Friday, December 2, 2011
Wonderful Weekend Weather to Make a Positive Difference
Happy Friday and it is an extra special one here at First Coast News. We are proud to be involved with our 3rd Annual Hero Central Food Drive. I know when it comes to the weather we can keep you safe ahead of, during and after the storm but we cannot control the weather. What we can control is doing the best we can to help the needy in our community. I know I throw a lot of weather numbers out at you but was shocked to find out there are about 350,000 folks that battle hunger with almost half that number kids. So today you can do your part by picking up non-perishable items and dropping them off at all the selected locations you see above. We made a huge difference last year and unfortunately this year the need is even greater. The good news is together we can help fight hunger and we have a beautiful sunny day today with temperatures back to where they should be for this time of year. If you are in Georgia here are your selected locations and keep in mind our important food drive is not only today but on Saturday.
We are all thankful for making it through another hurricane season without a major impact. Many folks tell me about how miserable they were after losing power and all our their food for about 2-3 weeks at a time. Well imagine that feeling every single week of your life. This is why I am proud to be a part of this huge food drive. Speaking of hurricane season it was our third most active season on record but we only had 7 hurricanes which was average. Despite not having a major landfalling hurricane in the US for the sixth consecutive year (first time since 1878) it was one of our costliest seasons with about 10 billion dollars in damage.
One reason was the Saharan Dust Layer that caused our tropical waves off Africa to not only form farther north but taking longer to get their act together. Tropical systems need 80 degree water, light upper winds, and deep tropical moisture. This was our saving grace. Even though it is December you can still see a big dust layer choking the Atlantic in the darker orange and red areas. Irene and Tropical Storm Lee with never be forgotten for the flooding they brought and it was inland flooding this season that caused most of the damage showing you that these tropical systems have impact not just at the coastline but well inland. It broke my heart watching 100 year covered bridges being whisked away in Vermont.
Speaking of wind the Santa Ana winds that have hit the West Coast have been incredible the last couple days. The National Weather Service in Sacramento has declared it the most damaging wind storm they have had in about 10 years. You can see why!
...PRELIMINARY STORM INFORMATION...
***** NON THUNDERSTORM WIND GUST REPORTS *****
CEDAR RIDGE (NNE OF SONORA) THU 94 MPH
DOWNIEVILLE 6 NNW (SIERRA CO) THU 86 MPH
PASKENTA 6 WNW (TEHAMA CO) THU 72 MPH
DONNER PEAK 2 W (PLACER CO) THU 68 MPH
ALPINE MEADOWS 13 WSW (PLACER CO) THU 65 MPH
These winds were caused by a big dip in the jet stream caused by an area of low pressure while a strong high pressure moved in from Canada. This causes a wind to speed up as it rushes through the mountain passes. Luckily we had cold air to work with which kept what would have been a devastating fire storm to take place like it normally does with Santa Ana winds. But at the same time the cold air forced up caused the winds to be stronger than normal with this type of outbreak.
Here closer to home it is all about high pressure at the surface and aloft that will keep the stormy weather well north of our backyards and at the same time allow us to warm back up above average in the 70s. What a difference a year makes! We will take a closer look at this tomorrow with the latest charts. Have a great weekend and thanks for helping with the food drive!