As these photos make painfully clear, the Gulf of Mexico is more than winning the battle with the shoreline where the Cape San Blas Lighthouse formerly sat before it was moved in 2014.
The man in one photo is peering through the line of fence that used to ring the lighthouse, keepers’ quarters and oil house.
The other two photos illustrate what remains, including the final standing palm tree, of the area along the shoreline that not more than 14-15 years ago was dotted by military barracks on Eglin AFB land.
That area is another highly susceptible to winter storms, which we wrote about several weeks ago.
Since then, some input from a forecaster with the National Weather Service.
In addition to factors such as geographic alignment of St. Joseph Peninsula and South Gulf County, changing storm and water currents during winter month, the forecaster said if “had to hang his hat” on a factor it would be the Jet Stream.
During summer months, the Jet Stream is well north on the North America continent and hardly a factor in North Florida.
But, during the winter, the Jet Stream dips south and is oftentimes flowing directly over the Southwest and Southeast.
So, instead of concerns with lower-level winds and their impacts, as in summer, in winter upper- and mid-level are also in upheaval.
The clashing of those stronger and prevailing winds against storm fronts can result in more cyclical cloud action, tornadoes, and more turbulent winds and resulting dramatic water movement during winter storms.
No matter the case, the peninsula awaits a beach restoration project not likely to start until mid- to late-summer.
Thanks to Debbie Hooper with joebay.com for sharing the photos. --- Tim Croft