The changes of May

Weather For Everyone

Being a weather forecaster is a bit like being a free throw shooter in the NBA. NOBODY hits them all, although most hit at a very high percentage. (Although there was a guy many years back we used to refer to as “Shaq,” I’ll refrain from using his real name)

May is a very unusual month in Southwest Florida. We usually start very pleasant, although warm. We often get a few “washing out” cool fronts that make it to south Florida, keeping the weather fairly comfortable.

It is the second part of May that could be the toughest time period to forecast in Southwest Florida. By the last few weeks of May, our temperatures are increasing, the moisture content in the atmosphere is increasing, and we are beginning to see the elements of the “rainy season” fall into place.

As we know, the afternoon thunderstorms don’t just begin June 1st, like flipping a light switch. In the second half of May, we will likely have some afternoon storms beginning to develop, and quite often the computer models that we often refer to and rely on, won’t have a complete handle on the first thunderstorms of the season.

Granted, the thunderstorms will not be as strong or as widespread as they will once we get into June, but they can still produce heavy rain and lightning.

I remember a late May afternoon a few years ago when all indicators pointed toward a dry day. The National Weather Service, and every meteorologist in town was forecasting a dry day. Well, we had two fair sized, slowly moving thunderstorms that developed in the late afternoon,.......and those two thunderstorms happened to be right over Fort Myers/Cape Coral, and Naples.

Needless to say, a large portion of the Southwest Florida population was quite surprised, but not as much as people in the weather business. However, if memory serves me correct, I personally took that opportunity to step up my forecasting game, and correctly hit on the forecast for the remaining 364 days of the year.

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