Thursday, September 3, 2015

Wasted Water ?

UF looks to cut berry growers’ water consumption

The freezes that damaged strawberry crops in 2010 may be a bad memory, but studies are continuing on how growers can best protect their crops in frigid conditions.

University of Florida Professor Michael Dukes recently completed a study on how crops could be protected with sprinklers that use a lower volume of water and better technology during freezes. Growers commonly spray water on the crops to protect them from damaging temperatures.

Dukes’ research showed that growers could use lower-pressure sprinklers and automated systems to turn on sprinklers according to the dew point, not the air temperature. He said the dew point is a more accurate way to judge when farmers need to start their protective irrigation.

Dukes said there hasn’t been a hard freeze since he started his research so work needs to continue to see how low volume sprinklers and the updated technology would work during... photo

Bishop Bullwinkle

If you missed out on "Plant City Chick" from a few years back, here is the man likely to be Plant City's next superstar:

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Park Progress

Plant City making parks handicap-accessible

The city expects to spend a total of $250,000 over the next five years to make nine parks more accessible to the handicapped.

The parks will be retrofitted with handicapped accessible bathrooms, parking and paved access to athletic fields, picnic tables and other amenities. The work will bring the parks into compliance with the federal American with Disabilities Act, a 1990 law requiring access for the disabled to public facilities.

“The newer parks are OK. It’s the older parks that need the work,” said Jack Holland, executive director of the Plant City Recreation and Parks Department.

The city plans to spend... photo

Monday, August 31, 2015

Timberlane Traffic

Work begins today to reconfigure the intersection of Timberlane Drive and Alexander Street to eliminate congestion at the entrances to both sides of Walden Lake.

On the west (newer) side, an eastbound lane will be added, so people turning right (south) onto Alexander Street will have a dedicated turn lane.

The east side will get a lane for drivers to turn right (north) as well as a lane to go straight across Alexander.

Once the lanes have been built, the entire intersection will get smoothed and will be re-striped.

Additionally, the traffic lights will be reprogrammed to allow cars from only the east- or westbound side to go at any given time.  Traffic will no longer be coming from both directions at once.  City officials say 'taking turns' will allow more cars through the intersection in less time.

Work is projected to be complete around Thanksgiving. photo

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Tropical Storm Fred

Meet Tropical Storm Fred.

He was forming as TS Erika deteriorated over Dominica.

Fred's future is still quite uncertain.  As shown in the NHC graphic below, he is predicted to become a hurricane, but quickly weaken back down to Tropical Storm status.  It is difficult to predict his strength beyond that time, but forecasters are at this point predicting even further weakening--even as low as Tropical Depression.

At any rate, he is over a week away from even getting close to us--so no need to worry.  Yet.

Stay tuned...

Friday, August 28, 2015

Strawberry Smoothie

Sweet, tangy and wonderfully refreshing Smoothie with just 4 ingredients

Summer is quickly coming to a close but I could still sip on this strawberry lemonade smoothie all year long. And with frozen strawberries, you can really have this throughout the entire year.

Now what I really love about this recipe is the use of fresh lemonade. You can certainly use store-bought or even lemonade frozen concentrate if you’re short on time but I found these options to be overly sweet – so sweet, that it was just overwhelming at one point.

So homemade lemonade will really set this recipe apart. That and the... photo

Tropical Trajectory

Tropical Storm Erika has remained relatively weak, but her trajectory has changed.

As of the 11AM NHC update, her path is predicted to go directly over Plant City.

Fortunately for us--she will likely never develop into a hurricane and all we will get is heavy rain, but few damaging winds.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Erika Eroding

Tropical Storm Erika has failed to develop further.

She is still predicted to track toward the Florida peninsula, but notice the second graphic below.  The likelihood of our area getting winds of Tropical Storm-strength--over 40 MPH--are in the 10% range at this point.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Weather Watch

As of the NHC's 5PM update, Erika is nearing the point where she poses little to no threat to our area.

As you look at the graphic below, keep in mind that the northeast quadrant of a storm/hurricane is the most dangerous--and we would presumably be on the west side if Erika stays on her current track.

Stay tuned...

Weather Watch

Tropical Storm Erika is still marching along.

Assuming she continues on her predicted path, she will hit southeast Florida early Monday--as a very weak hurricane.

Stay tuned...