Right Place, At the Right Time

2:30PM - Been waiting around all day, swimming in the pool with the dogs and hanging out waiting for the atmosphere to become a little more unstable. Finally a few storms started popping up in the western part of the state, so I made my way out the door. There was one rain shower between 27N and Alligator Alley off the my right while driving down the turnpike and it didn't look like it would become anything really.  No more than 5 minutes went by while making my way onto Alligator Alley and this thing completely opened up and start dumping rain to the ground. It was almost like someone was up in the sky and dumped a giant bucket of water towards the ground. I'm now sitting just to the West of the storm, debating if I should linger for this one or make my way to the West Coast for the newly developing one. Updates to come! 

After driving through this one cell in the photo above, I popped out on the back end of the storm and into the sunshine again. The storm continued to build, but at the same time, it started moving off to the south and away from the highway. I noticed a definitive sea breeze line of clouds and storm forming, so instead of driving to the west coast as I originally planned, I just stayed put to see what might pop up along collision line. It turned out to be one of the better decisions I made all day. 

Each day in South Florida when the sun rises, it begins to heat the air rapidly. The air over the land will eventually becomes hotter than the air over the ocean. With these two temperature differences, the warmer air over land becomes less dense and begins to rise, while the cooler air over the ocean is more dense and pushes it's way inland under the warm air. This is how you get the sea breeze near the beach that you love so much on a really hot day. Eventually the sea breeze will push inland in a west direction and at the same time, the Gulf of Mexico is doing the same thing and pushing its sea breeze inland towards the east. When these two breezes meet up in the middle of the state, it fires up thunderstorms rapidly right along the line. In the video above i'm sitting right under the collision line and multiple cells started popping up all around me. The general steering flow was the the west, so once the storms fired I just kept driving to the west waiting for the new ones to develop. The last cell in the video off to the left ended up getting a severe warning for excessive lightning and small hail. This storm did have some juice for a pretty long time, but as fast as it popped up, the air stabilized and the rain disappeared just like that. 

Here is the cell while it was in its most severe stage.