Salt Particle Reflections
On a midsummer's high noon, almost precisely 24 hours before the landfall of Hurricane Dennis at this very spot, the calm water belied the tumult that soon would unfold. There were hints. Beaches were strangely devoid of the usual collection of fishermen, old couples strolling the strandline, kids with sand buckets, alluring young women in flip-flops and bikinis, and the frisbee tossing, beer swilling dudes who admire them. Instead, under mandatory evacuation orders, the scene contained only a friendly police officer on patrol, a TV crew and a couple of Oklahoma based storm observers in an instrument festooned vehicle, scouting potential places to safely measure hurricane winds (this not being one of them). The convective towers here were building quickly along a gust front from earlier storms that fired on the farthest fringes of Dennis' influence. These cells soon would merge into a squall line roaring northwestward over us with blowing sand, hard rain and gusts measured at over 50 mph. A ghostly visual effect can be seen at bottom center, where particulates in the air reflect bright sunlight that first bounced off the white sand characteristic of the Florida Panhandle. Most of the responsible aerosols here were salt particles.
2 S Navarre FL (9 Jul 5), looking ENE.