Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Fishing Surprises...

Took a fishing trip with Capt. Hylton yesterday and clearly saw signs of our very warm Winter.  I firmly believe we have been in a warming CYCLE since the early 80s, but even I was surprised by the condition of our marsh.   Normally in late March, the grasses would still be very brown from the Winter freezes.  Nope, they were all green & thick, a good sign for a healthy coast.  Usually that doesn’t happen until late April & May, but because of the recent warmth, Mother Nature is running 4-6 weeks early.  A more surprising feature was the appearance of BIG jellyfish.  Not a lot, but the size really stunned me.  They don’t begin showing up like that until May & June.  But there’s more Lee Zurik…   The size of the bait shrimp were HUGE, more like summer than early Spring.  What does it all mean?  No Clue as we only caught 14 trout (4 guys!) even having live bait.   The moral of the story?  A bad day fishing still beats a good day at work!

 

It remains cold over the Great Lakes & NE but I see no real cold coming back southward for the next 7-10 days.  What will happen will be several stormy periods, the first early Saturday with the second Monday-Tuesday.   It definitely is the time for the Spring Several Weather Season.  

 

I’m sure many of you heard Dr. Rick Knabb resigned as Director of the National Hurricane Center to join The Weather Channel.  Should that be a concern coming so close to the beginning of the 207 hurricane season?  Not really since the Director is mostly the face for the 10-12 highly trained hurricane specialists/forecasters at NHC.    Long time Deputy Director Ed Rappaport will assume the Director’s position for this season.  He’s no rookie as he served the same role back in 2007.  For us local forecasters who depend on NHC for guidance, the transition should be seamless.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Hello Sprummer...

I was watching The Weather Channel this morning and was amused by their combining parts of 2 words to come up with another.   SPRing + summer + SPRUMMER.   That was kind of clever since even though we are just getting to the 1st day of Spring, many parts of the country have felt more like summer already.   It took me back to my days in Ann Arbor where the local weathercaster in Detroit was Sonny Elliot.  Sonny always combined words to come up with clever sayings.  I think he was the 1st person to combine smoke & fog to = smog.   Sonny’s real name was Marvin, but that’s what TV weathermen did back then.  Leon Rottman in Denver used the name Stormy Rottman.  Currently, my friend in Philadelphia, Glenn Schwartz is called Hurricane Schwartz.    Remember here back in the early 80s, Ch. 6 had Dallas Raines?   There are others with cute weather names…Larry Sprinkle, Amy Freeze, Storm Fields.  Perhaps some of you can recall other weather related names weathercasters used across the nation?

 

Well, the Vernal Equinox arrives tomorrow at 4:30 pm signaling the official start of Spring.   I see no cold air coming during the next 7-10 days & I feel our threat for a late season frost is near zero.   Bubba (my tomato plant) is growing, however, he still doesn’t have any blossoms.  My Meyer Lemon tree is loaded again along with my grapefruit tree.  Bozo(my satsuma tree) has about 30 small fruit with even more blossoms so I think he will finally give me some satsumas this fall.   This week looks warm and dry so you may need to water your gardens especially if you just planted new annuals.   My bird houses appear to have new tenants and the darn squirrels are trying to build a new nest in one of my trees.   Ah, Spring.  Let the season begin!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Another Over-Hyped Storm?

Dr. Jeff Masters of WeatherUnderground said…”it would be unfair to call this storm a bust.” And I agree.  However, did you see how the media described the storm ?  “Monster storm, Ferocious storm,  Bomb-bo-Genesis.  It has been a big Nor’easter, but I think we live in a time of instant communication where the motto is “ never let the facts get in the way of a good story”.    Even the Mayor of New York went on-air to admit “thankfully we didn’t get as much as predicted.”   Hey, I worked 5 Winters in Dayton, Ohio and can tell you the hardest thing to forecast is the rain / snow line.  Be off by only 20 miles and you can look like a fool as the 1-2 feet of snow you predicted came down mainly as rain.  That’s what happened today from Washington, D.C. to Philly to New York to Boston.  All of the major coastal cities received some snow, but not the 1-2 feet that was expected.  My only complaint was, once again, most forecasters did not address the uncertainty of the storm track which ended up being far closer to the coast than forecasted resulting in less snow & more rain & sleet.   All in all, the forecast 5 days out was pretty good.  People were prepared and this storm didn’t catch anyone by surprise.  The inland snow totals are in the 1-2 feet+ range as predicted.   By comparison, the March blizzard of 1888 & the March Superstorm of 1993 dumped far greater snow totals than this storm.

 

The current chill has really affected Bubba, my tomato plant.  He hasn’t shown any growth in the past 5 days and no blossoms yet.   Bozo, my satsuma tree has about 40-50 blossoms with lots of bees flying around.  Let’s see if it finally holds some fruit this year?   The next 2 nights will see 30s across the North Shore & along the Mississippi/Al/Fl Coasts but we should stay above 40 south of Lake P.     As usual, the chill typically doesn’t last long with our higher sun angle and 70s will be back by Friday.   Bundle up and enjoy as the summer heat will be here in another 7-8 weeks.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Blizzard Watch for Northeast...

With the official start of Spring less than 10 days away, old Man Winter is not going down without a fight.   Unless you’ve been in a cave (or out drinking with the Irish), a major snowstorm is forecasted to cripple travel tomorrow & Tuesday for all of the big cities in the North East.   Some computer models are predicting over 2 feet of heavy, wet, heart attack snow.   This comes after a very warm February, but is not unprecedented.  It has happened many times in the past where March snow storms are the biggest, heaviest of the winter season.  Fortunately for us, we’ll just receive some of the cooler air rotating around the backside of the storm which will require sweaters and jackets for the morning hours.   The overnight rainfall here was just what my garden needed.   However, Bubba, my Creole tomato plant still has not produced any blossoms as it enters its second week of life in my garden.   The big news is my satsuma tree appears to finally be producing some fruit.   It’s nothing like my 15 foot grapefruit tree that had over 300+ grapefruits last year.   But I might get 15-20 satsumas for the first time in its 3 year history.   It sure is fun watching things grow and produce flowers & fruit.  I love getting down into the soil and seeing God’s creations do their thing.

 

Just looking ahead, I do not see any frost or freezing weather coming down to the Gulf Coast in the next 10-14 days.  We will still get several more cold fronts that will require sweaters & jackets and March will not repeat the record warmth of February.  I’m finding it interesting all of the “climate scientists” who have been receiving billions of $$$ in government grants nervous with the new head of the EPA.    That will be the big story over the coming months as the political battles over government funding grants kick into high gear.    Stay tuned!