Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Saturday, January 22, 2011:
Damn cold. And the worst is yet to come. You heard right. The latest computers indicate that tomorrow night will get down as low as 8 degrees. That means that during the day today will be all but balmy as 25 – and light winds. Beach weather if ever.
I got a call from Jim G. who says that initial feedback for a possible St. Francis Center fishing flea market is very good. I really think this could be the “flea market” type event that many of us would like to see on the Island. So many folks have tons of little-used or unused gear that folks like myself would love to buy.
By the by, I’m in no way dissing the other great flea markets in the vicinity – and I’ll hype them fully as they approach. I simply think that shoppers (and sellers) love as much action as they can get in spring. Each local event, like those run by the Long Beach Island Fishing Club, Southern Regional High School, Barnegat High School, and the Stafford Fire -- all have a niche. A St. Francis event will have its own.
By the by, for a major rundown of all the auctions, head on over to my buddy Scott’s website: http://www.scottsbt.com/misc/fleamkts.htm. Save this link since it can be kinda tough getting to “Flea markets” via Scott’s Homepage.
“Jay, It's time for you to comment on next week's winter storm...you guys have a better track record on predictions than the major services. Scott.”
( Thanks for asking, Scott: Possibly the greatest weather forecast I heard was once offered to me by a Native American. When I asked he thought a huge storm might be coming out of the mountains, he thought about it and philosophically and sincerely said, “Maybe.”
If only I could harbor such confident simplicity when eying the skies. The thing is I know just enough to be dangerous, as the expression goes.
In the case of the next arriving storm, I have to go big time. No, not that the low coming out of the south will go bonkers and blast us with another big time blizzard. I have to once again try to reintroduce the largest weather factor we have, one that should utterly control our winter stormage but has had only a minor impact to this point: ocean temperatures.
As we shiver through a damn cold winter, the ocean hasn’t given a rat’s patoot about the chill. The water is currently so warm in the western North Atlantic that the female harbor seal population off Labrador – a land not that far away as the winds fly – has been forced to give birth on land because there is no ice cover. There are also other near-traumas being faced by marine creatures due to historically unprecedented mild waters – for the second year in a row.
Call it Global Warming or, more sensibly, oceanic temperature trend fluctuations but it is impacting our weather in a big way, one I had not really expected.
We have all noticed the way the winter storms have exploded like crazy off our coastline. If you recall, I had said that La Nina will tend to cause storms to detonate further north this year, off Jersey and New England more than off the famed blast point of North Carolina. That has happened with a vengeance, egged on by that warm air – which is like nitroglycerine to a storm.
What I had wrongly predicted was this more northerly intensification point would keep us on the forgiving – rainier and warmer -- side of things. Instead, it has tended to give us a fairly bizarre north to northwest flow of cold air instead of an east to northeast flow of milder air, common to Hatteras lows. At the same time, storms have been powerful enough – and ocean moisture plentiful enough -- to wrap in an abundance of ocean moisture, which is traditionally lost to our north when winds are out of the NW. That has been the set-up for our blizzard and a couple smaller snow storms.
All that said, things are seemingly changing. The last couple storm systems have ushered in ocean air, i.e. an onshore flow. Both have been rain events hereabouts, though the last one was too small to even register. It really seems that southerly storms coming our way will now tap into that oddly mild ocean.
As I read the computers now, the next system could blow in ocean air as mild as 42 to 45 degrees. We will see winds go from E to NE then back around to the NW. That could mean a dusting or an “incher” as rain goes to snow than sticks a little on the wet relatively warm ground.
I will re-note what I had (wrongly, to this point) predicted earlier in the year that, under La Nina, we are so on the cuff as to the snow/rain line that Southern Ocean County could see rain and North Ocean County could see snow.
Am I right-on for the arriving storm? Maybe. J-mann)