I have lived in Florida most of my life. It is a state of extremes. The summers are so hot and humid that you literary feel like you are in a greenhouse. You are sweating by 8 AM and the heat is unbearable after 11 AM. The sky is usually a blinding blue with a sun so intense that sunglasses barely protect.
The clouds are towering cumulus, fluffy white. The air is so still and oppressive. So heavy.
Then somewhere in the late afternoon, just when you feel like you are going to evaporate right up into the clouds along with all the moisture in the air, the sky begins its daily metamorphosis. White succumbs to gray, then black or even green. Stagnate stillness is shoved violently into submission by eery coolness. The smell of ozone is ripe. Trees turn up leaves silver, waiting. The sky is burdened with clouds so heavily ladened with moisture that they must burst violently. There are rumblings of thunder that roll for miles. Lightning slashes and smacks. The tantrum has begun.
Rain falls in sheets so thick it blinds. First blowing this way then that, never making up its mind. Rotation in the clouds, the rain. Hail pelts the surface of anything in its way. The storm has come as it always does. We who live here heed its warnings. It is not to be toyed with. Respect the storm. It does not play favorites.
Soon the clouds are spent. The storm has had its say. The sky and sun reunite in a celebration. Shades of gray yield now to golds, reds and rainbows.
This is the story of our summer sky. The beauty and the beast of it all.