Monday, April 30, 2007

Preserving North Carolina's River

From the Little Tennessee River in the West to the Tar River in the East, North Carolina is home to breathtaking rivers, lakes, and streams, important for drinking water, fishing, swimming, and recreation. Unfortunately, our waters are at risk. North Carolina is developing at the fifth fastest rate in the nation. As this development increases, so do the demands and stresses placed on our rivers and streams.

The primary threat facing our waters is polluted runoff. This pollution occurs when rain hits paved surfaces and carries pollutants including oil, gas, pesticides, and sediment into our rivers and streams. This runoff smothers wildlife, erodes stream banks, and degrades water quality. Polluted water means a loss of clean drinking water, clear swimming holes, healthy fish, and recreational tourism. Fortunately, North Carolina has the ability to protect our remaining pristine rivers and streams.

Unspoiled waters can be safeguarded by implementing special classifications aimed at preserving water quality. There are over 75 rivers and streams in the state that qualify for these designations, but are still left unprotected. This report highlights the beauty and importance of several of these unspoiled rivers.

All this beauty in North Carolina, and I just hope we can keep it for our future. God knows our children and there children need to enjoy all this natural beauty.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Largest Sun Farm

Ontario Is Site For Canada’s Largest Sun Farm
Where can you find the largest solar farm in the side of Canada?
Ontario, that is.

Take note, this new solar farm is not only the largest in Canada but it will also become the largest ever in the whole of North America. And this large solar farm is not going to be the only project on renewable energy that Ontario is going to do. News have it that it will also be hosting 14 other projects by the year 2010.

The government officials of Ontario are saying that they are doing such so as to help out their province lessen the use and dependency on the usual sources of energy and fuel. Although the province may also be the site for coal technology as well as nuclear projects, having the solar farm and other renewable energy projects in their area would help alleviate the current issues that they are facing.

For more informaation just go to this site:

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Bumble Bees

I painted my house the other day and learned that Bumble Bees don't like to be disturbed. So, I thought I would give you a bunch of information on these bright flying insects.

Bumble bees are large, attractive insects that are of interest to children, scientists, beekeepers, naturalists, conservationist, home gardeners, farmers and commercial bumble bee breeders. There are several bumble bee species found in South Carolina which vary in size and coloration. These highly beneficial insects pollinate many native plants, home-grown fruits and vegetables and agricultural crops. Though bumble bees are highly social insects, their colonies are not perennial in nature as honey bees. They do not store a surplus of honey, which can be harvested. Bumble bee populations in nature fluctuate from year to year depending on many factors including weather, parasites and predators.


Bumble bees are large robust insects with black and yellow coloration. The bumble bee has a black or yellow hairy abdomen, which is a character that can be used to differentiate it from a carpenter bee, which has a black, shiny, hairless abdomen. The foraging bumble bee has a large pollen basket on each hind leg that is often loaded with pollen. The bumble bee queens are typically twice a large as workers or males. A female bumble bee has a pointed abdomen with a stinger. Males do not have a stinger and the tip of the abdomen is rounded.


The bumble bee colony is made up of three types of individuals (queen, undeveloped female workers and males). Bumble bees produce annual colonies in South Carolina. Only the mated queens overwinter (survive the winter). Nests are started in early spring by these solitary, fertilized queens. These queens are often seen feeding on spring flowers or searching for a suitable nest site. Normally, nests are established in an abandoned rodent or bird nest in the ground. The solitary queen begins the colony by collecting pollen and forming it into a small lump. She lays six to eight worker eggs on this pollen. After four to five days, the eggs hatch into larvae (immature forms), which begin to feed on the lump of pollen. The young larvae receive all the fats, minerals, proteins and vitamins that are necessary for growth from the pollen. The queen collects more pollen and nectar to feed this first brood cycle. It takes about 21 days to develop from egg to adult. Once the first brood develops, they take over all the colony duties, except egg laying. The adult workers defend the colony, collect pollen and nectar, and feed the larvae. Nectar is collected and stored in small sac-like "honey pots" built from wax and pollen. The workers enlarge the nest and by midsummer the colony will have 20 to 100 workers. The colony produces reproductives (new queens and males) in late summer. They leave the nest to take mating flights. The successfully mated queens fly to the ground and hibernate 2 to 5 inches deep in the soil. The production of reproductives signals the end of the colony’s life. The overwintering queens emerge the next spring to complete their life cycle.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Make A Change

Global Warming is a seriuos matter. So, I have found many different ways for anyone and everyone to help out in there daily lives. We all need to take this into account,, for are children and there children will suffer the outcome.


1. Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (cfl)
CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb. This simple switch will save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. If every family in the U.S. made the switch, we'd reduce carbon dioxide by more than 90 billion pounds! You can purchase CFLs online from the Energy Federation.

2. Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer
Almost half of the energy we use in our homes goes to heating and cooling. You could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has more tips for saving energy on heating and cooling.

3. Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner
Cleaning a dirty air filter can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

4. Install a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats will automatically lower the heat or air conditioning at night and raise them again in the morning. They can save you $100 a year on your energy bill.
Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases
Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances to choose the most efficient models. If each household in the U.S. replaced its existing appliances with the most efficient models available, we'd eliminate 175 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year!

5. Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket
You'll save 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple action. You can save another 550 pounds per year by setting the thermostat no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Use less hot water
It takes a lot of energy to heat water. You can use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead (350 pounds of carbon dioxide saved per year) and washing your clothes in cold or warm water (500 pounds saved per year) instead of hot.

7. Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible
You can save 700 pounds of carbon dioxide when you air dry your clothes for 6 months out of the year.

8. Turn off electronic devices you're not using
Simply turning off your television, DVD player, stereo, and computer when you're not using them will save you thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

9. Unplug electronics from the wall when you're not using them
Even when turned off, things like hairdryers, cell phone chargers and televisions use energy. In fact, the energy used to keep display clocks lit and memory chips working accounts for 5 percent of total domestic energy consumption and spews 18 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year
Only run your dishwasher when there's a full load and use the energy-saving setting
You can save 100 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
Insulate and weatherize your home
Properly insulating your walls and ceilings can save 25% of your home heating bill and 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Caulking and weather-stripping can save another 1,700 pounds per year. The Consumer Federation of America has more information on how to better insulate your home.

10. Be sure you're recycling at home
You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide a year by recycling half of the waste your household generates. Earth 911 can help you find recycling resources in your area.

11. Buy recycled paper products
It takes less 70 to 90% less energy to make recycled paper and it prevents the loss of forests worldwide.

12. Plant a tree
A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill by 10 to 15%. The Arbor Day Foundation has information on planting and provides trees you can plant with membership.

13. Get a home energy audit
Many utilities offer free home energy audits to find where your home is poorly insulated or energy inefficient. You can save up to 30% off your energy bill and 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Energy Star can help you find an energy specialist.

14. Switch to green power
In many areas, you can switch to energy generated by clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar. The Green Power Network is a good place to start to figure out what's available in your area

15. Buy locally grown and produced foods
The average meal in the United States travels 1,200 miles from the farm to your plate. Buying locally will save fuel and keep money in your community.

16. Buy fresh foods instead of frozen
Frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce.

17. Seek out and support local farmers markets
They reduce the amount of energy required to grow and transport the food to you by one fifth. You can find a farmer's market in your area at the USDA website.

18. Buy organic foods as much as possible
Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than soils from conventional farms. If we grew all of our corn and soybeans organically, we'd remove 580 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere!

19. Avoid heavily packaged products
You can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide if you cut down your garbage by 10%.

20. Eat less meat
Methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters. Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath.
Almost one third of the carbon dioxide produced in the United States comes from our cars, trucks and airplanes. Here are some simple, practical things you can do to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide you produce while on the move.

21. Reduce the number of miles you drive by walking, biking, carpooling or taking mass transit wherever possible
Avoiding just 10 miles of driving every week would eliminate about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year! Click here to find transit options in your area.

22. Start a carpool with your coworkers or classmates
Sharing a ride with someone just 2 days a week will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 1,590 pounds a year. runs a free national service connecting commuters and travelers.

23. Keep your car tuned up
Regular maintenance helps improve fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. When just 1% of car owners properly maintain their cars, nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide are kept out of the atmosphere.

24. Check your tires weekly to make sure they're properly inflated
Proper inflation can improve gas mileage by more than 3%. Since every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, every increase in fuel efficiency makes a difference!

25. When it is time for a new car, choose a more fuel efficient vehicle
You can save 3,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year if your new car gets only 3 miles per gallon more than your current one. You can get up to 60 miles per gallon with a hybrid! You can find information on fuel efficiency here and here.

26. Try car sharing
Need a car but don't want to buy one? Community car sharing organizations provide access to a car and your membership fee covers gas, maintenance and insurance. Many companies – such as Flexcar -- offer low emission or hybrid cars too! Also, see ZipCar.

27. Try telecommuting from home
Telecommuting can help you drastically reduce the number of miles you drive every week. For more information, check out the Telework Coalition.

28. Fly less
Air travel produces large amounts of emissions so reducing how much you fly by even one or two trips a year can reduce your emissions significantly. You can also offset your air travel by investing in renewable energy projects.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lets make a Trade: Rainforest for Beer

Despite a 2002 moratorium on new logging in the Democratic Republic of Congo, over 15 million hectares, or approximately 37 million acres of rainforest has been handed over for logging by Congolese village chiefs in the last 3 years. In exchange for "logging rights" many communities and villages were simply paid in sugar, salt, machetes and beer; even though the African teak contained in each tract can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change compiled by British Economist Sir Nicholas Stern for the British government, estimates that 18 percent of greenhouse emissions are due to the effects of deforestation, which worldwide accounts for more than transportation emissions.

This is truely disturbing. Only the human race would destroy the Rainforest for things such as sugar, salt, and beer. I mean really people beer. Lets start using are heads shall we.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Life of an Insect

Because insects have a tough, non-living outer covering or exoskeleton, they cannot grow steadily, but have to grow in stages by periodically shedding the exoskeleton. This process is called moulting or ecdysis. The stages between moults are called instars.

Although some insects give birth to active young (notably the summer generations of aphids), the vast majority of insects lay eggs. When the young insect is ready to leave the egg it either chews its way out or bursts the egg shell by muscular action, sometimes assisted by sharp spines on its body covering.

The apterygote (or wingless) insects, and some of the species which have lost their wings secondarily during the course of evolution, hatch in a form very like that of the adult except for the lack of reproductive organs. Apart from an increase in size there is little visible change in appearance as the insect grows (i.e., little or no metamorphosis).

Friday, April 20, 2007

Rainforests are home to two-thirds of all the living animal and plant species on the planet. It is guessed that many hundreds of millions of new plants and insects are still un-discovered. Tropical rain forests are called the “jewels of the earth”, and the “world’s largest medicine cabinet” because of the large amount of natural medicines discovered there. Tropical rain forests are also often called the “Earth’s lungs”. Even with the growth of plants in a rainforest, the actual quality of the soil is often quite bad. Fast decay stops nutrients from collecting.

The under growth in a rainforest is usually very dark, because the trees block the sun. This makes it possible for people and other animals to walk through the forest. If the trees are cut down, the ground beneath is filled with vines, shrubs and small trees called jungle.

This site is pretty good on any information about the Rain Forest

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Clean Air with Plants

Top 10 plants for clean indoor air
Indoor air quality is often worse that outdoor air quality. What can you do about it? Grow these plants.

Common name Scientific name Score
1 Areca palm Chrysalidocarpus lutescens 8.5
2 Lady palm Rhapis excelsa 8.5
3 Bamboo palm Chamaedorea seifrizii 8.4
4 Rubber plant Ficua robusta 8.0
5 Dracaena “Janet Craig” Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig” 7.8
6 English ivy Hedera helix 7.8
7 Dwarf date palm Phoenix roebelinii 7.8
8 Ficus Alii Ficus macleilandii “Alii” 7.7
9 Boston fern Nephrolepis exalta “Bostoniensis” 7.5
10 Peace lily Spathiphyllum sp. 7.5
These are plants selected for their ability to remove indoor air pollution, based on research carried out for NASA’s Clean Air Study.

The score is based on four factors,

1. Removal of chemical vapours
2. Ease of growth and maintenance
3. Resistance to insect infestation
4. Transpiration rate

The information is from B.C. Wolverhampton. Eco-friendly House Plants: 50 indoor plants the purify the air in homes and offices. London: Seven Dials, 2000. For information about how to take care of the plants etc., see the book. These plants are very easy to take care of.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Global Warming Articles

Climate change may be a big problem, but there are many little things we can do to make a difference. If we try, most of us can do our part to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that we put into the atmosphere. Many greenhouse gases come from things we do every day. As we have learned, these greenhouse gases trap energy in the atmosphere and make the Earth warmer. Driving a car or using electricity is not wrong. We just have to be smart about it.Some people use less energy by carpooling. For example, four people can ride together in one car instead of driving four cars to work. Here are some additional ways you can help make the planet a better place!

Learning about the environment is very important. There are many good books that will help you learn. To get started, ask a teacher or a librarian for some suggestions. You also can look at the Links page to find other good web sites with information about the environment and climate change.

Save Electricity
Whenever we use electricity, we help put greenhouse gases into the air. By turning off lights, the television, and the computer when you are through with them, you can help a lot.

Bike, Bus, and Walk
You can save energy by sometimes taking the bus, riding a bike, or walking.

Talk to Your Family and Friends
Talk with your family and friends about climate change. Let them know what you've learned.

Plant Trees
Planting trees is fun and a great way to reduce greenhouse gases. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, from the air.

Recycle cans, bottles, plastic bags, and newspapers. When you recycle, you send less trash to the landfill and you help save natural resources, like trees, oil, and elements such as aluminum.

Also Ive come to relize that taking action is the learning process. I've learned more by groups, this class, and the actions i have taking. As far as my opinion goes, I pretty well set on the articles, but when it comes to the media, thats where i differ. The media exploits and tries to just blame not fix. I mean thats great that you can find blame and place it. But what good does that do if you can't replace or fix it. Ideas and actions is the way to go. Below are a couple of great sites for information and places to sign up and take action. Also along with many ideas to act upon yourself. Easy as that.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tasmanian Devils Extinction

CANBERRA, Australia - Tasmanian devils - the marsupial made famous as a snarling cartoon character named Taz - are being relocated to an island off Australia to avert their extinction by a contagious cancer. Some scientists fear the move could endanger rare birds and other animals on the island, but other experts say it is a last resort and should pose no problem since the devils are scavengers, not predators.

”The path to extinction is looking pretty certain on Tasmania,” said William Karesh of the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, who organized a workshop in Australia to help the government and biologists develop a plan to save the devils.

The fox-like animals with powerful jaws and a bloodcurdling growl - made famous by their Looney Toons namesake - are being wiped out on the island state of Tasmania by a contagious cancer that creates grotesque facial tumors. The disease was first noticed in the mid-1990s in the state’s northeast, where 90 percent of the devils have since perished. It is spreading south and west, and scientists estimate that within five years, there will be no disease-free population in Tasmania _ the only place in the world where the devils exist outside zoos.

”I think there’s a real risk of extinction within 20 years across the whole of Tasmania,” said Hamish McCallum, a professor of wildlife research at the University of Tasmania.

I found this to be very intresting. Extinction of animals have came an intrest of mine since my Ecology class and the Wildlife classes they have us taking.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Scientists create Asteroids

Look at Steven Spielberg's blockbuster movies with its computer-animated interpretation of a comet striking Earth -- were big box office hits. But computer scientists at Sandia National Laboratories are creating some big hits of their own these days that they think may better approximate a real asteroid catastrophe.

Using virtual reality techniques, decades of experience in shock physics, advanced computer programs, and the world's fastest computer, the scientists have completed in recent weeks one of the largest hypervelocity impact physics calculations ever performed.

In the latest computing scenario, an asteroid 1.4 kilometers in diameter strikes the Atlantic Ocean 25 miles south of Brooklyn, N.Y. To model the event the scientists broke up a 120-square-mile space that roughly approximates the New York City metropolitan area, the air above, and the water and earth below, into 100 million separate cubes, or grids. Sandia's teraflops supercomputer then calculated what happened inside each cube as the asteroid splashed down. The cubes were reassembled to produce a three-dimensional moving picture of the collision. The teraflops, currently the world's fastest computer, performs more than one trillion mathematical operations per second.

The simulation is no video game; the calculations take into account the real-world laws of physics governing time, temperature, pressure, gravity, the densities of water and earth, and hundreds of other considerations to create an accurate prediction. What's more, the resulting computer simulation can be explored using interactive virtual reality techniques. For instance, scientists can "fly through" the 3-D movie to get a better idea of what's happening on Coney Island if they want.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Water Reservoir

There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, such examples in the USA. Almost every manmade reservoir that is a primary water supply source for USA cities also serves as a major recreation area, i.e., fishing, water skiing, boating, canoeing, ski boating, swimming, etc. They also provide important fish and wildlife habitats. However, USA reservoirs are usually quite large, and are as deep as engineeringly feasible at each location to accommodate as large a volume of water as possible----they range in size from less than 100 acres (typically in the eastern US) to as large as many square miles (the big Western US reservoirs). Water from these reservoirs goes through typical (for USA) treatment facilities before becoming household water supplies. USA reservoirs also often serve other purposes at the same time as being urban water supplies and recreational sources---they may also be used for hydroelectric generation, for floodflow storage, and farmland irrigation. They may also be locations of important headwater and side channel wetland areas, and their shorelines may have vacation or permanent homes located on them. The US Army Corps of Engineers owns and/or manages nearly 500 of these reservoirs, and a number of others are owned and managed by other federal, state, county, and city agencies.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Blue Crab

Despite its fearsome appearance and aggressive nature, the blue crab is greatly cherished in the South Carolina lowcountry. Many gourmets prefer the blue crab's sweet meat over all other locally-caught seafood. This interesting animal is often sought by recreational fishermen and it also supports a considerable commercial fishery.

The blue crab requires both inshore brackish waters and high salinity ocean waters to complete its life cycle. They are common from Massachusetts to Texas and a few have been reported as far north as Nova Scotia and as far south as Uruguay. The Chesapeake Bay, North Carolina and Louisiana support the largest blue crab fisheries.

Although other small swimming crabs in this family (Portunidae) occur locally, only the blue crab is of any commercial or recreational importance in South Carolina. The blue crab's scientific name, Callinectes sapidus, translates to "savory beautiful swimmer."

Swimming is accomplished by skulling the oar-like fifth pair of legs, the swimming legs. These paddles usually rotate at 20 to 40 revolutions per minute, but they quickly disappear into a blur as the animal darts away.

Walking is accomplished with the three pair of thin walking legs. Blue crabs almost always walk sideways clearing a path with their sharp lateral spines. The blue crab's most prominent features are the large and powerful claws which are used for food gathering, defense, digging and sexual displays. If not handled properly, blue crabs can inflict severe injury. Male crabs can be distinguished from females by the shape of the abdomen. The male has a T-shaped abdomen which is held tightly against the body until maturity when it becomes somewhat free. The immature female has a triangle-shaped abdomen which is tightly sealed against the body. The mature female's abdomen becomes rounded and can be easily pulled away from the body after the final molt.

Large males, often called "Jimmies" by fishermen, usually have brilliant blue claws and legs. The mature females or "sooks" can be distinguished by the bright orange tips on their claws. Males typically grow larger than females, sometimes reaching seven or eight inches in point-to-point width. Some males have been reported to grow to about ten inches.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Summer Heat Precautions

During a heat wave the body has to work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. Excessive heat can result in serious health threats by pushing the human body beyond its limits. Young children, elderly people, and those who are sick or overweight are most at risk.

Measures for Preventing Heat Related Illnesses

NEVER leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
Slow down, avoid strenuous activity.
Avoid too much sun.
Plan outdoor games and activities for early morning or evening.
Avoid extreme temperature changes.
Stay indoors as much as possible; use fans or air conditioners to cool the air.
Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing that will cover as much skin as possible.
Protect face and head by wearing a wide brimmed hat.
Drink plenty of fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty, and avoid alcoholic beverages.
Hot Weather Health Emergencies

Heat cramps: Painful spasms, mostly in legs and abdomen, usually the result of heavy exertion and heavy sweating.

Recognizing Heat Cramps
Painful spasms usually in the legs and abdominal muscles that may occur in association with strenuous activity.

What to do
Apply firm pressure to cramping muscles or gently massage to relieve spasms. Replace fluids. Consult your health care provider.

Heat exhaustion: Typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating.

Recognizing Heat Exhaustion
Heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale and clammy skin. Weak pulse. Fainting and vomiting possible.

What to do
Lie down in a cool place. Loosen clothing. Apply cool wet cloths. Fan or move person to air-conditioned place. Take sips of water. Consult your health care provider.

Heat stroke: A medical emergency- the body's temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. Sunstroke: Another term for heat stroke.

Recognizing Heat Stroke
High body temperature (106+). Hot, dry skin. Rapid, strong pulse. Possible unconsciousness. Individual will likely not sweat.

What to do
Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Call 911 or emergency medical services or get the person to a hospital immediately. Move to a cooler environment. Try a cool bath or sponging to reduce body temperature. Use fans and/or air conditioners, to cool the body. DO NOT GIVE FLUIDS.

Additional Resources

Federal Emergency Management Agency
American Red Cross
National Weather Service
Centers for Disease Control
DPH Seasonal Fact Sheet - Spring/Summer

Monday, April 2, 2007

Climate control in South Carolina

Several factors control South Carolina's climate. Most important are the state's location in the northern mid-latitudes and its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and Appalachian Mountains. Such a location means that the amount of solar radiation received (and hence the temperature) will vary during the year to bring all four seasons to most of the state. During the summer, when the sun is most directly overhead, the state receives intense solar radiation allowing afternoon temperature to reach the 90's.

The state's geographic position on the eastern coast of a large continent is also important because land and water heat up and cool off at different rates. Not only does this heating differential affect the immediate coastal region, providing cooling sea breezes in the summer, but it influences the way pressure and wind systems affect the state.

During the summer, South Carolina's weather patterns are dominated by a maritime tropical air mass known as the Bermuda high. Passing over the land, which has heated up more quickly than the ocean, it becomes unstable. This pattern results in the formation of afternoon and evening thunderstorms.

Although the prevailing winds in North America are from the west, the Bermuda high frequently stalls off the coast in the summer, blocking the cooler, drier continental air masses that would provide relief from the hot, sultry weather. As the summer ends, the Bermuda high shifts slightly southward allowing the cooler air to penetrate. The Blue Ridge mountains to the west, however, divert some of this cooler air and protect the state from the full brunt of these cold fronts. Even in the winter days are generally mild, with southern winds often bringing warm maritime air. Rainfall in winter is generally caused by the movement of these warm and cold fronts.

This website is great. I found alot of intresting information on it.