The rain came fast & furious at times Wed. A few totals:
St. Augustine: 1.25"
Orange Park: 0.92"
Lots of low clouds & cool temps. will be left behind for Thu. Temps. will struggle to reach the upper 50s & low 60s. Some sun returns for Fri. which start a warming trend that will become more pronounced over the weekend. Next rainfall of much consequence will be Mon.-Tue. While there will be some cool temps., still no sign of a significant freeze through at least next week. Might have some colder air for the week of Christmas.
The Melbourne N.W.S. has posted on their website more info. -- including radar imagery & damage photos -- click here. A sidenote: the Melbourne doppler radar is currently not operating while a new tower is being built. This could make storm warnings a bit more of a challenge but did not seem to be a factor Mon. Melbourne is using Jacksonville, Tampa & Miami for coverage -- click here for more info.
National Weather Service tests new, simpler winter hazard communications
Public invited to comment during test period
NOAA’s National Weather Service is testing new language to communicate winter weather hazards in its forecasts. From now through March 31, 2013, alternative messages in winter hazard forecasts will run on a test website for 26 weather forecast offices throughout the country.
Currently the National Weather Service issues 14 different types of winter hazard forecasts. Customer satisfaction surveys and agency service assessments have revealed that some of the public may not be able to distinguish between a watch, an advisory, or a warning. The test proposes a new set of terms that replace watches and advisories while clarifying language used in warnings.
“The National Weather Service provides outstanding forecasts and life-saving information, and we’re always looking for ways to improve how we communicate with the public,” said Eli Jacks, chief of public weather at the National Weather Service and manager of this demonstration project. “To ensure we get this right, we encourage our partners in the Weather Enterprise, the public and emergency managers to visit the test website and let us know what they think about this proposed way of communicating winter hazards.”
Presently a watch means the potential exists for a particular weather hazard, while an advisory means caution should be taken. Using a snow storm as an example, this demonstration will replace a watch statement with “The National Weather Service forecasts the Potential for a Significant Winter Storm.” Advisories will be replaced with “The National Weather Service Advises Caution for Snow.” This message structure can be used for individual hazards or a combination of hazards.
Use of the term “warning” is retained; however, the wording in the warning message more clearly articulates the level of threat. For example, instead of stating, “The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning,” the test uses the phrase, “The National Weather Service has issued a Warning for a Dangerous Snow Storm.”
“If we can improve our messages, get the public to understand the hazards and most importantly, take action, we need to do so. Depending on feedback from this demonstration, we could replicate how information is disseminated for other weather hazards such as flooding,” added Jacks.
The language proposed in this demonstration is just one alternative for simplifying and clarifying winter hazard forecasts. Comments are welcome to either validate this particular alternative, suggest others, or to express a preference for the current Watch, Warning and Advisory System. Comments may be submitted by filling out a brief survey through March 31, 2013. An analysis of public comments will be made available upon completion of the test before next steps are determined.
This test is part of NOAA’s effort to build a Weather-Ready Nation, by ensuring that National Weather Service forecasts effectively convey threats and elicit public response to maximize safety. Click here for more info & details.
New for the holiday season at our beautiful Jax Zoo & Gardens beginning Friday!:
Walk on the Wild Side This Holiday Season at the Premiere of ZOOLights
December 14-31, 6:30-9:30 p.m., open until 10:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays...Closed December 25
December 10, 2012 – Jacksonville, FL – Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens invites everyone to the premiere of ZOOLights, a lighting and holiday extravaganza that is sure to become an annual family favorite! As you walk through the Zoo, you’ll see thousands of brilliant LED lights, moving sculptures, forests of lighted trees, and a plethora of lit animal silhouettes, including some of your favorites like giraffes and a gorilla -- all while listening to the sounds of the season.
There will be themed photo opportunities at Main Camp, and the train station will be all aglow for passengers to ride a full circle around the Zoo to see special lights, displays and Christmas trees. Next stop is the Range of the Jaguar, where you can enjoy dancers and carolers while singing along to your favorite holiday tunes. Go up and down and all around at the 4-D Theatre showing a special edition of “Polar Express”. Then go to the Great Lawn to meet and greet the stars of the season, Santa Claus (who’ll be ready to hear all your wishes through December 24), Santa’s elves, Mrs. Claus, and the Zoo’s popular mascot, Jazoo. And don’t miss the snow falls each night at 8:00 p.m. Kids can also enjoy riding down the giant slide, playing in the bounce house and playing the reindeer games. Don’t forget to gather around the fire pit to warm-up, roast marshmallows and see some of your favorite holiday cartoons playing in the background.
“Our Zoo is very proud to bring this beautiful holiday festival to our families and friends on the First Coast and surrounding areas. It will be fun for everyone,” says Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Executive Director, Tony Vecchio. “Our staff has done a fabulous job of taking the familiar holiday rituals and adding a unique Zoo twist to create a great family tradition for our community.”
Admission to ZOOLights is $7 for Zoo members and $9 for non-members. Purchase tickets online save. Additional small fees apply to Carousel, Train and 4-D Ride. Get more information ** here **.