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.

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