Scattered afternoon storms return Thu. afternoon & will increase further Fri. through the weekend. Temps. will stay hot -- in the low to mid 90s -- before storms develop. Cooler air -- for August -- arrives early next week.
The tropics are a bit of a topic. The remnants of t.d. #7 are still evident over Central America & the Yucatan Peninsula. There's a chance for some redevlopment over the far Western Gulf of Mexico IF the system can make it back over the warm water.
T.D. #8 has developed in the Central Atlantic & should become "Gordon". The storm, however will stay far out to sea & will not be a threat to the local area or any of the U.S. Click here to go to "Talking the Tropics With Mike".
Speaking of the tropics....
NOAA provides easy access to historical hurricane tracks
Understanding historical hurricane landfalls is important in preparing for current storms
Seeing where hurricanes have hit and how often is one of the best ways to bring home a powerful hurricane preparedness message. A NOAA website, Historical Hurricane Tracks, lets users insert their zip code and see a map that contains more than 150 years of Atlantic hurricane tracking data. The site also contains global hurricane data from as far back as 1842.
“Knowing more about local hurricane history can help communities better understand their vulnerabilities so they can take steps to be more resilient if a future hurricane strikes.” says David Eslinger, Ph.D., an oceanographer with the NOAA Coastal Services Center and one of the site’s developers.
The Historical Hurricane Tracks website -- click ** here ** includes tropical cyclone data and information on coastal county hurricane strike data through 2011 while also providing links to detailed reports on the life history and effects of U.S. tropical cyclones since 1958.
In addition to the tracks of storms, the site provides insight to the increasing numbers of the U.S. citizens and infrastructure at risk for hurricanes, detailing population changes for U.S. coastal counties from 1900 to 2000. As the population continues to grow, so too has the number of storms with multi-billion dollars in damages to coastal infrastructure and property. Seven of the top 10 costliest hurricanes in U.S. history have occurred in the past eight years, including seventh ranked Irene last August with $15.8 billion in damages.
The site’s popularity with the public was evident as Hurricane Irene bore down on the U.S. East Coast. Tens of thousands of people used Historical Hurricane Tracks to compare the National Hurricane Center’s projected path of Irene with past storms. User traffic peaked at over 19,000 visits on August 26, the same day Irene swirled off the North Carolina coast heading towards New York City while saturating the East Coast and New England and leaving millions without power.
Increasing numbers of global extreme storm events has added another dimension to the site as the developers, in response to user requests, have added non-U.S. data. The global tropical cyclone data feature were collected from agencies in every ocean basin and processed through the International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship (IBTrACS), an effort managed by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.
Developed by the NOAA Coastal Services Center in partnership with NOAA’s National Hurricane Center and the agency’s National Climatic Data Center, Historical Hurricane Tracks allows users to search by place name, storm name or year, or latitude and longitude points. With the search results, users can generate a map showing the track of the storm or storms accompanied by a table of related information.
And NASA's "Global Hawks" are getting ready to fly into hurricane if & when the storm develop -- click here.
Jacksonville Zoo Baby Boom Update:
Leopard Cubs Now Star – Soon to be Rivaled by Lion Cub and Other Boomers
Jacksonville - Twin Amur leopard cubs have taken on a celebrity status with visitors at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens since their public debut on July 27, 2012. Leopard mom, Makari, watches intently as her cute but feisty twin male cubs--now weighing over eight pounds each--put on quite a show as they chase, wrestle, jump over and stalk each other. According to cub zoo keepers the cubs are cutest when they are “attacking” the two inch high plants in the exhibit (much to the chagrin of the Zoo’s horticulture staff). The cubs are on exhibit from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. every day. Their fans will also be pleased to know that the Zoo is planning a public naming contest which will be conducted through its Facebook page, facebook.com/JacksonvilleZooandGardens. Details will be announced soon.
The next in line for Zoo stardom is an adorable female lion cub, born June 30th. The cub had its second round of vaccinations recently and is doing very well. In fact, she now weighs a whopping twelve pounds, which is four times her weight from just six weeks ago! As she grows and gains confidence, her keepers will begin to introduce the lion cub to the big lion enclosure. Zoo guests can look forward to the cub making her way on display within the next several months. Stay tuned for details regarding the lion cub’s public debut. In the meantime, Zoo visitors will be able to watch the lion cub’s daily activities on the TV monitor at the gazebo beginning today, August 14th.
Zoo guests have enjoyed watching another of their favorite baby animals, the six week old female giraffe, frolicking from the Giraffe Overlook since the calf was only two days old! The Marbled Teal--the youngest of the baby boomers, are still too small to go on exhibit in the River Valley Aviary after they hatched on July 1st. They are expected to be put on exhibit in about three months. The three Rock pythons, hatched June 28th through 30th, are doing very well and can now be seen in the African Reptile Pavilion.