Mar 21, 2012

Do meteorologic opposites attract?

Whenever anybody says southwest Florida,

Images of deserts pop in my head.

Tucson's rains may be monsoonal,
but they can't compare to Florida's wet season

That's because I cut my hydrologic teeth in Tucson, Arizona ...

Also known as the Sonoran Desert, or simply the American Southwest.


The two couldn't be farther apart, right:

One's bone dry and the other is soggy wet?

South Florida has been "desert-dry" since since January

Of course both have monsoon style summer rains, even if technically in Florida we call it the wet season instead. And meteorologically, who could argue that there isn't some desert in the swamp too? The color-coding (light blue) on the map shows that since the start of the calendar year (January) south Florida and the Sonoran Desert have received about the same amount of rain, i.e. under 3 inches.

And then there is the similarity of the hot weather:


I remember in Tucson going outside in July and feeling like I was in an oven with the knob turned on "high bake," then hearing off in the distance a rumble which, upon turning, seeing a darkening patch of purplish sky and then at some point soon thereafter smelling an exotic mix of electricity and vapor molecules in the air ...

Then racing to find shelter as it poured down in buckets.

Summer daytime temperature comparison
between Naples, FL and Phoenix, AZ

Come to think of it ...

The swamp and desert aren't as opposite as I thought.

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