Weekend weather (temps.) will be dominated by surface winds. A west wind for much of the day Sat. will lead to another unseasonably mild day with highs in the 70s. Winds will shift to the E/NE Sat. night-Sun. which will translate into cooler temps., especially near the coast where highs Sun. will struggle to just reach the low to mid 60s vs. low 70s well inland.
Yet another big warm-up will follow thereafter with highs in the 70s & -- by Wed. -- near or even a bit above 80. This surge of warmth will be in advance of a strong front that should finally bring some measurable rain to the First Coast late Wed.-Thu. This would be only the 3rd widespread rain since Christmas & the first of any consequence since Jan. 6th.
So we'll continue the way above avg. temps. which so far puts Jan. in the top 5 of warmest January's at JIA going back to 1956 (the official Jax thermometer was downtown prior to 1956). As of early Fri., the avg. temp. of 59.8 degrees was a full 6.7 degrees above avg.! Temp. & wind graphics below courtesy our Jax N.W.S.:
While the Northern U.S. has had some true winter cold air masses the last couple months, it's not necessarily translated into lots of snow. Case & point is Chicago where O'Hare had their first 1" of snow in nearly a year. From the Chicago N.W.S.:
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO IL
949 AM CST FRI JAN 25 2013 /1049 AM EST FRI JAN 25 2013/
...CHICAGO OFFICIALLY OBSERVES FIRST DAILY ONE INCH SNOWFALL...
THROUGH 930 AM...CHICAGO OHARE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HAS OBSERVED 1.1 INCHES OF SNOWFALL TODAY...JANUARY 25TH. THIS IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE 2012-2013 WINTER WHERE CHICAGO OBSERVED OVER ONE INCH OF SNOWFALL. THIS ENDS THE RECORD STREAKS FOR BOTH THE LATEST FIRST ONE INCH OF SNOWFALL AND THE LONGEST STREAK WITHOUT AN INCH OF SNOWFALL.
LATEST FIRST CALENDAR DAY ONE INCH OF SNOWFALL IN CHICAGO:
1. JAN 25 2013
2. JAN 17 1899
3. JAN 16 2002
4. JAN 15 1890
5. JAN 14 1937
MOST CONSECUTIVE DAYS WITHOUT ONE INCH OF SNOWFALL IN CHICAGO:
RANK # OF DAYS END OF STREAK
1. 335 JAN 25 2013
2. 319 JAN 6 1940
3. 315 DEC 7 1958
4. 307 DEC 30 1931
5. 305 JAN 15 2002
THE SEASONAL TOTAL SNOWFALL FOR CHICAGO THROUGH 930 AM THIS MORNING
NOW STANDS AT 2.8 INCHES.
Earth Gauge: Watch Your Water This Winter
Because we generally use less water at this time of year, in most climates winter is a good time to check your water use to determine if you have silent plumbing leaks that could be wasting water.
Viewer Tip: Check for leaks by looking over your water bill. If a family of four uses more than 12,000 gallons per month during a colder month, such as January or February, you could have serious leaks. Or, if you don’t get a monthly bill, check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.
EPA’s WaterSense Program provides tips to fix toilet, faucet and showerhead leaks at home.
This information is provided by EPA’s WaterSense program. Learn more ** here **.
Climate Trivia: Tree Response to Climate Change in the Eastern United States
As Earth’s climate warms and local temperatures and precipitation patterns change, plants and animals move to stay within their zones of preferred temperature and moisture levels. Obviously, animals can more much more readily than plants, which can only move generation-by-generation as their seeds are spread by winds, water and the more mobile animals. A particular tree species can only live in locations where temperatures, rainfall and soil conditions are just right. In the eastern United States, average annual temperatures increased during the 20th century in the Midwest and Northeast, but in the Southeast they remained relatively steady, with increases in summertime temperatures balanced by decreases in wintertime temperatures.
Trivia Question: What statement best describes how different eastern United States tree species have responded to the 20th century climate trends?
a) Tree ranges have expanded both north and south.
b) Tree ranges have moved to the north as trees are taking advantage of warmer temperatures.
c) Tree ranges have contracted, shrinking from both their northern and southern boundaries.
d) Tree range movements have not followed what is expected based on climate trends.
e) Both c and d.
The correct answer is e. A majority of tree ranges have contracted, moving north from their southern boundaries and south from their northern boundaries. Of the remaining tree species, about half showed a northward range expansion and the other half showed a southern range expansion, although the most pronounced species movements did not occur in areas with the most dramatic climate changes. Precipitation changes and seed dispersal characteristics were also poor predictors of tree range changes. While a movement northward is what is expected as a response to warming temperatures, this recent data shows that there are many factors other than climate that affecting tree dispersal patterns and that these trees may be in jeopardy as their ranges and their favored climatic conditions are becoming more and more mismatched.
(Source: Kaizhu, CW et al. “Failure to migrate: lack of tree range expansion in response to climate change.” Global Change Biology 18 (2012): 1042-1052.)
Climate in the News: “New Insights on Drought Prediction in East Africa.” – ScienceDaily, January 18, 2013 –
New additions to East Africa’s paleoclimate record are providing clues to how water temperatures in the Pacific and Indian oceans affect rainfall and drought in East Africa.
Have a great & safe weekend!