Since Monday's beautiful nature show, things have come to a screeching halt (for me at least). Tuesday morning began the transition from a typical Southeast wind flow over South Florida, to a more Southwest wind flow pattern. With a southeast flow, storms will form over the Atlantic in the morning and work their way to the Gulf Coast by the end of the day. With a SW flow (like we've had this past Tuesday, Wednesday and Today), storms will form near the Gulf Coast and work their way to the Atlantic Coast by the afternoon/evening. No matter which way the wind is blowing that day, if it's light enough, and the temperatures are warm enough, a sea breeze will develop on each coast and push inland. When the sea breeze and the opposite wind flow collide, that is where you'll see most of the storm development. In this particular case, the SW wind was too strong for a sea breeze to develop, so the storms that did form, started early and moved off the coast at a pretty fast pace. Without the sea breeze collision, most storms stayed on the weak side, except for a few select areas that did receive some hail and frequent lightning a bit further south. The last factor that made things particularly slow for me, was work. Although SW winds bring storms into the Atlantic Metropolitan areas, the ingredients were just not enough to produce widespread activity, so the area surrounding my place of work barely saw a drop of rain this week. I felt like an animal trapped in a cage with a few severe storm only 10-15 miles to the south.
After work Tuesday, a storm developed just to the North of Wellington, so I got in my car and started heading for Loxahatchee. I was going to hook north and chase a storm towards the Juno/Jupiter area, but another storm popped up near Lake Okeechobee and decided to go for that one instead. It started to become a very heavy duty storm while I was driving out there. As I was getting closer, the sky grew darker and the lightning became more frequent. Before I was engulfed in the rain shaft of the storm, I pulled off to the side onto a dirt road which is typically used for tractors and other vehicles in and around the sugarcane fields. I was able to grab one lightning shot before the storm ran out of energy and started to die down.
Wednesday was forecasted to be another active day for the Atlantic Metro area with the prevailing SW wind flow and for some, it was. For me, not so much. Most of the storms, like in the previous days, formed fairly early and very far to the south near Miami. The Miami area definitely saw their fair share of storms this week and was also able to put a little dent into their severe drought. There have been new brushfires almost everyday in Southeast Florida and we need to rain desperately. For us in Wellington, we barely saw a drop of it.
Work went by and I was about to run to the store when I realized I had left my wallet at home. I head home to go grab my wallet but instead of heading back out, I laid down and ended up falling asleep for a little. When I woke up it was 8PM. I took a look out of my window and the sky insane! There was a very low and distinct shelf cloud from an old outflow boundary and the sun was on the edge of the horizon about to go down for the evening. I wasn't planning on getting up, but something in my head told me to do so anyway. I grabbed my camera gear and headed out the door, hoping this thing would grow into a storm.
As I was driving down the road following this outflow boundary, my car window, yet again, decided it was going to open itself with no warning. It didn't open much, but it was enough to let rain in and if lightning had developed, enough to be completely unsafe from a direct strike to my car. Usually when the window rolled down on me, I was able to mess with the window up button until it would finally roll back up. This time, it didn't want to come back up at all. It was almost pitch black now, but I could see the rain-shaft growing in size and density. Then, it started down pouring! I found an old shirt in the backseat and laid it on my shoulder to keep my body from getting soaked inside my car. No lightning did end up forming at that time but I did get extremely wet, even with the shirt. I ended up driving to the beach and headed a few miles north to get out of the rain band. I walked onto the boardwalk and took one click of the camera to start the 10 second exposure and the sky lit up out of nowhere! It was just perfect timing. There were no visible bolts through the cloud or to the ground, but it lit the sky into an amazing blueish/purple that made for an amazing, nighttime glowing shot. During a 15 minutes period there was only one other flash, so I called it a night and headed home.