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Friday, June 14, 2024

Discovering the uniqueness of Northern Florida

By Ardain IsmaCSMS Magazine staff writerJacksonville, Florida– Florida’s nickname is rightfully called The Sunshine State. This nickname has long given a unique perspective to people all over the world that the Florida peninsula is nothing but a sunny paradise where the sky seems endless and where the heat of the tropics brings an infinite sensation to everyone who visits it.     Indeed the sun truly shines in Florida, and its sandy beaches can be found all around. However, as a state, Florida has its own sub-regions. One of them is the booming northeast region, where Jacksonville is its largest city. Driving into the area, it does not take long to notice its uniqueness. It is a classic, breathtaking marriage between urban forest and suburban sprawl.     Few cities in America sprung in such fashion. Settled on the banks of the mighty St. Johns River and located just 25 miles south of the Georgia border, the city and its metro area are slowly replacing traditional South Florida as the Mecca of the Southeast United States. Since early 2000, a steady flow of people coming from all over the country has made the region their home. Despite the fact that the real estate market is at a grinding halt, the region continues to attract many newcomers.Beautiful climate  The region has a humid subtropical climate with mild weather during winters and hot weather during summers. High temperatures average 64 to 91 °F (18-33 °C) throughout the year, which makes it an ideal place for northerners fleeing their harsh winters and adventurers from South Florida seeking an earthly paradise to get away from the intolorated, daily haze.      Having said that, the area is not immune to extreme weather conditions. High temperatures can reach mid to high 90s with heat index ranges of 105-115 °F. Theses conditions are rare, however. As a matter of fact, the highest temperature ever recorded in Jacksonville was 105 °F (43 °C) on July 21, 1942. Although, it is not unusual for daily thunderstorms to erupt during a standard summer afternoon. According to the weather service, these are caused by the heating of the land and water, combined with extremely high humidity.    While the temperature remains mild throughout the year, it can get very cold during the winter nights. Last winter, I drove north from South Florida where it was fairly pleasant when we left. The minute we crossed the imaginary line into Saint Augustine, the change was visibly noticable. The temperature dropped into an unexpected 31 degrees, and my children had to run for cover. Historically, though, the coldest temperature ever recorded in Jacksonville was 7 °F (-14 °C) on January 21, 1985, a day that still holds the record cold for many locations in the eastern half of the US.   Snow is just an other commodity that is extremely rare in Jacksonville. The last time it snowed was in 1989, just few days before Christmas. When snow does fall, it usually melts before touching the ground, or upon making contact with the ground, according to most residents.     Another reason why Greater Jacksonville has an ideal getaway is the unbelievable presumption that somehow the city is safe from devastative hurricanes. In fact, Jacksonville has suffered less damage from hurricanes than any other east coast cities. The city has only received one direct hit from a hurricane since 1871, although Jacksonville has experienced hurricane or near-hurricane conditions more than a dozen times due to storms passing through the State from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. The strongest hit on Jacksonville was recorded in 1964 when Hurricane Dora swept through St. Augustine, with winds that had just barely diminished to 110 mph (180 km/h), making it a strong Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.America’s largest city in land area  Since 1968, Jacksonville has been the largest city in land area in the United States. This is the direct result from a merger of the city and county government, along with a corresponding expansion of the city limits to include almost the entire Duval County, the county that houses Jacksonville. The latest census confirms a population of more than 1.3 million, making it the third most populated city on the East Coast after New York City and Philadelphia.       Of course, Jacksonville, like all metro areas in the country, cannot escape from the common urban problems. However, it is truly becoming an attractive destination. Exclusive shopping malls, sidewalk cafés, and recreational parks can be found all over the city. The mass migration to the city from people of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds is slowly removing the area from the traditional southern culture region. But most residents seem to have embraced the new reality.And see Best tips for emerging writersand also Helping our children understand the magic of academic writing  NoteDr. Ardain Isma is a novelist and chief editor of CSMS Magazine. He teaches Cross-Cultural Studies at Nova southeastern University. You can read a synopsis of his latest novel “Alicia.” Click here:  http://www.themulticulturalgroup.com/books.html

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