Heavy rain & gusty winds Thu. evening preceded a strong cold front that will now give the First Coast a taste of winter with the coldest air of the season so far. Temps. will struggle into the 50s Fri. despite lots of sun. NW winds 15-25 mph & gusty will make it feel even colder. A widespread inland freeze will occur early Sat. with lows in the mid to upper 20s near & west of I-95 to the mid 30s at the coast. With the NW winds, areas near & just downwind from the St. Johns River will see temps. a bit higher but still dipping into the low to mid 30s. Similar temps. for Sun. morning but near freezing at the beaches. Given the lighter winds, a heavy frost will occur Sun. morning (compared to the breezy Sat. morning). Though not as cold early Mon., there will still be some light inland frost.
The next storm will not be far behind & could bring some rain to the First Coast as early as Christmas Day & especially Wed.
The same system that brought rain to the local area produced severe weather along the Gulf Coast & a blizzard in the midwest. Photos below are from Joetta Venneman -- my cousin -- near Luzerne, Ia. The second photo is from family friend Karen Mertz in Toledo, Ia.
The wintry blast is timely considering the winter solstice occurs Fri. - the astronomical first day of winter. The sun's rays are the least direct this time of year in the N. Hemisphere (while there more direct in the S. Hemisphere where it's summer). For more info., click here.
And from NASA.....
In time for the 2012 winter solstice, a storm dropped snow over most of the Rocky Mountains in the United States. On December 20, the National Weather Service reported snow depths exceeding 100 centimeters (39 inches) in some places—the result of the recent snowfall plus accumulation from earlier storms.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on December 19, 2012. Clouds had mostly cleared from the region, though some cloud cover lingered over parts of the Pacific Northwest and Colorado. Showing more distinct contours than the clouds, the snow cover stretched across the Rocky Mountains and the surrounding region, from Idaho to Arizona and from California to Colorado. Click here for more info.
And last but not least....Thu. was the day Action News, the Salvation Army, Ashley Furniture HomeStore & the Cox Media Group delivered gifts & furniture to 2 deserving families in Jax. The first family lost their home to flooding in Live Oak after tropical storm "Debby". The second family is a grandmother that has breast cancer & has adopted her 5 grandchildren after their mother (her daughter) died from breast cancer this past July. Click here for the story/delivery.