It’s summer in Florida, which means chances are good it’ll rain just about every afternoon. And it’s not just rain, it’s like we have a daily monsoon, complete with 50mph winds and so many huge raindrops falling from the sky that you can barely see across the street. And the thunder! As well as the lightning! Often at the same time!
Yeah, our afternoon thunderstorms are a sight to behold…preferably from the safety of indoors. And the thing is, it can be gorgeous outside (boiling hot, but gorgeous), then the rain comes in, and 15 or 20 minutes later it’s all done and the sun is out again.
Welcome to Florida in the summer. Here’s why it happens and what you can do about it…
When I moved from the frozen tundra of NYC, it wasn’t for Florida’s summers. It was definitely for the winters – while most of the country is freezing its butt off, here in Orlando it’s usually highs in the 60s or 70s and lows that barely kiss the freezing point MAYBE once or twice a year.
So yeah, our winters do not suck. But our summers, on the other hand…hot, humid and rain almost every day. Bleh.
What causes all that rain?
Actually, it’s the humidity that does it. That, in combination with the unstable rising air that happens during this time of year.
A weather station can describe it better than I ever could. Click here for a better understanding.
With all that rain, doesn’t everything flood?
Not really. Immediately after the afternoon rain, you’ll see HUGE puddles on the side of the road, but they’re usually gone in an hour or two. Not far underneath the ground, Florida has something called an aquifer – it’s an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock and it accepts all that excess water pretty easily.
Some places do flood, but it’s usually because it’s paved areas with poor drainage.
— disneyholicdina (@disneyholic) November 25, 2014
Can the summer rains turn into a hurricane?
Nope. Hurricanes are a totally different weather situation and start because of tropical waves off the coast of Africa or, less often, the Caribbean. Here’s more information, especially for tourists, about hurricanes.
What can you do about the summer rainy season
Well, you certainly can’t stop the rain 😉
From a safety point of view, if you’re outside in a Florida summer storm and there’s thunder and lightning (and there will be!), GO INSIDE until it stops. Florida is one of the most lightning-struck states in the United States. Central Florida, in particular, is nicknamed “Lightning Alley” (remember that cold air from both coasts that collide with the warm air over Central Florida? That’s what does it and it’s right over our heads.). Don’t become a statistic as one of the people who gets severely hurt, if not killed, by getting struck by lightning. Go inside and stay away from windows until the storm has passed.
If there’s just rain and no thunder/lightning, do whatever you’re more comfortable with – keep doing what you’re doing outside (preferably with your choice of an umbrella, rain poncho, rain boots, pool shoes, etc.) or have a plan for indoor activities.
Whatever you decide, stay safe and have fun!
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