The climate is well known for being warm and sunny, which is reflected in its official nickname, the “Sunshine State.”
Florida’s Climate by Region
Florida has two climates: the southern end of the state is subtropical and the northern is warm and temperate. October through April is mild and humidity is low in Orlando and points south. Summer in central and southern Florida is hot and muggy with rain storms, but this also the best time to find cheap flights to Florida. Winter in northern Florida has generally mild days with temperatures in the 60s (F).Summer in the north is hot and sticky, but temperatures rarely go into the 90s. For all of Florida, the hurricane season is June to November, and there’s a high probability that big storms will come through.
Summers throughout the state are warm, and fairly humid. Winters are mild with periodic invasions of cool to occasionally cold air. Coastal areas in all sections of Florida average slightly warmer temperatures in winter and cooler ones in summer.
The primary factors affecting the state’s climate are latitude and numerous inland lakes. Proximity to the currents of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico also plays an important role.
Although southern Florida is 400 miles closer to the tropics than northern Florida, it doesn’t feel like it because of the prevailing sea breeze. Southern Florida is one of the warmest places on the United States mainland in winter.
Humidity and Thunderstorms in Florida
It is the high humidity during the summer months that requires caution among the elderly and very young. Another summer things to watch out for in Florida is lightning. Florida is known as the Lightning Capital of the U.S., Central Florida has often been described as “Lightning Alley,” visitors should know that lightning poses a serious risk.
Summers are often hot, but the high temperatures are tempered by frequent afternoon or early evening thunderstorms. Thunderstorms occur, on the average, about half of the summer days. Often these thunderstorms trigger a rapid drop of 10- to 20-degrees in temperature, resulting in comfortable weather for the remainder of the day.
The weather on any given day during the summer months is hot with high humidity and intense afternoon thunderstorms. From November to March, the weather is cooler and less humid but can vary considerably.
The average humidity in Florida is 74% and rarely falls below 50%. The humidity will be very noticeable during your vacation and will make the temperatures seem much warmer than what they are.
Rainfall in Florida
Most of Florida is a sub-tropical climate and it is surrounded by oceans on three sides. Therefore, Florida does get a lot of rain. The rain normally comes in the form of late afternoon thunderstorms, especially in the summer months. The thunder storms are usually a deluge of rain that downpours for a short period of time then quickly subsides. In the summer months it is sunny most of the day and then there will be a late day storm, followed by the return of the beautiful sunshine. Below is a chart that shows the average inches of precipitation throughout the state of Florida.
Hurricane Season starts June 1 and lasts to November 30 each year, with the peak of the season from mid-August to late October. Direct hits from a hurricane is not common in Florida, but the effects of a hurricane located in the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean can be felt across the entire state of Florida. During Hurricanes, high winds and torrential rains can occur and potentially spur tornados and local flooding. Theme parks and other attractions take all storms seriously and will close outdoor attractions when lightning or heavy rain are noted in the area. When traveling to Florida during hurricane season, you may encounter travel delays or cancellations if a serious storm develops.