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With a  cool weekend ahead you may find it easier to get in the holiday spirit. But heed my words: You should enjoy your hot chocolate quickly. We are about to have the hottest Christmas Day ever in Orlando.

With Christmas a week away there is still some wiggle room –  a record-breaker is not a guarantee. But the models are leaning that way.

“Extended Long Ranger” numbers are calling for highs to climb steadily through next week.  Keep in mind a normal high this time of year is  72 degrees. A normal low for the week of Christmas is 51. Not this year.

The record for the hottest Christmas ever in Orlando is 85 degrees from 1924.  As of right now my prediction for Christmas Day this year is 86! It’s not a smashing of the record, but it will be a record just the same.


hot christmas

Some will blame El Nino. Everyone knows it’s been an El Nino season so far. But actually record heat is not a characteristic of El Nino. El Nino winters in Central Florida tend to be stormy – our tornado threat goes way up – but we generally have near normal temps early followed by below normal temps in February. So, what’s the deal?  Is it “Global Warming”? Well no, probably not. Last year we had a high of 65 on Christmas Day. I really believe it’s just a strange run of heat. The whole fall season has been dominated by a HUGE, persistent ridge of high pressure over the Atlantic Ocean.  While we have just finished up the warmest fall season (Meteorological fall is September, October, and November. By astronomical definitions fall is not over until December 21st) on record, it’s not like we haven’t had December heat waves before.  The Christmas record, from 1924, was a really hot year. Two other December record hot days are from that same year. The hottest December day of all time was a 95 degree reading on December 1 from 1922.

We have also had some of our coldest weather during Decembers past. The coldest temperature ever in Orlando was 18 degrees on December 28, 1894.

The bottom line here is our weekend will be a taste of Florida winter. But enjoy it while you can. Drink the hot chocolate quickly, the hottest Christmas ever is on the way!


Back to Back record weather days. Yesterday it was the heat, today it’s the rain.

As of right now Daytona Beach and Orlando have both set record rainfall for the date.


Other totals for the day are impressive. One viewer in Edgewater in Volusia county is reporting more than 7 inches of rain.recordrain

As we go through the night we will have the cold front moving over Central Florida. The front should clear Orlando around daybreak. Most of our showers will end as the front passes, but before it stops we should have 2 to 4 more inches.

That will mean an end to the rain and a beginning for the colder air. The low tonight drops to 57… the high tomorrow will crawl back to 64.

The Forecast for Thanksgiving Thursday will Fantastic if you like it cool. The high will be 67 under a sunny sky.

For Black Friday the weather looks great, could not PAY me to go shopping, but if you do hit the stores for deals, the weather will be GREAT. Look for more sunshine on Friday with a high of 66.

Saturday and Sunday both look nice with the highs making it back to the mid 70s and no chance of rain.

We passed a big anniversary this past weekend. Saturday was August 13th, that is always a strange day for me because it always means Hurricane Charley.  It’s now been 7 years since Charley blasted through Central Florida.  I try not to focus on the date so much, but I was spending the weekend down at the Gulf watching nice, calm and VERY warm water. The sunsets this weekend were just amazing.






While I was sitting there on the beach I mentioned that it was the anniversary of Charley to my family. We talked about it for a few minutes, then moved on. I was struck by just how nice the weather was this August 13th vs. August 13th of 2004.  Then I got to thinking about how a type of “Hurricane Amnesia” has taken over here in Central Florida. After 2004 just about everyone was concerned with hurricane season. I’m just not sure that is the case today. I think most people here are simply NOT  prepared. I don’t believe most people have enough water, food, cooking supplies, and battery power to be on their own, with no government help, for  3 to 7 days (or in some cases MUCH longer).  So, with that in mind, let me show you what is happening right now in the Atlantic and why I believe the hurricane season is about to get serious.

So far this season things have been active, just not strong. As of this writing (Tuesday August 16th) we have Tropical Storm Gert racing away from us to the NE into the open waters of the Atlantic. That makes 7 named storms already and not a single one of them has made it to “hurricane” status. That’s a record of sorts… it’s never happened that way before. But here’s where things get serious.

The actual peak of hurricane season is September 10th.









We always talk about the “season” running from June 1st until November 30th, but the bulk of the action happens in the next 2 months.

Check out the current set for action.

Sea surface temps are REALLY warm







Now take a look at the areas for development today.








Okay, that looks peaceful enough. But notice ALL of those waves between the Lesser Antilles and the coast of Africa. That looks like a HUGE wave train. The waves are there, the surface temps are warm, the meat of the season is upon us… it’s about to get WILD!

What does wild mean to me? It means we are about to see hurricanes, not just tropical storms, and plenty of them named in the next 6 weeks. The first 7 names were gentle this year.  I believe there is no way the next 7 will be. I believe we’ll have 3 of these hurricanes go cat 3 before the end of September. We will have two or three out there at one time. I really believe it’s “Showtime” for the Atlantic season.

The last reason I’m convinced the season is about to crank up is the Madden Julian Oscillation is about to pulse around to the Atlantic. When we get the “pulse” over our side of the world the waves get stronger and the season gets meaner.

And one final note: For some reason the name Hurricane Jose scares me. Not that I can explain it, it just sounds like a Hugo, or Andrew, or something really mean.

Here’s to hoping that I am WAY big wrong and the season slows down from here. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

See you tonight at 5, 5:30, 6, 7 and 11 on Local 6 News.

Holy Cow, it’s really New Year’s Eve.  This year went by in a hurry. That tends to happen more as you get older. I don’t really like to think about it.

The weather has been a bit weird lately in Central Florida. The warm days in December made it tough to get in the “spirit” of the season. The cool in the last week has been a nice change for most. The chilly night at the Champs Sports Bowl was GREAT football weather. If you have never made it to the Citrus Bowl for that game, try to get there next year. It’s really a nice experience. It’s a night game,  the crowd is much smaller than for the New Year’s Day game, and the teams are glad to be there. I’ve been to 4 of them in the last 9 years and I’ve always had a blast.

 The forecast for Friday, for  the Capital One Bowl, looks like it might be a bit stormy. I’m betting that most of the rain action takes place before the 1 p.m. kickoff. That will make for a wet tailgate, but a drier game. Of course, the LSU crowd has been soaked lately in their home state… I don’t think the rain will bother them one bit. The Penn State folks will think the rain is a joke compared to the snow and frozen tundra back home in State College… I don’t think the rain will slow them down either. This game looks like a good one. I’ll be watching from my sofa.


 Did I mention it’s going to be colder? Check out the extended forecast.

Next 8 Days

Those lows to start next week are a little on the chilly side.

Let’s talk Blue Moon.  When I was a child, my grandfather used to always use the phrase “Once in a Blue Moon.” I always took it to mean something that hardly ever happened. I think most people do. But in the world of science there is controversy over what it means. (Did you expect any different? If you can’t agree on what temperature scale to use, global warming, or where to hold next year’s meeting, how can you be expected to agree on what is, or is not,  a Blue Moon? But I digress…)

Here’s the deal: It’s become part of pop culture to refer to a second full moon in one calender month as a Blue Moon. I like the term and tend to use it. Tonight is the second full moon in the month of December. I’m going with a Blue Moon for New Year’s Eve. I like the term, I enjoy explaining it, and it gets people talking about the moon, the stars, weather, and all that jazz. I like anything that is interesting enough to take attention away from video games for a moment and get kids to look at the sky. So tonight, look up at the full moon. Take a moment to point it out and explain, “It’s a Blue Moon guys…look!”

Of course, not everyone likes my Blue Moon idea. The guys at Sky and Telescope are kind of a kill joy. They prefer to keep with the technical definition of the moon having a bluish color. That normally happens when particles in the atmosphere filter the moonlight and make it appear blue. That can happen when there is a huge volcanic eruption and the dust spreads around the globe. I have never seen that… I remember great sunsets back in ’92 after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. But I don’t recall a blue looking moon.

 I love Sky and Telescope magazine. But I’m keeping my Blue Moon. Gives me hope for 2010.

Happy New Year!

I was missing in action from the blog for another period of time there.  Did you catch the “Charley, Frances & Jeanne: 5 Years Later” special on Wednesday night on WKMG Local 6? It’s an interesting hour of TV and did well in the ratings. For those of you who missed it, there will be a re-airing on Saturday afternoon (August 15th) at 1 p.m. Set the DVR. Keep in mind we could have filled up 6 hours of coverage, highlights, interviews, etc. But it’s limited to an hour. Enjoy.

The big news this week was the birth of Tropical Depression #2. As of this writing the Hurricane Center has downgraded it to an open wave. Here’s a shot of T.D. #2, a wave near Florida, and a HUGE wave referred to as Invest 90. I’ll address the wave near Florida first. That wave is going to miss us in Central Florida. It’s going to help us get more rain for about 36 hours… but it’s not a “hit”.  It goes just south. Once it clears Cuba and gets into the Gulf of Mexico, it just might curl up and try to look like something. Keep watching for that over the weekend.

The leftover parts of T.D. #2 are down , but not out. The path of movement takes it west. As it moves that way it gets away from the strong winds that were hitting from the east. Left to itself, it just might make a comeback. If it does, it will be sitting somewhere off the east coast of Florida in about 4 or 5 days Look at the models. If it doesn’t regenerate and takes that path, it’s no big deal. If it rages back to life, not good. I’m on it and will be discussing it tonight on Local 6 and all weekend here on the blog.

Now for the monster wave way out there. Here’s a look at the wave and the dust around it. The wave looks more organized right now. It’s starting to look like some spirals are moving around it. The dust, same dust that has helped eat up T.D. #2, is looking weaker now. Each wave as they come keep taking the dust away. This big wave might just be “big” enough to survive, eat up the dust, and become a major hurricane. It’s developing farther south than T.D. #2 did. The models are NOT in agreement as to where it ends up.  Keep in mind, as I’m writing, it’s at least 10 to 12 days away. Trying to guess where a storm like this one is going to go, before there IS a storm, is not wise. Just want to discuss it and let you know what is what right now.

Last shot is this one. Good view of Africa and all the waves coming. We have a busy run here until about the 25th or 30th of August. Then we get a chance to catch our breath and see where we stand for the rest of the season.

This weekend does still look a little closer to normal than some. There will be rain, there will be heat.. Hey it’s August. At least this year in August we all have power, air conditioning, and ice. That’s a lot better than 5 years ago.

Talk soon.

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