Climate - 1
The fact that Florida is a peninsula and is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico in both the west and south, and the Atlantic Ocean in the east, is the most important determinant in the climate of the state.
In the region to the north of Lake Okeechobee, the prevailing climate is subtropical and humid. On the other hand, to the south of the Lake, the climate is unmistakably tropical.
In so far as temperature is concerned, the state seldom experiences conditions that exceed 100 degrees F (38 degrees C). In fact, it is quite common for summer temperatures in much of the state to exceed 90 degrees F (32 degrees C).
During late autumn and winter, the entire state can experience high winds and colder temperatures due to cold fronts which can occasionally sweep in from the ocean.
In terms of temperature extremes, the highest temperature ever recorded in the Florida was 109 degree F (43 degree C), recorded on June 29, 1931 in Monticello, a city in Jefferson County. Conversely, the lowest temperature ever recorded in the state was
–2 degree F (−19 degree C), recorded on February 13, 1899, just 25 miles away, in Tallahassee.
In late July, the mean high temperatures are predominantly in the low 90s Fahrenheit (32–35 °C). Alternatively, in late January, the mean low temperatures are primarily in the low 40s Fahrenheit (4–7 °C) in northern Florida, increasing to the mid-50s (~13 °C) in southern Florida.
In Florida, the main influence on the seasons is not temperature but precipitation, in the form of rain and snow. Accordingly, the wet season is in the spring and summer, which tend to be hot and wet. Conversely, the dry season is in the autumn and winter, which are normally cool or mild and relatively dry.
Consider the climate of the Florida Keys which constitute an archipelago of about 1700 islands situated in the southeast United States. The Keys begin at the southeastern tip of the Florida peninsula, some 15 miles south of Miami, and spread out, initially south-southwest, and then westward to Key West, the westernmost point of those islands that are inhabited. Therefore, since the Keys are surrounded on all sides by water, their climate is tropical with fairly uniform temperatures. In the case of Key West, for example, temperatures rarely exceed 90 °F (32 °C) in the summer months nor do they fall below 60 °F (16 °C) in the winter. In fact, records show that there has never been a frost in the Keys.
The following chart summarises the seasonal high and low monthly temperatures, in degrees F, of Key West and Miami:
Jan Mar May July Sept Nov
Key West 75/65 79/69 85/76 89/80 88/78 80/71
Miami 76/60 80/64 86/72 90/77 88/76 81/67
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