Waiting for the Weather

Sunday June 13th 2021

The weather forecast this morning called for a sixty percent chance of rain at 10AM and a higher percentage as the day progressed. It wasn’t forecast to be dry until late evening. My response to the forecast was a decision to stay at my RV home today. I didn’t have to. It didn’t start to rain here until almost 5PM and it hasn’t been bad in this specific area.

I’m beginning to understand that there are some unique characteristics to the forecast of rain on the Florida peninsular. In other areas I’m familiar with, like the northeast, most rainstorms are associated with fronts that pass through the area. They are wide area events that can be forecast and timed fairly accurately. Here the types of rainstorms in the summer are far less predictable. The wind coming in off of the ocean waters surrounding the peninsular come into play along with the difference in temperatures over the land and sea. The intersection of winds from the Atlantic and winds from the Gulf of Mexico cause lots of local weather conditions. The bottom line is more often than other areas of the country the storms form right over your head and may not travel very far before they dissipate.

My current thoughts on the weather forecasts in this area are as follows. I think you need to interpret the percentages in the forecast differently. If they are declaring a percentage of probability of rain in means that somewhere in the forecast area there will be rain. The percentage relates to how likely it is you will be under the rainfall. For example, this morning at 10AM it was raining south of Jacksonville, so the call for rain in the forecast area was correct. The rain was forty or so miles south of my location so I was on the dry side of the sixty percent chance of rain in the area.

I’ve always been cautious about the weather. In this area, at least with daily rainstorm predictions, I think you have to just do what you plan and adapt if it rains. That’s a tough challenge for me.

Walking around the RV park this afternoon before the rain I observed a lot of empty sites. Some of the departures were surprising. The people across the road from me that were going to work everyday last week, packed and departed this morning. Their work assignment must have been over. The characteristics of the clientele at this RV park continues to engage my curiosity. There are a lot of empty sites tonight, but I know there isn’t any room for me after Friday. More people must be arriving all week.

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