I need to put this “change of seasons” gibberish to rest. We have many seasons in Florida. I count seven, not four. Our seasons in Florida are subtler than most up north think.
When the temperature goes up or down 10 degrees, that qualifies, at least to me, as a seasonal change. I’ll say, “I love our change of seasons!” When we return to summer temperatures for a few days in the late fall after a few weeks of cooler weather, that’s an Indian Reverse Summer™. And oftentimes I’ll say, “Wasn’t that a great Indian Reverse Summer?”
So, why not seven Florida seasons? The number seven has a heartwarming charm of its own: seven continents, seven deadly sins, seven games in the World Series, The Magnificent Seven, a dice roll of seven, and of course, 7-Up.
All that explained, here’s your guide to seasons on Florida’s Space Coast:
Season 1: Winter. January and February are considered our cold months here, with temps in the low 50s at night and low 70s during the day. Humidity is low. Most locals will say this is our bitter cold season. Our heat may be on, or our windows may be open for a nice breeze. You can expect to drag out sweaters and put your sandals in the closet (or wear them if you’re brave!) There may be 5 - 8 days of rain all month on the Space Coast, but it rarely lasts more than a couple of hours and the sun comes out again. My memories in Boston include days of overcast, damp weather punctuated by snow and slush, with the occasional glimpse of the sun. Imagine that.
- Winter travel tips: Locals love it this time of year. February is when big, outdoor events are planned. Beautiful days and nights, but it can get cold. If you live up north and at 40 degrees you’re still wearing Bermuda shorts and sandals, you should be fine. The average UV index in January and February is under 7 [moderate to high], so bring your sunscreen for the beach or golf course.
Season 2: Kind-of-not-quite-Winter. March and April are still cool, but daily temperatures are 10-15 degrees higher, night and day, still with low humidity. Dress for going out at night includes a sweater [60-65 degrees], but very rarely do you ever need a parka or mittens. The amount of rain plunges in April. A/C is still optional and windows are still open for a cool breeze. These are great Florida months.
- Winterish Travel tips: Still nice this time of year with cooler nights and warmer days. UV Index is higher at 9 and 10 [very high]. Pack sweaters for cruising at night. Locals are still loving the temps.
Season 3: Spring. May and June daytime temps are in the low to mid-80s; nighttime temps are in the high 60s and low 70s. Humidity is still mild. Windows might be open but A/C may also be on. No heat needed. June is the start of rainy days. Some years it rains every single day and other years it could rain as many as 16 days of quick late afternoon rain showers [not enough to ruin a day at the beach, golf, tennis, or shuffleboard, by the way]. June 1 is the beginning of the hurricane season, but we don’t even start to look at the tropics until late August.
- Spring Travel tips: Starting to get hotter but tolerable. UV Index is again higher at 10 and 11 [very high with a touch of ‘extreme’]. Pack summer wear for day or night.
Season 4: Summer. July and August are our summer months, with temperatures in the high 80s or low 90s during the day and high to mid-70s at night. A/C is on all day and night. Humidity rises. This is the Florida weather that northerners remember. July and August have an average of 16 days of rain all month, mostly late afternoon showers; however, that depends on the year. There are 13-14 hours of daylight with 7 or 8 hours of sunshine.
- Summer Travel tips: Hottest months, but everything is air-conditioned. Umbrellas are necessary at the beach. Still floppy hat at the golf course or tennis court. UV Index is 11 [at the low end of ‘extreme’]. Pack summer wear for day or night. Plenty of sunscreen. If you’re inside most of the day with short intervals outside, you can use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Use SPF 30 or higher for longer outdoor activities like swimming and golf.
Season 5: Hottest-Summer. September gets its own season. More rain, but less rainy days, with a chance of hurricanes. The average daily temperature drops a few degrees, but the humidity is a wash. A/C stays on. September begins the annual winter trend to shorter days and longer nights.
- Summer Plus Travel tips: The last high summer temperature month. Humidity is high, so pack cotton and linens [these absorb moisture and you’ll be cooler]. Umbrellas at the beach. Your floppiest hat on the links, tennis court, or beach. Slather on plenty of sunscreen. Leave sweaters in your closet at home. And those hurricanes, don’t sweat it. We went many years (like 10+ ) without any activity.
Season 6: Fall. October and November signal the end of high humidity and inches of rain. Temperatures drop to the low 80s and mid-70s during the day and 60s at night. Hurricane season lingers through November, but the high anxiety drops and the media loses interest in Florida weather. Daily rainfall falls dramatically. A/C stays on. These are nice months.
- Fall Travel tips: This is a great time of year. Humidity is lower. Rainfall drops in November. There’s often a nice, cool breeze at night. Pack warm weather clothing. SPF of 15 or higher for your sunscreen. Yes, you can find a Thanksgiving dinner on the Space Coast.
Season 7: Finally-Cool-Fall. December is a great Florida weather month and worthy of its own season. A wonderful time to visit the Space Coast where temperatures average 72 during the day and low 60 at night. The humidity and UV index are low. Rainfall is at its lowest for the year. There’s no fear of hurricanes. Local towns put up their holiday lights.
- Fall Plus Travel tips: Humidity and temperatures are lower. Rainfall drops again in December. There’s often a nice, cool breeze at night. Pack warm weather clothing. Bring a sweater or two. You may not need a sweater, but why not? Or even better, buy his and her, or her and her, or him and him, or whatever, Space Coast sweatshirt
The Seven Season Florida™, Beer, and BTW, I’m Expecting a call from The Weather Channel
Of course, if you’ve been following this travel blog, you know that beer figures into every blog.
In the heat of the summer and summer plus, I’m a fan of cold, lighter, and less bitter blondes. As things cool up or down in the fall or spring, I drift into mid-temperature darker beers with an IBU of around 50 [nothing too bitter]. And, in the harsh, bitter 50 degrees cold of Florida winter, I lean into stouts [a warm, slow drinking Guinness Stout works to cut the chill].
Note: And, if you’re a high-up, well-placed, decision-maker from The Weather Channel, please call me to discuss licensing the Seven Season Florida™ and Indian Reverse Summer™ concepts for the upcoming exciting 2020 Florida weather and hurricane season. Act now so we can get to work on the new line of sweatshirts.