Entries in Storm Structure (17)

Sunday
May152011

Massive Shelf Cloud Structure Video And Pictures

Sunday morning brought another round of strong to severe thunderstorms across the southern Florida region. I woke up early to find a line of storms tracking across the state on radar, with several stronger cells embedded within the line. I decided to quickly pack up my camera gear, and head for western Palm Beach County to intercept the line of storms. I arrived in Canal Point around 8am, and setup on the levee around the southeastern shore of Lake Okeechobee. Slowly over a 20 minute period, I could start to see the first signs of the line structure over the water horizon.

Large thunderstorm shelf cloud over Lake Okeechobee, FL.

I was really surprised at what I was seeing, as this massive multi-tiered shelf cloud structure took up the entire horizon, and was quickly approaching my location. I soon realized the whole getting up early and taking off to play with the squall line was going to be well worth it.

The impressive shelf cloud seemed to go on for miles, and now was closing in making it harder and harder to get most of it into frame. I was using a Canon 24-105L lens, and it was filling the frame up nicely! I quickly switched back and forth taking stills and video, and at the same time in awe over the amazing morning view.

Impressive gust front shelf cloud structure over Southeast Florida.

It didn’t take long for the wind shift to reach me, and the winds veered to the west-southwest gusting likely to 35-45mph. I franticly packed up my gear in the strong outflow winds and blowing dust, and took off back to the north.

After yesterday’s severe storms, with damaging straight-line winds, and this morning impressive severe storm structure, it sure has been nice filming some interesting weather after shooting drought scenes across Florida the last two weeks. A drier pattern is moving in this upcoming week, so getting up early and skipping the coffee paid off.

Saturday
May072011

Two Short-Lived Thunderstorms And A Bridge

Now that we’re into the month of May, cold front boundaries have a harder time getting deep into Florida before washing out. A rapidly weakening old frontal boundary on Friday, moved through south-central Florida helping to trigger several thunderstorms. Many of these storms struggled to maintain themselves as cloud cover from earlier convection over the Gulf of Mexico kept heating to a minimum.

Weak Thunderstorm.

There was a few cells that were able to strengthen, and the first one I got on was in western Highlands County. This cell was embedded in light rains, but organized into a small compact stronger storm as it tracked to the east-southeast. As the storm moved into the Kissimmee River basin, it lost upper-level support and the decent surface convergence from earlier in the day. It shortly dissipated after moving in Okeechobee, County, and I turned my attention further south into Glades County where new storms were developing.

Gust front Glades County, FL.

I jumped on the larger complex of storms south-southwest of Lakeport, FL, and these storm were vivid lightning producers. But once again, they became outflow dominate within an hour, and began gusting out with strong straight-line winds near Lakeport. I drove northeast of ahead of the large gust front to shoot some stills and a 20 minute time-lapse HD video as the gust front / shelf cloud approached from the west. The view was pretty cool!

Jensen Beach intercoastal bridge at night.

I finished the day picking Kersten and JJ up, and we heading into Port St Lucie West for a small BBQ dinner. Then, we drove along the coast for about an hour, as I stopped at several locations to shoot some nighttime long-exposure photography of buildings and some bridges. The above black and white bridge photograph was taken in Jensen Beach about an hour after sunset.

Thursday
May052011

Isolated Sea Breeze Boundary Storm At Dusk

Evening storm roams over Highlands County, FL.

An interesting isolated compact thunderstorm developed along the West and east coast breeze boundaries Wednesday evening. The storm tracked southeastward along the boundary through central Highlands County, FL after sunset. Surface winds remained out of the east, and at times, the storm showed weak visible low-level rotation structure. The storm never became severe, and slowly dissipated after crossing SR 70 and moving into Glades County.