Tale of the pesky cloud

Ever walk around all day (or week) …

With a cloud over your head?

And then be baffled by the blue sky afterwards, leaving you to wonder if it was even there at all.

The weather and how it affects us is an elusive force.

tidal waters

Four gulls at beach
And one big cloud

There was something about those four gulls in the distance, flapping their wings, flying overhead (and then like that they were gone,) that compelled me to take this photo before they were completely vanished out of view.

And, oh yeah …

Can you see the four gulls in the distance?

The cloud was pretty impressive, too!

birds eye view

Cloud welcoming party
And why we love rain in the swamp

Rainy days often get a bum rap …

For ruining plans or otherwise sidetracking events.

Destination “gap between the clouds”
Getting closer
Inside the gap!
Exiting to the other side

Not in the swamp! Alligators, cypress, periphyton, peat, fish, wading birds (the list goes on) couldn’t be more thrilled. At least, that’s why I saw that alligator smiling.

Weather Drop

Wrong way clouds?
Winds shift and unleash from the west

South Florida’s clouds are larger than life …

And unleash torrential rains.

You know it’s a strange day in the swamp when the summer afternoon clouds are moving from West to East

And most of all …

They move the wrong way.

Unlike properly-behaving clouds on up the continent that predictably move from West to East (i.e. the Westerlies), south Florida’s summer clouds migrate from East to West on the wings of the Trade Winds.

But it was a lucky day, too, judging from this lucky pond apple find!

Except today.

As for why?

All I can say for certain is that I got thoroughly wet.

Sky and gulf

The gulf stays calm as a lake …

As the summer sky comes to life up above.

Looking West

Making it even calmer still is all the tourists have left.

That makes for an empty beach.

Plus the fact the rain cleared them out.

Commuter cloud

Ever have the feeling …

A cloud’s been following you around all day?

Expect clouds on your summer commute ride home

Not to worry:

That’s just a sign that the pattern of afternoon summer showers is starting to rev back up. Typically, the storms start their journey in the middle of the swamp and then drift slowly to the west. That’s why if you live in Naples you’ll often see them following you on your way home, and then eventually later that night it may rain.

Cloud in the rearview mirror, looking East, on the Tamiami Trail
Sunnier view looking west

Look for the clouds to become more frequent in May and June. Typically the two months combine to give us 13 inches of rain.

A few years back (2017) we got twice as much.

May and June rains fill up the swamp.

And rest assured, they are friendly clouds.

Just remember to slow down and drive safely.

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