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Florida thunderstorms are breathtaking, powerful, and typically short-lived. The most frequent Florida storms occur in the summer months. Read our guide to know more about Florida summer weather and the best time to plan your visit.
Florida is characterized by two prime seasons; summer and winter. The summer season in Florida is known for warm, humid conditions and frequent Florida thunderstorms. On the other hand, the winter season in Florida has cool temperatures, lower humidity, and less precipitation.
So, if you like hot temperatures and can endure higher humidity levels, the summer season in Florida is an excellent option for planning a memorable vacation. Despite the rain and heat, this time of the year is also a perfect option for a family holiday because it has something for everyone. You will love relaxing at the stunning beaches, exploring theme parks, and sightseeing around the cities.
However, due to a few drawbacks like frequent rain, high humidity levels, possible Florida storms, and overcrowded parks, there are a few factors that you should know when planning a visit to Florida. I believe as a Florida resident, our guide on Florida summer weather will help you plan an enjoyable, safe, and unforgettable summer vacation trip.
Thunderstorms are more frequent, especially around coastal areas. While Florida storms are usually less than 15 miles in diameter, they can develop vertically to excessive heights. This piling effect of rigorous moisture can explain why a Florida thunderstorm overhead could produce up to more inches of rain in an hour while a spot a few miles away may get only a trace.
A thunderstorm day is when thunder occurs at least once a day. The area inland from Naples and Fort Myers sees an average of over 110 days a year. Similarly, West, Central, and South Florida aren’t also far behind, with 103 days a year.
Moreover, remember that frequency has nothing to do with the intensity of storms. For instance, the “Tornado Alley” from North Texas to Oklahoma and up into Kansas also experience about half as many storm days as Florida. However, those storms can be more severe with hefty hails and whirlwinds.
On the other hand, most Florida thunderstorms occurring almost daily aren’t severe.
Back to our Florida storms: remember that lightning is the biggest threat. So, if you can hear thunder, make sure to stay indoors. Also, note that a thunder sound travels up to 12 miles from the lightning strike, enabling lightning to strike about 10 miles from the parent thunderstorm. So, if you hear a thunder sound, it is a sign that you are within the strike zone.
Types of Florida Storms
Knowing about various Florida thunderstorms can help you differentiate between non-severe and severe thunderstorms and weather hazards. While Florida storms can vary in shape and size, we can categorize them into four types.
Single Cell Thunderstorms
Single-cell thunderstorms are also known as “pulse,” “airmass,” or “popcorn” thunderstorms. They are the most common type of Florida thunderstorms and are usually non-severe. They often occur in regions with warm, moist air.
Moreover, each single cell thunderstorm follows a life-cycle of a classic thunderstorm with maturity, development, and decay occurring for up to an hour. However, during these Florida storms, you may see heavy rain, small hail, rare tornadoes, and occasional downbursts.
The second type of Florida thunderstorm is multi-cell clusters. They are a cluster of storms that form and travel together. A single-cell thunderstorm creates a downdraft that may produce a gust of cool breeze near the ground. The gust contains denser air that spreads and lifts the surrounding warm air.
That lift is enough to produce another updraft, leading to the creation of one or more thunderstorms. This continuous cycle repeats for hours until the cluster dies down. However, like single-cell thunderstorms, multi-cell storms are often heavy rain but can cause strong winds, hails, and occasional tornadoes.
The third type of Florida storm is multi-cell lines. They are similar to multi-cell lines except that they develop in a line rather than a group. These lines are also squall lines and can stretch hundreds of miles.
Moreover, the gust in these lines focuses mostly ahead of thunderstorms instead of dispersing out in all directions. The most hazardous feature of multi-cell lines is strong winds that can exceed up to 70mph. In addition to that, other hazards include hail, isolated tornadoes, and flash flooding.
The fourth and most hazardous type of Florida storm is Supercells. They can produce dangerous winds, large hail, and pretty aggressive tornadoes. For example, a supercell in Nebraska in 2009 created hail so large that it left holes in house roofs. In addition, other Supercells that day formed tornadoes in Nebraska and Kansas.
However, supercell storms are among the rarest and only develop under certain conditions. Moreover, these storms are unique because they contain mesocyclone, an area of aggressive updrafts spinning with upward air movement.
What to Do During Florida Thunderstorms?
- Suspend outdoor activities immediately.
- Avoid using electrical appliances and protect your belongings from power surges.
- Do not touch metal products.
- Do not use trees or telephone poles as a shelter.
- Make sure to stay away from water because water can conduct electricity.
- Do not stand near tall buildings or objects.
- Stay sheltered for half an hour after the last flash of lightning.
- Stand clear from doors, windows, and electrical appliances.
Furthermore, lightning and storms are common in Florida, and Central Florida is the most prone region. In fact, Florida thunderstorms kill more people than all other forms of weather hazards combined. Also, remember that Florida storm season lasts most of the year, but the riskiest months are June, July, and August. So, when planning a trip to Florida during these months, follow the above safety tips.
Florida Summer Weather: Best Months
Florida has something for every traveler. Whether you are old or young, a family or couple, a swimmer or a golfer, you will find a lot of excitement among the sunshine state’s incredible attractions. And if you plan your time considering the best time of the year, you are in for a holiday you will dream about so long after you have returned home.
Popularly known as the “sunshine state,” Florida is also praised for having amenable weather and many of the bright stuff many pines for during colder temperatures. A trip to the southern cities during hot, humid conditions, in particular, could turn the “yay” to an “aah.”
That’s why it is vital to do your planning and opt for the best time of the year to explore Florida before heading out to its soft, sandy beaches.
Moreover, keep in mind that Florida summer weather differs depending on where you vacation and in what month. However, summertime in Florida offers many outdoor activities over the state. Here are the best months to visit and see the state at its best:
The month of February in Florida sees highs averaging around 75F in Miami and lows about 61F. These temperatures, of course, will get warmer if you plan to go farther south and colder for those traveling north. Moreover, the sun will shine for up to eight hours while the sea temperature will be 75 degrees. In addition to that, the conditions will be pretty mild and dry because the rain falls about six days a month, and Florida storms are rare.
March is famous for traveling because the highs are as higher as 77 degrees with lows up to 64 degrees. Again, there will not be much rain, allowing you to see an extra hour of sunshine. However,
during this spring break, you will see more crowds.
In addition, it also means you should be ready for higher costs on everything from air tickets to hotel booking to attractions to restaurants, especially if you’re there during school holidays.
April is one of the most popular and beautiful months with warm temperatures and less rain to experience Florida summer weather. It is also a busy traveler month, mainly due to Easter; once that’s over, the crowds and inflated prices dissipate. Moreover, in terms of travelers, you won’t need to fend them off because April in Florida is a shoulder month, meaning the time between peak and off-peak season.
If you’re looking for warmth, May is a low-key month with average highs of up to 87 degrees and less frequent Florida storms. As a tourist, you will also enjoy lower costs, many hotels to choose from, and even fewer crowds at the state’s best attractions.
That said, if you are planning a visit to Florida and want to see the state at its best, keep in mind that the best time of the year is during spring or fall. In addition to warm, humid conditions, you will also enjoy affordable accommodation costs and face fewer crowds at theme parks.
However, Florida summer weather is the best time for those who want to visit the northern parts. At this time, you will find the weather reliably warm. Moreover, it is also the best time to see white sand beaches and popular places, such as Destin, Pensacola, etc.
Chill Out and Stay Hydrated
Florida summer weather is probably the most anticipated time for tourists since it offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy, relax, and recharge the best of what the sunshine state offers. However, keep in mind that in Florida summer weather with warm and humid conditions, it is essential to follow health and safety precautions to make the most out of your vacation.
In addition to Florida storms, one of the most important tips while enjoying Florida summer weather is to stay calm and hydrated. According to the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention, hydration is essential during the months when there’s a need to counter warm temperatures and increase water intake.
Drinking a lot of water helps our body to function correctly by flushing out waste, preventing fatigue, and regulating the body’s internal temperature. So, if you want to make the most out of your time in Florida, drink lots of water and carry a refillable water bottle.
Moreover, if you need a bit more flavor, incorporate a wedge of lime into the water to improve the taste. That said, try to avoid taking your daily water allowance all at once because the aim is to stay hydrated gradually throughout the day.
In addition to that, another way to keep yourself hydrated in Florida summer weather is to enjoy watersport activities. Since the summer in Florida with warm, humid conditions bring a lot more heat and sweat days, joining in on-water activities is an excellent way to freshen up.
Here are the best water activities for your summer inspiration:
Kayaking is among the most sought-after water activities you can experience while enjoying Florida summer weather. It is a low-impact, relatively easy water sport that everyone can enjoy. Kayaks are small, narrow watercraft that you can propel with double-bladed paddle power. They can accommodate one or two people.
Kayaking is primarily a fun water activity if you love exploring calm waters, rivers, protected coastlines, and lagoons. Moreover, the small height and size of the water make them perfect for getting closer to nature. In addition to that, they also offer a great workout session since you will be paddling through your arms, shoulders, and back.
While enjoying your time in Florida, you can join a kayaking tour to gain essential knowledge of your surroundings. Once you are confident, tackling the surf or river rapids will be more accessible.
Florida Thunderstorms Safety Tips While Kayaking
In case of a Florida storm while you are kayaking, keep these tips in mind:
- Get off the water.
- Don’t group.
- Seek shelter immediately.
- If you don’t find shelter, crouch down to avoid being the tallest object.
Snorkeling is another excellent water activity to enjoy Florida summer weather, especially if you are there with your family. It is also an incredible way to experience the underwater world. Additionally, the activity is easy, and anyone can enjoy it, even if you don’t have any experience.
However, I recommend learning the basics of swimming and adjusting your breathing with a snorkeling mask before experiencing snorkeling. Florida also has plenty of fabulous snorkeling places, reefs, and wrecks, making snorkeling one of the most accessible activities. You will have the perfect opportunity to explore sea life, fish, and corals.
Depending on your location, while it is possible to access reefs from the beach, you can take a boat tour to explore deeper reefs. Moreover, since Florida summer weather is warm and humid, don’t forget to be sun-safe and bring sunscreen.
Surfing is among the most iconic summer water activities, and starting your day with an early-morning surf is an excellent way. With plenty of incredible breaks and ideal surfing conditions around the state, surfing is also a very accessible water sport.
However, if you are new to surfing, you can easily find many companies in coastal towns offering lessons that allow you to learn the basics. Once you are done with the basics, you are ready to hit the waves.
Florida Thunderstorms Safety Tips While Surfing
It is a terrible idea to surf anywhere near a Florida storm. Keep these tips in mind:
- Monitor weather conditions and react accordingly to any developing hazard.
- Follow the 30/30 rule.
- Get out of the water immediately or lay on your board to avoid being at the highest point.
- Seek a shelter.
The hydrofoil is another water activity that takes your surfing to the next level. A hydrofoil board has a foil attached to the bottom and uses kinetic energy to lift out of the water. As such, you will feel like you have wings to reach higher speeds.
Moreover, you can also get boards with electric motors that are great for calm waters, such as lakes and bays. The engine helps provide the movement and energy to create the lift. However, before experiencing hydrofoil, I recommend having experience surfing because it is more challenging to handle and has more risks.
Florida Thunderstorms Safety Tips While Hydrofoiling
- Monitor weather conditions closely.
- Wear a helmet and a full-length wetsuit with a pair of booties.
- Get away from water immediately.
· Scuba Diving
Scuba diving is one of my favorite water activities in Florida summer weather. As a scuba diver, you will have the opportunity to explore the depths of oceans more closely. While you need a scuba diving certificate, the course is educational but fun.
While taking the scuba diving course requires pool work and a couple of days of diving before testing your skills in open water. Once you have the certificate, you are free to join day tours for recreational dives or opt for a liveaboard to spend a few days out exploring the ocean.
Florida Storms Safety Tips While Scuba Diving
- Avoid scuba diving or being in the water during a Florida storm.
- Try heading to the shore.
- Seek shelter immediately.
The summer weather in Florida is hot and humid, but it’s also full of storms.
Florida storms often occur in the summer season and can be incredibly popular. So, if you plan a Florida summer weather trip to explore the sunshine state at its best, follow safety precautions for a safe, enjoyable, and memorable vacation. We believe our above guide on Florida thunderstorms and Florida summer weather will help you plan a beautiful trip.
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