Weather Archive

Friday, June 4, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

Super Soaking Rain

Sometime when it rains the event lasts longer and the rain comes down heavier than our typical afternoon thunderstorm routine.  This was the case through the deep south this weekend.  When there is a “tropical connection” to a rain event, extreme or record rainfall often  occurs.  This happened back in September 2009 during the Atlanta  Flood  and  what  occurred this past weekend northwest of Jacksonville over parts of Tennessee, including Memphis. 

This image shows a satellite‐derived precipitable water (PWAT) picture. It is better than using a water vapor image to track moisture transport because it can see moisture in the low levels of the sky. High pressure off the east coast has tapped tropical moisture from the eastern Pacific as well as the western Caribbean.

You can see from the image how PWAT values are nearly double normal levels and have resulted in a focus of moisture  from the Gulf Coast northward into the Ohio Valley.  This “efficient” rainfall resulted in very heavy rainfall over a fairly short period of time.  

Hottest March on Record

When you look at the entire worlds temperature both on land and water, March turned out to be the warmest on record. NOAA analyzed the data and found the average ocean temperatures were the warmest for any March and the global land surface was the fourth warmest for any March on record. Also, the planet has seen the fourth warmest  January through March period on record.  It is hard to believe in light of our local record cold weather this past winter.  These patterns underscore how climate change results in unusual weather patterns that should become more frequent.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Getting Dirty Has Never Been This Fun

Is that mud in Marks teeth?  It is.  And after getting rinsed down by a fire hose and after a 30 minute shower, I am still finding dirt in my ears.  After spending the morning crawling in mud for the MS Mud Run this is the result.

More than 2800 people came out to Cecil field to run in the 6 mile military style obstacle course which benefited the North Florida Chapter of the Muscular Sclerosis Society.  The event raised over $250 thousand for MS.  Runners and spectators spent the day under full sunshine after a cold morning in the upper 30s.
This was the Race's second year and it tripled the number of participants from its inaugural run.

I had no idea what I was in for!  The course had us wading through waist deep mud, scaling a 8 foot wall, climbing a 20 foot wall, rope walks, and the worst, swimming through dark culverts placed under roads.  If you ever wanted to swim through muddy ditches like the ones on the sides or roads, this is for you.  Before the race those pants were red.  It doesn't get any dirtier than this. As daunting as this sounds, it was a blast and I can't wait until next year. Check out more videos here.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Snow In Florida

The forecast for snow and sleet I posted in my blog a week ago verified and we had snow flurries as far north as Palm Coast and Crescent City in northern Florida.  It is extremely hard to predict a snow event for the sunshine state. It snowed in other parts of Florida. Flurries fell as far south as Kendall the same day Saturday January 9th 2010.  Several other locations around Miami and also Boca Raton had flurries.  No snow fell in Jacksonville due to dry air evaporating the flakes before they fell to the ground.  The air was more moist behind the Arctic front in Central and south Florida.  This provided an environment for sleet and flurries south of Jacksonville.

This Skew-T sounding from Jacksonville at 7 am shows the green dew point line matched with the red temperature line which stays below freezing. The extra space between green and red lines at the bottom shows the dry air layer near the ground over Jacksonville which caused the snow to dry up before reaching the ground. Closer vertical lines represent more moisture in that layer of the atmosphere.  Altitude increases from bottom to top and temperature decreases from right to left.

The snow set up was unique in that arctic air was parked over the state while moisture was drawn out of the Gulf from an upper level short wave in the jet stream.  This created a saturated moisture profile through the atmosphere.  Where freezing levels were low enough some flakes reached the ground.  Most areas had a warmer mid layer that caused the flakes to come down as sleet and ice pellets.  The second graph shows the freezing layer at 1104 feet with deeper moisture close to the ground at 7am in Tampa.  Sleet fell in Tampa.

It has been colder but is rare to have the cold last so long. Jacksonville had 6 nights of back to back freezes in a row but missed setting a record for consecutive freezes set in 1977 for 8 nights below freezing.  St. Simons island and Alma Georgia however broke a record for the longest run of frozen nights since 2000/01 winter.  Temperatures reached the teens Monday morning 1-11-2010.

The extended cold caused the Intercoastal Waterway in Ponte Vedra to freeze near the edge.  This is brackish water and the salinity must of been low enough to alow ice to accumulate.  Dead fish were near as a result of the cold water. I saw widespread fish kills around Tampa Bay and along the beaches in Treasure Island the following weekend. Fernandina Beach water temperatures are 45 and the Atlantic is 52 but shallow protected parts of the ICW may of dropped to 32 degrees.