Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Like a Postcard in the Midwest, Freezing in Florida

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Here is the scene in Lafayette, Indiana. Teri confirmed my forecast of 1-2 inches! This is huge for our weather in Florida because the more snow cover in the Midwest the more the polar air holds together as it moves our way.

I know there are only Frost Advisories for our area, but count on a freeze away from the river in ocean. I know the offical freeze advisories are the I-75 corridor but I do think it will hit 32 in Jacksonville. Protect the pets and plants. I am going to play tennis and will be back to do more splaining! See you soon.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Dog Days of November Bark Up A Storm for One More Day

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wow! I am quickly checking in with you before the big change hits! I am finishing up some yard work and running errands in more 80 degree weather today! You see Joanna Pringle sent in a picture of Ducotti the half Chihuahua-Pomeranian mix who loves to watch First Coast News weather! Well it is good to know I have at least one fan...LOL.

In the summer we call those hot, hazy, lazy 90 degree days, dog days. Once we get into the autumn and winter I consider 80 degree weather dog day weather, especially when we have the air conditioner on. While we are basking in unusually warm weather for most of today much of the country is wishing they were here. Jackson, Mississippi is in the upper 30s with their earliest snow in 20 years.  Texas has already seen record lows in Corpus Cristi and Victoria where it was a bone-chilling 27 degrees. The low pressure causing all this crazy weather has a little bit of everything. It has plenty of flooding rain with portions of Alabama reporting over a five inch deluge this morning!

This means get ready for a dog fight as this colder air clashes with our warm atmosphere. Temperatures could fall in some areas here at home could fall as much as 30 degrees in only 6 hours. This front means business. The good news is we have not had any severe weather reports yet. But with the daytime heating and the warm sunshine we have had today will add instability to the atmosphere and we cannot rule out some gusts over 50 mph with a few of the stronger late day thunderstorms. We are already seeing gusts to 35 mph in our sunny, blue skies this morning outside of thunderstorms. Wind advisories are in effect. There is plenty of wind to work with as a low-level jet stream will continue to howl over the area.

We will not see widespread severe weather. Notice the latest CAPE indices or a measure of how much fuel the atmosphere has to fire up our thunderstorms is on the low side. We are also lacking deep-level moisture in the atmosphere  which will keep us from being put in any kind of severe weather watch box. But we need to stay alert. You cannot just play by the numbers when forecasting. When you go from late summer to winter in just a few hours you certainly have to not just get out the winter coats but keep your guard up. Keep your eyes to the west-southwest. That is where the thunderstorms will be moving from.


What does this mean for December? Our mantra here on my weather blog is that what happens in November nature tends to remember come winter! Last year it was the Greenland high pressure controlling our weather. It sent one cold blast after another our way and and we had to endure our coldest December on record with 4 record lows and temperatures running an unheard of 9.1 degrees below normal. We had 20 freezes and usually we only average about 17 freezes for an entire winter. It was so cold there were flurries at the Jaguar-Redskin game on December 26th.


This year we will NOT see a repeat. The warm breezes from the Bermuda high pressure will win out.
We have a weaker La Nina (equatorial Pacific Ocean temps slightly below normal). The latest models are showing much colder water off the California coastline, a more dominant Aleutian low pressure with plenty of cold and snow for Alaska and northwestern Canada, and a stronger than normal high pressure off the Florida coastline. The areas of blue on the map above depicts where most of the true polar air will be.This does not mean we will not have any cold weather for December. Not at all. But the pattern favors us having quick shots of cold air followed by nice warm spells. So buckle up the rollercoaster ride continues. Rainfall is not looking very promising and I will detail this here on the blog over the next few days. But temperature-wise this forecast is good news for my lawn still recovering from last winter!

This early unusual snow setting up in the deep South, where Memphis could even see two inches of snow is telling us where our December storm track is setting up. It could be an icy, snowy December from portions of northeast Texas into the heart of the Midwest. Already another big snow/ice event is setting up for this time next week and it will be an even bigger deal.


Speaking of the Midwest, I used to enjoy shoveling that first inch of snow when I was a  meteorologist in Lafayette, Indiana. We called it the Golden Snow Shovel Award for the viewer that came closest to guessing when we would have our first inch of snow. While I am too far away to shovel this year, I can at least keep all my Midwest friends safe! Here is what I am thinking....get out your snow shovels or should I say brooms? Lafayette by early tomorrow evening a heavy, wet snow moves in for 3-5 hours. The ground will be soaked and warm with temperatures at the surface just above freezing. This means I am forecasting 1-2" of snow for Lafayette. Indianapolis will likely on have slushy cat tracks with up to 1" possible. If you live from Logansport to Rochester and Goshen you may see the jackpot snow of 2-4 inches. This band may extend as far south as Kokomo. This same storm will keep highs here in north Florida and south Georgia stuck in the 50s Tuesday and Wednesday!

Check back here on the blog and I will have your first sneak peek of what we can expect on Christmas Eve and Christmas. Remember it looks like another wild weather ride as we head into December. Talk to you soon! I better go get those outdoor errands done!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Going from Late Summer to January All in a Day!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

What a great night it was! My daughter Abbey sent this great picture in of the fireworks display at the Jacksonville Light Show. This sums up our holiday weekend! It was a hit! Yes, the Jaguars lost but we won where it counted most and that is with great weather and time with family and friends. But it does look like our fun in the sun is about over. Today we did hit 80 degrees and we may sneak in one more tomorrow but by Tuesday temperatures will be lucky to make it into the upper 50s.


You see Everett in Waycross took my advice by taking advantage of this weather while he could by going all out! Wow that is an attached ladder on an ATV. I have never seen that before. Waycross hit 81 degrees which was not far from a record high. Some folks say they need cooler weather to really get into the holiday spirit. Don't worry, but be careful what you wish for. We have a strong front coming our way and the transition will be bumpy on  Monday. Here is my latest severe weather map for Monday afternoon.


Already today we have had reports of 50 mph gusts in the panhandle of Florida and this could impact our eastern counties including Duval County. I cannot rule out some hail due to some very cold air aloft that already has the snow/rain mix over North Georgia down to 4,000 feet!


Here is the latest timing so make sure to keep your eye to the sky Monday afternoon. The main threat will be damaging wind gusts near 60 mph and large hail. Of course lightning safety rules should always be followed. So batten down the hatches and stay tuned. We will keep you ahead of the storms. We could use the rain as we are running about an inch below normal in most areas. So hopefully we can get some welcome rain and keep the wind damage to a minimum. Have a great and safe week. I will check back with you this week on your December and even Christmas Outlook! Take care!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Timing as Good as Pumpkin Pie! Be Ready for Big Changes Next Week!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Good morning! Great to check in with you here during Good Morning Jacksonville. We have had a few clouds this morning but do not let them scare you. The area of low pressure offshore today will continue to weaken and we will even see some sunshine! Timing is everything when forecasting and it looks like it is on our side. The strong cold front moving our way will hold off until later Monday into early Tuesday. This means our warming trend will continue with weather almost as good as my Grandma's pumpkin pie. Highs should reach well into the 70s today to the lower 80s Sunday and Monday. But something has to give in this unusually warm, late summer pattern and when winter makes a charge at us on Monday we could see some strong storms with damaging wind and even large hail. We will keep you updated. So do not let the turkey leftovers allow you to fall asleep in this very active pattern or you will be left out in the cold! Here are the latest models that I now agree with that came in this morning!


Main squall line stays well west and travel stays tranquil. Atlanta will probably not see any significant rain until later Sunday night and the major cities along the East Coast should be trouble-free! The Jag game looks very warm and dry with highs pushing 80 degrees. Remember the hats, shorts, and sunscreen.


The main squall line of storms moves our way by late Monday afternoon and we will have your only Live Doppler Radar cranking and our weather team ready to keep you and your family safe.


You can see why there are severe weather concerns. Snow will break out behind the front as close to home as Macon, Georgia. We do not have snow in the forecast but a big chill with a freeze and frost looking more likely by Wednesday and Thursday of next week. Daytime highs will be stuck in the 50s. Enjoy the rest of the weekend while you can and more of those leftovers. Now I am ready for some more pumpkin pie! Have a wonderful day! Make sure to e-mail me some pictures from the boat light parade and I will see you on Facebook, Twitter, and the news tonight at 6 p.m.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Shop till You Drop on the Beach Weather!



Friday, November 25, 2011

We have great shop till you drop weather for the remainder of this afternoon with highs in the lower to middle 70s. This picture was sent to me by my wife Julie at about midnight! That is right she snuck out with  my daughters while I was sleeping and they actually woke me up at 2 a.m. as I was getting up to go to work! The lines were long and yes Black Friday lived up to the hype. But I am renaming Black Friday, Green Friday! This is because we will go from good shopping weather with this mornings chill to good outdoors weather. We will have plenty of sunshine and it will be comfortable with highs in the middle 70s. You can take a nice walk or run under the green palm trees or hit the greens and tee it up one our many fine golf courses on the beautiful First Coast. I know a lot of folks are from out of town and they will not be able to hit the links until next Spring! The beach will also be the other place to be today with highs having no trouble reaching the lower 70s even on the sand. But will we stay nice or turn nasty like a couple weather models suggested over the last few days!


My verdict is in and I am going NICE!!! Shop till you drop ON THE BEACH! You have to know the big picture and it is showing a split jet stream. Notice the polar jet stream is well to the north keeping the real cold stuff bottled up in Alaska and Northwest Canada. The southern jet stream and ridge continue to dominate our weather. As a result, not only will we continue to warm up this weekend but I think we could hit 80 degrees! This La Nina pattern will be repeated this winter and I have an updated winter outlook coming up for you here on the blog over the weekend!


Our weekend has two big weather-makers. We have the cold front to the west and the Bermuda high in the East. Usually the cold front wins out this time of year and it eventually will. But our high pressure will put up a stubborn fight and this means we will can get out the sunscreen this weekend instead of the umbrellas. If you are going to the Jags game it will easily hit 80 degrees and feel much warmer in the stands.



Travel weather also looks good on Sunday with the heaviest snow remaining in Canada and the higher elevations of the Pacific Northwest.and West. Atlanta should be okay and those nasty rumors of snow on Sunday are just not true. Even Chicago has some bonus weather for this time of year with minimal delays and just a few snow flurries. The only problem area will be the Pacific Northwest so check ahead if Aunt Polly is heading back to Portland.



On Monday the front finally makes a move east with a few showers and believe it or not some wet snowflakes for the deep South which may include Mississippi and Alabama! We may eek out one more day near 80 before the rain and wintry change comes in Monday night into Tuesday. It all depends on the front. I will have updates throughout the weekend and look forward to seeing you at 8 a.m. on Saturday for Good Morning Jacksonville! Santa arrives on Center Street in Fernandina Saturday and he will feel at home next week! I do think we could see both a freeze and frost  with maybe only 50s for highs by Wednesday.

In the short-term at the Landing  tonight and for all the big high school playoff games temperatures will be in the middle to upper 50s with mostly clear skies. Now off to  Grandmas! I am ready for some leftover. Enjoy the great weather and family time! Thanks for the pictures and weather notes you sent me this morning. Take care and I will see  you soon. You can also e-mail weather pictures to weather@firstcoastnews.com and go to our Facebook page at firstcoastnews.com. I love sharing your fun pictures, weather info, and stories. Also, you can send in some weather questions, concerns, or if you need a personal forecast I will be more than happy to help out! You can always reach me at mprangley@firstcoastnews.com.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Coolest Start to Thanksgiving Weekend in Six Years, But Warm Leftovers on the Way!


November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! Temperatures were right on target today, although I think we briefly nipped 67 officially in Jacksonville. We had a big family feast and I certainly have a lot to be thankful for weatherwise and otherwise. I want to thank my wife for the great job on the turkey. She cooked up so much food we could have fed the Pilgrims. The house really heated up so it was a relief we could open the windows and let the cooler air in. Last year we would have had to crank the air conditioner as highs reached the lower 80s. This year was just right in my book and my youngest daughter Lauren pitched in by making gravy. It was the coolest Thanksgiving since 2005 but do not get used to it.


Speaking of weather history. It is interesting that the last 10 Thanksgivings have averaged highs of 71 which is average for this time of year. But at the same time it is like a box of chocolates. Notice the huge temperature differences we have had. In fact on this date in 1970 we had a high of only 39! This tells us not to get used to or count on the weather we have today sticking around for tomorrow. I do think we will need to dress in layers to start on Friday morning. My wife and kids are getting up at 4 a.m. to go shopping. I got them beat! I am not shopping but getting ready for work at 2:30 a.m. LOL. Lows will drop to the lower 40s inland to near 60 on the sand. Friday afternoon you can peel the layers as we quickly heat up into the lower to middle 70s and this is the beginning of a wild weekend of weather. On Sunday another weather-changer moves our way and we could even see a thunderstorm before temperatures nose-dive. So yes, the leftovers look warm for most of the weekend, but don't forget about that box of chocolates!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holiday Front Brings Needed Rain and No Severe Weather!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Good Morning! I am writing to you from Grandma's near Orlando but wanted to check in and say hello. I keep tabs on our weather all the time no matter where I am. You know how our Florida weather not only changes frequently but we have 8 different micro-climates from Lake City to southeast Georgia to Jacksonville, St. Augustine and the beaches. The weather is always busy even on quiet days. It is a good thing I love what I do because the weather never stops and either do I!

Today you have reminded me of just how lucky I am to do what I love and most of all how thankful I am to have viewers like you! I am very thankful for all your weather reports and even got a nice text weather pic from Dan in Ponte Vedra first thing this morning that certainly made my day! Thanks to Dan we know today's weather mantra is, "red sky in the morning, sailor's take warning"! The colorful morning sky is a sign of an approaching cold front and you may even see a few rainbows this morning if you turn your back to the sun. We really do need the rain and have a lot to be thankful for!

I was able to check on our local weather from 120 miles away by going to First Coast News on Facebook and it confirmed that heavy rain will be our big weather story this morning. If you have not joined First Coast News yet on Facebook you are missing out! We are now up to 30,000 plus "likes" and growing quickly. It really is the future! All you have to do is hit " like" to participate. Not to sound like a commercial, but we not only have the most up to date weather ( I update it several times even on the weekend) but news, sports, and even holiday give-aways and coupons.

Keep those reports coming! I challenge all weather enthusiasts to send in temperatures, rainfall, sky conditions and weather pictures. It will certainly improve the way we do weather as evidenced this morning. You can also become a weather watcher by e-mailing your weather thoughts and reports to our weather team at weather@firstcoastnews.com and do not forget to send some rainy pics as well. We love all your feedback!

Weather is interactive and it really is your show, it is your weather! You should be the center of our forecasts! I look forward to showing your weather thoughts, observations and  pics on the blog or on-air.  Here are some of our weather watcher reports so far this morning. Thanks so much!

Wanda Rhoden: westside normandy comeing down pretty hard here
Giulia Occhino Cermak: It just rained hard for about 3 minutes here in green cove springs on Henley road area.

Vicki Eastwood It just started in Arlington....hope its over by 830...
Jenna Ostrander Hasnt rained here nere Mayport, but the clouds look mean! Coming soon

Jonathan Suro Argyle Forrest Blvd, and Old Middleburg Rd here at OakLeaf...rain is coming down pretty hard and consistantly.no sign of lightning and thunder at this moment.

 Patti Barfield Westside Sandler Rd @ Bentcreek Golf Course. Pouring Down rain here, gittin a good car wash!

Danielle Sawyer Not a hard rain here in Green Cove Springs but pretty steady.

Chuck Lysaght Steady rain in San Marco. Ilona Hagen Bands of hard rain in the Bellair area of Orange Park

Cathy Lawson-Shiver Pouring out here on chaffee rd27 

Danielle Sawyer I retract my first statement, now its pouring in G.C.S.

Lori Kosier not raining in Hastings. Barg Two (2) inches so far around Craig Airfield! Patricia Jane Haynes

Raining in St Marys but not real hard.It's finally stopping over on Westside/Normandy. It was pouring earlier.

The good news is by time I drive  my grandma back home to Jacksonville the rain will be long gone. All our shower activity will be this morning than we can expect clearing and cooler weather in time for our big holiday weekend. It is also my father-in-laws birthday today and he has made it to town safely from Wisconsin. We should have good cake-easting weather outside this afternoon. The timing could not be better! I am dissecting the latest models and will check back with you! God bless! Now off to breakfast with Grandma before we drive home.Thank you.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Foggy to Balmy Pattern Holds Next Couple Days


Sunday, November 13, 2011

We had the fog as forecasted this morning. Pamela captured those ground clouds nicely for us. We did have a few spots on the west side with visibilities reduced to less than a quarter mile. My big concern is the fog will only get worse. In fact, I would call it dangerous fog for the morning commutes on both Monday and Tuesday mornings as our ridge of high pressure holds. We have also have high dewpoints and mainly clear skies which will enhance the fog. This is the price we will have to pay by running a good 10 degrees above the norm for this time of year.


The fog should dissipate or "burn off" by 9 a.m. during the morning and once the sun comes out we will quickly go from foggy to balmy. The only sign of the holidays I could find for the next couple days was not on the weather maps but in my Dad's garden in Mandarin. Check out the poinsettias that are now turning white and red! Very nice! Now I am in the holiday spirit but my air conditioner will be cranking because I think highs will easily reach the lower to middle 80s through Tuesday. The records we will challenge will be on Monday. The record is 84 set back in 1991. The record we will challenge on Tuesday is also 84 set back in 1973. Our rain chances remain low but this time of year the weather does not hold for more than a couple days. Wednesday the first of two stormy fronts will move our way!

Check back here on the blog this week for your travel weather and how this Thanksgiving Week will stack up versus the rest! Have a great day!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sunshine to Spritzles But Nothing to Spoil Your Holiday Preparations!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

What a great morning it was out in Fruit Cove! I was able to cheer on the kids and cheerleaders in the flag football games in the sparkling sunshine. Temperatures were near 70 or about 30 degrees warmer than this time than last week when when many parents were not happy with me as Jack Frost paid a visit. This weekend we have no frost in the forecast but beware of the spritzles! What are spritzles? Well let's take a look!


This was my windshield at 2 p.m. showing a reflection of the clouds that moved in and the very small drops of rain or should I say mist. While a spritzle is not an official meteorological term it is a name given to very light rain by meteorologists that barely wets the sidewalk. The best part of spritzles in the forecast is that you can still hang the holiday lights and keep your outdoor plans. No lightning or any heavy rain is in the forecast.

How did it go gray so quickly? Well remember that wind direction and speed plays a huge role in forecasting Florida weather and today we had the wind colliding right over us in nature's attic. It was like two football players colliding and that collision helped form clouds and a few light showers. We have a dry east flow at the surface but a tropical southwest wind at 18,000 feet. This stream of wind is carrying extra spin and moisture that is lifting the air just enough for a little bit of rain. These mini-swirls of low pressure in the atmosphere will continue in the weekend forecast at times. I think we get a break tonight in time for the Holiday Kickoff at St. Johns Town Center, but another Sunday swirl at 18,000 feet could develop and bring a few showers once again due to colliding winds. But overall it will be the drier, nice warm weather that will win out this weekend with highs back in the middle to upper 70s so do not cancel your plans.



The holidays came early this year at First Coast News. Check out the feast we had this morning! You see our Good Morning Jacksonville crew! Here are the great people I work with and I want to thank our producer Patty in the foreground who gets in by midnight to make sure we bring you the best newscast as humanly possible. I am lucky to work with great people and I want to thank the chefs Alberto and Brett in this picture who cooked us up a meal that would make Mom or Grandma proud! The Italian stuffing and turkey was unlike anything I had ever tasted and I say that in a great way. The food was incredible and they treated us like royalty. If you are looking to eat out on Thanksgiving I highly recommend going to the World Golf Village at the Renaissance Hotel Resort. Hurry up and make reservations. They are going quickly and I can understand why.


This brings us to our next question and that is what will nature be feasting on come Thanksgiving. The last two weekends I was thinking in terms of a potpourri of food and weather for our weekend of thanks and I will stand by my forecast as we get closer. We have a screaming jet stream howling across the country with heavy snow breaking out in the West and Plains. This stormy jet stream will eventually dip our way by the middle and end of next week or in time for the holiday.

Once again the rollercoaster ride begins with record highs possible once again for our holiday week which includes a cool down that will likely put you in the holiday spirit. It should feel like Thanksgiving as highs will likely only be in the 60s. But it will not last and another weekend warm-up is likely which is good new for all our relatives and snowbirds that are making their way to Florida. The pressure is on and I love it! Travel-wise delays are looking more likely by next Tuesday and Wednesday and again for travels home on Sunday. I am sniffing out a MIDWEST SNOWSTORM by late Thanksgiving Weekend. Tonight make sure to join me at 7 and 11 and we will iron out all the details and have your complete Thanksgiving forecast. See you soon. Time for a quick run in the spritzles!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Nature Puts on Another Light Show Tonight with the Leonid Meteor Shower.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Well most folks I have talked to today are ready for some cooler changes. I don't blame you if you think it has been too hot! We did have a heat index of 90 yesterday and even last night when I was playing tennis it felt more like a tropical rain forest than Jacksonville, Florida. I did lose a few extra pounds but am still rehydrating today. The good news is that the winds of change are blowing in from the North. These are the same north winds that helped bring snow to the North Carolina Mountains today. By time they whistle through our neighborhoods we are talking jacket weather once again with temperatures quickly falling through the 50s this evening. The good news is drier air will be ushered in setting the stage for great viewing for tonight's meteor shower.

Last night we had a light show about 10 miles high with incredible lightning bolts and jolts across the area as our cold front moved through. We had a few downed trees near Waycross and Homerville, Georgia otherwise we were very lucky. Imagine if we had some instability to work with. That line was impressive considering and folks in the Carolinas were not so lucky with about a dozen tornadoes confirmed and a few fatalities. Here at home, a couple bolts lit the whole house up so much that it had to be within 50 feet, especially after the immediate crash of thunder. Luckily, our house was not hit directly and our family dog BJ who was almost de-furred the lightning was so close is all in one piece! Tonight nature puts on another big show at about 60 miles high. It is the Leonid meteor show. It is known for producing the fastest meteors that travel over 160,000 mph. This is enough to heat the air in front of their path to an incredible 3,000 degrees helping the sand grain size particles to burn up. We are basically traveling into comet debris and this lights up our night sky.

Keep in mind what makes this meteor shower different is not only the faster streaks of light but it peaks much earlier than usual. Earlier is better. Find a dark spot and look east after 10 p.m. with the peak coming just before 11 p.m. You should not need a telescope and can expect 10-20 per hour. The moon still 55% illuminated will cut down on visible meteors when it rises at 11:39 p.m. So go early, bundle up and enjoy!

Check back on the blog on Friday and I will have the latest on your big holiday week next week. Will the rollercoaster ride continue? I will have your answer.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Setting records but being spared severe weather!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This picture sent in to First Coast News captures the weather pattern nicely. The pelicans are fat and happy at the Vilano Beach Pier and it looks and feels more like summer out there! Today the magic number for interior inland locations was 85 degrees. That was the record set back in 2005 officially at Jacksonville International. I have reports of 86 at Orange Park, 87 St. Augustine Shores and a whole slew of 85 degree readings from Middleburg to Keystone Heights, and Cecil Field. Macclenny has had a high of 84 but if you factor in the dewpoint reading of 73 it feels more like 90 degrees in the shade!! Last check at the airport it was 83 so it is still possible we did hit 85...but regardless who lives at the airport? This in my book is a record-setting afternoon and it is the same record we talked about here on the blog way back over the weekend! My daughters are ready to go to the pool again, for the second time in a week!! LOL...This is the same week that brought our first frost and freeze! It is a transitional time of year. Now with that said these wild swings can sometimes bring severe weather to Florida. The highest risk area this time of year is the Panhandle but some strong storms can sometimes sneak into our area.

Remember the severe lightning in 2006 that caused a propane tank explosion. In November 2002, 2003, 2004 we had several tornado touchdowns from Escambia to Walton and Appling Counties. Strong     storms jolted the Jacksonville area. So far today Alabama and North Georgia have been hit with EFO tornadoes that will be confirmed near Opelika and Auburn and 60 mph gusts. Here at home some national media outlets paint us in a severe weather outlook. But I think we will be okay here at home. This is the value of getting a forecast from your local weather team. The storms that have caused severe weather today were not just cooler, drier air meeting our warm, tropical air mass. There was an upper-level disturbance than added some extra lift. This upper-level disturbance will continue to quickly race out ahead of our cold front that will not move through our area until early Thursday morning. As a result I am thinking just scattered shower and isolated thunderstorm activity. The thunderstorms will be more like rumbles for Jacksonville metro. Check out the latest CAPES (convective available potential energy for tomorrow morning).

What you want to look for are yellow and deep green areas that usually fuel severe storms this time of year. These CAPE values are non-existent by time the main front moves our way tomorrow morning. Instead we are left with paltry lighter green shades. We may see a few gusts near 35 mph out near I-75 in the Live Oak, Jasper, and Valdosta area first thing on Thursday but this line will not hold together and by time it arrives east of highway 301 it should lose most of its lightning. Meteorologist Steve Smith has you covered with your Two Minute Advantage and at Noon I will have a few leftover showers to track with the boaters. The cooler, drier air will be the big story. We also have a big meteor shower coming Thursday night!


I will have more on this but first I leave you with a picture from Laura in Battle Ground, Indiana. They had 60 mph gusts and quarter size hail along with a green sky. Here at home this same front will move through but it will be remembered for the record heat it helped to bring us! Have a great night and I will see you soon!



Sunday, November 13, 2011

Datil Do It! Nature Decides on Warm Pattern, Records by Mid-Week!


November 13, 2011

It was a surreal afternoon. I know I forecasted big changes but these same kids had coats and hats on only about 24 hours earlier. I enjoyed taking them to the pool. I brought my lap top so I could look at weather maps. The water temp was still near 70 and they stayed in the water a few minutes at a time while splashing and then went dashing for the towels. The funny part is on the way to the pool we were listening to Christmas music! Yes, it is the holiday season in Florida. This is totally normal and it is beginning to look and feel a lot like Christmas here at home. For instance today's record high is 85 and our record low hit 31 in 1987 so anything is possible and all meteorologists should keep their lap tops handy!


It is the time of year when nature likes variety and the saying that variety is the spice of life sums up our pattern. Speaking of.....it is the time of year for chocolate covered Datil peppers and it was a great day for the Popping Pepper Palooza in St. Augustine today which benefits the Boys and Girls Club. Based on the latest models I looked at by the pool....datil do it we will be challenging record highs by the middle of the week. I think our best chance comes on Wednesday when I am forecasting a high of 85 which would tie the record set back in 2005. Even on Tuesday if we get enough sunshine we could pop near record highs of 86 which occurred in 1955. One thing is for sure and that is we have three consecutive days of 80 degree weather on the way. 

In the short-term our warmer pattern could still bring a couple weather worries. Be careful of patchy dense fog over the next couple mornings which could linger into mid-morning. Otherwise it may be time to hit the pool to stay cool! We cannot rule out a few strong thunderstorms as our warm and more humid atmosphere will collide with another cold front by late Wednesday and Thursday. Stay tuned!

So enjoy the warm tranquility while you can! Our crazy swings in weather will settle down through at least Wednesday but a parade of storms is lining up and nature brings us more spice by late week but I do not see a frost. This fast-moving pattern will not let the cold take hold but it will eventually catch up to us. Make sure to join me at 6, 6:30, and 11 for the latest look at our Thanksgiving Weekend which may go wild turkey! See you soon!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

If You Don't Like the Weather Just Wait a Few Minutes!

Saturday November 12, 2011


What a morning it was! Many areas away from the water had a heavy frost that looked like a light skiff of snow. No snow but it was cold enough for snow as Jacksonville International dropped to 31 degrees which smashed the old record of 33 set back in 1987. Our average low is 52 for this time of year! We were colder than Burlington, Vermont and felt more like New England this morning! You see Jeff sent in a great picture of his Macclenny thermometer and the frosty moon (name given to the November moon by Native Americans). It certainly lived up to its name.


You see that the frost was so thick on windshields that you could write FROSTY! But for those that think it was too early this frost was actually about normal for this time of year. I guess you could make a case it was about a week early, but for interior Georgia and Florida it was actually about a week late! If you still think it got too cold too soon I have the perfect forecast for you! I will use the ol' New England saying that if you don't like the weather just wait a few minutes! We will jump 40 degrees today and I think many areas could actually reach 70! Stock up on the vitamin C. That has to take a toll on the human body! The same dry air mass will mix with sunshine and up those temperatures will go faster than the hot air balloon you see ready to take off in World Golf Village this morning where they had a low of 40 with no frost.


So it will be a great day and pleasantly warm after all! We have two seasons in one day and it will feel like autumn again even by noon when temperatures should recover into the middle 60s.


I wanted to thank everybody for the great pictures and numbers sent in to our e-mail at weather@firstcoastnews.com and on our Facebook Page. I love e-mails and sharing weather pictures. Please keep them coming! Notice many of our weather watchers were even colder than the airport including 28 at Baldwind, Middleburg, and Oakleaf. The beaches were warmer as expected with lows mainly in the lower to middle 40s near the water that is still in the middle 60s.


The coldest spot I could find was the Osceola National Forest and John Bethea State Forest where a couple thermometer reports came in at a nose-numbing 23 degrees! Wow!! The good news is I have cancelled the hot chocolate advisory for the rest of today and you may need the short sleeves and lemonade to stay cool out in the 70 degree sunshine this afternoon! Make sure to remember the sunscreen. We are in a fast-moving pattern and I still think we could be well into the 70s Sunday with no more frost to worry about. The 80s return Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week with record highs possible and thunderstorms by later on Wednesday. So that is right! We will have a taste of all four seasons over the  next 7 days! Get out the shorts and bathing suits and then stay tuned for a few frisky storms on your only Live Doppler Radar. Our wild ride has just begun especially when I am tracking not one but two jet streams! We will talk more about this here on the blog and on the tube tonight at 6, 7, and 11 p.m. I will also let you know why I am not expecting another frost until after Thanksgiving! Have a great weekend! Stay warm and cool!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Beautiful Parade Today, But our First Freeze and Frost for Many Tonight!


November 11, 2011

What a gorgeous day it turned out to be! This is more than a wild roller coaster ride nature has us on. We honored the Veterans by covering the parade at First Coast News and I had a great time bringing my three daughters to work with me so they could understand today is more than just a day away from school. They did gain more appreciation so it was a successful day and also enjoyed the bands, waving to the veterans, and some of the fancy floats you see above! They started off in their warm jackets but by the end of the parade my daughters were back in their short sleeves. Temperatures started at 52 degrees and by the end of the parade it was a pleasant 62 degrees. Even Joy Purdy had to take her heavy coat and scarf off! But do not put your warm weather gear away by any means! These wild temperature swings are a warning sign that the big chill is yet to come! It is being brought to you by a very dry air mass that originated in Canada and it will feel like Canada late tonight and first thing Saturday morning.



Here are my forecast lows around the area. Note the darker blue areas have frost advisories and interior St. Johns and Flagler Counties will even get in on some frost even if they are not in an official advisory. The lighter blue areas are freeze warnings with some of the colder spots dipping to freezing for 2 to 3 hours by first thing Saturday! The official record low for Jacksonville is 33 set back in 1987. I think we have a good chance of reaching that by late tonight!


Make sure you bring in the pets and protect the sensitive plants especially away from the river and ocean. Notice some areas of interior Florida and Southeast Georgia from near Waycross will be below freezing and we are not talking about the wind chills. These are actual air temperatures.


Temperatures over the ocean and St. Johns River are still in the middle to upper 60s so that is why you see lows near the coast holding in the 40s from St. Simons Island to Fernandina to Jax Beach, Ponte Vedra and all the way down to Flagler Beach. But once you get away from the water that still holds all of that heat from our summer season notice how temperatures plummet to near freezing in Woodbine right off Interstate 95.


Now if this is too cold too soon for you it is okay! You can still smile like the sunshine. What a incredible shot captured by Jonathan Copeland!! This was a summer scene and we have summer breezes back in the 7 day forecast! I will have more on this over the weekend! See you soon! Stay warm and have the shorts ready! Make sure to send in your frosty pictures to weather@firstcoastnews.com! Don't forget the pets and plants!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fantastic to Freezing in Many Areas by Saturday Morning!



November 10, 2011

What a beautiful day it turned out to be! You can give your regards to Tropical Storm Sean that will pose no threat to any land areas. It slowed down our weather pattern just enough for us to squeeze in one more nice warm day! It officially hit 80 in Orange Park. It also provided surfers including Chief Meteorologist Tim Deegan with ideal clean lines of 5 to 7 feet plus. He is still smiling! I have a big grin too because we have a great weather pattern for meteorologists! Check out what the strongest cold front of the season is going to do to our temperatures!


We will free fall nearly 50 degrees between now and Saturday morning. If you look closely you will see the kids all bundled up in the background with hot chocolates. Not only do I have a hot chocolate advisory in effect but our first frost and freeze of the season is on the way by Saturday morning. You will really start noticing a difference this evening as the winds kick up and the temperatures start to plummet. If you are heading to the fair dress warmly as temperatures fall into the 50s but wind chills will be in the 40s. This front will not bring much rain. I think most of us stay dry and those that do see rain, it will not be enough to wet the pavement. But this front will make up for its lack of moisture with our coldest temperatures of the season. Keep in mind by morning it is a good thing many kids are off tomorrow. Wind chills will drop to near freezing. If you are taking your kids to the Veterans Day Parade like I am make sure to get out the red, white, and blue winter gear with temperatures only expected to be in the middle 50s with a north wind at 10 to 20 mph making it feel much colder! When and where will our actual freezes occur? Here are the latest freeze watches. 


The official freeze watches are for all of southeast Georgia west of I-95 and most of North Florida away from the river and ocean. Keep in mind western Putnam and Clay Counties could also see a heavy frost and freezing temperatures. I am expected teeth-chattering upper 20s from Jasper to Waycross. Near 30 from Gainesville to Starke, Mcclenny and Nahunta. Temperatures will hit 32 from Keystone Heights and even portions of western Putnam County to western Duval, Jax airport, and most of Nassau County west of A1A. Mandarin, St. Johns and areas along the rivers and beaches will see lows closer to 40 degrees. I will keep you posted.


Now while I am not calling for snow, since it will be clear, crisp and calm we will have a heavy frost here at home tomorrow night. In Lafayette, Indiana Justin New was kind enough to snap this picture of their first "graupel" snow. This tells you our front has a ton of cold air aloft. It is moving our way and will work its way to the ground. You stay warm and stay tuned!