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Prepared by Florida Climate Center
The Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL

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Key Points:

  • July 2023 was the hottest July on record for many stations, and July 2023 became the hottest month ever recorded at several stations.
  • July 2023 tied June 1998 as the hottest month ever in Florida.
  • Monthly precipitation totals for July were above normal across the eastern coast but well below normal along the west Florida coast.
  • Extreme drought was reintroduced to the Florida west coast by the end of the month, with continued below-normal rainfall.
  • An El Niño Advisory continues and has a 90% chance of persisting through the Northern Hemisphere winter, peaking with moderate to strong intensity.


Average monthly temperatures in July were above normal across the state. Average temperature departures from normal ranged from +0.7 ̊F in Melbourne to +3.0 ̊F in Sarasota for the month (see Table 1 and Appendix 1 for select cities). High temperatures and oppressive humidity affected much of the state. Triple digit temperatures were reached in several locations, such as Tallahassee on the 1st and 21st (100 ̊F) and on the 30th (101 ̊F), and Clermont on the 4th (102 ̊F) and 5th (101 ̊F). Most places statewide saw one of their top 5 hottest Julys on record, and several locations observed their hottest July on record, based on monthly average temperatures, including Pensacola, Jacksonville, Tampa, Sarasota, Vero Beach, Fort Myers, Naples, Miami, and Key West. South Florida experienced record-breaking heat indices, with Miami reaching a heat index over 110 ̊F on both the 9th and 10th, as well as a record 46 consecutive days with a heat index above 100 ̊F. In addition, not only was July 2023 the hottest July on record for Miami, it was the hottest month ever recorded at the Miami International Airport station, since 1937. July 2023 also tied June 1998 as Florida's hottest month ever, based on statewide monthly average temperatures. Select daily high maximum temperature records tied or broken during the month are provided in Appendix 2.

Table 1. July average temperatures and departures from normal ( ̊F) for selected cities.

Station Mean Temperature Departure from Normal
Pensacola 85.5 +2.0
Tallahassee 84.6 +2.1
Jacksonville 84.7 +2.2
Orlando 84.9 +2.3
Tampa 86.5 +2.7
Miami 86.5 +2.4
Key West 87.7 +2.3 


Monthly rainfall totals in July were near to above normal in the Panhandle and eastern Florida, while the western coast was well below normal. The monthly precipitation departures from normal ranged from -6.29 inches in Sarasota to +5.91 inches in West Palm Beach (see Table 2 and Appendix 1 for select locations). July saw plentiful rainfall, but much of the rain was confined to the eastern coast and the Panhandle. Indeed, July became a tale of two Peninsulas – plentiful rainfall in the east and much below normal rainfall along the west coast. The Sarasota-Bradenton area had its 2nd-driest July on record, and Naples had its 3rd-driest July on record. Melbourne had its 2nd-wettest July on record, Vero Beach was 3rd-wettest, and Fort Lauderdale had its 5th-wettest July on record. Fort Lauderdale has had its wettest year on record to date, while the Sarasota-Bradenton area has had its driest year on record so far, where the year-to-date rainfall deficit stands at 20.68 inches.

Table 2. July precipitation totals and departures from normal (inches) for selected cities.

Station Total Rainfall Departure from Normal
Pensacola 6.99 -0.90
Tallahassee 6.41 -0.73
Jacksonville 7.93 +1.16
Orlando 6.82 -0.64
Tampa 2.84 -4.91
Miami 7.42 +0.06
Key West 1.46 -2.17 


Figure 1. A graphical depiction of the monthly rainfall departure from normal (inches) for July (courtesy of NOAA, NWS).

Figure 1.  A graphical depiction of the monthly rainfall departure from normal (inches) for July (courtesy of NOAA, NWS).


El Niño Advisory.

Weak El Niño conditions, the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation climate pattern, in the tropical equatorial Pacific Ocean continued in July. El Niño is still expected to persist through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2023-24 (90% chance). Forecasters favor continued growth of El Niño through the fall, peaking this winter with moderate-to-strong intensity (81% chance of November-January Niño-3.4 ≥ 1.0°C). However, a strong El Niño, with seasonally averaged Niño-3.4 values equal to or greater than 2.0°C (rivaling the winters of 1997-98 or 2015-16), has only a 20% chance of occurring.


Hazardous Weather Events in July.

According to the Local Storm Reports issued by the local National Weather Service offices serving Florida, there were 595 individual local reports of hazardous weather events recorded across the state during the month of July (see Table 4 for a breakdown by event type). July saw active weather with heavy rain, thunderstorm activity, and strong wind gusts. Three fatalities occurred during the month due to rip currents. No tornadoes were reported during the month.

Table 3. Breakdown of storm reports submitted in Florida during the month of July (compiled from Iowa State University/Iowa Environmental Mesonet).

Report Type Number of Reports
Heavy Rain 37
Flood 10
Flash Flood 22
Coastal Flood 0
Hail 13
Lightning 4
Non-Thunderstorm Wind Gust 9
Non-Thunderstorm Wind Damage 0
Tornado/Waterspout/Funnel Cloud 0/17/2
Thunderstorm Wind Damage 120
Thunderstorm Wind Gust 351
Rip Currents 10


Daily Record Events in July.

Table 4. Summary of daily records broken or set in Florida in July (source: NCEI Daily Weather Records).

Category Number of Records
Highest daily max. temp. 72
Highest daily min. temp. 89
Lowest daily max. temp. 6
Lowest daily min. temp. 2
Highest daily precipitation 39
Total 208


Weather/Climate Highlight of the Month: Extreme Heat

July 2023 was the hottest month ever recorded for many stations in Florida, based on monthly average temperatures, including Miami, Key West, Tampa, Fort Myers (dating back to 1892), and Bradenton (dating back to 1911). A marine heatwave has also affected areas around the Florida Keys, with water temperatures reaching the upper 90s, which is well above normal and has led to coral bleaching and die-off. A buoy in Manatee Bay recorded an extreme water temperature of 101 ̊F on July 24th, which received a lot of media attention. While this was not representative of ocean sea surface temperatures, coastal and open ocean temperatures in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and around the Florida Keys were much above normal in July, contributing to oppressive humidity and high heat indices in South Florida.

Globally, the past two months have been record-breaking. June 2023 was the warmest June on record globally, and July 2023 is set to be the hottest month ever recorded.


Drought-Related Impacts.

In mid-July, severe drought (D2) was introduced to the western coast of the Peninsula as year-to-date rainfall deficits continued to accumulate. About 3% of the state was in severe drought (D2), 3% was in moderate drought (D1), and 8% was abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. As the month neared its end, continued below-normal rainfall led to the introduction of extreme drought confined to the west Florida coast. As of July 25, 1% of the state was in extreme drought (D3), 2% was in severe drought (D2), 3% was in moderate drought (D1), and 4% was abnormally dry (Figure 2 below).

As of July 31, the Lake Okeechobee water level was 15.13 ft. above sea level (Feet-NGVD29), which is above average for this time of year. At the first of the month, the water level was 14.65 ft. above sea level.


Figure 2. A graphical depiction of the latest drought conditions in Florida according to the U.S. Drought Monitor (courtesy of the National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln).

drought monitor


Agriculture-Related Impacts.

In mid-July, topsoil moisture conditions were adequate in 69% of the state, short in 8%, and very short in 3% of the state, while 20% of the state was experiencing surplus topsoil moisture conditions. By the end of July, topsoil moisture conditions were adequate in 73% of the state, short in 16%, and very short in 5% of the state; 6% of the state was in surplus. For more information, consult the Crop Progress and Conditions Report, which is published by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.


Appendix 1
Additional July departures from normal data for select Florida locations (Source: NWS).

Station Average Temperature (˚F) Departure from Normal (˚F) Total Rainfall (in.) Departure from Normal (in.)
Gainesville 83.4 +2.0 4.57 -2.11
Sarasota 86.2 +3.1 1.10 -6.29
Melbourne 83.8 +0.7 11.79 +5.29
Fort Myers 86.1 +2.9 4.24 -5.14
West Palm Beach 84.5 +1.4 11.54 +5.91


Appendix 2
Select daily record high maximum temperatures (°F) broken or tied during July (compiled from NOAA).

Location Date Record Broken/Tied Last
Homestead 1 98 Broken 97 in 2007
Tampa 1 97 Broken 95 in 2014
Tallahassee 2 100 Tied 100 in 1998
Plant City 2 100 Broken 99 in 2019
Clermont 4 102 Broken 97 in 2019
Plant City 4 103 Broken 99 in 1997
Orlando 4 98 Broken 96 in 2016
Tampa 4 97 Broken 96 in 1998
Canal Point 5 99 Broken 97 in 1992
Clermont 5 101 Broken 98 in 2016
Plant City 5 104 Broken 98 in 2019
Jacksonville 5 98 Tied 98 in 1969
Miami 6 95 Tied 95 in 2009
West Palm Beach 6 97 Broken 95 in 2016
Miami 7 97 Broken 95 in 2020
Lakeland 7 99 Broken 98 in 1992
Miami 8 96 Broken 95 in 2020
Vero Beach 9 96 Broken 95 in 2020
Homestead 10 100 Broken 98 in 2020
Miles City 11 102 Broken 100 in 2008
Miami 11 96 Broken 95 in 2010
Perrine 12 95 Broken 94 in 2022
Miami 12 97 Broken 95 in 1981
Bradenton 14 97 Tied 97 in 2020
Fort Myers 19 97 Tied 97 in 1979
Tampa 19 96 Tied 96 in 2010
Bradenton 20 98 Broken 96 in 2014
Canal Point 20 97 Broken 96 in 2016
Clermont 21 99 Broken 98 in 2021
Tampa 21 96 Broken 95 in 2016
Tallahassee 21 100 Tied 100 in 1942
Jacksonville 21 100 Broken 99 in 1993
Homestead 23 98 Broken 97 in 2021
Miami 23 98 Broken 95 in 2005
Fort Lauderdale 24 98 Broken 97 in 2005
Homestead 24 99 Broken 96 in 2018
Naples 24 98 Broken 97 in 2009
Key West 25 97 Broken 96 in 2022
Crestview 27 100 Broken 99 in 1993
Jacksonville Beach 29 100 Broken 98 in 1968
Miles City 30 101 Broken 100 in 2016

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