Sunday
May232010

Found Tar Ball On Sanibel Island FL Beach

Tarball Sanibel Island.Over the weekend, I was over on the southwest coast of Florida on Sanibel Island / Captiva. I was there for several days with family for a surprise 80th birthday gathering for one of my family members. It was a outstanding weekend weather-wise, and spending time with family that we’ve haven’t seen in some time. So, on the last full day of the trip, we were all sitting down on the beach late in the afternoon watching the waves and just relaxing. It really was a nice afternoon with a decent breeze on the Gulf waters with a light choppy shoreline break.

So, I was walking along the water and waves when I notice what I thought was a jelly fish from a distance. It was about the same size of a medium Man O‘ War. When I got closer I realized it was black and firm looking. Right away after seeing recent pictures on the web and TV news, I thought tar ball. Sure enough, I was looking at a tar ball, but wasn’t sure if this was related to the big Gulf spill ongoing right now. Within a minute or so with me standing over it taking pictures, other people on the beach came up to see what I was looking at. Several people picked it up, smelled it, and chatted around while I continued to shoot pictures. It became the subject for many on the beach for the next hour.

Camera and tripod.Now, I have no clue where this could of originated from, like the ones found in Key West and later reported not to be from the big spill. I had my Aunt walk down and put her foot in one of my shots to give the black subject some scale. I wanted to be able to show the size unlike the first picture I took on my iPhone and tweeted.

A woman walked up from sitting down the beach and started talking with several other people about the oil spill and the Keys. She then removed the tar ball from the wet sand area and placed it further up on the dry sand away from the water. I took a few more pictures and then headed back to the room while everyone continued to stand around talking and looking at the tar ball.

I made a report about the find and that I had pictures. Never heard anything as of this writing but it is the weekend. I did want to share this finding because I thought it was important, but also want to assure the beaches in Sanibel still remain clean and beautiful. This could have been just a isolated find, and I’m not sure if there have been any other findings in the region recently. Although, I do have fears in the coming weeks ahead. 

Thursday
May202010

Been Working Hard On New Site In Time For Hurricane Season

It’s been a pretty busy week for me working here on the new website. After much research, and just plain tired of security updates, plug-in mix-ups and other issues, I have decided to move away from Wordpress after 5 years. I’ve gone with new hosting and a more streamline look to the site. I want to keep the site very basic and clean, so you won’t find a ton of fluff on the sidebar and blog posts. Fast loading pages, and a reliable server for heavy traffic on those big hurricane intercept chase days.

The site should be fully up and running for the start of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season here in about 10 days. The video and photo galleries will be the last to make the move over from Weatherzine.Net. Many of the archive posts and content of Weatherzine as well will make the move over.  There definitely is a lot to move over and it’s taking some time.

This new setup will allow me to do more mobile blogging and video updates during the storm season, so I’m really excited about that. This year look for even more active video content this hurricane season on the site. A lot to come! Please excuse any incomplete sections on the site over at least the next several weeks, as I fine tune the new server and layout of content. I hope you like the new look, and I look forward to continuing to share my work with you all. - Jeff

P.S. - My Twitter name “weatherzine” will remain active through the end of hurricane season, but will make the move to “StormVisuals” in early Fall.

Wednesday
May192010

Tiered Shelf Clouds Open Florida Thunderstorm Season

May 19, 2010 - Over the last several afternoons and evenings in South and Central Florida, the skies have given way to the native Florida thunderstorm season. Yes, that’s right, my favorite time of year for lightning storms has returned.  May 16-17 produced some impressive classic sea breeze thunderstorms that developed over the interior portions of the state. I captured some great looking storm structure shots of classic shelf clouds on pulse storms gusting out in the lower Kissimmee River basin.

Classic shelf cloud.

This beautiful storm above was shot on Monday afternoon (5/17/10) around 3pm ET. It was associated with a bowing line of lightning storms tracking through Okeechobee County, FL. Likely the best so far in 2010 for tiered shelf clouds / gust front.


Gust front nears Buckhead Ridge, FL.
The day before on the 16th brought another decent storm with a shelf clouds from a storm moving in from Buckhead Ridge, FL. This scene was captured on the end of the pier located on the extreme northern shore of Lake Okeechobee.

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