First Alert Weather Alert: Flood Warning expires at 8:00 AM on 4/18, issued at 10:44 AM Bryceville, FL | Callahan, FL | Fernandina Beach, FL | Glen Saint Mary, FL

Onshore Flow... A TUTT(!)... White Oak Panther Release

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Updated: 7/03/2013 11:28 pm

Our weather pattern change has arrived & will be highlighted by scattered showers near the coast & beaches in the morning then scattered afternoon showers & storms near I-95 by late morning/early afternoon pushing well inland through the afternoon.  So by evening scattered showers & storms will occur primarily near I-75 while the rest of the area -- including Jacksonville & the beaches -- should be mainly dry under partly cloudy skies.
Beware of an increasing rip current risk at area beaches due to onshore flow.  Never swim or surf alone & stay near a lifeguard.  Radar imagery below courtesy our Jax N.W.S.:

The water vapor satellite below shows a strong upper level trough over the Central Atlantic.  Global forecast models
have been insistent on a piece of this trough closing off & breaking off then getting caught up in strong easterly flow underneath strong upper level & surface high pressure to the north.  This so-called TUTT - tropical upper tropospheric trough - will have a cold core at first at least & move to the west reaching Fl. Mon. night-Tue.  By this time, the upper trough looks like it's core temp. will be more neutral. 
In any case....surface development is not indicated by forecast models & is not likely to occur.  Subsidence on the west side of the TUTT will limit thunderstorms over the First Coast -- & much of Fl. -- Sun.-Mon.  But on the east side of the trough, the air will be more unstable accompanied by an increase in vertical velocities which should increase t'storms Tue.-Wed. across the local area.  Still....no tropical development with this trough is expected, but we should keep an eye on it.  Penn State's College of Earth & Mineral Sciences offers a very detailed discussion of TUTT's - click ** here **.

FLORIDA PANTHER RAISED AT WHITE OAK GIVES BIRTH IN WILD

YULEE, FLA.—A female Florida panther that was raised at White Oak Conservation in Yulee, Fla., and released back into the wild is now a mother.

Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found a female kitten Saturday in Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park in southwest Florida, near where the adult female was released on January 31. The biologists have evaluated the kitten’s health and tagged it for identification.  They estimate the kitten to be about one month old.

Florida Fish and Wildlife estimates that the adult panther became pregnant about three weeks after her release, when she would have been 21 months old.

“Kitten survival rates are pretty low, but this kitten looked healthy and feisty,” said Dave Onorato, a panther biologist with Florida Fish and Wildlife. “The kitten has a chance of one day contributing to the population as well.”

Florida Fish and Wildlife brought the new mother to White Oak with her brother in 2011 when they were just 5 months old.  The sibling’s mother had been found dead in Collier County, Fla., and kittens were rescued nearby.

“These panthers most likely would not have survived without our intervention and the subsequent support of White Oak staff,” said Darrell Land, FWC panther team leader.

The female was released in January 2013, followed by the male in April, and both showed signs of early success readapting to the wild.

White Oak works with Florida Fish and Wildlife to prepare injured or orphaned Florida panthers for release into their habitat in southern Florida, and to date, 12 have been released.

White Oak’s success with Florida panthers can be attributed to its spacious and secluded enclosures, which are meant to simulate their natural habitat, White Oak Director Steve Shurter said. 

While here, Shurter added, the panthers receive very little human contact and are carefully monitored by remote cameras and radio collars. This strict protocol makes them well suited for release into the wild.

“Our methods come from many years of working closely with the species to ensure its survival,” Shurter said. “Having this firm foundation and continuing to build on it is why I believe White Oak has been able to contribute as much as it has to the Florida panther.”

An estimated 100 to 160 Florida panthers, the official state animal, remain in the wild. Once spread throughout the southeastern United States, the panthers have suffered from extreme habitat loss and over-hunting. They now remain mostly in protected areas in southern Florida, but are still at risk, mainly because of collisions with vehicles and intraspecies aggression due to restricted habitat.

White Oak Conservation sustains more than 25 of the earth’s rarest wild animal species through innovative conservation education, breeding, research, and field programs that contribute to the survival of wildlife in nature.

Find out more information about White Oak by visiting ** here **.

Have a fun & safe Independence Day, rain or not(!)......phot below from Liz Barber in Taylor, Fl.....

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