The Beginning of the Season Four Day Non-stop Chase
May 1st - 4th, 2005
(c) 2005 - www.FloridaLightning.com
So much waiting but it finally happened. All through Jan - Apr 2005 not a whole lot was
happening down here in south Florida except for some cold front here and there passing
through. And they were much weaker than I remember last year - every time they would
approach the Keys the front would weaken or just fall apart.

Well I was hoping that May would bring at least a bit of a change and that`s exactly what
happened right on the first day of one of my favorite months. And not only for an afternoon or
a day but for five days in a row.

The area of low pressure and quite disturbed weather was sitting in southern Gulf for quite
some time and a very persistent pattern would dominate the local climatology.
Finally today, on May 5th the low would lift North-east along the eastern seaboard and the
area of high pressure would settle in after an associated cold front passage.

Over all it was a great four days in a row of chasing for me for the weather progress would take
me all the way up to Glades County which is so beautiful and I like to think of this area just
south and south-west of the Lake as of the Plains of Florida.
The views are stunning, landscape just amazing and all the wildlife only adds to the
unbelievable mix...not to mention some of the best storms I have seen so far.

So please, join me on a four day chase in the pictorial diary that follows....and enjoy....
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Florida Keys storm chasing photography
May 1st - the Low is in the Gulf and nearing Key West so I decide
to drive south to Marathon. Very high winds about 40 mph on
average were caused by some intense T-storms in the Gulf and
associated fluctuations in pressure. The picture taken while
crossing The Seven Mile Bridge just south of Marathon. After a
while I made it all the way to Key West but the cluster of storms
approaching the area dissipated.....that was all for the day one.
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Florida Keys storm chasing photography
May 2nd - Woke up late and some severe thunderstorm warnings
were already ongoing up north so it took me less than a minute to
be in a car all set and driving north. Some very nice structure
waited for me just several miles north. The picture here shows the
back side of the cell that went up in just minutes. It was low
topped and strong upper level winds blew the top off and the cell
died constantly. I went on up towards the mainland and the
Everglades...
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Florida Keys storm chasing photography




A good looking cell goes up. Picture taken from a field just next to
entrance to the Eveglades N.P. looking south. I decided to go for
it.
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Florida Keys storm chasing photography
The same cell just a couple minutes later. Notice the top just
exploding upwards. Radar indicated it was moving east at only 5
mph. An easy chase.
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Florida Keys storm chasing photography
Several minutes later I am approaching cell at an area that I am
not familiar with. I hit the road not knowing where it goes to and
sometimes it`s not the best thing when chasing. Well, this one
took me to some power-plant with high security all around and
signs saying the area is under armed surveilance...well, you try to
go there and start snapping pictures and shoot video and then go
explain you were chasing the cloud that`s just ahead....not good
:-)
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Florida Keys storm chasing photography
This was about the best I got to see the cell before I had to turn
around and just get out of there. It happened to me and a great
friend of mine /and an amazing aviation photographer/ a year ago
while we tried to take some shots of airplanes on a nearby airport
that the cops almost booked us.....not a good experience to go
through he would tell you.
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Florida Keys storm chasing photography
It happens to all of us that you thing the day is over and the next
minute you have the best day of your life...right...well this was
going to be one of them. After driving around these farm lands of
south east Florida and witnessing the destruction, pollution and  
all the junk, garbage and things people just don`t need /I guess/ all
dumped mainly in the waterways along the roads I finally got to
one of my favorite spots that overlooks Miami skyline. Was I in
for some great afternoon. The shot here shows the tops of some
late afternoon storms approaching the Biscayne Bay area.
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Florida Keys storm chasing photography


To be continued...
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(c) 2005 - FloridaLightning.com