You can almost always tip your hat to the end of another perfect day in Florida. The climate has always been Florida's most important natural resource, which is reflected in its official nickname, the "Sunshine State." Summers throughout the state are long, warm, and fairly humid. Winters are mild with periodic invasions of cool air. Coastal areas in all sections of Florida average slightly warmer temperatures in winter and cooler ones in summer.

The primary factors affecting the state's climate are latitude and numerous inland lakes. Proximity to the currents of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico also play an important role.

The state's rainfall varies in annual amounts, seasonal distribution and location. Areas of high annual rainfall are in the extreme northwestern counties and in the southeastern end of the peninsula.



 Orlando Average Weather Chart

There is close to a 50-50 chance that some rain will fall during any given day in the summer "rainy season." Still the chances are much less during the remainder of the year that some rain would be recorded — likely only one or two days a week.


Unfortunately, Florida is the thunderstorm capital of the United States. The "lightning belt" in Florida is an area from between Orlando and Tampa to south along the west coast to Fort Myers and east to Lake Okeechobee. Thunderstorms are attributed to hot, wet air close to the ground combined with an unstable atmosphere. Often the resulting thunderstorms occur during afternoons — June to the end of September — and can be as brief as a few minutes or as long as a couple of hours, but seldom longer. 


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