Bumpy Week in Florida

The weather across Florida sure has heated up over the least few days. Below is a rundown of the highlights of the last few days:

  • On Wednesday, Tallahassee went from its All-Time record setting temperature of 105 to hail covering the ground in just two hours
  • Also on Wednesday, 50,000 lightning strikes covered the state igniting 68 new fires
  • A 63mph wind gust was reported in Polk County during a slight risk of severe weather erupted in Central and South Florida
  • Smoke kept the temperatures low in Tallahassee on Thursday…only reaching 90 degrees for a high
  • Air Quality concerns have arisen in Tampa and Jacksonville due to the smoke. Visibility has been below 5 miles in Jacksonville on Wednesday and Friday
  • Numerous trees were snapped in Daytona near the speedway on Friday when 50mph winds pushed through
  • (Unconfirmed) The Orlando theme parks were hit by winds of more than 35 mph, no damage has been reported
  • Lakeland reported temperatures of 100 degrees on Friday.
If you are new to Florida weather, first I will welcome you to Florida and then I must say welcome to a whole new world! And to those that have lived in the Sunshine State for many years, it is old hat. It is that time of year when you will see storms ignite each and every day, except for the occasional hurricane that may criss-cross the state. It’s not unheard of to see numerous severe thunderstorms across the state each day.  Small changes in the wind from east to west from day-to-day cause huge changes in how and when you will see rain each day. Although the 7-day forecasts you will see on the news will not change for the majority of three months, the weather changes often on the flip of a coin within minutes. In the heat of the rainy season, it is not IF we will see rain, it is WHEN.  We’ll talk about that more when the ‘normal’ sea breeze pattern sets up in a week or two.
The latest storms have been the pure creation of just plain heat and humidity. The water temperatures have reached the upper 80’s to low 90’s on the Gulf Coast and the low to mid 80’s elsewhere. Plenty of energy to shoot off heat driven storms each day as long as the air above is moist enough to support the storms. As I pointed out earlier, the temperature in Lakeland reached 100 degrees today, and in the last week the heat index (the feels like temperature) has reached the 110’s in North Florida and the spine of the state.
A small piece of drier air will move over the state early next week, but we will return to these normal storms by the middle of next week.  By then, I may be watching a large batch of moisture in the Bay of Campeche that the models have been showing for a few days now.  This probably won’t have much impact on Florida, but it may have a large impact on the Lonestar State, where the need it much more than we do.
Until then, follow me at http://twitter.com/JonathanBelles .  On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I am at Bay News 9 in St. Petersburg, so I will not be doing updates during that time, but you can follow the BN9 Weather Center at http://twitter.com/bn9weather and on the air to see what is popping.
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Posted on Friday, June 17th, 2011, in Florida Weather, Severe Weather, Tropical Weather and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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