Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Glorious Sunshine! Motivation weather helps us fly over the hump!
It has been a cloudy, dreary, chilly month but that is all behind us now! Today our Florida weather bounces back in a big way as highs roll into the lower 80s. The only thing impeding our sun rays will be if you are under the oak or magnolia tree you see above. We have a UV Index of 5 which means when you take your extra long walk or run like I am make sure to remember the sunscreen with SPF 15! I know it is November but believe it or not on average a sunburn can take place today in as little as 35 minutes. If you need to ask the boss for a favor or about a much deserved raise, today is the day to do it. It has been proven that sunny, warm days release the feel-good chemical from the pineal gland in the brain. You are not only more motivated on days like this but your body naturally has more energy. I feel like I can run 26.2 now and the National Breast Cancer Marathon is not until February. I better harness some of this energy! You also receive free vitamin D which builds your bones and muscles. So on this hump day get out and enjoy. You also have the weatherman's seal of approval to take off work early. Just double-check with your boss, please! I do not want any surprise e-mails...lol
It has been tough to find any pictures on the asteroid fly-by last night. Here is the best one I could find out of Clay Hill Observatory in Massachusetts. The brightest object in the lower right is asteroid 2005 YU55. What is amazing is this asteroid will do several more fly-bys of the earth over the next few hundred years. It is yet to be determined if we will stay outside of its main path. But we should be safe for at least the next 100 years at least from this asteroid. It has been put on the hazardous asteroids list. Did you know there was such a thing? Now if you are wondering why every channel and frequency on your TV and radio will be going off today at 2 p.m. it does not mean the asteroid has turned around and is coming our way. It is the first ever national test of our emergency alert system. The whole country will be impacted at 2 p.m. EST. It will last for approximately 30 seconds. It is only a test.
Here is another look at Sean which is the big swirl in the Atlantic. It will continue to produce dangerous rips and high seas here in Florida for at least one more day before moving north and falling apart. We could still have 12 foot seas out near the Gulf Stream, so once again today may be beautiful on land but it is not the best of fishing days well offshore. Sean, which is the 18th named storm and for the first time since records have been kept in the tropics since 1851 we have had two consecutive seasons with 18 or more named storms. Hurricane-wise this year it has been average with 6. Average is 6 and it looks like the Saharan Dust Layer from Africa once again played a key role in limiting the number of hurricanes by adding drier air to the atmosphere and more wind shear. Speaking of 6, it was our sixth most active year on record but we are not done yet. I see a huge ridge setting up in the Caribbean Sea along with very warm water. This breeding ground is not done yet! I think another named storm is likely which would tie us for third most active year on record for named storms. Speaking of our pattern through the end of November....are you ready for your Turkey Day sneak peek? Okay here we go!
Gobble, gobble, gobble! There are a lot of folks asking me what it will be like for their northern relatives when they come visit over Thanksgiving. They want warm weather to go with their mashed potatoes and cranberries. Our average Thanksgiving highs are in the lower 70s but I think it could top that this year without a doubt. The overall pattern across North America is expected to flip but not until after Thanksgiving into December. The cold west, warm east set-up due to a strong high pressure north of Hawaii should continue for at least the next two weeks. But there are signs of Greenland blocking by the end of the month which would likely help bring some of the cold air locked up in Alaska and northwest Canada into Florida by early December. Look at this incredible snow map of Alaska. The whole state is buried!
Now Alaska is seeing what I am calling a BLIZZICANE or its strongest storm to hit the Bering Sea area since 1913. Wind gusts of 90 mph with snow! Can you imagine. The pressure on the storm is 943 mb which you would normally see in a category 4 hurricane. So not to get side-tracked but we really need to realize how lucky we are and that this pattern is a volatile one which could hammer the Midwest and then the East Coast as we head into December. The snow cover will allow the cold air to build in a big way and it has nowhere to go but eventually farther south and east. It is not a matter of if but when and I still think it will be later than sooner which is good news for Uncle Ron and Aunt Debbie! But for my friends reading this from the Midwest I think you are skating on thin ice and there could be a Thanksgiving Blizzard in your neighborhood. If you are in Wisconsin or Minnesota be alert. Farther south in Indiana your weather will flip like a switch and you need to have the snow shovels ready by late November.
Here is the North American Oscillation index which drives our temperatures in Florida over the cooler months. If you see it is red or positve it usually is a good sign for me to be able to forecast above normal temperatures. The last two winters we were stuck in the blue or negative which means the cold air would just not go away with one frost after another! In this pattern we can still get some cold shots of air but they do not last long and we warm right back up. So while will have some ups and downs with our temperatures over the next couple weeks, overall the warmer air should win out along with the sunshine!
Tomorrow we will talk more about our frost chances for interior areas away from the waterways by Saturday morning. But remember the chill will not stick around very long. Now you know why. Have a great day and enjoy the sunshine!