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!

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