Entries in Storm Structure (17)


Playing With Early Season Sea-breeze Thunderstorms

A nice tease to the upcoming wet season.

Yesterday was my first opportunity in May to chase storms here in Florida, with a very active east coast seabreeze boundary from Daytona Beach southward to N.W. Palm Beach County.

Developing storm

Storms developed early over East Central Florida up along the space Coast, which produced several outflow boundaries moving southward late in the day. These boundaries interacted with the East Coast Sea-breeze around the Lake Okeechobee region that set off several more rounds of storms, which is very common.

I wasn't sure where I was going to set up for the afternoon storms as there was so much multi-cluster convection bouncing around, but finally a more isolated cell developed over Central Martin County and caught my attention late in the day. The deep rock-hard convection wasn't hard see just to my east, and I knew that I needed to get underneath that storm as it was slowly propagating down the boundary around 5-10 mph. At this point I was already a little upset with myself knowing I should've been playing the boundary much earlier in the afternoon. 

Jeff Gammons watching stormThe cell continued to propagate south-southeast down the boundary near Indiantown where I got on the storm and watched it for a good 20 minutes sustain itself. At the same time, an outflow boundary from thunderstorms near Clewiston was racing in from the southwest and was going to interact with my storm, so I opted to head southwest of Indiantown toward Port Mayaca. I got a few miles outside of town with a wide open view over the green sod fields and watched these two boundaries come together.

The convergence was very impressive, with a lot of upward motion directly above, and it wasn't long before the first cloud-to-ground lightning strikes started to flash around me. I knew with poor road options that I was going to get creamed by a new core that was developing overhead, and just searched for a decent spot to park and enjoy the show. The large flat thunderstorm base began to fill with rain curtains as the lightning increased in frequency. It only took about 10 to 15 minutes for the storm to start producing some isolated pea size hail and 40mph winds before transitioning to an outflow dominant storm.

thunderstorm scud clouds

It was all beautiful to me, with the sound of thunder crashing and the smell of tropical afternoon rains. The wet season typically starts in a few weeks, but it sure was a nice teaser for what's to come this summer, and I can't wait. More storms are expected today, and I plan to be out once again along the boundaries to see what mother nature will show off for me. I am also hoping for a few nocturnal lightning photography opportunities for the first time this spring season if any storms can hang on after dark. I'll keep you posted.


Hurricane Irene Gone But Florida Summer Storms Dance

Everglades thunderstorm Aug 2011

Hurricane Irene has made her mark with severe flooding in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, surge and wind damage in North Carolina, The Bahamas, and Puerto Rico, but Florida was spared from Irene’s wrath outside of some gusty feeder band squalls and large surf. However, Florida’s wet season continues, and today was another interesting day of interior thunderstorms.

The days for the wet season are numbered, but another day of fantastic landscape storm structure was on display earlier. It has been such an impressive summer season for sea-breeze storms, and I have filmed some outstanding views from Miami to West Palm Beach to Orlando. Above is just one of many pictures and videos I plan to publish on here shortly after the summer comes to a close. 

September is knocking on the door, and the 10th marks the usual  peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, so I have a good month left focusing closely on the tropics before I dive into my post-storm season editing. As I type, everyone is closely watching the next possible tropical cyclone threat well out in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean. Tropical Depression Twelve is likely to become Tropical Storm Katia during the next 12-24 hours while tracking westward. It is way to early to know how far west this next storm could track or become a threat to Bermuda, so the next week will be interesting monitoring the computer weather model trends and current development of the system.

I want to wish everyone directly effected by Hurricane Irene all the best during your recovery after the storm.


Awesome Seabreeze Pulse Thunderstorm Structure

Florida pulse severe thunderstorm June 2011

Father’s Day Sea Breeze Thunderstorms South Florida Style

Yesterday afternoon I was treated to an awesome display of sea-breeze thunderstorm structure, that I was able to squeeze in before Father's Day activities. The east coast and lake breeze boundaries converged over southeast Martin and northwest Palm Beach counties, producing a beautiful pulse severe storm that lasted about 45 minutes.

There was robust convection all along the boundary, and with a few ongoing cells in eastern Palm Beach County. I was located just south of the Martin County line along 441 south. I had a great clear view to the east, where I watch enhanced towering cumulus  develop along the boundary. I knew it wouldn’t be long before the next big cell developed, so I stopped to setup my camera gear to shoot a time-lapse, HD video and some still photography.

Thunderstorm development structure

Plenty Of Time To Watch and Film Storm Development

As the row of pictures show above, it wasn’t long before the cell became very vertical with convection. I started rolling video and shooting stills, as this cell blossomed into a fantastic and classic looking pulse thunderstorm. Visibility was great, and I had a view from 15-20 miles to the west to capture this awesome storm structure.

It turned out to be the storm of the day for me, and I was pleased to have captured an impressive time-lapse for my ongoing film project, and not to mention, be treated to some very cool storm eye candy.