus records are challenged once again tonight and Tuesday morning. Slow changes are the weather words of the day. Last night we had a record low at St. Simons Island with 51 degrees, Cecil Field hit 44 which missed the 1876 record by one degree! Jacksonville was 46 or 3 degrees shy of the record. The cold spot was just north of Alma with a low temperature of 39 reported near Baxley! Forget a taste of fall, some areas felt like winter this morning! Tonight I think we will have even better radiational cooling conditions and we could actually set more records including Jacksonville challenging the 1876 record of 45 degrees. It should be interesting.

But the great part is we still do live in Florida and when you combine this polar air with 100% Florida sunshine it warms up in a hurry. That is why I am calling for nearly perfect TEAL-GATING weather with temperatures near 70 by noon. Game time temperatures will range between 73-77. The best weather in all of the NFL is right here in Jacksonville, no doubt about it and I think we will have one of the best games. Get out and enjoy but do not forget the sunscreen. Tonight I will be back to talk about better chances of rain by next weekend and how low we will go. Also if you get a chance before the game you may want to enjoy some of those nice head high sets being generated by Ophelia. Have fun in the sun! See you soon.