Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Storm's A-Brewin'!

Stormy Seas

Just off the coast, Tropical Storm Arthur is churning. This is making great waves for the surfers, who will surely be calling in "sick" to work today and tomorrow!

The storm had been off our coast on the weekend, much weaker at that point, but then moved down near south Florida. There, it was picked up by the Gulf Stream, where it now appears to be happily flowing northeastward. It's expected to be passing us tonight and heading toward the Carolinas, where it'll probably have winds strong enough to qualify it as Hurricane Arthur.

With the land jutting inward to the west along this stretch of Atlantic Ocean coastline and the Gulf Stream remaining northeasterly bound farther away from us, we don't typically get direct strikes from hurricanes. The storms are drawn into the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream and remain in it, well off our coast. Economic development folks, when pitching companies on relocating to this area, have been known to refer to this as the "recurvature effect." In south Florida, the Gulf Stream is much closer to shore, so they tend to get the brunt of storms more often.

While it may put a damper on the over-eager folks already starting to set off fireworks in Neptune Beach, the storm shouldn't impact our actual July 4 festivities, as it'll be well north of us by then.

Thanks for another great sunrise photo, Harriet!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Anybody Lose a Bird?

If you've lost your cockatiel in the area, someone's found him! One of the great things about living in a small town is this type of community spirit.

Friday, May 16, 2014

50s in May?!

Yes, it's mid-May, and yes, our low temperature this morning was in the 50s! It's been more in the 70s at night lately, which is typical for this time of year. But the cold front pictured above moved through Neptune Beach yesterday and brought our temps down to sweater weather again. This weekend is supposed to be gorgeous, with highs back in the 70s - perfect weather for the annual Dancin' in the Street festival!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Gray Day in mid-May

Is it really already May 15? Hard to believe it, but we've already had a few days in the 90s here. It's going to be a long, hot summer.

But today we have a rainy forecast that will bring through a cool front, making the temps perfect for this weekend's Dancin' in the Street festival! And leave it to Harriet to find that one bright spot in this morning's clouds in her sunrise photo showing a couple of local surfers hitting the waves early!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Tequila Sunrise

It's Cinco de Mayo, so is it any wonder that Neptune Beach's eastern horizon today looks like a tequila sunrise? Thanks for the great shot, Harriet!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

First of May

Toward the end of April, we've had temperatures around 90 and afternoon thundershowers; already feels like summer! Looking at a long, hot time this year. But the mornings are still beautiful!

Monday, April 28, 2014

All In One

Today's sunrise photo from Harriet is a composition that tells several tales about Neptune Beach.

First noticeable is the lifeguard chair. Our three beaches cities here each have volunteer lifesaving corps. The American Red Cross Volunteer Lifesaving Corps in Jacksonville Beach was founded in 1912. It was called "Pablo Beach" back then.

You'll also notice a seabird flying over the ocean, just above the chair. One of my favorite things to see while walking the beach is our seabirds. I always remember the gulls, pelicans, and sandpipers from childhood, but it was only after returning as an adult that I recall seeing the black-headed terns at the beach. Now I've noticed several other types of birds I'd never seen before.

If you look closely, in addition to the footprints of morning beach-walkers you'll also see some tire tracks in the sand just beyond the lifeguard chair. Those may be from the city's trash collection truck, but could also have been made by a four-wheeler operated by the Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol. During nesting season, they patrol the beach each morning looking for signs of new sea turtle nests. Three species of endangered sea turtles lay their eggs on our beaches.

When found, a nest will be surrounded with stakes and orange tape so as not to be disturbed by anyone. People and businesses along the oceanfront are also asked to shield their lights so that the hatchlings don't get confused when they emerge, and will head in the direction of the surf instead of out onto the roadways to get squished by cars.

So great job, Harriet, of telling a few tales of our city all in one shot!