Seasons are a way of dividing up the year based on changes in weather. The traditional four – winter, spring, summer and fall – are familiar to most people. In the subtropical climate of south Florida, however, there are really only two – wet and dry. While traveling there recently, I had the chance to learn more about them.
The wet season typically runs from mid-May to November. It produces the vast majority of the region’s average annual rainfall, approximately 60 inches. Temperatures often reach into the 90s and humidity levels are high. With sea-breeze fronts developing along both the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, thunderstorms can occur almost daily during the summer months.
The dry season runs from December to mid-May. Temperatures at that time of year range from the mid-50s to upper-70s and humidity levels are relatively low. On occasion, continental cold fronts dip down into south Florida, bringing near-freezing temperatures to the region. Any rain associated with these frontal systems tends to sweep through the area quickly. Only about 20% of the region’s average annual rain total falls during the winter months.
South Florida’s largest rainfall totals are usually associated with tropical storms and hurricanes, which are not uncommon between June and November.