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Breezy, Mild Weekend... Shuttle Fuel Tank in Jax... "Earth Gauge": National Arbor Day, March Weather, Long Term Continental Temps.

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Updated: 4/26/2013 10:45 pm

A decent weekend of weather with only isolated coastal showers Sat. that will move inland off the Atlantic thanks to brisk onshore east winds.  Winds will become more southeasterly Sunday triggering a few widely scattered showers & storms well inland.  But long parts of the weekend will be dry with afternoon highs ranging from the mid 70s at the beaches to the low 80s inland.
Still eyeing a wetter pattern for the upcoming work week.

An external fuel tank from the space shuttle rolled through Jax late Fri. -- see the still photo below from our First Alert Skycam.  The tank is headed to the "Wings of Dreams" Aviation Museum at the Keystone Heights Airport in Starke.

Earth Gauge: National Arbor Day
Friday, April 26 is National Arbor Day.  Trees not only add beauty and value to our landscape, they also provide many environmental benefits.  In one year, a single healthy tree has the same cooling effect as ten room-sized air conditioners running continually; absorbs 750 gallons of storm water, preventing erosion and protecting water quality; and filters 60 pounds of pollutants from the air!
Viewer Tip: Celebrate Arbor Day by planting a tree at home or enjoying trees where you live.
• Plant a tree at home. Adding deciduous trees on the south and west sides of your home provides shade during the summer, reducing cooling costs. Planting evergreen trees along the north and west sides of your home will block chilly winds. Get started with these tips for choosing a tree.
• Visit a forest near your home. Snap pictures, learn to identify trees, look for wildlife and enjoy time outdoors with family or friends.
 
(Source: Arbor Day Foundation. “Benefits of Trees.”
; PATrees.org, “Trees and Forests Reduce the Impacts of Stormwater)

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State of the Climate Report - Highlights from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. Visit ** here ** for more information.

The Southeast was much colder than average for March, with most of the region three to five degrees Fahrenheit below average.  Western Florida, northern sections of Alabama and South Carolina, and central portions of Georgia and North Carolina were even colder where average temperatures were six to seven degrees Fahrenheit below normal.  Over 100 weather stations across the region recorded one of their top-three coldest Marches ever, especially in Florida, where Jacksonville had its coldest March and Gainesville experienced its second coldest on record.  For 20 locations across the Southeast, the March mean temperature was even colder than the winter season average temperature.  Precipitation amounts were 50 to ten percent below normal for much of the region except for northern Alabama, central Georgia, South Carolina and northern Virginia which were hit with severe storms that dropped several inches of rain.  Many of the same areas that saw heavy rainfall last month received even more rain in March.  For instance, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and northern Florida experienced two severe weather events that dropped two to three inches of rain from March 11 to 12 and again on March 23 and 24.  Several instances of winter weather were felt across the region as far south as Georgia.  The most significant event occurred on March 6, when a snow storm dropped 10 to 16 inches of snow throughout central and western Virginia and the North Carolina mountains.  332 reports of severe weather were associated with some of these storms, seven of which produced tornadoes, some as strong as EF-2s.  One line of storms on March 24 produced an 86 mph wind gust in Orlando, FL and baseball sized hail in Gainesville, FL.  Despite the regional below-average precipitation, these storms managed to reduce the region’s drought area by ten percent while completely eliminating its areas of severe drought.  However, the below-average temperatures and hailstorms damaged crops in Florida. 

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Climate in the News: “First 2,000-Year-Long Temperature Reconstructions for Individual Continents” – ScienceDaily, April 19, 2013 - The international Past Global Changes (PAGES) project reconstructed temperature over the past 1,000 to 2,000 years, showing marked differences between regions of the globe.

Have a great & safe weekend!

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