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

Front Will Bring Rain... "Earth Gauge": Fall Monitoring, Extreme Weather, Ice Shelves

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Updated: 9/20/2013 10:51 pm

A beautiful start to the weekend....a wet end to the weekend.

Plenty of sun Saturday will push afternoon temps. into the mid to upper 80s. An isolated shower or storm could pop on the sea breeze as the boundary penetrates inland but most areas will stay dry.

Sunday is a different story. A large area of showers & t'storms should already be going strong west of the First Coast in the morning in advance of a cool front. The showers & storms will spread across NE Fl. & SE Ga. through the day with pockets of heavy rain. If we can heat up enough (which may not happen given the increasing cloud cover), there could be a few strong storms.

The front will hang up near or a little south of Northeast Fl. early in the week & will be the focus for repeated rounds of showers & t'storms. Rainfall will be excessive near the front, so it's exact location will be critical regarding where & how much rain occurs Mon.-Tue. & possibly into Wed.

Remember to tune in WOKV 690 AM/104.5FM for your latest First Alert Forecast 'round the clock.... click ** here ** to download our First Alert Weather iPad App.

Have a great & safe weekend!

From our Jax NWS:

Earth Gauge: Fall Monitoring

Looking for a new project? Fall is a great time to join a citizen science program, where you can share your own observations about nature with scientists. Citizen science volunteers can collect far more data than science researchers can alone, playing an important role in scientific discovery!

Tip: Make discoveries where you live. Here are just a few projects you can participate in as a citizen scientist:

  • Monitor Weather: Every drop counts! Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) volunteers learn how to measure precipitation using a rain gauge and hail pad, record their data and report their measurements online. Data collected by volunteers complements observations made by the National Weather Service and is used by local meteorologists, researchers, emergency managers, farmers, outdoor enthusiasts, teachers and others. Sign up to become a volunteer observer with CoCoRaHS ** here **.
  • Monitor Water Quality: How healthy is your local stream or lake? World Water Monitoring Challenge volunteers measure key water quality indicators by using a simple test kit to measure water temperature, acidity (pH), clarity and dissolved oxygen levels. All of these indicators can impact aquatic wildlife – high water temperatures or extremely acidic water can make it hard form some fish, insects and plants to survive. Clear water with ample dissolved oxygen will support a wide variety of plants and animals. The official World Water Monitoring Day is observed on September 18 each year, but you can monitor and report your findings throughout the year. Learn more, register a site and get a test kit ** here **.
  • Monitor Monarch Butterflies: Monarch numbers are down this year for a number of reasons – including the summer 2012 drought, low winter population numbers and chilly spring temperatures. Contribute your observations to help scientists track the butterflies and learn how weather and environmental conditions impact migration -- click ** here **.
  • Share Your Nature Photos: Document local wildlife by uploading photos via mobile phone or tablet. Not sure what that plant or animal is? Don’t worry – Project Noah’s global community can help I.D. your spottings, which in turn help scientists uncover and track wildlife populations -- click ** here **. 

(Sources: CoCoRaHS Program; World Water Monitoring Challenge; Journey North)

Climate and Extreme Weather: Implications for Electricity Use and Transmission 

Did you know that climate and extreme weather affect electricity transmission and can cause costly power outages? In 2004, the average annual cost of storm-caused transmission outages was 2.5 billion dollars! And that does not account other extreme events such as wildfires. The electric grid consists of over 9,000 electricity generators and more than 300,000 miles of transmission lines. Climate and extreme weather affect the efficiency of the electric grid and energy demand.

Electric Grid

  • When air temperature is higher, electricity systems are less efficient because their current-carrying capacity is reduced. Heat waves can also cause power transformers to fail.
  • High temperatures cause sag of overhead transmission lines creating a risk for fire and power outages.
  • Increased frequency of severe wildfires increases the risk of physical damage to electricity systems and reduces the transmission capacity due to high heat.
  • Drought increases the chance of wildfires occurring, posing a risk for electricity transmission.
  • Increased intensity of storms increases risk of physical damage to electricity systems.
  • High amounts of snowfall and intense snowstorms can also cause physical damage to electricity systems.

Demand

  • Increasing air temperatures increase electricity demand for cooling and decrease fuel oil and natural gas demand for heating.
  • Higher magnitude and frequency of extreme heat events has increased electricity peak demand.

Although climate and extreme weather vary regionally, impacts in one region can have broad effects because energy systems are interconnected. For example, Superstorm Sandy led to more than 8 million customers losing power in 21 states. Electricity production and distribution systems are designed to respond to daily changes in weather, meaning that short-term fluctuations are expected. Extreme weather and longer-term climate events force the electric grid to work outside of the range for which it was designed.

(Source: United States Department of Energy. 2013. U.S. Energy Sector Vulnerabilities to Climate Change and Extreme Weather. 83 pp. and Mideksa, T.K. and S. Kallbekken. 2010. The Impact of Climate Change on the Electricity Market: A Review. Energy Policy 38:3579-3585.)

Climate in the News: “Achilles' Heel of Ice Shelves Is Beneath the Water, Scientists Reveal”Science Daily, September 15, 2013.  

New research has revealed that more ice leaves Antarctica by melting from the underside of submerged ice shelves than was previously thought, accounting for as much as 90 per cent of ice loss in some areas.

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