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Back to Chilly... Wholesale Weather Pattern Change(!)... Moon's Transit Across the Sun

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Updated: 2/05 10:37 pm
Wednesday's rain will bring an end to the spell of warm temps.  Rainfall coverage was 100% with amounts averaging a quarter to a half inch but with a few spots managing a half inch to 3/4" of an inch.

Chilly temps. will now follow though not as cold as the past few weeks.  Lots of clouds + onshore east to northeast winds will keep temps. especially cooler during he day yet well above freezing at night.  Some light rain will occur from time to time until rain increases some Sat. as an upper level disturbance moves across the area.  The good news is it looks like this weather system will be faster than earlier forecasts helping to salvage a pretty nice Sunday.

There are signs of "whole sale" changes in the upper atmospheric weather pattern in the coming weeks.  I touched on this briefly last week.  The process will be relatively slow during the next couple weeks, but a reversal to troughing in the west (vs. the Central U.S. or east) should become more prominent by the last 10 days or so of this month -- see the GFS forecast model for Feb. 21st showing a strong upper level trough over the Western U.S. 


Such a pattern change would bring much wetter weather to the parched Western U.S.... heavy snow to the Rockies & generally warmer temps. for the Eastern U.S. (but with midlatitude cyclones & cold fronts that would bring occasional storms & cold air intrusions).  The upshot for the First Coast would be generally milder temps. & eventually drier given that most of the cyclones would be traveling well north & west of Jax.  Time will tell.  Check out the interesting forecast discussion from a forecaster at the Moline N.W.S.:

MAJOR REGIME CHANGE STARTING DAYS 5 INTO DAY 10 NORMALLY SUGGEST MAJOR CHANGES IN SOLUTIONS AND PREDICTABILITY NEXT SEVERAL DAYS. THIS CHANGE WILL RESULT IN MUCH WETTER CONDITIONS ALONG WEST COAST WITH MILDER TEMPERATURES AT/BEYOND DAY 10 FOR CENTRAL US. THE MAGNITUDE OF ENERGY CHANGES IN THE PACIFIC ARE AMONG THE HIGHEST I HAVE SEEN OVER A 5 DAY PERIOD USING MULTIPLE SOURCES IN 35 YEARS OF ANALYSIS. THE MEANING...THIS WILL NOT BE A MINOR CHANGE AND SHOULD RESULT IN MAJOR TEMP/MOISTURE CHANGES LASTING MANY WEEKS AND QUITE POSSIBLY MONTHS. TELECONNECTION WEIGHTING SUPPORTS MAY RESULT IN AN ACTIVE SPRING...MUCH MORE TYPICAL THAN WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR WHICH THIS AUTHOR CORRECTLY ASSESSED WOULD HAPPEN LAST WINTER. THERE MAY BE SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN KEY INDICES USED IN TELECONNECTION TECHNIQUES NEXT SEVERAL WEEKS DUE TO THIS REGIME CHANGE. THIS WILL BE QUITE EDUCATIONAL TO MONITOR. THE REGIME WE ARE ON A TRAJECTORY FOR...FAVORABLY SUPPORTS HIGHS IN THE 50S AND POSSIBLY 60S AT TIMES BY LATE IN THE MONTH...QUITE A CHANGE FROM PAST 2 MONTHS. THE WEST COAST AND INTER-MOUNTAIN REGION WILL SEE IMPRESSIVE RAIN TOTALS FOR AT LEAST THE NEXT FEW WEEKS. THIS MAY CONTINUE BASED ON ANALOGS AND STATISTICAL WEIGHTING IN TELECONNECTIONS LOCALLY USED BY THIS AUTHOR...FOR MUCH OF THE EARLY TO MID SPRING...POSITIVE IMPACTS TO WESTERN DROUGHT...HIGH PW/S WOULD SUPPORT FLOODING RISKS THOUGH.

COMMENT...KEEP IN MIND REFERENCES MADE LAST FALL BY THIS AUTHOR IN
AFD/S THAT CORRECTLY DIAGNOSED OUR RISK AND THE REALITY OF PROLONGED COLD OVER MUCH OF NORTH AMERICA.
 

From NOAA: On Jan 30, 2014, beginning at 8:31 a.m EST, the moon moved between NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, and the sun, giving the observatory a view of a partial solar eclipse from space -- click ** here **. Such a lunar transit happens two to three times each year. This one lasted two and one half hours, which is the longest ever recorded. When the next one will occur is as of yet unknown due to planned adjustments in SDO's orbit.

 
Note in the pictures how crisp the horizon is on the moon, a reflection of the fact that the moon has no atmosphere around it to distort the light from the sun.

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 11:11 a.m. EST on Jan. 30, 2014. Images of the flare were captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, shortly after the observatory witnessed a lunar transit. The black disk of the moon can be seen in the lower right of the images.

The movie shows the sun moving quite a bit because SDO has a hard time keeping the sun centered in the image during a transit, because the moon blocks so much light. The fine guidance systems on the SDO instruments need to see the whole sun in order keep the images centered from exposure to exposure. Once the transit was over, the fine guidance systems started back up, once again providing steady images of the sun. 

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