The cold front that slipped south of the area Fri. will move back north over the weekend providing the focus for more rain & storms & -- yes -- more heavy rain in some areas. The highest risk for widespread heavy rain appears to be Sat.-Sat. night as the slow moving warm front moves from south to north. Heavy rain on saturated soil will pose the threat for additional flooding. By Sunday, the front will be north into Ga. By no means is it a dry pattern but showers & storms should be more scattered & not quite as long lasting in one area. Still...there will be heavy downpours Sunday as well with the potential for more intense lightning. The following week will be typically warm & humid with afternoon & early evening showers & storms -- a pattern not at all uncommon as we head deeper into our wet season.
In the tropics....all is quiet for the moment but forecast models are hinting at possible low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico or far Western Atlantic not far from the Bahamas &/or Fl. by the early to middle of the week after next (week of the 18th). There's not a lot to hang your hat on now but there will continue to be a weak upper level trough over or near the Southeast U.S./Gulf of Mexico which could aid in surface low development that would then move north or northeast. An examination of vertical velocity anomalies -- see map below -- (which were very useful in late May with "Alberto" & "Beryl") show a large area of very strong vertical velocities (green lines) over the W. Pacific which can often be tied to increased convection & tropical development. This area will likely advance east but not yet be as far east as the Atlantic Basin by June 18th which brings into question any tropical development or least any significant tropical development. This will, however, be an area to keep an eye on.
"El Nino Watch": The Climate Prediction Center has officially issued an "El Nino Watch" in anticipation of the possibility of a late summer/early autumn El Nino (warmer waters along & near the equaorial Pacific) developing. I've touched on this multiple times this year. It's part of the reason that I suspect the hurricane season will be heavily weighted on the front half to two-thirds. But even if an El Nino develops, timing & intensity are in question. Conditions the last month -- & currently -- are essentially nuetral. Maps below show the temp. anomalies followed by a chart showing ENSO forecast models. Click here for the full report by NOAA.
There's news at the zoo:
School is Out for the Summer! Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Celebrates with $2.00 Admission Day!
Jacksonville, FL - On Monday, June 11, 2012, guests can enjoy the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens for only $2.00 per person for General Admission. The Zoo is open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Monday. Tickets will be sold until 4:00 p.m. The Zoo’s 4,000 square foot Splash Ground area at Play Park, air conditioned buildings, fans and cool treats offered at the various mobiles, restaurants and cafés will help keep guests cool throughout the day.
“We recognize that, especially in these hard economic times, not everyone can afford regular Zoo admission,” said Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens executive director Tony Vecchio. “We are offering this special day in the hope that everyone in our community will have the opportunity to visit Jacksonville’s number one cultural attraction.”
The Zoo encourages those who are coming to use sun screen, bring refillable water bottles and dress appropriately for the hot weather. Those bringing young children to play in the Splash Ground should bring water proof diaper covers.
Please note: $2.00 price is good for General Admission only, and is not valid with any other discount or offer, including Zoo Value Tickets. A coupon is not required. Train, carousel, Butterfly Hollow, 4-D Experience Ride and Stingray Bay admissions are not included in this price and may be purchased separately.
JACKSONVILLE ZOO AND GARDENS WAITS WITH GREAT ANTICIPATION FOR HATCHING OF ITS FIRST TWO PENGUIN CHICKS
Jacksonville, FL – Officials and employees at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens are excited at the possibility of having two new Magellanic penguin chicks in the near future. Zookeepers found the penguin eggs nestled under their prospective penguin parents, Victoria and Troy, on May 30 and June 1. The normal incubation time period for penguin eggs is 40 to 42 days. Since incubation of these two eggs didn’t begin until the second egg was laid, Zookeepers anticipate that the eggs will hatch by July 14, 2012. If successful, the two penguin chicks will become the first hatched at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. It will increase the number of penguins in the Zoo’s colony to 13. The Zoo currently has six males and five females.
“We are on pins and needles here,” said Donna Bear-hull, curator of birds at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. “You can never be sure how first-time parents will handle things. But our penguin exhibit is so popular with our visitors, and we would love to be able to show baby penguins to our guests. We’ll be as nervous as first-time parents ourselves as we count down the days until the due date.”
Four-year-old Victoria and 10-year-old Troy arrived at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens from San Francisco Zoo in January of 2010. They made their first appearance to Zoo guests when the Zoo’s penguin exhibit, Tuxedo Coast, first opened in March 2010. The two have been a couple for a little over a year. Victoria has never raised chicks before, but Troy was a surrogate father previously at San Francisco Zoo.
It normally takes three-to-four years for penguins to master the art of breeding. Because of the inexperience of the parents to properly brood (incubate) the eggs both eggs were discreetly moved from the nest to an incubator, and replaced with artificial eggs. This will help ensure that the real eggs will hatch successfully and provide Victoria and Troy the opportunity to get the experience needed in the future. After hatching, the chicks will be returned to their parents; if necessary, the keepers will be prepared to help with the care of the chicks.
The Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) is listed as Near Threatened (NT) on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Although it is not their only problem, many populations have declined as a result of pollution from oily ballast water released by tankers.
Earth Gauge: Rip Current Awareness
June 3-9, 2012 is Rip Current Awareness Week, when NOAA’s National Weather Service reminds you to “Break the Grip of the Rip!” Rip currents are channels of fast-moving water that may pull swimmers away from the shore. While the speed of rip currents varies, some have exceeded five miles per hour, which is faster than an Olympic swimmer can swim! When people swimming at beaches are caught in a rip current and pulled offshore into water over their heads, drowning can occur due to a combination of panic, exhaustion and lack of swimming skills.
Tip: Rip currents occur at ocean and Great Lakes beaches. They are typically found at low spots and breaks in sand bars, or near jetties and piers. Before you head to the beach, check the latest forecast for beach conditions ** here **. Always swim at a beach with lifeguards on duty and heed their advice. Nearly all rip current drownings occur at unguarded beaches.
Learn more about rip currents ** here **.
(Sources: NOAA National Weather Service and U.S. Lifesaving Association. “Rip Currents: What they are, the dangers, how to escape.”)
Climate Fact: Summer Average Temperature and Total Precipitation Outlook
Visit NOAA’s Three Month (June-July-August) Outlook Page -- click here.
Southeast and Southern United States Summer Outlook: For the summer of 2012, most of the Southern United States has a 40 to 50 percent chance of experiencing above normal average 3-month temperatures, a 33.3 percent chance of experiencing near normal temperatures, and between a 16.7 and 26.7 percent chance of experiencing below normal temperatures. For total summer precipitation, forecasters have not shifted the climatological probabilities of 33.3% for each category of above, near and below normal due to a lack of sufficiently strong associated climate signals. “Above” and “below” normal are defined by NOAA as conditions falling into the top or bottom third of climate conditions observed during the 1980 to 2010 period.
How skillful are these forecasts?
Outlooks for late winter and late summer temperatures tend to be more accurate than outlooks made for other seasons. Outlooks for the late spring and late fall tend to be the least accurate. Precipitation outlooks are generally less accurate than temperature outlooks, although during strong El Niño or strong La Niña conditions, winter precipitation outlooks can be just as accurate as winter temperature outlooks, at least for several regions of the United States. For more information about the skill of long-lead United States seasonal forecasts, visit - here.
Climate in the News: “Wallflowers of the Earth System.” – Science Daily, June 3, 2012
Earth’s algae, lichens and mosses collectively take up about 14 billion tons of carbon dioxide and fix 50 million tons of nitrogen per year, making them a significant player in the planet’s carbon and nitrogen cycles.
Have a great & safe weekend!!