Friday, September 21, 2012

Where's The Cooler Florida Weather?

Fall Begins, But Cool Weather Still In Distance And Hurricanes Still A Threat
LABELLE. FL. -- The calendar says fall begins Saturday at 10:49 AM, but the atmosphere over South Florida says it’s still summer. At our latitude and climate regime, significantly cooler or fall-like weather does not typically arrive until late October or early November.

Another way of looking at this is by considering the average first dates of temperatures below a defined value for several South Florida cities. Here's the average earliest date of temperatures below 60F:

Miami November 8
Miami Beach November 18
Fort Lauderdale November 4
West Palm Beach November 3
Naples October 29 (November 3 for 55 degrees or less)
LaBelle October 21 (October 30 for 55 degrees or less )
Moore Haven October 26 (November 2 for 55 degrees or less)
Those of us who are tired of the long, humid South Florida summer still have a few weeks before the first significant cool-down takes place.

But the beginning of astronomical fall means that for Florida the hurricane season is still very much alive. In fact, a somewhat unknown fact is that the historical median date for South Florida hurricane strikes is September 21. This means that half of the hurricanes which have directly struck South Florida occurred before that date and half occurred after.

Also, the month of most direct hurricane strikes for South Florida is October. A total of 19 hurricanes have hit South Florida since the late 1800s, compared to 15 in September and 11 in August.

Most hurricanes which have hit South Florida in October developed in the Caribbean Sea or Atlantic Ocean not far from our area. This means that systems can form and affect us with relatively short notice.

-source Gene McAvoy, Hendry County Extension Office

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