As expected...."Sandy" will bypass Jax by 350+ miles to the east Sat. Nor'easter conditions will ease by Sun.-Mon. though it will still be breezy. Seas & surf will be very slow to subside, & the rip current risk will stay high. In the end, the weekend won't be bad at all with increasing sun & mild temps. but with gusty winds. Photos below are Beatrice Kyles, Fernandina Beach....second is from Sherry Adair, Shands Bridge in Clay Co. near sunset Fri. Some interesting views from space of "Sandy" & the Int'l space station - click here & here (pass 1).
Click here -- "Talking the Tropics With Mike" for updates throughout the weekend as "Sandy" takes aim on the Mid Atlantic & New England in what could be an historic storm. From the Insurance Information Institute:
TOP TEN SIGNIFICANT FLOOD EVENTS,
RANKED BY NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM PAYOUTS (1)
AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TN
AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, OH, PA, TX
AL, DE, FL, GA, LA, MD, MS, NJ, NY,
NC, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV
CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA, VT
Tropical Storm Allison
FL, LA, MS, NJ, PA, TX
DE, MD, NJ, NY, NC, PA, VA, WV
AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, TN, TX
CT, DE, FL, GA, MA, ME, MD, NH, NJ, NC, PA, SC, VA, VT
Tropical Storm Lee
(1) Includes events from 1978 to July 31, 2012. Defined by the National Flood Insurance Program as an event that produces at least 1,500 paid losses. Stated in dollars when occurred.
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The new baby lion at our beautiful Jax Zoo & Gardens is now on display:
The female lion cub, born on June 31, 2012, was welcomed to her new home in the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ Lion Exhibit today at a special ceremony conducted by Dan Maloney, deputy director of conservation and education for the Jacksonville Zoo, and Dan Dembiec, mammal supervisor of the lions and other animals located in the Zoo’s Plains of East Africa exhibit. The cub’s mom, Tamu accompanied the cub into the exhibit. The name of the cub, Regina (nicknamed Gigi), was also announced at the ceremony. Regina, which is Latin for “queen,” was an appropriate choice made by Zoo patron and donor, Mr. David Edwards, since the male lion is often referred to as “the king of the jungle”. This is the first successful lion birth at the Zoo since 1974.
The cub weighed three pounds at birth and now weighs 45 pounds. Gigi’s mom, Tamu, only five years old, wasn’t feeding the cub properly after the birth, and has been hand-reared by the Zoo staff. Since the cub is now eating and getting around well on its own, the Zoo staff has been slowly trying to reunite the two. Although the two were resistance first, they are now getting along well and will be on exhibit daily during the morning hours only. Guest can see the cub and mom from the Plains of East Africa boardwalk or through the Lion Exhibit’s two viewing windows on the ZooLoop main path.
Earth Gauge: A Bumper Crop of Pumpkins?
Extreme heat and drought over the summer took their toll on many food crops – but there is an abundance of pumpkins in many places for the fall season. Why? Pumpkins are one of few crops that do well during drought conditions. Lack of rain in many places this year actually protected the pumpkins from rot and mildews that thrive with too much moisture. Pumpkin farmers were able to better control how much water their pumpkin crops received with irrigation, leading to a good crop yield.
Tip: If you are carving or cooking this year, put the whole pumpkin to use! If you don’t eat the seeds yourself, spread them outside as a snack for birds and squirrels. And, instead of weighing down your trash bags and sending past-their-prime pumpkins to the landfill, put them to use in your garden. Pumpkins can be added to compost piles, where they will decompose and add nutrients to your compost.
A few more fun pumpkin facts:
· 80 percent of the pumpkin supply in the United States is available in October.
· Pumpkins are 90 percent water.
· Pumpkins can weigh less than a pound to over 1,000 pounds. The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds!
(Sources: American Farm Bureau Federation. “Farmers Anticipate a Bumper Pumpkin Crop.”; Purdue University Cooperative Extension. “Despite Drought, Pumpkin Crop Looks Strong and Healthy,”; University of Illinois Extension. “Pumpkins and More: Pumpkin Facts.”)
Climate Fact: Winter 2012-2013 Outlook
Link - here - NOAA has issued its 2012-2013 Winter Weather Outlook for the United States. Read below for details on the outlook for your area and a description of how the outlook is made.
For winter 2012-2013, northern Florida has between a 33 to 40 percent chance of experiencing below normal average 3-month temperatures, a 33.3 percent chance of experiencing near normal temperatures, and a 26.7 to 33.3 percent chance of experiencing above normal temperatures. For total winter precipitation, there is a 33.3 to 40 percent chance of above normal precipitation levels, a 33.3 percent chance of normal precipitation levels and a 26.7 to 33.3 percent chance of below normal precipitation. “Above” and “below” normal are defined by NOAA as conditions falling into the top or bottom third of climate conditions observed during the 1980 to 2010 period.
· NOAA’s Three Month (December-February) Outlook Page.
· Information on what these outlooks mean and how to explain them to your viewers.
· Information about making long-lead seasonal outlooks and forecast tools used.
ENSO and the AO/NAO
The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is useful for seasonal prediction because it evolves relatively slowly and because its phases have noticeable influences on global scale circulation systems. The ENSO-neutral-weak El Niño conditions present as of mid-October 2012 and lack of any strong trend in the oscillation means this year’s winter outlook has a relatively large amount of uncertainty.
The Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the related North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), considered by some meteorologists to be a regional subset of the AO, is much less predictable than ENSO making it the “wild card” of winter weather. The eastern United States can have a relatively warm winter overall, in part due to the ENSO conditions, but can have a few weeks of extreme winter weather with enhanced chances of snowfall if the AO/NAO is negative.
· See how different phases of ENSO have historically corresponded to different average winter weather conditions in the United States.
· Information on this winter’s ENSO diagnostics.
· Useful Climate Analogy: The Arctic Oscillation and Your Refrigerator Door.
Arctic Sea Ice
This year’s record melting of the Arctic sea ice left large areas of open water, allowing for much more heat to move from the ocean into the atmosphere after the Sun has set for the year, raising Arctic surface temperatures and likely affecting global circulation patterns. Differences in Arctic Sea ice influence mid-latitude weather, although little research has focused on precisely how. Because the lack of Arctic sea ice is, at least in modern times, a new phenomenon, there is no track record of connecting open water in the Arctic Ocean to weather conditions in the United States. It is likely that seasonal outlooks, particularly winter outlooks, now have more uncertainty because of this.
Climate in the News: “Study Reveals Ice Melt Impact on Sea Level Rise.” – ABC News, October 22, 2012
A new report indicates that Antarctic ice may be contributing less to sea level rise than was previously believed.
Have a great & safe weekend!