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Sunshine in the morning, thunder in afternoon.

August 10, 2010

It’s been a common occurence recently. A sunny morning that’s warm with a shot of steaminess on the side, humid enough to make hair grow fast and plants take on a triffid appearance. But around mid afternoon, the sunshine slowly disappears giving way to a gloomy rumbling sky. Sometimes these rumbles subside but other times thunder peals with intensity expelling lightening, rattling windows — and nerves.

Florida is lucky to be labelled the US’s Sunshine State with abundant sun hours that make oranges smile and skin wrinkle, but the State has another less desirable label as well — Thunderstorm Capital of the US and the Northern Hemisphere.

I didn’t comprehend the power behind these storms until recently when a thunder peal suddenly released its sonic boom-like sound overhead, making me jump inches off the seat and out of my skin, shattering my nerves and setting off car alarms. Yes it was that kind of boom.

These stormy elements known to put dogs on edge occur frequently in the summer months, which seem to be endless in Florida. In fact thunderstorms happen on daily basis around parts of Florida and Tampa is known as the Lightning Capital of the country. Throughout the late afternoon and evening lightning strikes can be seen dancing in the clouds as these roll in from offshore.

via AP Daytona Beach News Journal - David Massey

Adding to this ominous sounding post are some stats: On average Florida experiences 100 thunderstorms a year and around 90 people are killed by lightning each year as well.

Anyone planning a trip to Florida through summer should ensure to pack non-conductive umbrellas, non-conductive golf club tape if planning a few rounds, baby strollers; and keep an eye on the weather and storm forecasts. It pays to take these types of storms with more than just a grain of salt.

Caffeinated Traveller

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20 Comments
  1. August 10, 2010 2:26 pm

    Beautiful photo and a very informative post! Do non-conductive golf clubs exist? I didn’t know…

    • August 10, 2010 3:49 pm

      Hmmmm possibly non conductive tape is what I should have said.

  2. August 11, 2010 6:18 am

    Hi Cate,

    Sorry to appear retarded but I could not find your email address anywhere so I am sending my plea here –
    I would Love it if we could exchange links
    We are a family who left England in November 2008 and set off with round the world tickets to escape a failing business and failing health – We are now living in Malaysia and continue to travel.

    Our Site is: A Big Adventure, 4 Tickets, 1 Year, No Plan and More – http://www.worldtravelgapyear.com/

    regards

    Alan & Sofia

    • August 11, 2010 10:44 am

      No probs, it is located in the about me page, I’ve added your link. Hope you’re enjoying Malaysia I loved it.

  3. August 11, 2010 6:25 am

    Wow! Great photo you got there! I love it!

    • August 11, 2010 10:42 am

      It is an awesome shot wish I could take the credit, but…. maybe next time I’ll be brave enough to do so.

  4. August 11, 2010 9:23 am

    I’ve heard Florida being called “The Sunny State”. I didn’t know about the frequent thunderstorms though. That boom does sound nerve-racking. As a kid I loved thunder; nowadays I find it a bit scary!

    • August 11, 2010 10:43 am

      Most of these storms are in summer but I haven’t been here in winter so I could be wrong.

  5. August 11, 2010 2:14 pm

    I love that you used the word “triffid.” πŸ™‚ Don’t know why, but you made my day with that. πŸ™‚

    • August 13, 2010 1:31 pm

      Hi Krista, I assumed that the famous book “The Day of the Triffids” was known in the US???? My husband has never heard of it (actually I thought it was written by an American). Do you know this story about the alien like plants that grew and came to life…???

  6. August 11, 2010 10:09 pm

    Wow that’s quite a lightening bolt!

    I had a similar experience when I was over in Tampa.

    My boyfriend, whom I travelled with, struggled to understand WHY I was so determined for him NOT to play golf….

    πŸ˜› blog.webcarhire.com

    • August 13, 2010 9:09 am

      Guys tend to think women are hysterical when in fact we know more about the world than we let on πŸ™‚

  7. August 12, 2010 3:26 am

    Whoa, that is spectacular! Sometimes we get days like these in Sydney in summer and it even hails. It’s as if nature is being a rebel.

    • August 13, 2010 9:10 am

      Nature in Australia is often rebellious with those mammoth sized hail stones (no boulders) it often deposits around the area!

  8. August 12, 2010 11:17 pm

    Well I didn’t know about those other names at all. Florida only promotes the sunshine part, wonder why? I can’t recall ever being caught in a storm during all the times I’ve visited Florida but I’ve never been to Tampa either.

    • August 13, 2010 9:12 am

      I didn’t know about it till I heard someone on NPR, then I asked my husband and he said yes. I was in Tampa last week and yes I am inclined to agree with the title. A lot of lightning playing around in the clouds. A little freaky, I was waiting for a rod to strike me down for al my past deeds.

  9. August 13, 2010 2:01 am

    I like to enjoy the beauty of nature.

  10. August 17, 2010 3:41 am

    90 people?! crazy! That lightning looks pretty scary, but an amazing picture. When I went to Florida the weather was pretty unsteady with big storms, but at least no thunderstorms!

    • August 17, 2010 6:19 pm

      Looks like you had a rare opportunity there missing out on the thunder, or you went in a cooler time maybe?

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