Today was an interesting one for sure! The last 5 days I've been dog sitting for some friends of mine. Each morning, around 5:30am, Harley the black lab would stand at the bedroom door and bark continuously until I finally got up to let him out and feed him. When I woke up this morning, I was surprised to see that the sun was up. Even though it was only 6:45am, it felt like I got an eternity of sleep. The forecast today called for an above average chance of showers and storms and we need it! Wildfires and drought have been plaguing the southeast coast of Florida for quite some time now and this week looks to possibly provide just a little bit of relief for some areas, but not all.
After a quick morning trip to the beach, I made it to work at 9am. it was a quiet day both with work and with any type of thunderstorm activity. Around 3pm a few showers started to pop up, but it wasn't looking very promising. No matter what the conditions were when 5 o'clock came around, I was going to have to drive 20 minutes in the opposite direction from the on going storm activity to take care of the dogs. It was definitely giving me a bit of anxiety knowing that at any moment they could fall apart and I would miss out this evening.
5pm came and there was one solid area of convection just north of Alligator Alley and it was getting bigger by the minute. There was no real motion to it and it was kind of just sitting over the same area for quite some time. I drove as fast as I could downtown, took care of the dogs, and sped out the door in hopes of capturing whatever still might develop. It was really looking like today just might not be my day until I made it back to Wellington. This one growing cumulus cloud gave me a glimmer of hope that development might take place, and not very far away either. I picked a spot and sat there to watch and see if this thing turned into anything. It kept to a very small area, but I was blown away as to how fast it grew into a pretty violent storm.
As this storm was intensifying, it started moving off the the northwest and away from me. For the most part, I thought it was done and I was going to go see if anything new was going to develop around Lake Okeechobee. I hopped onto State Rd. 80 heading west towards the lake, when it became apparent that the storm I was watching, wasn't quite done yet. As I drove underneath it and around to the west side of it, the sun started to illuminate the towering cumulonimbus cloud off to my right and I couldn't really see the whole thing just yet, but it looked incredible. I finally got to the intersecting road that I wanted to get off on, turned the corner, and there it was! It was the most violently, beautiful, storm structure I had ever seen. White puffy cumulous clouds riding up the left side, a rainbow near the base, and a giant rain shaft shooting intense lightning into the clear blue sky. It was a storm i'll never forget and I really with someone was there to witness it with me. Maybe next time.. Development came to a screeching halt and most of the storms had dissipated, so I took in what was left of the remaining storm and made my way home. There are still some isolated storms firing up near the lake (10pm), but i'm in need of a really good nights sleep. Until tomorrows adventure!