First Alert Weather Alert: Severe Thunderstorm Warning expires at 6:15 PM on 4/18, issued at 5:30 PM Bostwick, FL | Crescent City, FL | East Palatka, FL | Edgar, FL

Tornado "Swarm"!… Warm Temps...Monday Cold Front... "Local" Nor'easter... LandSat Tornado Mapping... "Earth Gauge": Recycling, Severe Weather Impacts

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Updated: 11/18/2013 6:49 am

Sunday evening update:

A nasty tornado/severe storm outbreak occurred midday through late afternoon Sunday.  Whole towns have been decimated… & while there are confirmed casualties, it will take a while for the final #'s of those injured & killed to be tabulated.  Click ** here ** for video of one of the ferocious Illinois tornadoes…. ** here ** for photos… ** here ** for updates stories from CNN.  Tornado warnings interrupted the Chicago Bears' NFL game Sun. afternoon.

The same front will invade the First Coast Mon. afternoon & evening but with less "gusto".  The cold front will be weakening upon approach to Jax & -- more importantly -- the upper level support (disturbance) will be exiting far to the north into Canada.  So while there will be rain Mon. afternoon & evening -- along with a few t'storms -- the intensity will be far less.  Widespread rain will occur between noon & 9pm with 100% coverage but amounts will only average a tenth to one-half inch, locally up to 1".  While a few strong storms are possible, I doubt that there will be much -- if any -- severe weather.

Once the front clears the area Mon. night, gusty northeast winds will follow with cooler temps.  Midday highs Mon. (lower 80s) won't be too far from record highs (near 85 degrees) but highs Tue. will only reach the 60s.

… & this video -- click ** here ** from CNN showing the mighty storm surge from super typhoon "Heiyan" -- awful!

FROM FRI. EVENING:

Plenty of cloud cover this weekend but also some sun. Isolated to widely scattered showers will develop Sat. & Sun. but there will many dry hours. Temps. will be unseasonably mild with highs in the mid 70s Sat. & the low 80s(!) Sunday. Dew points will be high, so you'll notice the humidity.

A cold front will roll across the First Coast Mon.-Mon. night accompanied by showers & followed by cooler temps. Tue. Another "local" Nor'easter will hammer our beaches by midweek.

"Red sky at night, sailors delight.... red sky in morning, sailors take warning". A beautiful sunrise Fri. & the brilliant sunrise was indeed followed by afternoon rain. Photos below from Tim Hunter, Doctors Lake... Nicole Baugh, St. Johns... & Brenda.

I mentioned in Thursday's post that our local Salvation Army has kicked off the Red Kettle (bell ringing) season.  Click ** here ** for an article in the Times Union.

From NASA:

The ravages of deforestation, wildfires, windstorms and insects on global forests during this century are revealed in unprecedented detail in a new study based on data from the NASA-U.S. Geological Survey Landsat 7 satellite.

The maps resulting from the study are the first to document forest loss and gain using a consistent method around the globe, at high resolution. They allow scientists to compare forest changes in different countries and monitor annual deforestation. With each pixel in a Landsat image showing an area about the size of a baseball diamond, researchers see enough detail to tell local, regional and global stories.

“Now, we have 12 years of annual forest loss over the globe,” said Matthew Hansen, whose team at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md., led the new study.

Click ** here ** for more info... ** here ** to view gloabl deforestation imagery.... ** here ** to view the deforestation caused by the violent 2011 Alabama tornado.

 

Earth Gauge: America Recycles Day 

America Recycles Day is November 15! When you hear the word recycle, you probably think of things like paper, plastic, aluminum and glass. But did you know that motor oil, electronics, batteries and tires can be recycled, too? Recycling common household materials reduces the amount of waste that ends up in our landfills. It also saves energy, protects natural resources, and provides materials for new products.

Recycling two gallons of used oil can generate enough electricity to run the average household for almost 24 hours.

·         Recycling one aluminum can saves the amount of energy needed to power a laptop computer for five hours or run a 60-watt CFL light bulb for 20 hours.

·         Recycling one ton of paper saves up to 7,000 gallons of water. Recycled paper can be used to make masking tape, hospital gowns, coffee filters, lamp shades, eggs cartons and more.

·         Many different metals are recovered during the cell phone recycling process – gold, silver, platinum, palladium, copper, tin and zinc – that can be used by jewelry, plating, electronics, automotive and other industries.

Tip: Before you toss a household item in the trash can, find out if it can be recycled. You may be surprised by some of the items that can be recycled – auto fluids, corks, computers, light bulbs and much more. Visit ** here ** to find out what you can recycle, how and where. Provide your city or zip code and the item that needs to be recycled to find a nearby recycling solution.

(Sources: Earth911; America Recycles Day; EPA, “Basic Information About Used Oil,”; EPA. “Environmental Benefits of Recycle on the Go,”; EPA, “Wastes – Resource Conservation – Common Wastes & Materials – Paper Recycling,”; EPA, ” Wastes – Resource Conservation – Common Wastes & Materials – eCycling,”)

Severe Weather Impacts: Winter Thunderstorms and Aviation 

Thunderstorms occur in all 50 states and U.S. territories. At any given time, there are approximately 2,000 thunderstorms in progress worldwide—and lightning strikes the Earth an average of 100 times per second! Although thunderstorms can occur at any day and time, summer thunderstorms (May to September) are more frequent than winter thunderstorms (October to April). Winter thunderstorms have been less studied than summer thunderstorms, but scientists have documented differences between them. Winter thunderstorms are generally shorter in time and have lower lightning frequency. Warm air moves upwards (the updraft) at a slower speed to form clouds and rain in winter thunderstorms, and thunderclouds have a smaller vertical extent or height. Winter thunderstorms that occur when temperatures are relatively warm are called cold-season thunderstorms.

You’re probably familiar with many of the hazards that come along with thunderstorms, including lightning, flash flooding, hail, heavy winds and tornadoes that can damage property and pose health risks. But did you know that thunderstorms can impact aviation?

Winter thunderstorms are rare – they’re also more difficult to forecast because the procedures for detection and warning are designed for summer thunderstorms. It can be difficult for pilots to estimate the risk of flying through cumulonimbus clouds (associated with thunderstorms) in winter because they occupy less space and seem harmless. Flying into these clouds can produce lightning – in 90 percent of cases the lightning discharge is initiated by the aircraft itself. Studies in Japan showed that the majority of lightning strikes in summer occurred when aircrafts were at a height of 1.8 to 3.6 miles; in winter, lightning strikes occurred when aircrafts were at a height of zero to 1.8 miles. During winter, planes are more often struck during landing and takeoff. Lightning can produce direct damage such as holes in the skin of the plane, as well as indirect damage such as magnetic disturbance or damage to electronic systems. Winter thunderstorms occur more often in the central part of the United States, the Great Lakes region, and along the east coast all the way up to Canada.

(Source: Makela, A., E. Saltikoff, J. Julkunen, I. Juga, E. Gregow, and S. Niemela. 2013. Cold-season Thunderstorms in Finland and their Effect on Aviation Safety. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. 94:847-858. and Slangen, A. 2008. Probabilistic Forecasts of Winter Thunderstorms Around Schiphol Airport Using Model Output Statistics. Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut. 53 pp. and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Severe Weather 101: Winter Weather Basics. Accessed online 5 November 2013.  and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA Study Finds Fishing Tops U.S. Lightning Death Activities. Accessed online 5 November 2013 and Federal Aviation Administration. 2010. Thunderstorms and Interference. Air Traffic Bulletin. 1-3 pp. Accessed online 5 November 2013 and Federal Aviation Administration. Thunderstorms. Accessed online 5 November 2013.)

Have a great & safe weekend!

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