First Alert Weather Alert: Flood Warning expires at 10:04 PM on 4/24, issued at 10:04 PM Blackshear, GA | Bristol, GA | Mershon, GA | Millwood, GA

Breezy, Warm Weekend... Clay Co. Dam... Lightning Survivor... Solar Power... "Earth Gauge": Fireworks, T'storms & the Ozone

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Updated: 7/05/2013 10:55 pm

A partly sunny, warm, humid & breezy weekend -- pretty nice overall.  There will continue to be isolated coastal showers then a scattered inland showers & storms in the afternoon -- mostly near & west of Highway 301.  Long parts of the weekend will be dry with highs ranging from the low 90s well inland to the low to mid 80s at the beaches.  The persistent long fetch of onshore flow will result in at least a moderate risk of rip currents.  No uptick in the rain until about the middle of next week.

Rain has been so heavy recently in Clay Co. that a private dam has been compromised.  From our Jax N.W.S.:
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE JACKSONVILLE FL
327 PM EDT FRI JUL 5 2013

...PETER`S CREEK IN CLAY COUNTY IS CLOSED TO BOATING AND RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES...

FROM THE CLAY COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY...

WRIGHT`S LAKE DAM...A PRIVATE 40 ACRE MAN-MADE LAKE LOCATED OFF COUNTY ROAD 315...HAS SUFFERED SIGNIFICANT UNDERMINING AND A SUBSTANTIAL HEAD-WALL COLLAPSE FROM SUCCESSIVE HEAVY RAINFALL
EVENTS. WHILE THE DAM`S OWNER IS UNDERTAKING EMERGENCY EFFORTS TO SHORE UP THE FAILING HEAD-WALL...A SUDDEN COLLAPSE AND RELEASE OF THE DAM`S VOLUME INTO PETER`S CREEK IS POSSIBLE OVER THE NEXT FEW
DAYS.

WHILE IT IS NOT ANTICIPATED THAT ANY DOWNSTREAM RESIDENCES ARE IN DANGER OF FLOODING FROM A POSSIBLE DAM FAILURE...PROPERTY OWNERS IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT TO THE LOWER PORTION OF PETER`S CREEK ARE
ADVISED TO REMAIN AWAY FROM THE CREEK UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. NO CURRENT EVACUATIONS ARE ADVISED, BUT PETER`S CREEK IS CLOSED TO BOATING AND/OR OTHER RECREATIONAL PURPOSES.

Action News ran a story Fri. about a lightning survivor - click ** here ** .

Harness the Sun's Powerful Rays

New on NASA's Climate Kids

A tiny magnifying glass can focus just a little bit of the Sun’s light into a beam strong enough to start a small fire. Imagine doing the same thing with an entire field’s worth of sunlight! This powerful beam is the key ingredient in the newest form of solar power—concentrating solar power.

Read all about this new technology at Climate Kids - click ** here **.

Climate Kids is a NASA educational website.

Earth Gauge: Fireworks
In a typical year, fireworks account for two out of five fires reported on Independence Day. In 2011, fireworks ignited an estimated 17,800 fires, many of which were outdoor grass fires, brush fires and other types of natural vegetation fires. These fires can spread quickly, especially in areas that are experiencing dry weather or drought. And, they can have major impacts: fires started by fireworks in 2011 resulted in an estimated 32 million dollars in property damage.
Tip: The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to leave them to the professionals – visit a public fireworks display in your community. If you are thinking about using fireworks, keep these tips in mind to prevent fires and enjoy a safe holiday:

• Check local laws and observe fireworks bans. Laws about fireworks use vary from state to state. With many parts of the United States experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions – and some battling wildfires – certain communities are implementing complete bans on fireworks. Always follow rules and instructions issued by your local officials.
• Light up safely. A sparkler burns at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. For comparison, water boils at 212 degrees, wood burns at 575 degrees and glass melts at 900 degrees! Keep fireworks out of the hands of young children. Light fireworks one at a time and never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Never light fireworks near your home, dry leaves or grass, or other flammable materials.
• Douse them out. Keep a bucket of water nearby to douse the fireworks when you are done. Keep a fire extinguisher handy, too.
 
(Sources: Hall Jr., John R. “Fireworks.” National Fire Protection Association, Fire Analysis and Research Division, June 2013; U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, “CPSC Special Study on Fireworks Incidents Finds Hundreds of Injuries a Day Surrounding July 4 Holiday Festivities.”)

________________________________________

Climate Fact: Thunderstorms Can Destroy the Ozone Layer, Too
Link ** here **.
 

Scientists have long known lighting creates ozone molecules, but just last year, scientists were astonished to learn that thunderstorms can destroy ozone just as easily as they can create it.  A group of NASA-funded scientists from Harvard University learned that when powerful thunderstorms burst into the stratosphere, they provide the last few ingredients that CFCs need to destroy ozone: warm, moist air.  Ozone can’t be harmed by CFCs until sunlight breaks these molecules apart. This chemical reaction can’t proceed if the temperature isn’t right, and that “activation” temperature is also sensitive to humidity.  If the air is wetter, the temperature must be higher for the reaction to occur.  Summertime conditions in the lower stratosphere are usually warm and dry enough to suppress this reaction, but when thunderstorms add moisture to the stratosphere, ozone can be destroyed rapidly at the stratosphere’s ambient temperature. When scientists were collecting data, they found that thunderstorms were injecting water vapor into the atmosphere much more frequently than they had expected: about 50 percent of the time, and sometimes the moist-air remnants spread out over 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) and lingered for days.  Both of these observations suggest that a single thunderstorm could destroy ozone molecules across an area much larger than itself for days.  Needless to say, if these thunderstorms become more frequent in the future, ozone depletion could accelerate as well.
Photo courtesy of NASA.

(Sources:  Anderson, James G., David M. Wilmouth, Jessica B. Smith, and David S. Sayres, 2012, “UV Dosage Levels in Summer: Increased Risk of Ozone Loss from Convectively Injected Water Vapor,” Science, 337:6096; Henry Fountain, “Storms Threaten Ozone Layer Over U.S., Study Says,” The New York Times, July 26, 2012.)

The photo below from Thu. night by Sarah Hedden:

Have a great & safe weekend!

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