Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Not Always Clear Blue Skies in South Florida

Ouch - Lightning strike 20 feet from where I was standing
Most of the time you just can't beat the weather in South Florida. When it's hot in the summer, it's not as hot as the rest of the country and in the winter it never snows.

Most of the time, the sun shines brightly and if it does rain, it does not last long. Ok, we get those hurricanes from time to time that tend to mess the place up for a while but all in all the weather is the best thing about South Florida.

Knowing this, my friends and I decided not to call off our regular Tuesday/Thursday workout yesterday. Sure the sky was ominous (as in pitch black) and maybe there was a bolt of lightning here and there but that's no reason to hide indoors right? We typically meet at TY Park right after work. Partly for a strenuous workout but mostly to relieve stress from our busy lives. If you've lived here for any length of time, you know you are going to get wet in the summer and that lightning kills a lot of people every year. You do your best to avoid both situations and since they go hand in hand, it's not really that hard to do.

Our two mile walk started off with a patch of blue sky but in a few minutes, the lights went out and the sprinkles started. Being savvy  South Floridians, we knew seeking shelter was of the utmost importance. Sprinkles turn into gully washers in seconds and black clouds toss lighting bolts from their leading edge.

Souvenir lighting blasted wood chip

We sought shelter under one of the many pavilions so conveniently strewn about the place and started our push ups to the pitter patter of a hard driving rain on the metal roof. Just as we began our jumping jacks, a bolt of lighting blasted the crap out of two Oak trees about 20 feet away showering us with bark and the smell of burning wood. We finished our workout with a bit more vigor and 30 minutes later, I was driving home wearing my sunglasses to ward off the setting sun. The funny part of the story, this makes my third close encounter with lighting and not the closest by about 15 feet.

If you want to see for yourself, check the cool map link below. The trees in question are on the SW corner right next to the last pavilion. There is plenty of souvenir bark all over the place if you want your very own.


  1. AAARRRGGGHHH!!! There's a fine line between bravery and foolhardiness ... but at least you've got a killer souvenir!!!

    PS Yes, I'm afraid of electrical storms. No, I don't think that makes me cowardly, does it?? DOES IT????

  2. I think we have a lot more tall trees around to take the hit here in South Florida than you do so I would say more cautious.

    This particular bolt jumped back and forth between two trees shredding bark as it went and I was standing in a puddle under a metal roofed pavilion so I would say a whole lot less stupid.

    But never coward.

  3. Wow, I have never seen lightning that up close and personal before... I don't know WHAT I'd have done if that were me - I certainly wouldn't stick around long enough to take a souvenir!! More power to you ;)


  4. We were sort of stuck as the lightning was striking all around us for a good 30 minutes. Then it just stopped and the sun came out. Gotta love the tropics.

  5. My hair is still mostly the same shade but the tree is now significantly dead which fortunately I am not.