Rain chances to increase to 50 percent on Sunday, 70 percent Monday

We are going into a period of unsettled weather in our area.

Rain chances will be on the increase to 50 percent through Sunday and 70 percent on Monday. Temperatures will not change much with highs around 88 to 90 and lows near 72. Keep the umbrella handy as next week will not improve any; there will be a 50 to 60 percent chance of thunderstorms every afternoon through Oct. 14. Rainfall for September was around 2 to 3 inches in most of Osceola County, but those totals will be much higher over the next two weeks. Hurricane Lorenzo set an all-time record for the strongest hurricane in the Eastern Atlantic this late in the season. Lorenzo hit Category 5 status several days ago, but has turned away from the United States.  

Storms this time of year produce a lot of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, and while it can be lots fun to watch the electrical display of a distant thunderstorm, it can be dangerous if you get up close and personal. A total of 17 people have been killed across the country by lightning this summer; eight were camping or fishing, five were walking or hiking, one was riding a motorcycle and three were working on a roof. Three fatalities have been in Florida. While there is some risk to talking on the phone or taking a shower during a storm, you see that all of the fatalities this year have been people who were involved in outdoor activities.

If you can hear thunder, lightning is close by. Count the number of seconds between a flash of lightning and the thunder and divide  by five. This gives you the distance in miles to the lightning strike. If you count to 10, then the storm is only 2 miles away.

Something interesting to view in the night sky this week. A crescent moon will be appearing along with Jupiter in the southwestern sky after dark, and on the night of Oct. 3, they will appear very close together in the sky. Be sure and mark this on your calendar because it should be quite a sight. Sunrise is now 7:19 a.m. with sunset at 7:11 p.m.