Is Florida considered Tropical?
Florida is often considered a tropical paradise.
Warm water, sandy beaches and of course, plenty of sunshine.
But what makes a place tropical?
Lets find out…
How is The Sunshine State Broken Up?
Florida is broken up into several smaller regions. Lets break down the Regions that define this beautiful State:
- Northern Florida – North East Florida, North Central Florida, North West Florida (the pan handle)
- Central Florida – Central East, Central, Central West Florida
- Southern Florida – South West Florida, South Florida, The Florida Keys
What makes a tropical climate?
A tropical climate is characterized by – high temperatures and high humidity, with little seasonal variation in temperature.
I think this sounds like Florida.
It is typically found within the latitudes of 23.5 degrees north and south of the equator.
Also known as the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
Exploring Florida’s Climate
Florida’s climate is largely subtropical, though it does have a tropical climate in the southern parts closer to the Florida Keys.
Throughout the year, the state experiences high temperatures, often reaching into the 90s (Fahrenheit) during the summer months.
The humidity is notably high, particularly in the coastal regions where the warm Gulf Stream contributes to the moist, tropical air.
However, Florida does experience some cold fronts and freezes, particularly in the northern regions, which is more indicative of a subtropical climate.
Overall, Florida’s weather is a blend of tropical and subtropical, making it a destination for sun-seekers and beach lovers.
Subtropical Climate Zone of Florida
The sub tropical climate zone of Florida is characterized by two main seasons – the wet season and the dry season.
These areas typically encompass the central and northern regions of the state.
In the wet season, taking place from May to October, the state experiences high temperatures, heavy rainfall, and high humidity, reminiscent of a tropical climate.
However, the dry season, running from November to April, is marked by significantly lower rainfall, cooler temperatures, and occasional cold fronts.
Factors that Modify Florida’s Climate
There are several factors that contribute to the unique climate of Florida.
One of the most significant is the state’s geography.
Florida’s close proximity to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico greatly influence the weather patterns, with coastal regions experiencing higher humidity and temperature due to the warm ocean currents.
The state’s low latitude also plays a role.
As it is closer to the equator it receives more direct sunlight, resulting in higher temperatures.
In addition, the flat terrain of Florida allows weather systems to traverse the state without any significant obstacles, leading to rapid changes in weather conditions.
Finally, the seasonal variations in wind patterns and ocean currents bring changes in weather.
This contributes to the distinct wet and dry seasons seen in the subtropical zones of the state.
Influence of the Gulf Stream
The Gulf Stream is a powerful and warm Atlantic Ocean current.
Originating in the Gulf of Mexico, it flows along the eastern coast of the United States, before leaving the coast at the tip of Florida to join the North Atlantic Drift.
The Gulf Stream also plays a crucial role in fueling severe weather phenomena like hurricanes.
It provides vast amounts of heat energy to these storm systems.
These weather patterns can further exacerbate the already high rainfall levels seen in Florida during the wet season.
Florida’s unique climate is greatly influenced by several factors.
Things such as its geography, position relative to the equator, flat terrain, seasonal wind patterns, ocean currents, and the formidable Gulf Stream all play a role.
Being mostly surrounded by water and its location in the subtropics contribute to its humid climate and high rainfall during the wet season.
These factors helps us understand why Florida has such distinct weather patterns, characterized by hot, wet summers and mild, dry winters.