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"Buresh Blog": Dreaming of a White Christmas, Polar Vortex! - Dec. 14th

by: Michael Buresh Updated:

Dec. 14, 2016 - 'Tis the season for a White Christmas.  The NOAA map below shows the U.S. percentages for a white Christmas (at least 1" of snow on the ground).

And the run-up to Christmas will certainly be cold enough to support snow across the Northern one-third to one-half of the U.S.!  You've probably heard the most recent wonderful winter buzz word/Weather Channel hyperbole/overkill headline/social hype again - POLAR VORTEX!  Folks - this "phenomenon" has been around for eons.  It's simply cross polar flow whereby the jet stream dives southward from upper Canada into the U.S. allowing for outbreaks of arctic air.  Happens virtually every winter to one extent or another.  In this case, the polar vortex is stretched out more east - west which means virtually none of the cold air makes it all the way south to the Gulf Coast.... i.e. Jax/NE Fl./SE Ga.  So the upshot of this polar vortex -- at least for right now -- is the First Coast stays warm.... or at least mostly warm.

Click -- here -- for Red Cross cold weather info...... "Duckbrand" offers these cold season tips:

GOES-R satellite becomes GOES-16!  All systems seem to be go for "next generation" weather satellite that was launched in Nov. with the satellite in its geostationary orbit at 22,000 miles up! Click -- here -- for a comprehensive NOAA update.

Attention all High School & college science nerds :) ...... internships are availabe at NASA - click -- here.

EARTH GAUGE (NEEF).......

Every year, thousands of volunteers identify and count birds during Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC). The annual count – which is in its 117th year – helps researchers, conservation biologists, and others study North American bird populations over time.

The first Christmas Bird Count (CBC) took place on December 25, 1900 when 27 participants counted and identified about 18,500 birds, mostly in the northeastern US. Today, volunteers brave snow and chilly temperatures to identify and count birds throughout the 50 states and in Canada. Last year, over 2,500 counts were completed and 58.8 million birds were reported!

What birds will we see this year? Learn more about CBC and find a count near you. Anyone can participate in the Christmas Bird Count, which takes place from December 14, 2016 to January 5, 2017. The CBC takes place in “count circles” that focus on specific geographic areas. Every circle has a leader, so even if you are a beginner birdwatcher, you’ll be able to count birds with an experienced birder and contribute data to the longest-running wildlife census. If your home happens to be within the boundaries of a count circle, you can count the birds that visit your backyard feeder.