First Alert Weather Alert: Flood Warning expires at 8:00 PM on 4/28, issued at 10:03 AM Bryceville, FL | Callahan, FL | Fernandina Beach, FL | Glen Saint Mary, FL

Nice Start to the Weekend... Tracking "Karen", Rain & Storms... N.W.S. Clever Message to Get Paid... "Earth Gauge": Children's Health Month, Sea Ice, Greenland Sea

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Updated: 10/05/2013 9:06 am

A summer-like weekend with mostly dry but very warm weather Sat. as highs reach well into the 80s. "Karen" is struggling mightily against shear & dry air but "Karen" aside, there will still be scattered showers & a few t'storms Sunday....increasing Sun. night - Monday as a cold front approaches. There will still be some sun Sunday with breezy southerly winds pushing temps. well into the 80s, possibly touching 90 degrees in a few inland areas.

There will be a threat for isolated tornadoes & heavy downpours overnight Sunday into Monday even if "Karen" remains weak or becomes a remnant low pressure system (which is possible). Click ** here ** for an in-depth discussion of "Karen" & the tropics -- "Talking the Tropics With Mike".

You can always get the updated First Alert Forecast on WOKV 104.5 FM &/or 690 AM. Download the snazzy First Alert Weather iPad App for free.

The cold front moving into the First Coast Mon. was responsible for a whale of a storm from the Rocky Mountains to midwest ranging from a paralyzing early autumn blizzard to large tornadoes. Click ** here ** for photos & video of the tornadoes in Iowa & Nebraska where at least several injuries have been reported.

Radar imagery below courtesy S. Fl. Water Management District:

The National Weather Service is a government agency & so is feeling the pinch of the current shutdown.  An Anchorage, Alaska NWS forecaster wrote a clever forecast discussion Fri.  Can you find the message "Please Pay Us"? -- click ** here **.

Earth Gauge: October is Children’s Health Month

Did you know that children may be more vulnerable to environmental exposures and hazards than adults? This is because children’s bodies are still developing and growing; they eat, drink and breathe in more in proportion to their body size than adults do; and they tend to spend more time outside.

Tip: October is Children’s Health Month! You can protect children’s health with these simple tips:

  • Check the air quality forecast. If air quality is poor and your child suffers from asthma, consider rescheduling sports games and other outdoor activities for another day.  If you do go outside, aim for early morning or evening hours, when air pollution levels are likely to be lower. View the air quality forecast ** here **.
  • Use sunscreen. About 23 percent of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV radiation occurs before age 18, so it’s especially important to protect children from sun exposure. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 that provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays.  Apply sunscreen liberally and often, and wear protective clothing – hat, sunglasses, long-sleeved shirt, and pants. Remember that it is possible to burn on a cold or cloudy day, even when the sun doesn’t seem bright.
  • Walk or bike to school. Almost half of all students walked or biked to school in 1960 – today that number is less than 15 percent. Walking or biking to school can help address a variety of health problems, including obesity, diabetes and asthma. It also cuts down on traffic and air pollution around schools.
  • Burn wisely. The distinctive smell of wood smoke is a sign of cooler weather and the heating season. It may smell good, but wood smoke can impact indoor air quality and health. Make sure your chimney is clean and only use seasoned wood for burning.  If you burn wood at home – even occasionally – install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to keep you and your family safe.
  • Learn more about children’s environmental health from EPA.

(Sources: “Health Effects of Bad Air.”; The Skin Cancer Foundation. “Skin Cancer Facts.”; EPA. “Children’s Health Month 2010: Healthy Communities for Healthy Children.”; U.S. Burn Wise: Consumers – Best Burn Practices.)


Climate Fact: Arctic sea ice is shrinking; Antarctic sea ice is growing – Why? 

The Arctic and Antarctic sea ice expands and contracts with the seasons: melting occurs during summer and expansion occurs during winter. The Arctic reaches its minimum extent in September at the end of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. On the other hand, the Antarctic sea ice reaches its greatest extent in September at the end of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. The Arctic and Antarctic are very different geographically. The Arctic is surrounded almost entirely by land (North America, Greenland and Eurasia), which traps most of the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean and allows multiyear ice to develop. Antarctic sea ice is bounded to the south by the Antarctic continent and completely exposed to the Southern Ocean to the north, which allows sea ice to expand in the winter but does not offer much protection during the melt season. This means that there is little multiyear sea ice in the Antarctic and most of the sea ice melts during the summer season.

Arctic sea ice has experienced an overall trend of 12 percent decline per decade since the late 1970s. During the last 60 years, the Arctic has warmed by more than 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) and the remaining ice cover is 50 percent thinner than in previous decades. Arctic sea ice reached its minimum extent of 1.97 million square miles on September 13, 2013—the sixth lowest on satellite record. The lowest Arctic sea ice extent on record was 1.32 million square miles, reported on September 16, 2012. Thicker multiyear sea ice is being replaced by thinner seasonal sea ice; the latter melts faster, whereas multiyear sea ice can last up to two summers. Conversely, Antarctic sea ice extent has increased by approximately one percent per decade. Antarctic sea ice reached its maximum extent of 7.53 million square miles on September 18, 2013—tying last year’s record. Sea ice cover in Antarctic is shaped by westerly winds, high waves and frequent storms. The moist maritime environment of the Southern Ocean produces large amounts of snow fall on Antarctic sea ice – the highest snowfall rates of any region in the world. Snow and ice increase the reflection of sunlight (albedo), protecting Antarctic ice from warming. Antarctic sea ice is in constant motion due to strong winds and storms, creating areas of exposed ocean water that freeze and expand the sea ice cover. A recent study also suggests Antarctic sea ice increased due to strengthening of the polar vortex, a large cyclone near the planet’s geographical poles, creating thicker long-lasting ice and exposing ocean water and ice to cold winds that cause sea ice to grow.

Look at interactive images of sea ice changes by visiting ** here **.

(Source: National Snow and Data Center. Sea Ice Index. Accessed online 25 September 2013. and Maksym, T., S.E. Stammerjohn, S. Ackley, and R. Massom. 2012. Antarctic sea ice—A polar opposite? Oceanography 25(3):140-151 and Walsh, J.E. 2013. Melting ice: What is Happening to Arctic Sea Ice, and What Does it Mean for Us? Oceanography 26(2),. and National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Arctic Sea Ice Minimum in 2013 is Sixth Lowest on Record. Accessed online 25 September 2013.  and National Snow and Data Center. Sea Ice. Accessed online 24 September 2013 and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Arctic Sea Ice Meltdown. Accessed online 24 September 2013 and National Snow and Data Center. Arctic Sea Ice and Data Center. Accessed online 24 September 2013 and National Snow and Data Center. Arctic vs. Antarctic. Accessed online 24 September 2013 and University of Washington. Stronger Winds Explain Puzzling Growth of Sea Ice in Antarctica. Accessed online 24 September 2013 and Capital Weather Gang. Antarctic Sea Ice Hit 35-Year Record High on Saturday. Accessed 25 September 2013.)

Climate in the News: “The Deep Greenland Sea Is Warming Faster Than the World Ocean” Science Daily, September 25, 2013Recent warming of the Greenland Sea Deep Water is about ten times higher than warming rates estimated for the global ocean.

Have a great & safe weekend!



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