Sep 28, 2009

Four signs of fall

When does fall start in south Florida?

Continentally speaking, Labor Day is the tradition.

Celestially speaking, it’s the Autumnal Equinox – September 22nd

But those milestones don’t do much to budge the thermometer south of Okeechobee. Daytime highs still hover around 90º F and nighttime lows in the 70s through September,

In other words, still summer!

Rest assured, south Florida is inexorably spinning towards its “Big Four” fall milestones.

The first is the night-time drop of the mercury below 70. That will happen in early to mid October.

When it does, the south peninsular rain machine shuts down.

The second is the night-time drop of the mercury below 60º F.

That will happen at first by chance, like a gift from the gods, in the form of our first “fall” cold front. It’s a long expected event, met with great euphoria from coast to coast, and usually only short lived (a day or two), but it’s a sign of things to come:

By mid November average daily night-time temperatures consistently drops below the 60º F line,

At least they do in Naples.

(Sorry Miami, you’re average daily night-time lows stay above 60 all year … thanks to the nearby Gulf Stream.)

The third milestone is the "official" end of hurricane season. That happens November 30th,

Right around that time is when we hit the fourth milestone – and “unofficial” finish line – of fall:

Cypress trees finally lose their needles.

That’s as sure a sign as there is that winter is upon us, Florida style.


Marvin said...

Based upon my experience on the Texas coast, I'd say there are only three problems with summer in the south: Temperature, humidity and duration.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Similar sentiments here in south Florida too, Marvin!

But those are also the same atmospheric ingredients that bring us our wet season rains ... so we sort of grit our teeth and bear it (with wide brim hats and lots of drinking water).

Nancy Ortiz said...

Well, Mr. Marvin, over here it's a cure for everything and eventually it gets to be Fall. Here, Fall is cool and mild and lasts a good while. In Chicago, for example, the Fall lasts 3 days, is gone in a weekend, and then the Winter starts. In West Texas, the wind will teach you a thing or two about cold, real quick. And, in Washington State, you better by George like fog and drizzle cause that's what you get. All year, in a good year. Two years' worth in a bad year, otherwise.

You pays your money and gets what Nature provides. At least here, the heat is free. :)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

The answer for you Bob is to MOVE to TENNESSEE... Think you could get a Hydrologist's job up here???????

We do have the four seasons--quite typical, and yet winter is not so harsh and summer is not so hot... Can't beat that!!!!

I do remember when I lived in Florida. My favorite month was MARCH. It was gorgeous down there --when everyone else was still in winter.


Janie said...

I don't think our temps every get above 70 at night. We're about 80 today, but after today, we may not have another 70 high until spring!
Enjoy your mild temps. When it gets really cold, I'll probably wish I was there.

Lisa Illichmann said...

We have four very distinct seasons here in Southern Austria, and fall is one of the most beautiful. All the colors you can imagine, crisp mornings, cool days and cold nights. A wonderful time!