It’s the best time of year again. Finally the summer heat and humidity ends. During September through October there are a few days of thunderstorms that bring downdrafts of cool air relief, but when the first cold front from the north pushes far enough south to bring a cold air mass with it, autumn has signaled its arrival.
By cold I don’t mean frost on the pumpkins or blasts of arctic air. Some times the temperature difference is minimal – going from high 80′s to low 80′s. But the change is noticeable especially because the cooler northern air has less moisture in it. That means lower humidity.
Halloween marks the time to look forward to cold fronts and the zonal climate change from tropical to temperate. Even if the official hurricane season is supposed to last through November, the first cold front brings a sigh of relief that the weather pattern has changed. The summer’s predominant moist air from the southwest reverses to dry air from the northeast. Time to turn off the air-conditioning and open the windows.
The grass has stopped growing as fast but flowers come alive again with renewed vigor:
Suddenly it’s comfortable to stay outdoors longer and start looking at those deferred projects that are too strenuous in summer’s humid heat. Or perhaps linger longer on the patio and deck for lunch without no-see-um bugs. The days are still long enough to find time in the evening to tackle neglected tasks. Then when daylight-losing-time begins, the tasks move one hour forward. Instead of the sunset walk at 7:30 it moves to 6:30 and slowly earlier as the days shorten.
Continue reading “Autumn on Anna Maria Island” »
It’s the time of year when sea turtle nests hatch and that means lots of work for Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch. Volunteers walk the beach daily to check the status of marked nests and for tracks of hatch-lings in the sand. The hatch-lings dig their way out from under the sand, usually during the night, and attracted by the moonlight over the water make their journey to the sea.
Three days after the nests have hatched, licensed personnel excavate the turtle nest site to collect data. By counting the empty shells the number of hatched turtles are recorded, along with unhatched, unfertilized eggs and ones that died in the hole. Sometimes a few left behind are retrieved out of the collapsed sand, protected from day-time predators, and re-released at night.
Continue reading “Collecting Turtle Nests Hatch Data” »
Photo by NOAA National Ocean Service
Anna Maria Island includes several areas where manatees graze seagrass beds and pass through boat channels and canals. On the Gulf beach, in 2011, a herd of 13 manatee congregated and had to be patrolled by Police to keep onlookers from endangering themselves and the animals.
Finding and viewing manatees in the wild is a rare occurrence but Bradenton has one, named “Snooty”, at the South Florida Museum. He was born in 1948 and is the oldest manatee in captivity. You can see “Snooty” at the Parker Manatee Aquarium, 201 10th St W., Bradenton.
Mote Marine Lab has two manatees, and numerous other aquatic wildlife, at their research facility Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, at City Island off Lido Key.
Continue reading “Manatee Watch” »
A regatta of Sunfish take advantage of sailing conditions on Bimini Bay waters.
Continue reading “Sailing Sunfish At Anna Maria Island” »
The 2013 Atlantic basin hurricane forecast from Drs. Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray at the Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, was released April 10. The forecast anticipates enhanced activity compared to 1981-2010 climatological averages.
“The tropical Atlantic has anomalously warmed over the past several months, and it appears that the chances of an El Niño event this summer and fall are unlikely. We anticipate an above-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean.”
|Atlantic Hurricane Season
|April August 2013 forecast |1981 – 2010 average
|Named storms (>35mph winds)
| 18 18
|Hurricanes (>72mph winds)
| 9 8
|Major hurricanes (>111mph winds)
| 4 3
|US landfall likelihood
|Gulf Coast landfall probability
|Manatee County hurricane landfall probability
|Manatee County tropical storm probability
|Manatee County >75mph wind gusts probability
Florida hurricane tracks since 1851
Continue reading “2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast” »