“Buresh Blog”: Active (stormy) spring weather...‘tis the season for snakes & gators...25th Earth Day

Happy 30th Birthday Hubble!

Jacksonville, FL — 'Tis the season for the rituals of spring such as an active sinusoidal jet stream(!). Buresh bottom line: storm systems every few days with severe storms, flooding, heat, cold, ice & snow depending on exactly where you live in the U.S.

This buckling of the jet stream has led to frequent frontal passages for Jacksonville/NE Fl./SE Ga. allowing for a much needed turn to wetter weather. JIA went from nearly 5″ below avg. for the year in late March to within an inch or two of avg. by mid April. All indications are that the “parade” of upper level storm systems & surface fronts will continue through at least the end of April. Forecast upper level (~30,000 feet) below for Thu., 04/23 & Sat., 04/25 & are representative of our “busy” jet stream:

Photo below shows tree damage from an EF-0 tornado near Black Hammock Island (Duval Co.) Wed., April 15:

Mid April snow in Iowa - photo courtesy my dad :) :

April 22 marks the 50th Earth Day. While we (humans) battle COVID-19, the Earth battles man-made ills. Temp. trends - provided by ‘Climate Central’ shows Jacksonville has warmed about almost a degree and-a-half while the U.S. has had a 2.4 degree temp. increase since the first Earth Day in 1970:

Check out/click these sites for more info. & beautiful images in honor of Earth Day:

* NASA Home Resources

* Earth rise image from Apollo 8, 1968

* NASA’s satellite fleet

* Catalog of NASA’s “Visible Earth” images

* NASA’s “Scientific Visualization Studio

April 24th marks the 30th birthday of the Hubble Telescope! Hubble’s launch & subsequent orbit were put in serious jeopardy by the space shuttle “Challenger” disaster in 1986 but finally launched in 1990 thanks to space shuttle “Discovery”. From NASA:

Hubble Quick Facts

  • Looking Back Through Time: Hubble has peered back to capture light from distant galaxies that has taken more than 13.4 billion years to reach us. 
  • A Productive Machine: Hubble has taken more than 1.4 million observations that astronomers have used to write over 17,000 scientific publications on topics such as planet, star and galaxy formation, dark matter, dark energy and black holes.
  • Space Mechanics: Astronauts repaired and upgraded Hubble five times in space, including giving Hubble “glasses” to fix a flaw in its mirror that made the images blurry. 
  • Science Bus: The Hubble Space Telescope is about the size of a school bus, roughly 43.5 feet long and 14 feet wide and weighs 27,000 pounds on Earth.
  • Around the World in 95 Minutes: Hubble travels 17,000 mph and completes one orbit around the Earth every 95 minutes, meaning it has made more than 166,000 orbits in its lifetime and has traveled over 4 billion miles.
  • Above the atmosphere: Hubble orbits 340 miles above the Earth’s surface, outside of the distorting effects of our atmosphere. This allows us to look deeper into space and with greater clarity than we can with ground telescopes
  • Cultural Icon: From Star Trek and The Big Bang Theory episodes to music album covers and the clothes you wear, Hubble images are all around you! 

Mid to late spring marks the period of snakes & gators!..... as in feeding & breeding. So be a little extra careful when & if hiking, walking or biking some of our great local NE Fl./SE Ga. trails. AND check yourself for ticks! Pics below by me - young gator... pygmy rattler (not aggressive but venomous)... Black Racer (territorial but harmless).