Shallow waters with a small mangrove island- Biscayne

Is Florida Actually Below Sea Level

Are you wondering if Florida is actually below sea level? Well, you are not alone. Many people think that Florida is partially under sea level.

Florida is pretty flat and has little to no elevation. The highest point in Florida is Britton Hill which is only 345 feet and sits on the Alabama/Florida border.

So if you are coming to Florida it is most likely not to enjoy the mountains.

Florida is not below sea level, but its beachside communities are vulnerable to the effects of rising sea levels and increased chances of hurricanes.

Much of Florida’s population is living near or along its coastlines and most people come to vacation or live in Florida to avoid winter and enjoy forever sunshine.

Which is why so many people enjoy Florida’s beaches in December.

However, with rising sea levels, Florida faces an increased risk of flooding and other severe weather events caused by climate change.

People kayaking down a street in Florida after a hurricane

What Part Of Florida Is Below Sea Level?

There are very few parts of Florida that have been below sea level, that are no longer below sea level.

As glaciers of polar ice caps around the world are starting to melt and tropical storms are becoming more and more common, there are many fears that parts of Florida will one day soon be under sea level.

However, people are still flocking to Florida due to its mild winters and warm average temperatures year-round.

South Florida has the lowest elevation in the State but is also the highest densely populated area.

The Everglades which are just outside of Miami, have an average elevation of only about 20 feet. This area is often considered to be “under sea level” as it is marshland and pretty much uninhabitable.

However, tourists still flock here to enjoy airboat rides, gator wrestling, and most recently python hunting.

Another great way to see how much Florida and the Everglades are actually below sea level is to take a helicopter tour from Fort Lauderdale.

This short 35-minute tour will fly over the Everglades where you can see nothing but marsh and water.

An airboat at sunset in the Everglades in Florida that are below sea level

What Part Of Florida Is In Danger If Sea Levels Rise?

Southern Florida is most at risk for rising sea levels, as it has the lowest elevation of the state and is also the highest risk area for storms and hurricanes.

It is also the most densely populated area of the state, so more people will be affected as sea levels continue to rise.

Most people will recall the collapse of the 12-story building in Surfside Miami of the Champlain Towers apartment building.

Although no one is 100% sure why this building collapsed, some scientists believe that it is due to the overpopulation of South Florida and saltwater rising from underground.

If this is true, this puts a lot more people at risk in the Sunshine State, as 76% of the state’s population live in coastal areas.

Whereas Central Florida and Northern Florida are slightly higher so are considered to be in less risky zones of Florida when it comes to rising sea

What State Has The Lowest Elevation?

Believe it or not, Florida isn’t even the State with the lowest elevation. Yes, Florida’s mean elevation is only 100 feet above sea level, but it is only the state with the 3rd lowest elevation.

It is however the most vulnerable US state to the impacts of climate change and rising seas due to its low elevation and it’s risk factor due to hurricanes.

However, Delaware has Florida beat with the lowest elevation at around 60 feet. Louisiana is also actually tied with Florida with an average elevation of 100 feet above sea level.

A truck door open showing all the rain during a flood in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

How Often Is Florida Hit By Hurricanes?

During hurricane season it seems that Florida is always in the news for tropical storms or Hurricanes.

Whether it is the Gulf of Mexico side of Florida, Key West or any of the Major cities it seems that Florida is always being slammed by hurricanes.

This is partially due to global warming and the ever-rising temperature of the Atlantic Ocean. This increase in global temperatures is seemingly making Hurricanes more powerful and more frequent.

But how often does Florida actually get hit by a Tropical Storm or Hurricane?

On average Florida is hit by a hurricane every three years and Southwest Florida of the gulf side of Florida has been hit by a major hurricane every five years.

Hurricanes on the west coast of Florida tend to be slightly more intense as the sea temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico tend to be warmer, which tends to intensify the storm.

Which State Has Been Hit By The Most Hurricanes?

Florida is the state that has been hit by the most hurricanes in the USA, taking around 40% of all the named storms that make landfall on US soil.

The Sunshine State has a whopping record of 120 storms making landfall with 37 of these storms being above a category 3.

Conclusions On Is Florida Below Sea Level

As you can see Florida is not currently below sea level, but as global temperatures continue rising it is only a matter of time before parts of the State begin to submerge below sea level.

So whether you are looking to visit the Sunshine State or are thinking about moving here this is something that you might want to consider before making the move.

Although it will probably take years before the state is below sea level, it is likely that you will start to see more and more natural disasters due to climate change.

Read More About Florida Here

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