Updates on major weather events, storm chases and forecasts for the North Florida region, all summed up and reported from the perspective of Chani Morris.

Friday, June 10, 2011

After months of procrastination, here it is. My first blog post.

First things first, I'm Chani (AKA WeatherTroll), and this blog is mainly going to be filled with my never-ending weather ramblings.  I, of course, have a life outside of weather, and I would say it's likely that I'll throw in the occasional undergrad nightlife story, book/restaurant/bar review, or a rant about some new injustice I've witnessed.  Now that you know the purpose of this blog, I think my first slightly (un)interesting story should be how I became the weather troll that I am.

Some people are just born with imaginations that dull, boring people (such as myself) can only dream of. Others are born with the ability to win any argument, or control any room without having to read any of those obnoxious "How To" books.  I, on the other hand, was born and raised in Florida, with no apparent "talent".  The only thing that really fired me up was thunderstorms.  That interest stayed with me through high school, but I hadn't actually thought about doing anything weather-related as a career. So, you know the drill, lost college student with no idea where she's going ends up in a weather class in her first semester at the University of Florida.  From that point on, I knew it was weather.  That was my "talent" and that was what I was going to spend the rest of my life doing.  My mom, an extremely patient nurse practitioner and mother of five girls (AKA super mom) wasn't at all surprised, not even when I dropped the bomb that my plan was to move to Tornado Alley and study tornado science.  My dad, who is a kick ass librarian if there ever was one, was also perfectly fine with my dangerous aspirations.  I thought it slightly odd that neither of them had a single complaint about the life-threatening situations I planned to throw myself into, but then I remembered, my parents are pretty batty themselves.  I presume their genes are what actually made me crazy enough to choose this path for myself, and I honestly couldn't thank them enough.  So, that does it. That pretty much lands me where I am at this instant.  Senior in college, about to apply to Texas Tech and University of Oklahoma, and trying to motivate my way through physics.

I can't possibly close this entry without actually rambling about the current weather, so I'll begin with the massive heat wave that seems to have taken up shop in our country.  If you live in the south, or even in the mid-section of the country, you've practically been living in an oven for the last few weeks.  There are triple-digit days popping up all over the place, as if Mother Nature herself feels like we need them.  The heat is also drying us up, making conditions far too favorable for wildfires. Drought levels in North Florida range from D1-D2, which is "moderate" to "severe", but if you look at the US Drought Monitor, you'll notice that most of the southern US is in the highest stage, D4 "exceptional".  This drought is sparking wildfires all across the south, and North Florida, specifically my hometown of Lake City, is currently burning as I type.  I drove home (to Lake City) to babysit last night, and on my way I noticed this giant plume of smoke hovering over the county.

Pardon the smeared love bugs on my windshield.  I've been meaning to get that taken care of.  Anyway, smokey as it was, I at least didn't have to drive through any falling ash, so I'll take that as a good sign.  Today's forecast in Lake City and across North Florida is the norm... Instability and sea breeze interactions will lead to afternoon thunderstorms.  Next week, the chance of rain increases as an upper level low moves toward the east coast on Monday.  The surface lows will push down into the southeast, giving us the chance to wash out not only the Columbia County wildfire, but also the wildfires burning in Flagler County and the Honey Prairie region.

I think that is a good stopping point for my first post.  Hope you didn't fall asleep.  Have a great weekend!



  1. Well WeatherTroll :] I gots a question for ya-- when was the last time Florida *wasn't* in drought conditions? It feels like I grew up always hearing about low rainfall and water tables.

  2. That is a good question, and even after research, I don't have an answer. I grew up hearing the same things, but as far as an actual history of the state's drought levels, I don't know. I could ask one of the guys I know from NWS JAX, who happens to be their climate expert. He'll probably have more info.

  3. This is a very nice blog...I'll look forward to following it with Patty. BTW, where it the University of Oklahoma? Did you know Lubbock is very close to Roswell NM, and Area 51?


  4. I didn't know it was close to Area 51....That's somewhat disconcerting.