Jump to content
ahosey01

Hottest & Driest Places in FL

Recommended Posts

ahosey01

Curious the hottest (not warmest) places in FL, and also the driest.  All available climate maps and info I can find are a.) climate classifications - tropical savannah, tropical wet & dry, etc. - or b.) USDA zone maps.  Anybody know the answer to these questions?  My thought would be somewhere far south and also inland.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mnorell

I think hottest is going to be somewhere in the everglades region, meaning inland Collier County or thereabouts (also coldest at night for its latitude). Driest is I think definitely the Lower Keys. Rainfall there is at the whim of outflow patterns from Cuba (dawn shower events, primarily in summer); and to a lesser extent the outflow from the mainland/peninsula (usually Collier County thunderstorm residue, which can sometimes provide some late-day/evening storms but usually exhausts itself over the Gulf or Florida Bay); winter fronts (providing the most dependable precipitation, winter only); and in summer, sometimes friction will build up along the island chain with the easterlies, creating a cloud-line immediately over the islands but by no means guaranteeing any precipitation. Springs are generally dry as a bone. Northern fronts are no longer able to make it down that far, tropical activity in the Caribbean Basin has not geared up and pushed north enough to affect the Keys, so it is mostly calm, and feels quite uncomfortable in June. The climate there compared to Miami is like the Desert compared to the Rainforest. Crazy, and a big surprise to most people who are not familiar with it.

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jimbean

I was going to say something similar to what mnorell said.  You are probably looking at interior SW Florida, like Hendry county or eastern Collier county. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Xerarch

If by hottest you mean highest highs in the summer I'm not sure it's inland everglades region. Since there are few population centers it's a little hard to find data (after a relatively quick search).  I do see that Immokalee Florida has an August average high of 92.6 for the warmest month, which is pretty warm for Florida.  But the hottest summer temps I have found are in north Florida, closer to the continental landmass.  Ocala July average temp is 93.2 with a record high of 105 while Immokalee record high is 102.  The record high for the state of Florida was recorded in north Florida, Monticello registering a 109 degrees.

As far as driest I do believe Key West is the driest with only 39.83 inches/year.  Much of the rest of Florida get 50 inches a year give or take.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JLM
33 minutes ago, Xerarch said:

If by hottest you mean highest highs in the summer I'm not sure it's inland everglades region. Since there are few population centers it's a little hard to find data (after a relatively quick search).  I do see that Immokalee Florida has an August average high of 92.6 for the warmest month, which is pretty warm for Florida.  But the hottest summer temps I have found are in north Florida, closer to the continental landmass.  Ocala July average temp is 93.2 with a record high of 105 while Immokalee record high is 102.  The record high for the state of Florida was recorded in north Florida, Monticello registering a 109 degrees.

As far as driest I do believe Key West is the driest with only 39.83 inches/year.  Much of the rest of Florida get 50 inches a year give or take.

The Tallahassee area in general has seen the most extremes temperature wise in Florida. Monticello being just northeast of Tallahassee recording the record highest temperature recorded in the state, and Tallahassee recording -2F in 1899. That is a 111F temperature difference between lowest and highest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ahosey01
54 minutes ago, JLM said:

The Tallahassee area in general has seen the most extremes temperature wise in Florida. Monticello being just northeast of Tallahassee recording the record highest temperature recorded in the state, and Tallahassee recording -2F in 1899. That is a 111F temperature difference between lowest and highest.

Maybe the question isn't specifically around which place has recorded the highest all time temperatures, but instead which place consistently records the highest average summer temperatures.

That's probably the more proper phrasing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sabal_Louisiana

The driest uninhabited spot in Florida is the Dry Tortugas, west of the Keys, but it's not on the mainland. It gets about 37 inches of rain a year.

It is called 'dry' because it lacks fresh water; this is unrelated to the lack of rainfall but rather to its absence of ponds or streams since it is reef-based.

While it may not have the highest mean temperature in Florida, it has the least contrast in temperature seasonally.

Even so, a cold wave in the winter of 1977 devastated its branching coral, an event from which it has not fully recovered.

  • Like 4
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bubba

Warm water temperature in winter is ironically north of the Tortugas’s and Key’s as the Florida Current and it’s warmth come much closer to the northern Key’s and south Florida mainland. The furthest eastern point of Florida is located on the northern side of the Palm Beach Inlet and many times the “Stream” is less than a mile off the coast. Plenty of great coral reefs not affected by cold fronts. Many times the winter water temperature is substantially warmer here than the Key’s.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bubba

I know I have hijacked this topic and I apologize in advance for my actions. That stated, I have done additional research that sheds further light on the issue of the Gulf Stream, Florida Current and their concomitant affect on water temperature in the ocean during winter in the Key’s, Dry Tortuga’s and  south Florida coast.

Specifically, the scientific journal oceancurrents.rmas.miami.edu states:

“The Florida Current transports warmer waters northward from the Florida Straits into the Gulf Stream. The Florida Current is the ribbon of warmest waters near 80• degrees W. longitude. The meandering of the Florida Current is constrained by the topography between South Florida and the Bahama Bank.”

Interestingly, the furthest eastern point in the state of Florida is located to the north of the Palm Beach Inlet at 80.037 W. Longitude. Notwithstanding various sites on the Internet stating that the Gulf Stream/ Florida Current is closest to the Florida coast near the south tip of Florida, the  northern side of the Palm Beach Inlet is the furthest eastern point and closest to the constant year round 80 degree plus water temperature of the Florida Current.

For perspective, it is interesting to note that our beaches in the north end of Palm Beach suffered for many years from tar that was created by numerous shipping vessels making entry into the Port of Palm Beach through the Palm Beach Inlet. As these ships waited their turn to be allowed entry into the port, they would reverse their engines while remaining on the furthest western end of the Florida Current. These ships were so close you could nearly swim to them and touch them.

 

This practice was terminated in the mid-1970s by Mayor, ET Smith, who imposed large fines on vessels reversing their engines. After the fines, the ships stopped and the tar left. ET Smith was also Ambassador to Cuba during Cuba’s fall to Castro.

The bottom line of this exercise is to demonstrate just how close the warm waters of the Florida Current act upon the Florida coast at this longitude. Once again, neither Key West, the Dry Tortuga’s or the southern tip of Florida can claim warmer winter waters when compared to the Florida coast closest to 80° west longitude.

That stated, should you disagree with me, you may well be correct...

 

 

 

 

Edited by bubba
Deficient dictation system

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ruskinPalms

It’s a tough question. The sea breeze fronts set up inland from the coasts in peninsular Florida and then it is a battle between east and west sea breezes to see who gets the rain in the summer. It is hotter in general inland from the coasts and drier closer to the coasts. I remember seeing rain maps for Florida years ago but I can’t find them now. Maybe a better internet searcher than me can find a rain map. 

Edited by ruskinPalms

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aceraceae

Okaloosa and adjacent counties are both among the hottest in the summer but also the coldest in the Winter...but also the most rain is Fort Walton Beach and Crestview in Okaloosa County. Crestview likely went just as far if not farther below 0 as the state record locations (Tallahassee, defuniak springs, Monticello), but the records don't go to the late 1800s cold snaps there. Even just among urban south Florida its surprising the rainfall variation between Miami fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach specifically. Monsoon, rainforest, Savanna, wet and dry. 

I didn't think the driest place would be anywhere inland, including the inland south and glades where it can be surprisingly cold but humid and foggy at night down to homestead, unless heat refers to heat index of the hottest place when including humidity.

By saying hottest not warmest I actually thought this would refer to northern Florida not the year round milder more tropical Southern parts.  But on the kicker was the dryer part Which might then lead to central areas from Orlando and East of Tampa down to Clewiston, Which maintain the 90s summer average highs of Northern Florida. 

Edited by Aceraceae
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ruskinPalms

image.jpeg.4e9547ab18b6e1be69c4572f460749f2.jpeg
well. If this map is right, I’d vote for areas around lake Okeechobee being the hottest and driest part of the state. 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bubba

Amazing to think that Lake O is one of the driest places in Florida! It seems that every thunderstorm emanates directly from Lake O.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
palmsOrl

I have seen precipitation maps that show Lake Okeechobee 

On 3/22/2021 at 8:37 PM, ruskinPalms said:

image.jpeg.4e9547ab18b6e1be69c4572f460749f2.jpeg
well. If this map is right, I’d vote for areas around lake Okeechobee being the hottest and driest part of the state. 

So if the narrow band of land near Fort Lauderdale to about Jupiter is Tropical Rainforest climate, what excludes those areas of NW Florida with even higher precipitation from being subtropical rainforest?  Due to the less evapotranspiration due to being further from the equator, NW Florida should actually need less precipitation to qualify.  Maybe it is due to the relative dryness of the summers.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Xerarch
14 hours ago, palmsOrl said:

what excludes those areas of NW Florida with even higher precipitation from being subtropical rainforest?  Due to the less evapotranspiration due to being further from the equator, NW Florida should actually need less precipitation to qualify.  Maybe it is due to the relative dryness of the summers.

Not sure how to answer that except that under Koppen climate classification system there is no classification for subtropical rainforest, it's all just humid subtropical.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
palmsOrl

That makes sense.  Is there a designation for temperate rainforest?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Xerarch

Nope, and the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest like Vancouver Island etc are listed as Oceanic Climate. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mnorell
On 3/22/2021 at 6:14 PM, bubba said:

Amazing to think that Lake O is one of the driest places in Florida! It seems that every thunderstorm emanates directly from Lake O.

I find it hard to believe as well. Plus there are no mountains to stop the inflow of moisture from the easterlies so it seems odd it could dry out so quickly from east to west. And I have been caught time after time coming down the turnpike in the Orlando-Ft. Pierce stretch in some of the most horrific deluges I have ever experienced in my life. Everybody at an absolute crawl or standstill and like you are underwater. It has happened to me so often that I now almost just expect it. I just can hardly believe that corridor would be one of the drier areas of Florida. I wonder if this map isn't full of interpolation based on what may amount to a paucity of weather stations in some areas, hence a large skew in the wrong direction. However I do agree with the map in that the whole Niceville area in the western panhandle is the wettest, and in fact almost the wettest area in the lower 48. How many thunderstorms have I sat out at the I-10 rest areas around Defuniak Springs? A lot!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bubba

I  have also experienced the same thing that you described on the Turnpike too many times to count. Together with unbelievably wicked lightning so close that I touched. Even felt a little whorly when lightning hit the car ( safest place to be in a thunderstorm?). Hair on my arms stood up!

Not certain how they calibrate rainfall in the middle of the Lake! Too many heavy thunderstorms roll off the Gulf and certainly dump on the Lake! I agree that this map is suspect.

One point of interest that I learned from two (2) separate Greenskeepers of golf courses, who kept rain gauges, one located in western PB County and the other on the ocean, 15 miles due east. The western golf course recorded 106 inches the same year as the ocean course recorded 37 inches. This is actually quite normal in this area as the sea breeze fights the advancing thunderstorms off the Lake.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AnTonY

@palmsOrl @Xerarch

Yes, the "tropical rainforest" in Koppen is just a climate classification. Not necessarily tied to the overall ecology.  For instance, the city of Manaus, right in the middle of the actual Amazon Rainforest, has actually cycled between "tropical rainforest" or "tropical monsoon" climate, depending on the exact amount of dry season rainfall during a given period of record.

Ecology-wise, any forest formations in South Florida, from Naples to Miami to Ft. Lauderdale, would all fall into the "tropical moist" category. Similar to those in mainland Mexico around southern Tamaulipas and Veracruz, sweeping down Campeche. The exact composition of species depends on the nature of the soil, along with the impact of any cool season drought or cold fronts that occur.

The forest in NW Florida would be "subtropical moist," like the rest of the coastal South. With much more rainfall, it turns into a true subtropical rainforest - the best examples are found in parts of Japan, especially at Yakushima Island.

 

Edited by AnTonY
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
palmsOrl

Thank you for that explanation AnTonY.

Regarding our rainy season here in Central Florida, it is May now and diurnal seabreeze thunderstorms have begun to occur, though not in a robust fashion and the pattern looks to be interrupted for a few days by a late season front, before returning.  Would it be accurate to say our rainy season pattern has started?  It's average start date here is like May 23rd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AnTonY

@palmsOrl

I'm honestly not sure about Florida's rainy season. The specific mechanisms of action elude me - is it just the sea-breeze storms that are in play, or are there also events associated with the trade winds?  I wonder if Florida even has a true monsoon (or anywhere in North America, for that matter). The problem is that North America's weather patterns are all over the place -  for instance, did you know that there have been huge upper-level lows (and their associated fronts) digging down the Eastern US into the South even as late in the year as July and August?

I'm not very familiar with the weather patterns in South America, as well as much of Africa and Australia. Also not as sure about Eastern Asia (eastern China and Japan).

The Old World basin from Southern Asia (India, Bangladesh, Thailand, southern China, etc) down the Indies into Oceania (Northern Australia and nearby islands)  is clear-cut and easy with how consistent their robust monsoonal rains are, including the specific mechanisms that drive them.

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kinzyjr

As far as hottest, Archbold, Mountain Lake (Lake Wales), Oasis Ranger Station, and Plant City are strong contenders according to the New Climate Normals (1991-2020):

https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/us-climate-normals/

@ColdBonsai posted a notice that these were available in our weather forums.  I took a look at them yesterday.

Back when Weather.com had their weather graphs, the hottest average summer time highs I found were here in Lakeland . 

image.png.f4e97caa33ae40dc473a101a65eaaf7c.png

This Wikipedia graphic has the old climate normals with similar numbers

 

 

201912071710_LakelandWeather_Wikipedia.png

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chinandega81
4 hours ago, AnTonY said:

@palmsOrl

I'm honestly not sure about Florida's rainy season. The specific mechanisms of action elude me - is it just the sea-breeze storms that are in play, or are there also events associated with the trade winds?  I wonder if Florida even has a true monsoon (or anywhere in North America, for that matter). The problem is that North America's weather patterns are all over the place -  for instance, did you know that there have been huge upper-level lows (and their associated fronts) digging down the Eastern US into the South even as late in the year as July and August?

I'm not very familiar with the weather patterns in South America, as well as much of Africa and Australia. Also not as sure about Eastern Asia (eastern China and Japan).

The Old World basin from Southern Asia (India, Bangladesh, Thailand, southern China, etc) down the Indies into Oceania (Northern Australia and nearby islands)  is clear-cut and easy with how consistent their robust monsoonal rains are, including the specific mechanisms that drive them.

 

 

In South Florida, the standard as to when rainy season begins is when lows consistently stay above 70 as do the dew point temperatures.  Sea temps should also be above 80. This trifect primes the atmosphere for instability (PM thunderstorms over the peninsula). The rainy season doesn't mean it rains every day...there are even dry spells throughout the rainy season. It is set to start on May 15...that is the long term average date those environmental thresholds tend to be met. Some years it comes earlier or later, but for uniformity, NOAA chose May 15 as the date to coordinate with the rest of the Caribbean basin.

We are not in the rainy season yet...not because we haven't met the criteria established, rather we are just beginning to transition from the dry season. It starts with sporadic thunderstorms....and usually decaying fronts stall out and serve as a focus for added moisture and that gets things off to a start. Different troughs, waves and impulses can energize typical afternoon thunderstorms, and the Bermuda high's location can surpress activity and direct which part of the state will have more precipitation on any given day. There are a lot of factors that come in to play. Suffice it to say, rainy season will be upon us before we know it.

As a side note, the rainy season starts sooner in South Florida and becomes more erratic regarding start and finish dates as well as intensity,  the furthur up the peninsula one travels.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AnTonY
3 hours ago, chinandega81 said:

In South Florida, the standard as to when rainy season begins is when lows consistently stay above 70 as do the dew point temperatures.  Sea temps should also be above 80. This trifect primes the atmosphere for instability (PM thunderstorms over the peninsula).

The sea-temperature is an interesting requirement. If too cold, it would stabilize the atmosphere, reducing the convection needed to form the storms. But, at the same time, you need the water to be as cool as possible relative to the land in order to strengthen the sea-breeze.

As a result, it's likely that the best of the best sea-breeze driven storms would occur earlier during the rainy season - June or July. Even in Houston, I've always noticed that the most intense thunderstorms loaded with lightning occurred during June. Whereas rain activity later during the summer came with more importance from trade winds (i.e. easterly waves, TUTTs, hurricanes, etc), and lesser thunder/lightning.

3 hours ago, chinandega81 said:

The rainy season doesn't mean it rains every day...there are even dry spells throughout the rainy season.

True. Even with the Indian - Australian basin region I mentioned, you still have monsoon "breaks" with lesser storm activity.

3 hours ago, chinandega81 said:

It is set to start on May 15...that is the long term average date those environmental thresholds tend to be met. Some years it comes earlier or later, but for uniformity, NOAA chose May 15 as the date to coordinate with the rest of the Caribbean basin.

We are not in the rainy season yet...not because we haven't met the criteria established, rather we are just beginning to transition from the dry season. It starts with sporadic thunderstorms....and usually decaying fronts stall out and serve as a focus for added moisture and that gets things off to a start. Different troughs, waves and impulses can energize typical afternoon thunderstorms, and the Bermuda high's location can surpress activity and direct which part of the state will have more precipitation on any given day. There are a lot of factors that come in to play. Suffice it to say, rainy season will be upon us before we know it.

Yes, mid or late May should be about right. That was always an interesting month - some years can be bone dry, other years can have decent amounts of sea-breeze storms. Other years feature continuous mid-latitude cyclonic activity. 

3 hours ago, chinandega81 said:

As a side note, the rainy season starts sooner in South Florida and becomes more erratic regarding start and finish dates as well as intensity,  the furthur up the peninsula one travels.

True. It could be that the peninsular geography actually helps to maximize the amount of storms, due to the convergence of sea-breezes. However, I haven't taken time to look at the differences between places like Jacksonville or Tallahassee compared to locations farther down the peninsula.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chinandega81

You make a great point about the more robust sea breeze storms in June when there is the largest land vs sea surface temperature difference. Later in the rainy season...the sea breeze is weaker but the overall instability is higher bc of increased moisture and any little thing sets off storms...however the most intense lightning always seems to be May-July...and late summer it's more about the heavy rain. It seems like Sept and Oct barely have thunderstorms...usually just torrential rains. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AnTonY
16 hours ago, chinandega81 said:

You make a great point about the more robust sea breeze storms in June when there is the largest land vs sea surface temperature difference. Later in the rainy season...the sea breeze is weaker but the overall instability is higher bc of increased moisture and any little thing sets off storms...however the most intense lightning always seems to be May-July...and late summer it's more about the heavy rain. It seems like Sept and Oct barely have thunderstorms...usually just torrential rains. 

Yes. To be quite honest, I actually like the sea-breeze storms and tropical rainfall - they seem like the best of both worlds for excitement and utility, compared to the storms from mid-latitude upper troughs/cyclones that come with more enhanced risk of severe weather (i.e. hail, tornadoes, etc).

Edited by AnTonY
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Looking Glass

What is the hottest and driest place in Florida???.....   My yard right now.  
Please let the rains come soon...  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kinzyjr
14 hours ago, Looking Glass said:

What is the hottest and driest place in Florida???.....   My yard right now.  
Please let the rains come soon...  

Definitely feel the same way.  Looks like we got skunked on the rain today up my way.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
palmsOrl

We didn't get a ton of rain today, but after this next few days, it looks like the rainy season my be coming to a start.  I am hoping it starts early and brings lots of rain and a nice wet tropical storm in late May, early June.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chinandega81

Last year the rainy season was odd. We had almost 100 inches of rain in South Florida, which sounds astronomical...but we had a hot and dry Spring...then late May and early June brought good rains...but not the typical thunderstorm kind, rather weather systems that caused general rains. Then it got dry.  And stayed dry...minimal sea breeze storms all the way through the hottest of the summer. Around September the rains picked up and in October and November the heavans opened up. I don't recall having such a long dry spell in the middle of the rainy season before...and from what I recall about May of last year, it was similar as to what I have seen this year so far. I too hope we can get some good, early rains with an early start to the rainy season....

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Looking Glass

Well....   That didn’t take long.   Pounded pretty good by random storms two evenings in a row.   Daytime about 90F, Nighttime’s lows in the mid to upper 70Fs after.  Starting it seems?  Time to get some stuff out of pots and into the ground before it drowns.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...