• Buresh Blog: Warmer days ahead... chance of a White Christmas... average winter snow for the south

    By: Michael Buresh


    Dec. 13, 2017 - Christmas is less than two weeks away.  And it looks like the weather pattern will be undergoing a significant change - back to the pattern we had much of Nov. but more amplified.  The upper air GFS forecast model chart for early Christmas morn' is below:

    The implication is warm for Jacksonville/NE Fl. as a Bermuda high-like system sets up centered on the Bahamas (very warm Christmas for the islands!).  This is very much a La Nina type pattern (mild winter).  Storminess would not be far away - from Texas to New England with arctic cold over the Rockies & North Central U.S.  So this should translate into an active period of weather that might even include severe t'storms along a strong cold front.  Stay tuned!

    Speaking of Christmas.... the map below from NOAA is the probability of a white Christmas:

    Parts of the deep south were covered in snow the first week of Dec. as a strong & cold weather system blanketed the ground with snow from Mexico & S. Texas to Ga. to New England.  Brian Brettschneider tweeted out the interesting image below showing the percent of winters with measurable snow.  A little less than half the winters drop measurable snow on Atlanta vs. near zero for Jacksonville.  Of course, there have been exceptions including the great snow & ice storm of 1989 which stands as the benchmark for great winter storms in Jacksonville.

    Audubon's Christmas bird count (NEEF):

    Every year, thousands of volunteers identify and count birds during Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC). The annual count—which is in its 118th 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 United States, Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands. Last year, 2,536 counts were completed and 56.1 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, 2017 to January 5, 2018. 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.

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