ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
56°
Cloudy
H 70° L 55°
  • cloudy-day
    56°
    Current Conditions
    Cloudy. H 70° L 55°
  • cloudy-day
    72°
    Afternoon
    Cloudy. H 70° L 55°
  • cloudy-day
    70°
    Evening
    Cloudy. H 76° L 54°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

The Buresh Blog

    The week of Jan. 14th - 'Severe Weather Awareness Week' - topics include lightning, marine hazards, hurricanes, tornadoes, wild fires & flooding.  The idea: get - always have - a plan. * Lightning * Marine Hazards * thunderstorms & tornadoes * hurricanes & flooding * temperature extremes & wildfires Sunday night, Jan. 20th - eye out for a full lunar eclipse which occurs when the sun, earth & moon are aligned casting a shadow by earth onto the moon. While not as spectacular as a solar eclipse, expect a good view - barring any cloud cover - of a 'shaded' moon that may also be orange in color hence, the term 'blood moon'.  This will be a late 'show' - beginning shortly after 10:30pm with totality beginning at 11:41pm.  Unlike during a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse does not require any safety glasses.  Just find clear skies & get away from light pollution. U.S. solar eclipses: (next full one is in April, 2024): Future night skies from 'Sky & Telescope': 20–21 Jan (night): The Moon, approaching perigee, will be eclipsed for all of the Americas, with Europe and most of Africa seeing partial phases on the morning of the 21st.   22 Jan (dawn): Venus passes less than 2½° from Jupiter in the early morning hours. Red Antares 8° to their right.   23 Jan (dawn): Just before sunrise, Saturn makes its reappearance very low in the southeast. Binoculars will help.   30 Jan (dawn): Venus and Jupiter are flanked by the waning crescent Moon and Saturn.   Jan. 31 (dawn): The Moon inserts itself between Venus and Jupiter, while Saturn hovers lower in the southeast.   1 Feb (dawn): Antares, Jupiter, Venus, the waning crescent Moon, and Saturn form a graceful arc 35° long stretching from the southeast to the south-southeast in the brightening twilight.   10 Feb (evening): Look halfway up in the south-southwest to see the waxing crescent Moon located 6° lower left of Mars.   Moon Phases New Moon: 5 Jan, 8:28 p.m. EST First Quarter: 14 Jan, 1:46 a.m. EST Full Moon: 21 Jan, 12:16 a.m. EST (Wolf Moon, total lunar eclipse) Last Quarter: 27 Jan, 4:10 p.m. EST
  • Turning the calendar to '19(!) & January..... averages at JIA: Low / High - 1st: 41 / 65 degrees.... 31st: 42 / 66 degrees Rainfall: 3.30' Sunrise / Sunset: 1st - 7:23am / 5:37pm, 31st - 7:18am / 6:03pm - GAIN 31 min. of daylight. The 2018 annual lightning report - go * here * - has been released at the AMS (American Meteorological Society) conference: Lightning Strikes Decrease to 17 Million in the U.S. in 2018, an 11 Percent Drop From 10-Year Average Vaisala’s data, released at the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Annual Meeting, show Florida with the most strikes per square mile and Texas with the highest overall number of strikes. Vaisala, the global leader in environmental and industrial measurements, including comprehensive lightning data, today released its 2018 Annual Lightning Report. This year’s data show there were nearly two million fewer lightning strikes in the U.S. in 2018 compared to the 10-year average. Vaisala compiled data from its National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) and analyzed the year in lightning to find 2018 had 17,804,321 negative cloud-to-ground flashes, the most common cloud-to-ground lightning. This marks the third-fewest flashes in the last 10 years and a 1.9 million flash decrease from the 2009 - 2018 average of 19,728,634 lightning flashes across the U.S. annually. The report’s findings were announced at the AMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix this week. “The likely reason for the reduction is simply that there were fewer big storms,” said Ryan Said, Lightning Research Scientist at Vaisala. “Specifically, there were fewer days with very strong air mass contrasts across the Central Plains and Upper Midwest during the spring and summer of 2018, which contributes to the severe weather season.” Vaisala’s National Lightning Detection Network offers detailed accuracy in detecting both cloud-to-ground strokes and cloud pulses in and above local communities. The company recently announced its patent-pending innovation to detect continuing current associated with cloud-to-ground lightning events – which are much longer in duration and the most damaging to infrastructure – by combining the ground-based NLDN technology with data collected by the Geostationary Lightning Mapper on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) GOES-16 satellite. The 2018 Annual Lightning Report also found: ·  Florida has the highest average of negative cloud-to-ground flashes per square mile, with 24. Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma rounded out the top five. ·  Texas has the highest flash count, with 2,483,805 negative cloud-to-ground flashes. Florida is second with 1,385,710. Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska all have just under one million flashes for 2018. ·  County lightning data shows Harrison County, Mississippi, has the highest 10-year average of flashes, but in 2018, Florida took 14 of the top 15 spots for the counties with the most lightning. Accurate lightning information and education is critical. According to NOAA, the U.S. averaged 51 annual lightning strike fatalities and several hundred injuries each year during the last 20 years. In fact, the only weather events causing more U.S. fatalities than lightning are floods. “We found some large areas that had less lighting than usual, including Texas, which had nearly one million fewer lightning flashes in 2018 than it had in 2017,” explained Said. “Additionally, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri all had relatively cool weather last spring, and that meant fewer lightning flashes. At the same time, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota had larger organized storms, which resulted in a higher-than-average lightning activity compared to the 10-year average.”
  • 2018 will go down as a generally wet & mild year. Rainfall at JIA was nearly 7' above avg. but was as much as a foot or more above avg. for some areas including a record number of t'storm days & two daily rainfall records.  Only Jan., March & July had below avg. temps. with 10 record temps. (7 highs, 3 high min's.). 'Outstanding' weather included ice & snow into Baker & Nassau Co. in early Jan... a record warm Feb... a wet late spring through mid summer... a hot autumn... & 2 U.S. landfalling hurricanes inflicting great damage. Facebook video recap * here *..... JANUARY (50.5 degrees /-2.6 degrees.... 3.64' / +0.34') * 3rd - ice storm into parts of Columbia, Baker & Nassau Co. with ice & snow for much of SE Ga. Snow in Ware Co., Ga: FEBRUARY (66.1 degrees/+9.7 degrees - ties warmest Feb. on record.... 1.73' / -1.46') * 24th - 85 degrees - 13th 80 degree day in Feb. breaks the record of 12 80 degree Feb. days in 1989 & 1891. * 25th - 86 degrees - record high (85/2001) * 26th - 84 degrees - 25th 80 degree day in Dec./Jan./Feb. - ties 1957 record * 28th - 81 degrees - 26th 80 degree day breaks Dec./Jan./Feb. record for most 80 degree days. MARCH (59.5 degrees / -2.2 degrees.... 2.14' / -1.81') * 15th - first freeze since Jan. 31 * 20th - large hail Northern/NW Duval Co. APRIL (67.3 degrees / +0.3 degrees.... 5.23' / +2.59') * 10th - golf ball sized hail World Golf Village * 15th - 1 injury due to t'storm winds - tree on mobile home NW Jax * 23rd - 2.45' of rain - daily record rainfall (2.4'/1991) MAY (75.4 degrees / +1.3 degrees.... 5.91' / +3.43') * 10th - 90 degrees - first 90 degree day of the year (avg. is May 5th) * 13th - rip current death at St. Augustine... 2 injuries at St. Simons Island * 25th - Subtropical storm 'Alberto' (first named storm of the season) forms over the Yucatan Channel with a landfall on the 28th in the Fl. Panhandle northwest of Panama City as a tropical storm - little damage. JUNE (81.7 degrees / +1.8 degrees.... 9.77' / +3.32') * 3rd - one inch hail in St. Augustine 28th - 1.52' - daily record rainfall (1.37'/2005) JULY (82.0 degrees / -0.3 degrees.... 8.86' / +2.31') * 6th - 'Beryl' goes hurricane over E. Atlantic - farthest south & east for a hurricane to develop so early in the season * 20th - 17 killed on Table Rock Lake, Missouri - tourist duck boat sinks in violent t'storm *23rd - EF-0 tornado in Palencia, St. Johns Co. AUGUST (82.4 degrees / +0.6 degrees.... 7.68' / +0.88') * June / July / Aug: 69 t'storm days breaks the record for a single summer (63/1927), avg. - 47 days. SEPTEMBER (82.4 degrees / +4.2 degrees.... 3.41' / -4.78' * 2nd hottest Sept. on record (83.3 degrees, 1925) & only Sept. with no min. temps. below 70 degrees since thermometer moved to JIA in 1956. *4th - tropical storm 'Gordon' landfall near Pascagoula, MS about 10:30pm EDT - little damage. *14th - Cat. 1 hurricane 'Florence' landfall about 7:15am at Wrightsville Beach, NC - massive flooding over the Carolina's in particular. Review of Florence from the 'Buresh Blog'.  Photo below is flooding in Jacksonville, NC: * 16th - Hottest Jags game on record vs. Patriots (96 degrees, heat index - 106 degrees) OCTOBER (74.2 degrees / +3.8 degrees.... 1.30' / -2.63' * 7th - tropical depression #14 forms over the Southern Gulf of Mexico & becomes tropical storm 'Michael' - see Buresh Blog: 'Forecasting Monster Hurricane Michael' * 10th - Cat. 4 hurricane Michael makes historic landfall at Mexico Beach, Fl.... outer bands drop an EF-0 tornado in Clay Co.... low of 79 degrees is an all-time record Oct. high low temp. (78 degrees Oct. 4, 1964) Clay Co. funnel cloud about 40 miles SW of Jacksonville: * 15th - 91 degrees - record high (90/1990) * 16th - 93 degrees - record high (92/2017) * 17th - 75 degrees - record high low... record high of 94 degrees (91/1989) - hottest so late in Oct. (94 Oct. 9, 1941) * 20th - 90 degrees - record high (89, 2006) - 99th & final 90 degree day of the year - 10th most all-time. NOVEMBER (63.1 degrees / +0.9 degrees.... 5.21' / +3.10') * 6th - 88 degrees - record high (86/2003) * 13th - 87 degrees - record high (86/1889) - latest 87 degree day on record * 15th - 2.0 - 3.5' of rain SE Duval/St. Johns/Clay/Putnam Co. * 23rd - 1.56' of rain at JIA but 4-10' of rain SE Duval/St. Johns/Clay Co. * 28th - 32 degrees - first official freeze of the season (avg. is Dec. 10th) DECEMBER (58.0 degrees / +2.8 degrees.... 4.96' / +2.16') * 2nd - EF-3 tornado at Kings Bay, Ga./Camden Co. - 4 injuries 0
  • The next update for the 'Buresh Blog' will be near New Year's Day - the weather year in review. Enjoy the holidays... stay safe & Merry Christmas! Travel weather links - by air * here *.... by road * here *. Dreaming of a White Christmas?..... see the interactive map by NOAA which gives % chances of such.   Fri., Dec. 21 - the Winter Solstice - very near the shortest days of the year.  The earth tilts (23.5 degrees) away from the earth on the winter solstice so the sun's rays are the least direct for the Northern Hemisphere resulting in the coldest temps. of the year - winter, in other words. EARTH GAUGE.... courtesy NEEF - CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT: Every year, thousands of volunteers identify and count birds during  Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC) . The annual count—which is in its 119th year—helps researchers, conservation biologists, and others study North American bird populations over time. The first Christmas Bird Count (CBC) took place on December 25, 1900 when 27 participants counted and identified about 18,500 birds, mostly in the northeastern US. Today, volunteers brave snow and chilly temperatures to identify and count birds throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands. Last year, 2,585 counts were completed and 59.2 million birds were reported! What birds will we see this year?  Learn more about CBC and find a count near you . Anyone can participate in the Christmas Bird Count, which takes place from December 14, 2018 to January 5, 2019. The CBC takes place in “count circles” that focus on specific geographic areas. Every circle has a leader, so even if you are a beginner birdwatcher, you’ll be able to count birds with an experienced birder and contribute data to the longest-running wildlife census. If your home happens to be within the boundaries of a count circle, you can count the birds that visit your backyard feeder. Also from NEEF - This holiday season of giving, receiving, feasting, and decorating can come with some additional baggage—trash baggage, that is! Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the amount of trash produced in the United States increases by an estimated 25%—that’s about one million extra tons of garbage each week. Annually, Americans discard an estimated: 38,000 miles of ribbon, or enough to wrap around the planet (with some left for a bow); $11 billion worth of packing material; And 15 million used Christmas trees. When this holiday material is discarded it can be headed to landfills, where, far from making things merry and bright, it undergoes bacterial decomposition, which produces “landfill gas”: a mixture of predominantly greenhouse gases including methane, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. The methane in particular makes landfill gas stand out—landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States. Methane, a greenhouse gas with an impact on climate change more than 25 times greater than that of carbon dioxide, is the second-most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the United States from human activity. Carbon dioxide, the other major ingredient in landfill gas, is the first. This year, consider trying out a new way of celebrating the season to help reduce your holiday waste: Give a gift that needs no packaging—an experience! Offer to take friends or family on a trip to a public land, or offer to pay the entrance fee for a national, state, or local park you know they would enjoy. Each year, an estimated 2.6 billion holiday cards are sold in the US, or enough to fill a football field 10 stories high. Instead of a traditional card, consider an e-card or a telephone call to friends and family. When shopping for holiday foods, decorations, and gifts, use reusable shopping bags. These can be stronger than traditional single-use bags, protecting your purchases and reducing the amount of paper and plastic distributed by vendors. For an eye-catching gift tag, cut off the front of any holiday cards you received in the previous year. The card’s decorative front will spruce up your gift, and you can write the recipient’s name on the blank side. Save on gift wrap by reusing intact pieces from the previous year, or by opting for a more durable material that you can use again and again, such as a cloth bag. Once it’s time to pack up the decorations, set aside your Christmas tree for recycling. Many areas collect trees in the first few weeks after Christmas to be mulched and used for water conservation and weed control. Sources: CalRecycle. 2013. “A Season for Giving, Nor for Discarding.” California Department of Resources and Recycling Recovery. Accessed December 17, 2015.  CalRecycle. 2014. “ ‘Give Green’ by Decking the Halls with Less Waste This Year!” California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. Accessed December 17, 2015.  NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. 2015. “The Cosmic Distance Scale.” NASA. Accessed December 17.  Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. 2015. “Reduce Waste Generated During the Holidays.” Accessed December 17, 2015.  The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. 2014. “About CFAES: An after Christmas Story: Tips for Reducing, Reusing, Recycling Holiday Trash.” The Ohio State University. Accessed December 17, 2015.  Stanford Buildings & Grounds Maintenance. 2015. “Frequently Asked Questions: Holiday Waste Prevention.” Stanford University. Accessed December 17.  US EPA. 2011. “Landfill Methane Outreach Program: Methane Gas.” Accessed December 17, 2015.  US EPA. 2015. “Landfill Methane Outreach Program: Basic Information.” Accessed December 17.  US EPA. 2015. “Overview of Greenhouse Gases: Carbon Dioxide.” Accessed December 17.  US EPA. 2015. “Overview of Greenhouse Gases: Methane Emissions.” Accessed December 17.
  • The first EF-3 tornado in our local viewing area in quite some time was confirmed by the Jacksonville N.W.S. Sun., Dec. 2nd at Kings Bay, (Camden Co.) Ga. - just north of St. Marys & south of Brunswick & St. Simons Island about 30-40 miles N/NE of Jacksonville.  According to the N.W.S.:  Rating:                 EF-3 Estimated Peak Wind:    144 mph Path Length /statute/:  7.5 miles Path Width /maximum/:   900 yards Fatalities:             0 Injuries:               4 Start Date:             12/02/2018 Start Time:             3:10 PM Start Location:         4 WNW Dungeness / Camden County / GA Start Lat/Lon:          30.78 / -81.55 End Date:               12/02/2018 End Time:               3:20 PM End Location:           5 ENE Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay / Camden County / GA End Lat/Lon:            30.82 / -81.44 Survey Summary: National Weather Service Jacksonville Storm Survey revealed  damage consistent with EF-3 tornado damage at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, which was confirmed by a 125 knot / 144 mph maximum wind gust measurement from a docked Coast Guard Vessel. This is the strongest tornado in recent memory within the National Weather Service Jacksonville's area of responsibility in southeast Georgia, northeast and north central Florida. Four injuries were reported by officials at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. The tornado continued on an east-northeast path across Cumberland Island, beginning from Old House Creek and exiting into the Atlantic waters just south of the Stafford Beach Campground. The tornado path across Cumberland Island was estimated by Cumberland Island National Seashore park rangers to be approximately one-third to one half mile wide. Significant tree damage occurred within the tornado path across Cumberland Island, with no structural damage reported. The main park road and several trails on Cumberland Island were left impassable by the tree damage. EF Scale: The Enhanced Fujita Scale classifies tornadoes into the following categories: EF0...Weak......65 to 85 mph EF1...Weak......86 to 110 mph EF2...Strong....111 to 135 mph EF3...Strong....136 to 165 mph EF4...Violent...166 to 200 mph EF5...Violent...>200 mph The severe storm outbreak - which included rainfall of 10' or more across SE Ga. - was part of a strong & expansive storm system that started producing tornadoes a couple of days earlier over the Southern Plain then on Sat. a little farther east.... then to SE Ga. Sunday.   This could be a hint about our winter given the developing weak to possibly moderate El Nino.  El Nino winters are often characterized by low latitude storm systems - propelled by an active subtropical jet stream - moving west to east across N. America resulting in heavier than avg. winter rainfall - along with occasional severe weather/tornado outbreaks - across the Southern & SE U.S. from California to the Carolina's. Speaking of El Nino.... an El Nino 'watch' remains in effect with the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) indicating an 80% of an El Nino during the winter months with a 60% chance of El Nino continuing into the spring.  An El Nino occurs when warmer than avg. ocean water develops near the equatorial Pacific generally between Australia & S. America. Interesting to note the vast amount of warmer than avg. water across the globe.  Particularly interesting is the unseasonably warm water over the N. Pacific that includes the Gulf of Alaska.  If such a pattern holds, the implication is the potential for an upper level ridge to build over the area which would induce a potentially deep trough - at least at times - over the Central &/or Eastern U.S.  This translates into the potential for pretty serious cold spells in the coming months over the Eastern U.S. possibly extending as far south as Fl.  And if the El Nino does develop helping to activate an active southern  - subtropical - storm track then there might very well be at least a couple southern snows. Many forecast models - see below - indicate the potential El Nino deep into spring, possibly even into the early summer months: From Climate.gov: EARTH GAUGE: Holiday LED's (NEEF): Colorful neighborhood lighting displays and glowing trees are a sign of the season, dating back hundreds of years! Before Thomas Edison's creation of the first electric lighting display for the holidays in 1880, people used to use candles to decorate for (risky!) seasonal cheer. Since then we've come a long way, with versions of Edison's incandescent bulbs appearing in homes and neighborhoods across the world, in various shapes and colors. However, all those twinkling lights can drive up energy demand and result in big home energy bills, and still manage to cause an average of 200 home fires each year. What’s a decorator to do? Show your holiday spirit with LEDs (light-emitting diodes)! LED holiday lights consume about 75% less energy than traditional incandescent light strands and provide these great benefits: Safe: LEDs emit less heat than traditional bulbs, reducing the risk of fire and burns. Sturdy: LEDs are less likely to break because they are not made with glass. Long-Lasting: LEDs last up to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs—you could still be using the same LED string 40 years from now! NEEF © Once a light strand has reached the end of its life, you can actually recycle them. Many home improvement stores across the country have holiday light takeback programs to recycle the products.  Curious to learn more about how your holiday lights work? This explainer from the US Department of Energy walks you through the what, how, and why of all types of lights—including how to troubleshoot some common issues. Learn more about holiday lights. Sources: Adams, Pat. 2014. 'Top 5 Things You Didn't Know About Holiday Lights.' US Department of Energy. Accessed December 5, 2017. National Fire Protection Association. 2017. 'Home Christmas Tree Fires.' Wood, Daniel, and Sarah Gerrity. 2015. 'How Do Holiday Lights Work?' US Department of Energy. Accessed December 5, 2017.
  • The 'end' of the '18 hurricane season!  'Talking the Tropics With Mike' * here *. (The 'Buresh Blog' is typically updated once per week)..... The first truly cold temps. of autumn have arrived with the first 'official' freeze of the season at JIA/Duval Co. early Wed. since March 15th.  Such cold is a bit early for Duval Co. but - inland - about right on time if not a little late. So I went back into the First Alert Weather climate 'bible' & found that we've been way below avg. the last 7 winters when it comes to the number of freezes - avg. is 18 freezes per winter.  The 3 previous winters - 2010-11... 2009-10 & 2008-09 were far above avg. & quite cold.  Yes - the globe is warming, but it doesn't mean we can't & won't have below avg. temps.  Mother Nature is all about balancing, & I suspect a 'cold' winter - or series of cold winters - is soon to occur. 0 And December is upon us!  The averages at JIA: Low / high: 1st - 47 / 67.... 31st - 47 / 66 degrees Rainfall: 2.80' Sunrise / Sunset: 1st - 7:06am / 5:26pm... 31st - 7:23am / 5:36pm - lose 7 min. of daylight The 4th National Climate Assessment was (conveniently) released the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 23rd - * here * in its entirety..... summary findings * here * - communities, econony, interconnected impacts, actions to reduce risks, water, health, indigenous peoples, ecosystems & ecosystem services, agriculture, infrastructure, oceans & coasts, tourism & recreation.   Assessing the climate can be a fuzzy & daunting task.  We need to remember that a single storm or event is not evidence for or against climate change.  And 'we' should be smart enough & quick to understand that every wildfire, hurricane, storm, drought, etc. is not simply caused by climate change.  In way too many instances, it's man's existence, habits & waste that exacerbate climate change - in micro & macro settings. The graph below is from the University of Alabama, Huntsville courtesy Dr. Spencer & Dr. Christy showing a distinct recent trend - since the 'super El Nino' of 1998-'99 - of above avg. global temps. as measured by satellite: 1 Since Jacksonville is essentially a coastal area, the climate assessment summary for oceans & coasts: Coastal communities and the ecosystems that support them are increasingly threatened by the impacts of climate change. Without significant reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions and regional adaptation measures, many coastal regions will be transformed by the latter part of this century, with impacts affecting other regions and sectors. Even in a future with lower greenhouse gas emissions, many communities are expected to suffer financial impacts as chronic high-tide flooding leads to higher costs and lower property values. Rising water temperatures, ocean acidification, retreating arctic sea ice, sea level rise, high-tide flooding, coastal erosion, higher storm surge, and heavier precipitation events threaten our oceans and coasts. These effects are projected to continue, putting ocean and marine species at risk, decreasing the productivity of certain fisheries, and threatening communities that rely on marine ecosystems for livelihoods and recreation, with particular impacts on fishing communities in Hawaii and the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands, the U.S. Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. Lasting damage to coastal property and infrastructure driven by sea level rise and storm surge is expected to lead to financial losses for individuals, businesses, and communities, with the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts facing above-average risks. Impacts on coastal energy and transportation infrastructure driven by sea level rise and storm surge have the potential for cascading costs and disruptions across the country. Even if significant emissions reductions occur, many of the effects from sea level rise over this centuryand particularly through mid-centuryare already locked in due to historical emissions, and many communities are already dealing with the consequences. Actions to plan for and adapt to more frequent, widespread, and severe coastal flooding, such as shoreline protection and conservation of coastal ecosystems, would decrease direct losses and cascading impacts on other sectors and parts of the country. More than half of the damages to coastal property are estimated to be avoidable through well-timed adaptation measures. Substantial and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions would also significantly reduce projected risks to fisheries and communities that rely on them.
  • Holiday shopping for that 'weather nerd'?! :) - NOAA cloud charts * here * .... NOAA/NASA * here * .... a printable version from NASA * here *.... & from 'Delta Education' - shown below - * here *. Lots of folks on the highways & in the air through the end of the year. Stay updated by downloading the First Alert Weather app... &/or going to the Action News Jax weather page.  For travel conditions by highway - click * here *.... by air - * here *.   EARTH GAUGE (NEEF).... Does weather affect your Thanksgiving meal? You bet! From wild turkey survival to the life cycle of the apples in your pie, weather conditions have a big impact on the traditional turkey-day fixings. This year, impress your dinner companions with interesting weather-food facts. Wild Turkeys Cranberries Pumpkins Apples Sweet Potatoes Wine WILD TURKEYS While these large, plump birds are able to both fly and swim for short distances, they are not a migratory species, and can be found living year-round in every state in the US except for Alaska.  Look for them in open forests where they spend their nights roosting high in the trees, either as part of a flock or individually. Turkey populations living near residential areas have been known to roost on railings, roofs, and even on vehicles! Tough birds: Wild turkeys live year-round in some of the chilliest parts of the United States, including the Midwest and Northeast, and are able to survive sub-zero temperatures.  As a matter of fact, during spells of severe weather, turkeys can settle in roosting areas without food for up to two weeks, able to survive losing up to 40% of their body weight! Snarled by snow: The bigger winter challenge for wild turkeys is snowy weather. Wild turkeys eat all sorts of ground forage, including seeds, grains, and small bits of vegetation, but they generally cannot reach foods under more than six inches of snow.  Soft, powdery snow also makes it harder for turkeys to move around—the birds will generally “wait it out” in roosts until snow crusts over or melts. Despite extreme weather, most wild turkeys make it through winter.  Survival rates during mild or average winters are between 70 and 100%; harsher winter survival rates are between 55 and 60%. Even during harsh winters, more than enough turkeys survive to maintain healthy breeding populations. CRANBERRIES Most of the world’s cranberries are produced in the United States, hailing predominantly from Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington. These fruits thrive in a special type of wetland, a bog made up of acidic waters and alternating layers of sand and decomposing plant material. Cranberries grow here and in man-made wetlands on long, woody vines, which form a thick mat over the surface of the bed. The cranberries harvested from these vines are affected by their local weather conditions. Sunshine: Cranberries are typically harvested from September to November, and the amount of sunlight the plants receive in the year prior to the harvest can have a big impact on their yield. Greater amounts of sunlight, especially in the fall and winter months, can lead to an increase in photosynthetic activity, producing stronger flower buds and larger berries at harvest time. Temperature: This seasonal favorite is restricted to areas that have moderate summer temperatures, with a July daily average maximum temperature of 85°F. Currently, this temperature range restricts cranberry habitat to only as far south as New Jersey, but temperature increases due to climate change may shift this boundary northward. This shift in the fruit’s habitat would mean that cranberries, currently the third largest agricultural commodity in Massachusetts, would no longer grow in the southeastern part of that state. Rainfall: Cranberries rely on regular rainfall during the May through August growing season for large harvests, but the effect of precipitation on the cranberry yield can start as early as the previous year’s harvest time. Cranberry bogs are flooded with water every winter, and the resultant ice sheet insulates the plant’s buds, protecting them as they sit dormant until the spring thaw. If there is insufficient precipitation before the plants enter dormancy, there may be less fruit production the following year. PUMPKINS About 80% of the United States’ pumpkin supply is available in October, but pumpkin makes an appearance year-round in pies, breads and other foods. The majority of US pumpkins are grown in Illinois, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and New York, and the weather in these areas can have a big impact on the yearly pumpkin harvest. Wet and soggy: Too much rain can cause crops to rot and make them more susceptible to infection and disease. Fungi, which thrive in wet conditions, can damage leaves and stems or kill pumpkin vines and fruits. Hot and dry: Dry, hot weather can cause pumpkins to have too many male blossoms and too few female blossoms, resulting in a smaller harvest.  Lack of water during droughts can also result in smaller and lighter-weight pumpkins. APPLES In the United States, the majority of apples are grown in Washington, New York, and Michigan. The life-cycle and health of this fall staple is directly related to seasons and weather. Spring: Pollination, essential to fruit development, occurs in late spring, and the flowers bloom from mid-April to early June, depending on the growing region. To keep pest populations down, many apple growers use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques, which are pest-control methods that are less harmful to the environment than typical methods. One technique that farmers use is monitoring weather (temperature, humidity and precipitation). This helps them predict pest and disease outbreaks and decide when to spray pesticides to minimize impact on water quality and maximize impact on pests. Summer: In the summer, the apple crop can be damaged by heat stress and drought, which can negatively impact the fruit set and subsequent quality of the apples if the orchards are not adequately irrigated. Apple growers might also prune the trees to encourage fruit growth—if the trees are shaded, restricting their photosynthesis, the fruit production can drop significantly. By the end of the summer, apples complete their growth period and begin to ripen. Fall: Months of intense light exposure coupled with the arrival of cool nights spurs the activity of a particular enzyme in red apples that generates a red pigment, causing their color to deepen. Apples become fully ripe, are harvested and are made into a variety of different foods and juices. After the harvest ends, farmers prepare the orchards for winter. Winter: Flower and leaf buds appear on apple trees in late fall and the trees lie dormant throughout winter. In mid-winter, some farmers prune the trees so they will receive plenty of winter sunlight and their foliage and flowers will be healthy, full, and productive the next spring. These cold winter temperatures are necessary to make the apple trees flower, and this requirement restricts the apples’ growth to the upper latitudes. Under climate change projections, this crisp favorite may be at risk—apples rely on cool winter temperatures for flowering, and historically, the harvest following a warmer winter produces a reduced fruit yield and poor fruit quality. Climate change may already be impacting these fruits—over the past 30 to 40 years, the spring bloom dates for apples grown in New York have occurred several days earlier than they have historically. This earlier bloom can lead to increased frost damage, as the trees leaf out and flower earlier in the spring when the temperatures are still variable, potentially exposing young shoots and buds to dangerous chill and threatening the state’s $286 million apple industry. SWEET POTATOES Sweet potato originated in the Western Hemisphere, where the tradition of growing this nutritious vegetable continues, with the United States’ sweet potatoes predominantly grown in North Carolina, California, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida.  Sweet potatoes thrive in warmer weather, needing a long frost-free season to reach full maturity. Frost can damage sweet potato vines and roots. Cold soils, from 55°F and below, can reduce the potatoes’ ability to keep well in storage after harvest.  Heavy rains can prevent sweet potato roots from forming properly or may cause the potatoes to split. WINE In the United States, a large portion of the grapes grown to produce wine come from California, Oregon, and New York. The growth and health of wine grapes–and the quality of wine–are affected by many different weather conditions. Sun: White and red grapes that receive a lot of sun exposure generally result in fuller-bodied wines. Wind: Too much wind can damage grape vines, reducing crop yield or halting grape maturation. Some wind is necessary, however, to dry out the grapevines and prevent fungal diseases. Rain: Grape vines generally need about 22 inches of rain per year to survive.  However, too much rain during the summer can cause mildew growth, damaging crops.  Too much rain shortly before grape harvest can affect a finished wine by reducing the amount of sugar in the grapes. Frost: Frosts that occur in the spring after the buds have made an appearance can kill emerging shoots, while fall frosts can lead to the death of the vine canopy and stop fruit from ripening. Sources Bruton, B. D., and J. A. Duthie. 2015. “Fusarium Rot.” The American Phytopathological Society. Accessed November 24.  Clarkson University. 2011. “All About New York State’s Apples.”  Cleveland Clinic. 2013. “White Potatoes vs. Sweet Potatoes: Which are Healthier? (Infographic).” Accessed November 24, 2015.  Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 2015. “Wild Turkey: Identification.” Cornell University. Accessed November 24. Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 2015. “Wild Turkey: Life History.” Cornell University. Accessed November 24.  Edmunds, Brooke A., Michael D. Boyette, Christopher A. Clark, Donald M. Ferrin, Tara P. Smith, and Gerald J. Holmes. n.d. “Postharvest Handling of Sweetpotatoes.” AG-413-10-B. North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. 2015. “Wild Turkey FAQ.” Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife. Accessed November 24.  Flore, J. A., G. DeGrandt-Hoffman, and R. L. Perry. 1984. “Apple Tree Growth & Development.” In Biological Monitoring in Apple Orchards: An Instruction Manual, edited by Susan L. Battenfield and M. F. Berney, 21-35. Michigan State University. Harbster, Jennifer. 2010. “A Sweet Potato History.” Library of Congress. Accessed November 24, 2015. Jones, Terry, Brent Rowell, John Strang, Ric Bessin, and Bill Nesmith. 1998. “Kentucky Pumpkin Integrated Pest Management: Grower Manual.” IMP-12. University of Kentucky. Kime, Lynn F., Mark L. Chien, Sid Butler, Phil Roth, John M. Halbrendt, Stephen D. Menke, and Jayson K. Harper. 2015. “Wine Grape Production.” Penn State Extension. Accessed November 24.  Lakso, Alan N., and Martin C Goffinet. 2013. “Apple Fruit Growth.” New York Fruit Quarterly 21(1): 11-14. Geneva: New York State Horticultural Society.  Latin, Richard, and Karen Rane. 1999. Identification and Management of Pumpkin Diseases. Purdue Extension.  Leichenko, Robin, David C. Major, Katie Johnson, Lesley Patrick, and Megan O’Grady. 2011. 'An Economic Analysis of Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations in New York State.' Responding to Climate Change in New York State: The ClimAID Integrated Assessment for Effective Climate Change Adaptation, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1244:501-649. Levetin, Estelle, and Karen McMahon. 2008. “Plant Life Cycle:  Fruits and Seeds.” In Plants and Society: Fifth Edition, 89-102. The McGraw-Hill Companies.  MassWildlife. 2012. “Living with Wildlife: Wild Turkey in Massachusetts.” Commonweath of Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife.  McCammon, Tony A., and William Bohl. 2014. “When to Harvest Apples.” CIS 12 12. University of Idaho Extension.  Moyer, Michelle, Clive Kaiser, Joan Davenport, and Patty Skinkis. 2012. “Considerations and Resources for Vineyard Establishment in the Inland Pacific Northwest.” PNW634. Washington State University: Pacific Northwest Extension.  Moyer, Michelle, R. Troy Peters, and Rick Hamman. 2013. “Irrigation Basics for Eastern Washington Vineyards.” EM061E. Washington State University Extension.  Mullen, Jackie. 2001. “Southern Blight, Southern Stem Blight, White Mold.” The Plant Health Instructor. The American Phytopathological Society DOI: 10.1094/PHI-I-2001-0104-01. Accessed November 24, 2015.  National Agricultural Statistics Service. 2015. “Cranberries.” ISSN: 1948-9013. Unites States Department of Agriculture.  National Agricultural Statistics Service. 2015. “Crop Production: 2014 Summary.” ISSN: 1057-7823. United States Department of Agriculture.  National Agricultural Statistics Service. 2015. “Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts: 2014 Summary.” ISSN: 1948-2698. United States Department of Agriculture. National Agricultural Statistics Service. 2015. “Vegetables: 2014 Summary.” ISSN: 0884-6413. United States Department of Agriculture.  Natural Resources Conservation Service Northeast Plant Materials Program. 2002. “Plant Fact Sheet: Crabapples (Apples).” United States Department of Agriculture.  New York State Integrated Pest Management Program. 2015. “Elements of IPM for Apples in New York State.” Cornell University. Accessed November 24. Price, Steve, and Barney Watson. 1993. “Oregon Wine Advisory Board Research Progress Report: Sun Exposure and Grape Phenolics.” Oregon Wine Research Institute.  Ritenour, Mark, and Habib Khemira. (1997) 2007.”Red Color Development of an Apple: A Literature Review.” Reprint, Washington State University—Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center.  Sandler, Hilary A., and Carolyn J. DeMoranville, eds. 2008. Cranberry Production: A Guide for Massachusetts. CP-08. East Wareham: UMass-Amherst, College of Natural Resources and the Environment. Seebold, Kenny. 2010. “Plant Pathology Fact Sheet: Fruit Rots of Cucurbits.” PPFS-VG-07. Cooperative Extension Service, University of Kentucky—College of Agriculture.  Stafne, Eric. 2012. “Wind Damage to Grapevines.” extension. Accessed November 24, 2015.  Sumner, Paul E. 1984. “Harvesting, Curing and Storage of Sweet Potatoes.” Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia College of Agriculture.  UC Master Gardener Program. 2015. “The California Backyard Orchard: Pruning & Training.” University of California. Accessed November 24.  US EPA. 2015. “Climate Impacts in the Northeast.” Accessed November 24.  University of Illinois Extension. 2015. “Pumpkin Facts.” Accessed November 24.  University of Illinois Extension. 2015. “Watch Your Garden Grow: Sweet Potato.” Accessed November 24.  Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. 2013. Wild Turkey management Plan (2013-2022) DRAFT. Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Walke, C. J. 2010. “In the Orchard: Get Ready for Winter.” Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. Accessed November 24, 2015.  Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. n.d. “Should We Feed Wild Turkeys?” Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  Wolfe, David, Jonathan Comstock, Alan Lakso, Larry Chase, William Fry, Curt Petzoldt, Robin Leichenko, and Peter Vancura. 2011. “Agriculture.” In New York State ClimAID: Integrated Assessment for Effective Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in New York State, edited by Cynthia Rosenzweig, William Solecki, Arthur DeGaetano, Susan Hassol, Paul Grabhorn, and Megan O’Grady, 218-53. Albany: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.  DID YOU KNOW? - Travel Tips (Nick Bradford) The amount of long-distance trips increase by about 54% during the Thanksgiving travel period. Around 89% of Thanksgiving travelers use automobiles to reach their holiday destination. Air travel accounts for about 7.7%. The US transportation sector accounts for approximately 29% of total US greenhouse gas emissions. AAA predicts that nearly 54.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, the highest volume since 2005. Long-distance travel, 50 miles or more, in the United States is most frequent during the week of Thanksgiving. Most travelers use vehicles as their main mode of transportation during this time and can reduce their impact on the environment by following these tips: Avoid aggressive driving. Aggressive driving, such as speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking can lower your highway gas mileage by up to 33%.  Avoid high speeds. Every 5 mph above 50 mph is like paying an extra $0.25 per gallon of gasoline. Pack light. An extra 100 pounds in your car could increase costs by $0.07 per gallon of gasoline. Place items inside the car, rather than on the roof. Traveling with your luggage inside the car or trunk rather than on roof racks can increase your fuel economy by 5% or more. Carpool. Sharing rides saves you money, reduces emissions, and reduces traffic on the roads. Check tire pressure. Inflate your tires to the pressure recommended in your owner’s manual to improve gas mileage by up to 3.3%. Replace clogged air filters. Replacing clogged air filters on older cars with a carbureted engine will improve your gas mileage by as much as 10%. LEARN MORE As you are traveling around the country this holiday season, find out what animals are also on the move through NEEF’s new Animal Migration Activity Gide, perfect for exploring the topic with young learners through fun at-home activities! Sources: AAA. 2018. 'More Than 54 Million Americans to Travel this Thanksgiving, the Most Since 2005'. Accessed November 20, 2018.  AAA. 2017. 'Nearly 51 Million Americans to Travel This Thanksgiving, Highest Volume in a Dozen Years'. Accessed November 20. BNL. 2012. “Ridesharing Benefits.” Accessed November 20, 2018.  USDOE. 2014. “Energy Saver: Tips on Saving Money & Energy at Home.” Accessed November 20, 2018.  USDOE. 2015. “Keeping Your Vehicle in Shape.” Accessed November 20, 2018.  USDOT. 2015. “Climate Change Mitigation.” Accessed November 20, 2018.  On Mon., Nov. 26, NASA will land on Mars!... NASA/JPL-Caltech image: < NASA's Mars Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander is scheduled to touch down on the Red Planet at approximately 3 p.m. EST Nov. 26, and viewers everywhere can watch coverage of the event live on NASA Television, the agency's website and social media platforms. Launched on May 5, InSight marks NASA's first Mars landing since the Curiosity rover in 2012. The landing will kick off a two-year mission in which InSight will become the first spacecraft to study Mars' deep interior. Its data also will help scientists understand the formation of all rocky worlds, including our own. InSight is being followed to Mars by two mini-spacecraft comprising NASA’s Mars Cube One (MarCO), the first deep-space mission for CubeSats. If MarCO makes its planned Mars flyby, it will attempt to relay data from InSight as it enters the planet’s atmosphere and lands. InSight and MarCO flight controllers will monitor the spacecraft's entry, descent and landing from mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, where all landing events will take place. Broadcast Schedule (all times Eastern) Times and speakers are subject to change. Media can participate in the news conferences by phone. Plus, media and the public can ask questions on social media during the events by tagging them with #askNASA. Monday, Nov. 26: Landing Day 6 to 10 a.m. – Live interviews with mission experts To book an interview, media must contact Mark Petrovich at mark.petrovich@jpl.nasa.gov or 818-393-4359. 2 to 3:30 p.m. – Live landing commentary on the NASA TV Public Channel An uninterrupted, clean feed from cameras inside JPL Mission Control, with mission audio only, will be available on the NASA TV Media Channel. No earlier than 5 p.m. – Post-landing news conference About 80 live viewing events for the public to watch the InSight landing will take place around the world. For a complete list of landing event watch parties, visit: https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/timeline/landing/watch-in-person/ For a full list of websites broadcasting InSight landing events, go to: https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/timeline/landing/watch-online/ An InSight landing press kit is available online at: https://go.nasa.gov/insight_pk  Follow the mission on social media at: https://twitter.com/NASAInSight https://facebook.com/NASAInSight
  • Our way above avg. fall temps. have continued into Nov. but will be 'arrested' for several days through the weekend leading up to Thanksgiving.  85% of the days from Sept. 1 through Nov. 13 - 63 of 74 days - were above avg. Speaking of Thanksgiving - the holiday is fast approaching &, in fact, is the earliest it can be on the calendar - the 22nd (will be the latest next year - 28th).  A busy travel week, & it does look like I'll be tracking a low latitude storm system moving eastward toward Jacksonville.  Early indications are that there will be some wet weather for at least parts of the Thanksgiving weekend.  Stay updated by downloading the First Alert Weather app... &/or going to the Action News Jax weather page.  For travel conditions by highway - click * here *.... by air - * here *. The Panhandle continues to long clean-up process post hurricane Michael (see my blog: 'Forecasting monster hurricane Michael').  Pete Miller from Jacksonville is helping his brother in Quincy, Fl. clear trees & debris after the storm & has shared the photos below (the first one is cotton striped from nearby fields): Baby cheetahs - a litter of four 'kitties' - have been born at White Oak Conservation, Yulee.  If you're not familiar with this large & fascinating local conservation area near the Fl./Ga. border, take a look! - here.  From White Oak: Yulee, Fla. (Nov. 12, 2018) — White Oak Conservation is pleased to announce that four cheetah cubs have been born at White Oak, a wildlife refuge in northeastern Florida owned by philanthropists Mark and Kimbra Walter.     The two female and two male cubs, which have not yet been named, were born last month and are being reared by their mother, Oronsay.  The cubs spent the first few weeks of life in their specially built den and recently began exploring outside. They weigh about 300-500 grams each and were born with their distinctive spots.   Cheetahs are a threatened species, with only 7,000 estimated to live in the wild in Africa and Iran. Their numbers have declined drastically as a result of poaching, habitat loss, the illegal pet trade and because of ranchers, who trap and shoot them to protect livestock.   “We are proud these two cubs bring us closer to saving this species from extinction,” Mark Walter said. “Exceptional planning and care are needed to ensure the cheetah’s survival, and days like this make us hopeful for the future.”   Cheetahs first arrived at White Oak in 1985. Since then, 187 cubs in 52 litters have been born at the refuge. The four new cubs are the second litter for Oronsay, who came to White Oak from Busch Gardens. The cubs’ father is Wookie, who was born at White Oak. This is his first litter.    White Oak is dedicated to saving endangered species such as cheetahs and leads global conservation through innovative science, education, training and collaborations.   White Oak hosted a cheetah conference Oct. 22-26, drawing cheetah experts from around the world to share information and strategies on preserving this vulnerable species, which has disappeared from many areas of Africa and Asia where it once thrived.   “Each cheetah born at White Oak is an important addition and contributes to sustaining a global population of these unique cats,” said Steve Shurter, CEO of White Oak Conservation.  “This welcome birth event was particularly timely, occurring as White Oak convened international experts to strategize on improving the long-term outlook for cheetahs.”   Fact about cheetahs: Cheetahs are the fastest land animals, employing incredible bursts of speed in 60 to 70 mph runs to catch antelope, hares or birds. To communicate, cheetahs make a high-pitched chirping sound that sounds almost bird-like. Cheetah litter sizes typically range from three to five cubs Female cheetahs separate themselves and live solitary lives, while males stay together in groups called coalitions. About White Oak Conservation White Oak works to save endangered species and wild places. White Oak leads global conservation through innovative science, education, training, and collaborations. We are committed to providing conservation options for many of the species that need them the most. White Oak’s 17,000 riverfront acres in northeast Florida provide a refuge for more than 17 endangered species. Additionally, White Oak works to help and inspire others to support conservation by hosting education, conservation, corporate and family groups for visits, overnight stays, conferences, and meetings. We are an Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) certified facility. White Oak is owned by philanthropists Mark and Kimbra Walter. Earth Gauge (NEEF): The amount of waste Americans generate has been on the rise—from 3.66 pounds per person per day in 1980 to 4.48 pounds per person per day in 2015—but we’re also recycling and composting more. Today we recycle or compost about 34.7% of our waste, up from less than 10% in 1980. In 2015, Americans recycled and composted 91 million tons of waste. Keeping waste out of landfills and incinerators reduces CO2 emissions; in 2014, the waste recycled and composted offset emissions by 181 million metric tons—the equivalent to the annual emissions of 38 million cars! November 15 is America Recycles Day. Take this opportunity to scour your home, school, or office for unusual items that you don't need any more but can be recycled: hair care and mouthwash bottles; plastic bags and plastic wrap used to package paper towels, toilet paper, and dry-cleaning; mobile phones, tablets, computers, video game consoles, TVs, and other electronics. Recycling these items gives them new life. Plastic containers can become new plastic products, carpeting, or car parts. Plastic bags and plastic wrap can become new plastic bags, shopping carts, or fencing and deck materials. Valuable metals from electronics can be used in jewelry, new electronics, and car parts. Before tossing something in the trash bin, find out if it can be recycled. Visit www.iwanttoberecycled.org to learn more about the lifecycle of recycled products and find a recycling center where you live.  Sources: Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful. 2015. “Electronics (E-scrap).” Accessed October 26. Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful. 2015. “Plastic Bags and Film.” Accessed October 26. Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful. 2015. “Plastic Bottles and Containers.” Accessed October 26. Keep America Beautiful. 2015. “Keep America Beautiful Brings Focus to “Bathrooms, Bags & Gadgets” for America Recycles Day 2015.” Accessed October 26. US EPA. 2016. “Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: 2014 Fact Sheet.” US EPA. 2018. 'Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: 2015 Fact Sheet.'   
  • Finally a true taste of fall is on the way.  After flirting with near all-time Nov. record highs the first week of the month, a big dip in the jet stream will send some chilly air all way to the Gulf Coast by about Nov. 14th or so.  The upper level forecast map below is for early Wed., Nov. 14.  While it does not look like a pattern change that sticks & holds, we should see the chilliest air of the season so far for at least a few days including inland 30s late in the week. The transition to fall sometimes results in a secondary peak of the tornado season.  Such as been true this year.  From Halloween to Nov. 6th there were 4 tornado related deaths (ranging from Louisiana to Baltimore, Maryland) making it the deadliest week for tornadoes since April, 2017.  A remarkable stretch thanks to an unusually low number of tornadoes during the past 18+ months - near a record low, in fact far below even the 50th percentile. Your Nov. night skies (skyandtelescope.com): Nov. 11 (dusk): Saturn and the waxing crescent Moon are less than 4° apart in the southwest. Nov. 14 (dawn): Dazzling Venus and bright star Spica are 1° apart in the east-southeast before sunrise.    Nov. 15 (evening): After sunset, look south to see the just-past-first-quarter Moon hang 3° lower right of Mars. Nov. 17 (all night): The weak Leonid meteor shower peaks in early evening, but best chances for seeing meteors are in the hours after midnight.   Nov. 23 (evening): The Moon, just past full and Aldebaran rise less than 3° apart in the east-northeast.  Nov. 29 (morning): Regulus, Leo’s front paw, will be 2° lower right of the Moon, just shy of last quarter, before sunrise. Dec. 2–3 (dawn): Venus, Spica, and waning crescent Moon form a triangle in the predawn sky. Moon Phases New Moon Nov. 7, 11:02 a.m. EST  First Quarter Nov. 15, 9:54 a.m. EST  Full Moon Nov. 23, 12:39 a.m. EST (Beaver Moon) Last Quarter Nov. 29, 7:19 p.m. EST

The Latest News Headlines

  • After yet another day which featured no hints of progress in ending a funding fight that has to a partial government shutdown taking paychecks away from over 800,000 federal workers, President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday evening that he would make a ‘major announcement’ on Saturday about his push to get money to build a wall along the Mexican border, which has led to an ongoing standoff with Democrats in Congress. “I will be making a major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown,” the President wrote on Twitter, giving no details about what he might announce. With no indications that Democrats in Congress are ready to give in on their opposition to a border wall, some Republicans have continued to urge the President to declare a ‘national emergency’ under existing laws, and move money around in the military’s budget to build a wall. I will be making a major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown, tomorrow afternoon at 3 P.M., live from the @WhiteHouse. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2019 “He ought to go ahead and declare an emergency, and it would be over,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK). “I don’t know why he is reluctant to do that.” Inhofe – who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee – said Thursday that he would not oppose the President dipping into military construction funds to build the wall, though other Republicans have publicly opposed the idea. Democrats on Friday also pressed the Department of Homeland Security on another front – using eminent domain to take land away from landowners, in order to build the way – focusing on a case involving the Catholic Church in Texas, which owns land that the Trump Administration wants. “The federal government must exercise extreme caution when seizing private property,” wrote Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer to the Homeland Security Secretary. To @SecNielsen: The Trump Administration’s lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, raises important questions on the exercise of eminent domain to build a border wall. We ask you to respond to these questions by January 31: pic.twitter.com/MXcfoQib9E — Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 18, 2019 The President has asked for $5.7 billion in border security money for both fencing and a wall; Democrats in Congress have offered $1.6 billion – the original requests of the Trump Administration and Republicans – but Democrats want none of that to go to the wall.
  • Florida schools are seeing a critical shortage of certified science, English and math teachers. A new report by the Florida Department of Education says those subjects are among areas where substantial proportions of teachers who are not certified in the appropriate field are being hired to teach those courses. “We have a shortage because people aren’t entering the teaching profession like they used to because there’s no security in teaching,” Renna Lee Paiva said. Paiva is president of the Clay County Education Association. She said those who have been in the education field for years are extremely concerned about the teacher shortage. In Duval County, a district spokesperson said there are 146 total vacancies at schools, with 21 open positions in math and four in science. In St. Johns County, the district had 28 unfilled positions as of Jan. 7, including four in math and science. Clay County Schools says it has 14 vacancies overall, with five in math and science. “We start to see fewer freshman coming in and saying, ‘I want to be an elementary teacher or I want to be a biology teacher,’” Paul Parkison, chair of the University of North Florida’s childhood education program, said. He told Action News Jax that the university starts recruitment early, educating incoming freshman about teaching opportunities. “We didn’t used to have to have those conversations, we’d have freshman coming in that were already excited about being teachers,” he said. “We actually initiated a couple programs that are targeted toward particularly the secondary, our UNF graduates who didn’t consider teacher as their primary major. Maybe they’re a history major or a biology major.” Local education experts, including Jacksonville Public Education Fund President Rachel Tutwiler Fortune, said the focus needs to be on higher pay. “There are many potential solutions, including higher pay and more career advancement opportunities,” she said in a statement. “Our pay scales, our benefits is all in jeopardy and it’s up to the legislators to fix it so we can give quality education to our kids -- which is our primary goal,” Paiva said. Full statement from JPEF: “The teacher shortage is a problem in Duval County as well as across our state and the nation, and there are many potential solutions, including higher pay and more career advancement opportunities. The Duval County School Board recently discussed one of these promising solutions -- creating a program to help public high students work toward a degree in education, in order to increase the number of aspiring teachers. This would be a win for Duval County students now and in the future, and we applaud Duval County Public Schools for exploring how we could adopt this innovative model -- known as 'grow your own teacher' -- in Jacksonville.”
  • You've been hearing the buzz about autonomous vehicles for a while, now lawmakers in Florida are discussing the possibility of making the futuristic form of transportation a reality. A state representative from Duval County has filed legislation to allow the development and deployment of those autonomous vehicles.  State Rep. Jason Fischer (R-Jacksonville) says as an engineer by trade, he understands the benefits autonomous vehicles would bring with them. He says if Florida were to ban those types of vehicles, it would stunt the state's potential for growth.  'Those engineers aren't going to move here. Those planners aren't going to move here. Those are high paying jobs,' Fischer says.  He says he can imagine Jacksonville as a place where football fans will be able to hop on driverless vehicles to take them to Jaguars games at TIAA Bank Field. He says the Skyway, linking one side of the St. Johns River to the other in downtown, is a prime example of something that could be updated if his bill goes through.  'We have a public transportation component that's already looking to go that way,' he says. 'My legislation would help enable them to move in that direction.'  Fischer says autonomous vehicles would also be a major help to the blind community. Both AARP Florida and the Florida Council of the Blind have offered their support for the legislation, saying their members will have more mobility opportunities if the bill goes through.  “For blind people, people living with disabilities and some senior citizens, self-driving cars will mean greater independence,” President of the Florida Council of the Blind Sheila Young says in a statement.  Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) is sponsoring the companion measure in the Florida Senate. Fischer says he thinks the legislation should make it to the governor's desk within a couple months.
  • Two Florida fifth-graders are accused of plotting to kill an 11-year-old classmate and escape in a golf cart last month. The plot unraveled Dec. 14 at Roberts Elementary School in Tallahassee, where the alleged victim and the accused students, ages 10 and 11, all attend school. A 32-page police report obtained by the Tallahassee Democrat details the plot, which resulted in both students’ suspension and civil citations for conspiracy to commit battery and bringing weapons on school grounds.  The students are also being recommended for expulsion, the Democrat reported.  “This obviously is a very serious matter,” Leon County Superintendent Rocky Hanna said in a statement. “There is zero tolerance in our school system for violence or threats of violence. The individuals who participate in these types of behavior will suffer severe consequences, as (will) these two young boys.” The school’s principal, Kim McFarland, told investigators that the boys “planned and put into effect” a plot to kill their classmate, the Democrat reported.  >> Read more trending news According to the timeline laid out in the police report, one of the accused boys threatened the victim Dec. 10, telling him they would kill him. A few days later, a female classmate told the victim a secret and then went to the two suspected plotters and claimed the victim was spreading rumors about her.  The plotters again threatened the boy, saying they would “take care of him and kill him,” the Democrat reported.  Another student later told police investigators the boys drew a map of where on campus they would take the victim -- an area without security cameras, the newspaper reported. They ultimately changed their mind and planned to take the boy to the school’s garden instead, the police report said.  The day of the planned attack, one of the boys brought a backpack to school with what investigators believe was a murder kit: a wrench, adjustable clamp pliers, a multitool with a 3-inch blade on it and baseball batting gloves. According to police, the student showed the tools to classmates and one of the pair told them “snitches get stitches.” They also told at least one classmate they had the gloves so they would not leave fingerprints, the Democrat reported. They planned to use some of the tools to bust through a gate and flee on a golf cart.  During an after-school program on campus, the boys approached the alleged victim and asked if he wanted to go to the “secret hideout in the garden,” the police report said. He told investigators he refused because other students had told him the boys wanted to hurt him.  The alleged victim went to a teacher supervising the after-school program and told what the boys had planned, the newspaper reported. The boys were taken to the principal, who searched the backpack and found the tools, including the knife. The boys denied wanting to kill the victim, but admitted they planned to beat him up, the Democrat reported.  After the incident, McFarland sent parents an email, which was obtained by WCTV in Tallahassee. “Last Friday there was an incident, with alleged intent to harm a fellow student, that occurred in the afterschool program with a group of 5th grade students who had been developing a plan over a series of days,” McFarland said. “Some of you have reached out with concerns and questions. At this time, I cannot share details, but I can assure that your children are safe and the situation is being handled.” McFarland wrote that she met with the school’s fifth graders to discuss the importance of “see something, say something.”   “Many fifth grade students knew of the potential incident but did not tell teachers or their parents,” the principal said. “We discussed the importance of alerting adults when there is any concern for safety for themselves or their fellow students. Please discuss this with your children. It is imperative they learn this valuable skill now.”
  • The Clay County Sheriff's Office is inviting the community to a fundraiser next month called 'Shootin' with the Sheriffs.' Chris Padgett, the Public Information Officer with CCSO, says the event will essentially be a clay-shoot competition featuring Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels and other law enforcement members and the community.  Padgett says proceeds from the event will allow them to send about 30 people from their honor guard and members of their traffic section to Washington D.C., later this year for the police memorial service to honor one of their own.  '...In August 2018, one of our very close friends and deputies, Deputy Ben Zirbel, was tragically killed in a traffic crash on Blanding Boulevard. With that, his name will be getting placed on the law enforcement memorial's wall. And we want to make the sure the members of his direct team and the members of our honor guards go there and partake in that event,' says Padgett.  Padgett says it's important to send a team to be there to represent Zirbel's legacy and represent his wife and his child.  'And that is just so important to us, because they're [Zirbel’s family] going through some extreme hardships and there is one way we can help elevate them and be there as a support element,' says Padgett.  Padgett says the 'Shootin' with the Sheriffs' event will be family-friendly and everyone's invited to either watch or take part.  The event will be held February 25th, from 9 AM- 2 PM, at the Saltwaters Shooting Club located at 900 Big Oak Road in St. Augustine.  To register or help sponsor the event, you can contact Jimmy Stalnaker at (904) 813-9554 or by email at jstalnaker@claysheriff.com. You can also contact Charlie Goldsmith at (904) 838-3350 or by email at cgoldsmith@claysheriff.com.  You can also contact either of them to make a cash donation if you can’t make it out that day, but still want to help.

The Latest News Videos