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More Storms & Photos... Storm Prep's... Satellites & Birds... "Earth Gauge": UV Safety, Greenland Melting, Subglacial Lake

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Updated: 7/12/2013 11:56 pm

Sunday is your pick day of the weekend but even Sat. will not be a washout.  Late morning through afternoon showers & storms will develop & move northward dumping periods of heavy rain & gusty winds but with sun before the storms form & between cells.  Winds of change by Sunday will salvage much of the afternoon for especially the I-95 corridor to the beaches.  Winds will become east/southeast which should push most of the widespread rain more inland during the afternoon. 
Photos from Friday's storms:
Lisa Driver, Port Orange....Lisa Kaminski, Jax....Tony, offshore Mayport...Burt Froelich, St. Augustine where winds during storms uprooted a tree.

Radar imagery below courtesy our Jax N.W.S.:

From Property Casualty Insurers Association of America:
Here are five easy, and important, steps residents can take to protect their loved ones and property in the event of future storms:
1) Storm Proof Your Property
Simple actions such as covering windows with plywood or shutters, moving vehicles into the garage when possible and placing grills and patio furniture indoors can minimize damage in the event of a storm. Also assess how to best fortify your roof and doors against approaching storms.
If you own any watercraft, make sure to store in a secure area, like a garage or covered boat dock. A typical homeowners policy will cover property damage in limited instances for small watercraft, and separate boat policies will provide broader, more extensive property and liability protection for larger, faster boats, yachts and jet skis.
2) Maintain a Storm Kit
All residents should assemble and store a weatherproof emergency preparedness kit including a radio, flashlight, batteries, bottled water, and basic first-aid supplies. Medicine and/or specialty items for family members with medical conditions or allergies should also be included in addition to non-perishable foods and toiletries. For car owners, storing sealed and portable gas containers should also be kept on hand.
3) Form an Evacuation Plan
Taking time with your family to form a strategic plan can help eliminate confusion and provide a way for you to communicate in the event of a natural disaster. Discuss the location of your shelter options, where you will meet if your family is not together and phone services are down after a storm, and who will be responsible for certain tasks if required to quickly evacuate.
4) Review Your Insurance Policy
Property owners should be sure to take some basic precautions to protect themselves and their belongings from an oncoming powerful storm. The first step is to call or visit with your insurance agent or company well in advance of a storm to discuss your policy. Review your property insurance policy, especially the “declarations” page, and check whether your policy pays replacement cost, or actual cash value for a covered loss. Also keep the name, address and claims-reporting telephone number of your insurer and agent in a safe and easily accessible place. (Click here to review PCI's Tips on Insuring Your Home for more details.)
5) Inventory Your Possessions
In the event of damage, residents should regularly maintain an up-to-date inventory of their possessions and property. This includes receipts and descriptions of your household items, and photographs or video footage for further documentation. Keep this information and your insurance policies in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box.

Residents should also be sure to review PCI’s Hurricane Preparedness Infographic -- click here -- which can be easily shared online or printed on paper for residents to have on hand as they prepare for possible storms.

What can satellites tell us about birds and climate change?

In the summer of 2012, northern parts of the United States got an unexpected visitor—a bird known as the dickcissel. What caused this bird to stray from its normal home? Find out how NASA satellites help answer that very question in the latest Climate Kids article. Also included is a fun bird feeder activity—discover what birds live in your own neighborhood! -- click here.

Earth Gauge: UV Safety
The sun emits radiation in the form of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation is at its highest when and where the sun’s rays are the strongest. This means that UV levels will be highest around noon on a clear sunny day, as well as during the summer months. UV levels will also be highest near surfaces that reflect sunlight, such as water, snow and sand. Exposure to UV can cause sunburn, skin aging, skin cancer and eye damage.  While skin cancer is largely preventable, it is the most common form of cancer in the United States – one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. (See state-by-state statistics about skin cancer from EPA.)

Tip: July is UV Safety Month. Stay safe in the sun with these tips:
• Wear sunscreen: Sunscreens with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 15 and above provide protection by preventing UV radiation from reaching your skin. Reapply every two hours and after swimming, working or exercising outside.
• Wear sunglasses: Protect your eyes with sunglasses that have 100 percent UV protection. Check the label for the protection level.
• Work and play in the shade: When you are outside, wear tightly woven clothing and a wide brimmed hat to reduce the amount of UV radiation coming into contact with your skin. Remember that pets need shade, too.

Before you head outside, check the UV Index ** here **.

(Sources: EPA SunWise Program. “Action Steps for Sun Safety.”; “Skin Cancer Facts for Your State,)

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Climate Fact: Thin Clouds Had a Hand in Record Greenland Melting

On a hot summer’s day, clouds are welcome.  They offer shade and a merciful break from the sun.  But if you’re an ice sheet in Greenland, clouds can give you a meltdown instead.  Clouds don’t always cool things off.  In fact, they can make things even hotter, and that’s exactly what happened in the middle of July, 2012 on the Greenland ice sheet.  There’s no doubt that unusually warm weather was primarily responsible for Greenland’s most extensive melt since 1889, but thin, low-level clouds were instrumental accomplices.  Some clouds are thin enough to let most of the sun’s energy through, but they remain just thick enough to keep some ground heat from escaping.  In effect, these clouds provide extra warmth at Earth’s surface, and that’s bad news for ice.

Scientists first noticed how clouds affected Greenland’s ice sheet during the July, 2012 heat wave when they compared air temperatures from cloudy and clear days.  When these thin clouds were present on July 11 and 12, temperatures rose above freezing at the Summit weather station.  The following three days were cloud-free, but the thermometer never rose above freezing.  Scientists used a sophisticated radiative transfer model to confirm their suspicions, and they discovered that these thin clouds gave 100 more watts of heat to every square meter of earth beneath them.  That’s like shining your brightest light bulb over every three-foot by three-foot section of your living room floor.  This heat, of course, melts ice rather quickly, and these clouds hover above the Arctic about 30 to 50 percent of the time.

(Source: Bennartz, B. et al. 2013, “July 2012 Greenland melt extent enhanced by low-level liquid clouds,” Nature, 496:7443, doi: 10.1038/nature12002)

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Climate in the News: “In Bitter Cold Subglacial Lake, Surprising Life Goes On” – ScienceDaily, July 5, 2013
Scientists have discovered a variety of life forms in Lake Vostok, buried under a glacier in Antarctica and once thought to be uninhabitable.


Have a great & safe weekend!
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