Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Rain Explained

It’s the rainy season here in Florida.

It has rained for 25 straight days in Miami-Dade. In Broward, for 23 out of 25 days.

Tourists are fearing the beach. Lawn workers are getting hit by lightning. Our days are considerably grayer, though brightened by the occasional rainbow.

The National Weather Service instructs us not to be alarmed. It is the rainy season, after all.

So far this month, Miami International Airport has registered only about three inches of rain — only three-quarters of an inch more than normal.


So if the amount of rain is more or less right, why does the weather feel so wrong?

Meteorologist Joel Rothfuss has two thoughts about that.

First, this rainy season comes after one of the driest dry seasons since 1932. We just got used to it being sunny, almost arid.

Second, high in the sky, there has been a change in wind patterns.

Since May 11, the wind has been blowing from the Gulf of Mexico. That wind pattern brings rain to eastern Florida in the afternoon. Usually, the steering winds come westward off the Atlantic — which is what brought our traditional early morning and evening showers.

”For the past two months, we’ve been getting rain like we’re in Fort Myers or Naples,” Rothfuss said. And on the Gulf Coast, they’re enjoying the kind of rainy season that South Florida usually has.

Rothfuss advised that later this week, the wind would swing back around and come from the Atlantic.

Will that bring some relief?

”Probably not,” Rothfuss said.

Lake Okeechobee is getting back to normal and the drought is pretty much over. Seeing as how I went for two months without knowing whether or not the wipers worked on my car, I suppose this is the way nature gets back to balance.

HT to the headline writer at the Herald for the title.