One of the reasons I moved to Florida in 1999 was to enjoy the lightning storms. I was living in the mid-Atlantic and had gotten into chasing storms in Tornado Alley two years earlier. I looked into moving to Oklahoma, but career and geography conspired to bring me to Florida. The one thing I didn’t realize was that so few of the lightning storms in the Sunshine State are at night. Most happen during the day. And getting to a storm an hour away in Florida is not nearly as easy as getting to one in Tornado Alley. Why? It’s not just because of the traffic and road network. It’s because Florida storms tend to be short-lived; by the time you hit the road to catch that storm 45 miles away, it’s faded to a misty memory.
This past week was par for the course – and the one night a little lightning hung on after dark on the east coast, where I live, I didn’t get to it until it was nearly gone. But I’ve had a crazy smorgasbord of storms upon which to feast, yielding a nice photo or two almost every day. Florida has amazing striated shelf clouds, formed by cool air pushing out from thunderstorms. And boundary collisions tend to cause quick funnels and tornadoes; I was at a small get-together at a friend’s house when a funnel cloud (not a tornado, because it didn’t connect with the ground, at least that we saw) formed beyond their neighbors’ houses. My camera got soaking wet as I ran out in the rain in my bathing suit to try to shoot photos. What a week!
Meanwhile, I’ve been working late on revisions and editing of “Zap Bang,” the final novel in the Storm Seekers trilogy. I’m thrilled to be wrapping up the story and heartbroken to be leaving these characters. It’s coming very soon!
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