Entries in Storm Structure (17)

Wednesday
Apr272011

Beautiful Overshooting Top Seabreeze Thunderstorms

Twin overshooting top thunderstorms South Florida.

Isolated severe storms developed on Tuesday afternoon, along the Lake Okeechobee and Florida East Coast sea breeze boundary convergence zone. These storms formed along a well established boundary that ran from western Martin County northeastward into St Lucie County. I shot the above picture while looking northeast towards the backside of these storms, as I was focused on addition storms southward over Glades County. 

I quickly realized I was on the wrong boundary after watching and filming overshooting tops one after another for over 45 minutes on the storms to my east in St Lucie County. I had a beautiful view of these storms, and shot several pictures and HD video as they continued to back build along the boundary into Martin County.

Inflow into severe thunderstorm.Mature seabreeze storm.

Later in the evening on the local news (WPTV 5), they showed several viewer shots of a small rope-like tornado west of Ft Pierce, FL that was associated with the above storm. One of the pictures showed a tornado on the ground with a dusty debris cloud somewhere north of SR 70.

I was impressed with the few isolated cells that did developed today, making for some awesome wide view storm structure photography. Hopefully, there will be more lightning storms tomorrow to entertain my afternoon and evening.

Sunday
Apr172011

Breeze And Frontal Boundaries Make Convective Sunset

Sunset orange storm convection.

The same weather system that brought the record amount of tornadoes the last few days across the South, also sent a washed up frontal boundary into South Florida on Sunday. This almost stationary boundary was the focal point for afternoon sea breeze storms over Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. These storms brought much needed rain to the area, but unfortunately it was over a small area of Metro Southeast Florida.

Later into the evening hours, a few more weaker lightning storms developed over interior Palm Beach County along the breeze and outflow boundaries. Looking to my southeast at the time, I was greeted with an awesome view of the deep convection illuminated with the sunset colors. I’m hoping tomorrow will bring more chances of isolated storms with some lightning photography opportunities.

Tuesday
Apr052011

Another Strong Squall Line Moves Across Florida

Yet again, another linear severe storm setup moved across the entire Florida peninsula on Tuesday.  I first jumped on the line of storms up in Osceola County, where I encounter a major wind shift with the gust front and strong straight-line winds. I quickly returned south getting well ahead of the squall line to possibly setup for a time-lapse of it approaching from the northwest.

Large shelf cloud over lake waters.

I arrived in Port Mayaca (western Martin County) shortly after noon, where I setup on the Lake Okeechobee levee and lock waterway.  I could see the line of deep convection on the horizon as I remained under full sun. I opted not to shoot the time-lapse due to too much haze and smoke moving north from the Glades. It just didn’t look good to me even with trying filters. So, I decided to just wait out the line of storms coming across the lake waters and get some structure and wind shift shots.

While waiting on the storms, a really nice man named Karl that works for the US Army Corps of Engineers, walked over from the lock tower he works at after seeing me setup my gear. He shared some awesome past storm events he has witnessed over the lake waters during his time working in the tower. Stories of close lightning strikes, waterspouts and “scary looking” stormscapes over the water. Cool stuff!

By now the shelf cloud structure was fast approaching, and the strong south-southwesterly winds began to quickly veer to the northwest. Karl said his goodbyes, and headed off back to the lock tower. I began shooting pictures and video of the squall line blasting over me, and of the blowing sand and rough lake waters. Once I was behind the main gust front / wind shift, I could see a decent size “gustnado” on the water surface several miles to my southwest. Visibility wasn’t the best, and precipitation was catching up fast, so I knew it wouldn’t show up well in pictures and just started to pack up. I lost track of the surface circulation once the rain moved over me and the very strong straight-line winds (numerous NWS reports of damaging winds) forced me inside the car.

Overall, another interesting early Spring storm setup over Florida, helping to bring additional much needed rains, and helping me keep sane from the extremely boring (non-thunderstorm) dry season of the last several months. - Nice to meet you, Karl... and thanks for the cool weather stories.

Update: Miami NWS reports of possible weak tornado in Boynton Beach, FL.