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July 8 Istachatta: Since the beginning of July, afternoon thunder showers have become more regular. We've had them most every day for the last three days. Yesterday we had a good soaking. I need to get the rain gauge up. One benefit of this is that even though this is supposed to be the hottest season of the year, every day is very comfortable. We're heading to the big city today, and we've found that it's always a few degrees hotter, so it will be interesting to see what it's like down there (Tampa Bay). So far, July has felt cooler than June.

July 9 Istachatta/New Port Richey: New Port Richey felt very hot today, and indeed the sun up here in the country was still hot, but it's entirely comfortable once you're out of the sun. At 17:52, the temp back here in Istachatta, according to the weather site, is 94 (34C), but humidity is just 41%, making it feel very nice. I could have pants on and feel OK.

July 12 Istachatta: Been a real soaker today. Started out about noon with severe thunder storms, then settled in to a steady shower. Need to get that rain gauge up!

July 13 Taidong: Yeah, c'mon Dan - get that rain guage up and get some skin in the game! July has also felt cooler here thanks to a couple of passing typhoons bringing cloud cover and good rains. Two big falls of around 100mm - the first was expected as a typhoon passed to the south of us, but second one was more interesting. A typhoon to the east spawned a TD in its tail to the south east of us which spawned a storm cell in its tail right over us. CWB had us at 30% pop but we ended up with 90mm - other places had 200. Two days prior to this, there was a massive south westerly - biggest i've seen here - supposedly SW wind is a catalyst for typhoon formation - seemed a direct co-relation this time. Not surprisingly, there has been a burst in snake activity - so far rat snakes and umbrella snakes. The work exchange kids are freaking out. Phoenix trees are nearing full bloom - mine are later than the ones in Taidong for some reason - only started to bloom a couple of weeks ago. Still getting asparagus - seems if there is enough rain then they'll continue to shoot.

July 16 Istachatta: Did finally get the rain gauge up, which is good because it's raining. We seem to have fallen in to a pattern of dry mornings and rainy afternoons. Overall very pleasant. I checked the temperature at 3:20pm, and it was 23C. That's pretty cool for a July afternoon in the subtropics. Having said that, it gets hot indeed. The problem I'm having is that nothing is growing as fast as I had hoped. There's plenty of water, obviously, but our place is very shaded with big trees all around, and now that it clouds up every afternoon, things are getting very little sun. Plus, the soil is crap. Well, it's not crap, and it's not soil, it's sand. We have towering oak and pine trees growing in sand, but I can't even get diguaye to grow quickly! Cucumbers are doing well. Moringa isn't getting enough sun. On a good note, we have loads of citrus trees growing in the woods. They're everywhere. We are, after all, in Citrus County. This first year is quite an adventure. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the fall and winter when all the citrus fruits.

July 19 Istachatta: Had about 25mm of rain today, or 1 inch. Yesterday we had about 6mm. Got the rain gauge up.

July 20 Istachatta: We've had 2.75" of rain today, or about 70mm. That's about 30% of the average for all of July. --

July 23 Taidong: Funnily enough, there has been similar weather here. After a record dry June, we've had good falls during July and the temps have been much more comfortable. Last night i even turned the air con off for sleeping. The main point of note is this incredible south west monsoon wind. We had a very moderate north east monsoon wind during winter and in fact the summer version has been much stronger - that's unusual - way stronger than i can remember it from previous years. I assume this is El Nino related. For the last week there has been a massive south westerly blowing every day. AFAIK, ths SW wind is supposed to generate typhoon development - and there have been a lot - though most going up to Japan. Phoenix trees in full bloom. A few weird insects last night that i have never seen before - a bit like a dragon fly but they were out at night. Saw mackerel clouds a couple of days ago but no rain followed. Surge in snake activity continues.

July 25 Istachatta: OK, I see now what the rainy season is. We're heading towards a total of I'm guessing 6-7 inches for the past week, or 200-300mm. Forecasts call for 5-10mm/day for the next week, but we've been getting closer to 1" or 25mm... or whatever that is. Temps have been comfortable, indeed, to mirror above record. EDIT: Our rain this past week will meet or exceed the average month levels. Not normal according to the data.

July 30 Istachatta: From the 25th till now = wet. Very wet. This is the first day we haven't had downpours. I'm guessing we've had 130mm in the last 8 days or so, which, according to records, is not normal. We've had the normal/average July rainfall in the last week. Sunny mornings,then full on/off rain showers in the afternoon until nightfall. Kind of neat in a wet, tropical way. The difference between here and Taitung is that we don't get that day or two of strong sun to dry things out. This is more like the west side of Dawu mountain in the summer, only wetter.

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Page last modified on July 30, 2015, at 05:36 PM