A visitor's first impression of Jacksonville: London's weather without the London.
One guaranteed appeal of Jacksonville for anyone coming down here is that it doesn't snow. At all. We did have snow for several days back in the Christmas of 1989, but that was such a freak occurrence, people here still talk about it as if it was the day the aliens landed.
No, snow is not one of our problems. Rain, however, can be. Despite the relief that football fans must feel to visit a town where snow shovel back strain is non-existent, the weather can still be crummy in its own unique way. As it was yesterday. The first impression for people who arrived yesterday must be worrying city officials as they hear Eagles fans mumble under their breath, "Sunshine State, my ass".
There's nothing to be done about it, of course. But it does bring about an interesting parallel with the last time Jacksonville was big in the news: the 2004 hurricanes. What must people think of this poor, blighted state that appears to have imported it's weather from some barren, Scottish moors.
But things are looking up. Today has a 50% chance of rain, down from the 70% for yesterday. The outlook for the rest of the weekend is looking even better. And this morning was quite pleasant. Foggy and cool, but no rain. I dare say it was mild enough for resilient northerners to call it "shorts weather". Such news must please the Super Bowl organizers, because the last thing they want is bedraggled football fans returning to New England with "I went to the 2005 Jacksonville Super Bowl and all I got was this lousy case of pneumonia" T-shirts.