Our warm Jan. continues with highs 80+ Tue. & Wed. We'll fall a little short of Tue.'s record high of 84 but should get very close -- if not reach -- the 83 degree record for Wed. A strong storm system is rolling eastward as alluded to last week. The southerly & southwesterly flow ahead of this system will bring unseasonably warm temps. to much of the eastern half of the country. The storm will also bring a large area of heavy rain & scattered t'storms. An outbreak of strong to severe storms will likely occur from the Central Gulf Coast into the Tennessee & Ohio Valley's. Below you'll find an interesting map that shows the maximum preciptable water (PW) in Jan. for the U.S. (yellow is 1", red is 1.6" & pink is 2").Think of "precipitable water" as moisture in the atmosphere. The higher the number, the more humidity or moisture in the air which can lead to heavy rain & -- sometimes -- a higher severe storm risk. Many spots from the Southern Plains to the midwest have record high PW's for Jan. So this storm will produce heavy rain & severe weather over a wide area with snow on the system's
Some sad news from our Jax Zoo & Gardens:
Quito, the Gorilla, Found Dead in Exhibit
It is with great sadness that the staff of Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens reports the passing of Quito, the Zoo’s iconic and much loved Silverback gorilla. Quito was discovered Sunday morning in the gorilla enclosure, lying down and not moving. He most likely passed away Saturday night. Initial necropsy findings have not revealed any immediate cause of death, but cardiac failure is suspected. Quito had a family history of heart disease, and he has received heart medication for the past three years. Histopathology results may reveal more details, but tests require weeks of lab work.
Quito was born on June 1, 1981, at Boston’s Stone Zoo. He came to Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in March 1998 from St. Louis Zoo, as part of Jacksonville Zoo’s first gorilla group. He became troop leader and an instant favorite of Zoo guests and patrons. His engaging personality, impressive stature and commanding presence attracted a big fan base of people of all ages. Quito’s birthday celebration, held the past two years, has been attended by hundreds of schoolchildren, Zoo supporters and media personnel.
“We are all mourning the loss of Quito,” said Tony Vecchio, Executive Director of Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. “Quito was one of Jacksonville Zoo and Garden’s most popular animals. He was also a great ambassador for the Zoo’s mission and its dedication to the conservation of rare and endangered species,” Vecchio concluded.
As a special tribute to Quito, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens will contribute five dollars of each paid Zoo admission this Saturday, February 2, to primate conservation. Also, guests can hang their farewell messages to Quito on the bamboo located on the path between the Range of the Jaguar and the first Great Apes window.