Monday, August 13, 2012

No need to be tardy at school or absent from the polls as drier weathers moves in

We have had day after day of rain this past week with over 10 inches of rain in some areas just to the south and east of Jacksonville and around St. Augustine. Since May the downtown Jacksonville area has received a mind-boggling 50-55 inches of rain which is above our yearly average of 52 inches! So we do have good back to school weather and low chances of rain the next couple days with high pressure in control, but do not forget the mosquito spray and pack the back packs with extra water.

By late week we will get back into the storm zone with two fronts dropping south drawing up plenty of tropical moisture. A big dip in the polar jet stream could actually increase our severe weather risk. The tropics are quiet but will likely heat up in a hurry the last week of August into September. Enjoy the brief respite.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Weather words of the week: It's not the heat, the humidity!

A sizzling start to July continues this week. We set rainfall records in June and even though most of us will not see a drop of rain this week it is still having a big impact on our weather. The old saying it is not the heat but the humidity are the weather words of the week.

Our hot high pressure dome is causing very high evaporation rates due to our saturated ground causing dangerous heat indices of 110-120! Some of our hotter locations recorded a heat index of 124 in Brunswick, Georgia at the Glynco Airport as dewpoints were an Amazon-like 82!! This was only 5 degrees off Jacksonville's all-time heat index record set back in 1942 of 129 when you could fry a whole meal on the sidewalk. So yes this is about as hot as it gets in Florida and please be careful in all this heat. I have moved my 6 mile runs inside to the tread mill until further notice.

How long will this last? We are in a very slow-moving pattern with a Greenland block in place. As a result, we may not see any major changes until July 10th with temperatures holding in the lower to middle 90s at the beach to the middle to upper 90s inland.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Nature makes up for lost time as heat wave frys the First Coast

We are going from one extreme to the other. Many areas received about 8 months worth of rain on average over the past 4 weeks. Now it will be tough to buy more than a few drops of rain. The reason for this is a massive heat wave that has set more than 1,000 records builds into our area. This suffocating dome of high pressure will likely not retreat until later next week. This will allow our highs to soar to near 100 in the shade. If you factor in the humidity it will feel like 110! Add another 15-20 degrees if you will be out in the sun!

Remember we are used to the heat in Florida but when it gets this hot we need to take precautions. This heat wave has already led to fatalites and heat kills more folks each year than hurricanes or severe weather. Make sure to avoid overexertion outdoors between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Remember if temperatures in your home surpass 85 degrees fans will not help cool the human body and you could be in danger. Find an air-conditioned area to go to. Check on the elderly and remember the heat takes a greater toll on them and our babies and toddlers. Keep pets in a cool place and make sure their water bowls are filled up.

Nature is making up for lost time. The rain has kept our temperatures well below normal over the past 4 weeks and we have had only 14 days of 90 or above this year compared to our average of 24. We will stay above 90 through at least next weekend! Stay cool and stay safe.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Do not cancel plans but pay attention as Debby likely to form this weekend

We are in a holding pattern with our huge 1,500 mile long meteorological menace continuing to slowly develop in the Yucatan. I do think it becomes Debby over the weekend but we have to wait until the hurricane hunters find a true center of low pressure to know where it is going. This will not be known until later on Saturday. So do not cancel vacation plans but just pay attention as all interests from Texas to Florida need to watch it carefully.

Our usually reliable weather models are missing crucial data with a lack of upper air data and buoys where this system is developing. The farther north the hurricane hunters find the center of circulation, the better chance of a Florida storm. The farther south, the better chance of a Texas storm. One thing we do know is that our rain coverage will increase this weekend with many areas easily receiving 1-2" with locally heavier amounts. The drier of the two days will be Saturday. Be safe and check back with us throughout the weekend!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Meteorological Menace Churns in the Gulf

The hurricane hunters are flying into a system near the Yucatan Peninsula on our Friday and it is looking more likely it will be named Debby. But it may not be named until later in the weekend or early next week. Its circulation is right near land and there is plenty of shear on its north side ripping apart its 60,000 foot thunderstorm tops. This lack of organization and slow development favors a westward track next week toward Texas.

This tropical system is so large it will still impact us over the next few days with a good deal of clouds. The good news the storm track would keep the heaviest rain south and west of us this weekend but we will see an increase in rain showers on Sunday into the first part of Monday. So keep the Saturday plans, but have a plan B on Sunday.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Great Drought of 2010-2012 is Breaking! Flood Concerns Rise

This picture tells the story. I want to thank my Dad for sending these pictures in from Mandarin! Rentention ponds that were turning into beach front property or disappearing altogether are filling up quickly! Here is a shot two weeks ago before Jacksonville's only May tropical storm Beryl made landfall.

Now check this out! Only 12 days later I may have to tell my parents to build an ark in the near future. This after another week of heavy rain that pounded the area thanks to a stalled front and a global weather pattern change we call EL NINO! The earth-climate system is reacting to massive warming of the Pacific Ocean and it is seeking equilibrium by shaking up the weather all around the globe. Simply amazing. The developing El Nino has helped energize the subtropical jet stream which helped develop Beryl. You combine this with a relentless tropical flow we can trace back to the rain forests of Central America and voila! It is beginning to look and feel like a rain forest out there.

Be careful what you wish and pray for. This is only the beginning and things may not settle down until next Spring. Indications are this El Nino pattern is here to stay for at least the next 9 months. This will increase flooding, severe weather including tornadoes and based on the latest long-range maps even freezes.

In our e-hurricane guide you can download at I even discussed an increased chance of tropical storms and hurricanes for Florida even though there are expected to be less named storms in the Atlantic Basin as a whole. Keep your guard up, we are already off to the busiest start since 1908. We were lucky this past winter but this coming up winter could be another cold one here on the First Coast. Are you ready for some weather? Let's take a look at the rainfall totals everybody has been asking for.

Talk about a turn-around! Orange Park-Fleming Island and Mandarin have several reports close to 18" of rain. Over an entire summer these areas average about 21". To put it in perspective this is a seasons worth of rain in just under 2 weeks. St. Augustine and the beach has done very well, including Jacksonville Beach which has had 10.9" of rain. Jacksonville airport where our official records are kept has one of the lowest totals by far with just under 7" of rain. As a result for the year we are still considered in a rainfall deficit of just under an inch. But I think it is safe to say that the great drought of 2010-12 is all but over. This morning for River Day some of the boats couldn't make it to where they needed to go because they could not get under the bridge at the Julington Creek marina!

It is nice to see our Georgia friends doing well and reaping the rewards of close to 10" of rain in St. Marys and Brunswick and 7" in Folkston. The Okefenokee has done well with gator gushers tallying between 7 to 9" where a raging fire was still burning this time last year. What a difference a year makes.

This map I am most excited about! Our aquifers are doing much better with over a foot of rain in Keystone with even more in Melrose. Area lakes are up about a foot! Wooohooo!

Last but not least folks from Palatka over to St. Johns and Flagler County are dancing in the streets. These areas were choking on smoke this time last year and this is the heaviest bout of rain in three years! Lawns are turning the darkest green residents have seen in a long time! So please turn off the sprinklers.

We are not done yet! The same front that has stalled over us all week is moving back north and you combine this with the rain forest express and we can expect more heavy downpours on our Saturday. Areas shaded in purple which includes the beaches and the I-95 corridor could pick up in excess of 2 inches. We will have two batches of heavy rain with the second one moving through during the evening hours. Please be careful of flooding and ponding of water on the roadways. It simply will not take much for us to flood with our saturated ground.

Make sure to tune in for your only Live Doppler Radar. I do have good news which includes a drier Sunday and Monday as our relentless front moves north. It will not be totally dry but expect more dry hours! We will take it. It is hard to believe our weather team is now receiving e-mails from folks upset about all this rain. How times have changed! Stay safe, remember I am just the messenger and God bless!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Red Sky in the Morning Adorning our Mother's Day & The Players Weekend

What a great start to another big weekend forecast! Thanks so much for the SUPER MOON pictures you sent in last week. You are amazing! What a great start to our weekend with a red sky sunrise. Now normally the weather proverb says, red sky in the morning, sailor's take warning. Remember they are only "sayings" more so than truisms and are not full-proof. So in keeping with the forecast my amended weather words this weekend are as follows, "red sky in the morning, but no worries about any weather warning for Mom or the best golfer's from all over the world!"

Weather is huge this weekend, even more so than normal especially when we have one of the most challenging courses in what some call the fifth major out at TPC-Sawgrass. I have some extra adrenaline going putting the forecast together. This is what it is all about! There are no mulligans in my book anytime of the year, but you better be on your game when you are needed most.

The weather is cooperating so far with my weather forecast of keeping it mainly dry east of I-95 this weekend. SHHH...I do not want to jinx the forecast. I am not superstitious or anything. In fact not only are we staying dry but the normally toughest hole which is number 18 has been made much easier by our brisk east wind gusting near 20 mph at times. This wind is our friend! It is taking its cues from a strong area of high pressure to our east and is telling me the high pressure is holding nice and strong for now. The more high pressure you have, the lower your rain chances. Yes, we could have a brief shower near the Players first thing Sunday with some coastal convergence, but the big rain stays west!While I do think it will rain this weekend as high pressure eventually moves east, I do not think it will be long-lived nor ruin any plans. Let's pinpoint when and where!

Here is your breaking weather of noon Saturday the models are all in agreement our heaviest rain stays confined to the Florida Gulf Coast through Sunday evening. If you check the home barometer it is unusually high for this time of year at 30.26". Our average pressure reading is usually closer to 30.00" or about 10 millibars lower. This is a good sign and the second element in our favor is the warm front is staying well south of our area. This will be a focus for rain for us when it moves our way. But this will be later rather than sooner. Let's take a look.

Notice it lights up our Live Doppler Radar but not until late Sunday night. Now this model is only a guide and we will have to continue to watch things closely together this weekend. But right now the news is good and I just cannot let it rain on Mom! I love you Mom, thanks for not just being a great Mom but a great friend that is always an inspiration to be around. I wanted to also thank my wife for being a wonderful Mom to my three daughters. We couldn't do it without you. Yes, it is a Happy Mother's Day weekend, weatherwise and otherwise! God bless!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Soggy Start to THE PLAYERS Week But What Matters is How You Finish

One of my favorite sports is not how you start but how you finish! This week is one of the biggest forecast weeks of the year with the Players Tournament! Dan Hicken says if you bring the rain bring it early!  Right now that is the case! We finally have good chances of rain and it will last for more than five minutes. Even better, not one but two fronts or rain-makers are on the way through Wednesday.

If you have plans to go to the Players it does look drier and cooler by the opening round on Thursday. Temperatures throughout the tournament may hold in the 70s which is a bonus for this time of year. It has either been too hot or too wet out at the TPC it seems since the tournament was moved to May, but this year nature may get it right!

We do have to keep a close eye on a soggy front that will try to move our way on Sunday. Right now I think the models are moving it too quickly our way so I am keeping low chances of rain for Sunday. Hopefully the timing stays on our side so we can officially have championship weather! In the meantime enjoy the rain!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Jalapeno Hot Today to a Super Fiery Red Moon Tonight!

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I am ready for some good Mexican food to celebrate! It will be hot on and off the skewer today thanks to high pressure. It looks like any storms that do develop will impact less than 10% of us and be short-lived near the I-75 corridor. Tonight we do have two stormy weather-makers approaching. One from the north and another from the west. This will bring in a few high cirrus clouds and allow the haze to build. It will not hurt but actually help make for great sky viewing! Expect an extra colorful viewing of the Super Full Moon thanks to the moonbeams being refracted through the added moisture in the atmosphere. Send in those pictures to

It is called the super moon because it is not only full but is also at its closest point to earth in its orbit making it appear 16% larger and 30% brighter. It is only about 250 miles farther away than the extreme super moon of March, 2011. You will not be able to tell the difference.

Sunday we will stay hot with highs back in the lower 90s but with added lift in the atmosphere at least 50% of us will see scattered storms erupt in the afternoon. There is also unusually chilly air moving through in nature's attic which could trigger a couple strong storms with hail and damaging wind gusts. So make sure to keep your FCN weather apps handy and download your only live doppler radar available in Jacksonville at FCN WX for free if you haven't already.

The outlook for next week looks soggy through at least Wednesday as our stormy front stalls out over the area and another front moves in from the west. The Players all depends on this secondary front. If it can clear the area we may have a delightful weekend. But indications are this front may also get hung up which would keep rain chances in the forecast. Stay tuned as our weather team fine-tunes the forecast. Right now, Friday and Saturday look like the drier of the two days.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Summer Rainfall Outlook Takes a Rainy Turn!

Normally I would give this kind of weekend a 10 out of 10 but the latest update on our drought is not good. Despite the downpours we had last weekend we are still officially in an exceptional drought and still need a good foot of rain to break out of this arid pattern that started in 2010.

I do give the latest long-range maps an A+ if they are correct! For the first time in 2 years they are showing almost the entire state of Florida receiving above average rainfall beginning in July and continuing into early autumn. This shift and glimmer of light at the end of a long, dark and dry tunnel is thanks to a weak El Nino developing this summer. This warming of the Pacific Ocean normally shifts weather patterns all over the globe including here in Florida.

In the short-term our rain chances stay low through much of next week with an average of only .01" of rain in the next 7 days. A trough of low pressure may help our chances in the 8 to 14 day outlook with 1 to 2 inches of rainfall over our area on average. But for now it is all about sunshine, sand castles, remembering to reapply the sunscreen, and day-dreaming of rain on the hammock which might not be so far-fetched anymore!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Biggest Rain of the Year is Not All Bad News

If we are going to have rain on weekend we better need it! Dating back to the great fires of 1998 we have been 48.3 inches below average on rainfall. To put it in perspective it is like we did not have an entire year of rain since we average about 53 inches of rain per year. This weekend the heaviest rain will be Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning and we will still have to watch for a few strong storms especially from St. Augustine southward. Although Central and South Florida will have the higher risk. Stay safe and remember to slow it down on area roadways.

What makes this the biggest rain-producer of the year. We have a low pressure actually crossing Florida instead of the average track we have seen for the last several months hundreds of miles north of home. We also have a nice moist southwest flow in place with no blocking high pressure. Be safe and get out the jackets next week. Lows could be near 40 by Tuesday morning!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

We Stay on the Warm, Dry Side of Historic Storm

We count our blessings today as another tornado outbreak is likely today across the Midwest and Plains. This after 121 tornado reports yesterday! April is known for tornado outbreaks but rarely at this magnitude. We say the importance of live doppler radar yesterday as some towns in Iowa and Oklahoma were almost wiped off the map in as little as two minutes.

This storm will continue to impact our weather but in a much different way. We will be on the warm, dry side of this storm. It will boost highs to near 80 at the beach to the middle 80s inland. A southeast wind will be at 10-15 mph. Boating looks much better today with seas only 3-5 feet. We have what I call a procrastinator's delight and can take advantage of the extra time this year to finish up the taxes.

But, our fun in the sun hits a roadblock next week as our fire danger and smoke increases again next week ahead of a pattern change. The good news is more widespread April showers are back in the forecast, especially by next weekend but the transition could be bumpy. Stay tuned for your two minute advantage.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Smoke-free Weekend but not Totally Rain-Free

We will see a rarity so far this month and that is a few April showers, but most of the activity will be short-lived and mainly from I-95 to the east. These are not your typical April showers that bring May flowers. The latest water vapor loop is showing plenty of dry air in the middle and upper levels which heavier rain and thunderstorms feed off of this time of year. For the 10% of us that do see the rain it will amount to less than .05". This moist ocean flow is being helped by a very weak area of low pressure and it will continue to weaken throughout the day and totally dissipate by Sunday.

The bigger story will be our fresh ocean breezes that may cause some rough fishing today. Make sure to exercise caution. The cobia are biting but so are the seas which will continue to be at 4 to 6 feet with an east wind at 10-20 mph. The big story is that normally cobia season is not until the summer. It has been a strange couple of years here on the First Coast on land and at sea that is for sure! These breezes will also keep it much cooler at the beach today in the lower 70s. Inland areas should recover close to average with highs near 80.

Looking for better pool and  beach weather? Sunday is your day as high pressure builds south and this will warm and brighten things up even more. The wind will slacken a bit for better fishing and turn more to the southeast with highs in the middle 70s beaches to lower 80s inland.

Our warming trend continues next week but with a warmer west wind it will likely increase smoke across the area by late week. Scattered showers and maybe a thunderstorm will be back in the forecast by late Wednesday but at this point rain is not a sure bet for everybody as the front will likely stall to the north.
We will take a closer look at this tonight at 6, 6:30 and 11 on First Coast News.

Long-range we do have "hope" with a couple more fronts on the way thanks to a trough setting up over the East. This lowers the pressure and causes more rising air and condensation bringing better and more widespread rain and it couldn't come soon enough.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

31 Day Streak of Above Average Temperatures Ends Today!

Nature almost skipped right into summer but decided on a Spring rewind. Ready or not our coolest Spring day of the year is here. In fact it will be our coolest day since March 10th with highs only in the upper 60s at the beach to lower 70s inland. A chilly northeast breeze will usher in the chill at 12-25 mph with higher gusts.

A small craft advisory continues for seas building from 8 to 11 feet and a lake wind advisory is in effect. Tonight we will enjoy bright moonlight but it will be chilly with temperatures dropping into the lower to middle 40s inland to the middle 50s at the beach. Have the jackets ready for Easter sunrise at 7:07 a.m.

The good news is polar high pressure moves east Sunday afternoon helping our temperatures bounce back to near 80 degrees with great weather for a trip to Grandmas or even a boat ride! Seas will decrease from 3-5 feet and a surf will be at 2-4 feet with much warmer middle 70s at the beach.

The long-range forecast features another strong spring front by mid-week that will bring more jacket weather but don't expect any rain with a dry northwest flow continuing to dominate our weather.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Muggies Return & Needed Rain Back in the Forecast!

We have been under the influence of a record-breaking ridge that has broken more high temperature records in the last week than ever before on record across the country. It is finally showing signs of breaking down as an upper low pressure spins across the mid-section of the country. This system has had a history of producing record rain and severe weather. Out ahead of it is drawing up plenty of moisture and humidity.

We will first really start to take note of the increased humidity over the next couple of days with heat indices near 90 in some of our warmer locations. Rain coverage will hold at 20% or less mainly in Georgia and near I-75. As our cold front moves closer and combines forces with our muggy air mass late Saturday we will see a big increase in showers and thunderstorms. We cannot rule out a strong storm or two. On Sunday this system moves north with only a leftover shower or storm possible. So overall it will be a weekend to enjoy your plans but keep an eye to the northwest sky by late Saturday.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sizzling St.Patty's Day but April Fool's Weather Joke May be on Us!

Not just Irish eyes' are smiling.  I think most of us are smiling about this weather, although we do need the rain! I even had some thank yous for this weather all the way from Indiana. Okay, I will take at least a little credit, this is such a humbling business. I have to pick my spots. Our weather picture of the day in honor of St. Patrick's Day comes in from northern Ireland where it has been a week full of spectacular green skies. A big solar storm on the sun continues to send huge waves of energy toward the earth lighting up the upper reaches of the atmosphere with brilliant results.

At the surface, and not related to the solar storm, the sun is also making plenty of noise by scorching records with an unusual winter heat wave. Using heat wave and winter in the same sentence is a first for me, but when over 1,000 record highs have been set in this pattern it best describes what is happening. But not so quick. Global temperatures have been falling fast and are running about a degree below average. Temperatures in northern Alaska are so cold that liquid mercury is freezing. So while March which is already our warmest since 2004 may end up being the warmest since 1871 in Jacksonville and over much of the country, April could actually average out cooler than normal and we may need to get the jackets back out!! So I am warning you early about nature's April Fool's joke. The last four times we were this warm in March dating back to 1990, all four times we ended up having below normal temperatures in April. We will see if it happens again.

But for now, it is time to take out the yacht, if you are lucky enough. This will be our fifth 80 degree day in a row. You can see the Khan yacht taking up a huge chunk of our beautiful  river on tower cam. Today it is smooth boating as our high high pressure ridge remains in control. There is nothing to move it out or weaken it with a jet stream located in southern Canada. This is what normally happens in June! Something has to give and it will! Expect one of our earliest 80 degree days on record at the beach! A sea breeze will kick in but not until after 2 p.m. and ocean water temperatures will be in the lower 70s which is more than a month ahead of schedule. Check it out! Just be careful of reports of active jellyfish and sharks. There is also a propensity of stronger run-outs with such a long sustained stretch of onshore breezes. Keep the little one in closer to shore!

Enjoy the fun in the sun but do no forget the sunscreen with a burn time in 15 minutes with the UV index in the very high range.  But, it will not be picture-perfect day for all of us.

There is a steep temperature gradient due to all our surface heating that could pop a few isolated storms with possible hail this afternoon especially north of Waycross. Nature's attic has temperatures closer to late winter and early Spring instead of May levels we have at the surface. We drop from 84 in Jacksonville at ground level to near zero degrees by time you get up to 20,000 feet. So if any storms do pop this could produce small pea and marble size hail like we saw yesterday just north of Waycross. Notice the storm reports above from yesterday. Pretty impressive. The atmosphere is so dry any activity will likely impact less than 5% of us and any rain should be brief at best. Make sure you stay tuned for your two minute advantage. Live Doppler Radar will start lighting up again in a much bigger way but not until later next week. I will talk more about this here on the blog during the weekend. Also, make sure to tune in tonight at 6, 6:30, and 11 p.m. for the latest on when this needed rain will hit and we will take a look at the bright planet parade in the sky and why you may see bright green objects to go along with the planets!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Running with the Wind for our Gate River Run Week!

Good to be back with you here on the blog! I am sorry it has been awhile. But I am looking forward to revving this thing back up. Here is what I am working on for you on Sunday's shows!

We made it through the historic storm with some needed rain and wild temperature swings. This week looks much quieter but we will have a rollercoaster ride to start, with 30s to 70s on our Monday, back to the 60s for Tuesday and Wednesday. Even vitamin C can only do so much when our weather is this crazy, but that is March for you in Jacksonville! But get ready for a blocking ridge to take over by late week which means we will warm up and once it does we will have several warm days in a row and not have to worry about all those ups and downs.

The Gate River Run looks dry with southeast breezes at 7 to 15 mph which means we will be running with the wind across the Hart Bridge. Temperatures will start near 60 and be in the lower 70s by noon!

Our next shot of significant rain will hold off until next week. The much slower pattern is showing no signs of cold weather for us so you do have the thumbs up on planting the annuals this year a couple weeks early.

Have a great day and see you soon on the tube with more details! I will be back here on the blog with some graphics for you!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Calm Before the Storm Today! Strong Storms Tonight & Sunday Morning

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It will be mostly cloudy today with an increasing threat of showers and even a pop up thunderstorm mainly for our Georgia counties. Highs will be in the middle 60s north to middle 70s south.

Tonight things get interesting as a powerful jet stream moves in from the southwest. This will increase our strong storm threat especially in Georgia by late tonight into early Sunday morning. Our severe threat will continue into Sunday morning and shift into Florida with a cold front moving south. Make sure to stay tuned for your only Live Doppler Radar to keep you and your family safe.

Our main threats will be wind gusts near 60 mph but remember with any severe thunderstorm you cannot rule out isolated tornadoes.

I will be back to post some graphics and another update!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Smoke Gives New Meaning to January's Crisp Return!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January has returned today in a big way with temperatures at least closer to normal. We should have highs in the middle 60s and forecast highs will be in the middle 60s beaches to near 70 inland. Many were looking forward to a nice walk in the crisp, winter air today but unfortunately numerous reports of smoke have filtered in from Orange Park to Green Cove Springs and Asbury Park. The DOT traffic cam tells the picture out on the west side. Our normally crystal clear Florida air in this type of weather pattern has turned hazy causing the air quality to dip into the moderate range for our entire viewing area which means those with respiratory ailments can go outside but avoid any activity with prolonged physical exertion. The light northwest wind will likely cause the stench all the way to the beach.

If there is any good news it is the smoke is not being caused by any large wildfires that would endanger anybody but by several controlled burns in the interior portions of Florida as you see above. The big one took place on Thursday when 2,100 acres were burned in the Osceola National Forest in Baker County. How long will it last? The wind will likely pick up out of the north and northeast on Sunday and it will help disperse the smoke. You can thank an Alberta Clipper for some fresher air by late tonight. Take a look at it bringing a nice light frosting of snow to sections of the Midwest.

This time of year we are usually not thanking these clippers that originate in Alberta, Canada and thus their name. They usually pack quite a punch and in the wake of these weather players we brace for hard freezes. This time around we do have one saving grace and that is the snow pack. If you look on the graphic above the real deep snow pack is still located where you see the purple shading. This means it will get colder with even some hats and gloves weather by Monday morning but will not have the brutal cold that we normally see. The cold air holds together and does not modify as quickly when it has snow cover to work with. Snow breeds snow and cold air! When does the colder air arrive?

The cold front above should move through right about midnight. So expect the wind to pick up and wind chills near freezing by morning! Sunday will be a true January day with highs struggling to get in the lower 60s with some coastal areas especially in Georgia only in the upper 50s. What is interesting about this pattern is the warmest winter in the United States for many areas in 78 years may turn cold in February. I say this because Alaska is having its coldest winter since 1972 in Fairbanks where I showed a breath-taking temperature of -47 degrees on Good Morning Jacksonville this morning.

Some maps have chunks of this cold air breaking off and having a better chance of moving into the lower 48 including Florida. What is happening is the main storm track is changing. The pipeline of storms that have been pounding the Pacific Northwest are taking a turn farther north! This should dislodge some cold air and help set up a deeper trough along the East Coast. One map has a few flurries to near Charleston by February 6th! Make sure to download our free weather app at FCN WX! I updated our exclusive 10 day forecast to show what I am thinking. If you do not have a smart phone I have you covered here on the blog, check it out!

Even better is we have three days with rain chances as the pattern favors stronger fronts with  more moisture! Make sure to tune in tonight at 6, 6:30, and 11 p.m. and I will have all the February Frenzy details. I also do tons of weather video updates throughout the weekend at I also have details on our weather video of a snow day for some kids in St. Johns County. You stay warm and I will see you soon!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Springtime Pattern Bringing Strong Storms By Late Tonight

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Great to be back with you! It is an exciting time at First Coast News not just with your only two minute advantage but with our new state of the art HD Weather Graphics.  You deserve the best! I have been busy building away and will give you a taste of what  you can expect when you tune in! Here are some graphics telling the weather story on our Thursday evening!

Notice the storm reports of a funnel cloud near Panama City that luckily did not move ashore as a tornado and the newest data as of 9 p.m. has another tree down on a house in Tallahassee from a possible tornado.
When temperatures are running 3 months ahead of schedule something had to give.

Tonight, a cold front will collide with our warm, tropical air mass and we will have to watch for some large hail, gusty wind, and even an isolated tornado especially from near Lake City to Waycross. These areas could start to see things go downhill by 11 p.m. There could be another area to our south from Marion into Putnam County where a strong storm could hold together. This would be in the 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. time frame.  This is a good reminder severe weather can occur any time of year and that our severe weather season is officially less than a week away. Here is the latest risk area from the Storm Prediction Center. The yellow shading shows the areas of most concern. Below you see the storm tracks.

You can see the big wall of storms to our west with some tops between 20,000 and 30,000 feet. The tornado watch will likely not be extended east  as this line moves into a more stable environment.

Closer to the I-95 corridor and Jacksonville it looks like we could have a rumble of thunder with some needed showers toward morning but unfortunately rain amounts will be at a quarter-inch or less. This weekend still looks bright but it will be brisk at times with temperatures more seasonable for this time of year. The beaches may struggle just to reach 60 on Sunday! Make sure to stay tuned for team coverage on tonight's line of thunderstorms.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

First Full Moon of 2012 May Be Once in a Blue Moon

What a moon set this morning and it is not even a full moon, but tonight we have a moonrise at 5:23 p.m. and with a foggy, smoky atmosphere developing the moon may in fact look blue especially those areas that have had the thicker smoke near the Olive Fire in Putnam County. The smoke particles are just the right size to scatter the moonlight making it appear blue. Now the conventional definitions of a blue moon have nothing to do with it being blue but rather a blue moon being the second full moon in a month, which will not happen until late August or the third full moon of four full moons in a season like we saw back in September of 2010. So tonight we will keep an eye to the sky for a blue moon but also be very careful of fog and smoke.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Foggy to Fantasy Pattern Gives Way to Reality Check as La Nina Weakens

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What a rude awakening due to a mix of fog and smoke causing near zero visibility in Putnam County. Even here downtown I snapped a picture of what looks more like San Francisco than Jacksonville, Florida. The good news is the fog will lift by late morning and the sunshine will win out. One of the drawbacks of having temperatures so much above normal this time of year is if you have clear skies it does not take much for the air to cool to its saturation point with our long nights, especially with all the real cold, dry polar air located over a thousand miles from home. But since we have a warm, tropical high pressure in control once the fog lifts we warm up in a hurry. Today expect highs to have no trouble reaching back up near 70 degrees. This is fantasy land for this time of year because climatologically our coldest week for average highs is this week! Amazing! The southern jet stream which is in charge of our Disney weather also sent us a few showers this morning but behind a weak upper-level disturbance drier air should wrap in and we will have plenty of liquid sunshine to enjoy. Check out the beaches confirming the forecast!

The surf will have some nice smooth one to two foot sets to enjoy! But it is not all a walk on the beach! The overall pattern is showing signs of change. The La Nina or below average ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific is now weakening. The temperatures are warming. This is the same La Nina that has brought us awful drought conditions and a fire season that never truly ended in 2010 into 2011. So good riddance La Nina. If this trend continues we can expect an increase in not only rain but an increase in cold fronts from the North. So instead of warm, dry, warm, dry, light shower, rinse, repeat....we could have a potpourri of weather. In fact we have showers and maybe even some thunderstorms are back in your seven day forecast Wednesday. This may be followed by a big chill with highs in the 50s on Friday, a nor'easter next Saturday and then freezing weather. Your weather team will have much more than a two minute advantage, how about a two month advantage! Here is the global pattern change below!

The big feature in all this is the ocean temperatures are starting to warm and this will ease the La Nina impact. Notice the jet stream forms more of a broad trough across the country and the storm track is closer to home. This means winter has not been cancelled. But keep in mind I am still favoring overall temperatures to remain above average the rest of the winter. The big change will be an increase in rainfall for us! Our friends up north will not be shut out in the snow department and this includes Maryland, Virginia, and Indiana. Texas will also receive needed rain after their driest year on record. So we are heading in the right direction.

I will talk more about drought and wildfire relief here on the blog over the weekend so make sure to check back. It is good to be back and I am very grateful I got to spend a ton of time with my family over the holidays and yes I even cleaned out the garage! Now buckle up, 2012 is looking interesting weatherwise and otherwise and it is an honor to keep you ahead of whatever nature dishes out! Tonight be careful of the fog, that is for sure! Be safe!