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

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July Key Points:

  • Average temperatures were mixed but near normal for the month.
  • Rainfall totals in July were mixed, but most places received above-normal rainfall.
  • Drought is not currently impacting the state.
  • Abnormally dry conditions (D0) persist in some places in South Florida, but moderate drought has dissipated with the onset of the wet season.
  • Hurricane Elsa impacted Florida July 5-7; it was the first hurricane of the 2021 season and became the earliest forming fifth named storm on record in the Atlantic Basin


Average temperature departures in July were mixed but temperatures were near normal across the state. Average temperature departures ranged from -1.4 ̊F in Key West to +0.8 ̊F in Fort Myers for the month (see Table 1 and Appendix 1 for select cities). There were some daily high maximum temperature records set during July, but many more daily high minimum temperature records were set during the month (see Appendix 2).

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

Station Mean Temperature Departure from Normal
Pensacola 83.3 -0.2
Tallahassee 82.1 -0.4
Jacksonville 81.1 -1.4
Orlando 83.3 +0.7
Tampa 85.0 +1.2
Miami 83.7 -0.4
Key West 84.0 -1.4 


Rainfall totals in July varied, with many areas receiving well above normal rainfall but some areas were below normal. Much of Florida received above normal rainfall, including the western Panhandle, northern and central Florida, and south-central parts of the state (Figure 1). Hurricane Elsa impacted many parts of the state from July 5-7, which brought heavy rain particularly across north central Florida as it made landfall in Taylor County. Monthly departures from normal ranged from +4.02 inches in Key West to -2.61 inches in Tallahassee (Table 2 and Figure 1). Several daily rainfall records were set during the month of June; the highest recorded daily rainfall during the month occurred on the 6th with 9.01 inches of rain at Mountain Lake.

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

Station Total Rainfall Departure from Normal
Pensacola 8.78 +0.89
Tallahassee 4.53 -2.61
Jacksonville 8.87 +2.10
Orlando 6.44 -1.02
Tampa 7.30 -0.45
Miami 8.18 +0.82
Key West 7.65 +4.02 


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).


ENSO-Neutral Conditions.

ENSO-neutral conditions currently exist and are likely to remain through the summer and early fall (51% chance August-October). There is a higher chance that La Niña conditions will redevelop during the fall (September-November) and last through the winter season (~70% chance during November-January).


Hazardous Weather Events in July.

According to the Local Storm Reports issued by the local National Weather Service offices serving Florida, there were 433 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). Hurricane Elsa impacted parts of south, central and northern areas of the state from July 5-7 with heavy rainfall, localized flooding, riverine flooding in north and central Florida, and storm surge. There was one fatality reported in Jacksonville due to a fallen tree. Elsa made landfall in Cuba as a tropical storm and then briefly regained hurricane status over the Gulf of Mexico before making another landfall as a tropical storm in the eastern Florida Panhandle in Taylor County.


Table 4. 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
Flood 21
Flash Flood 4
Hail 9
Heavy Rain 36
Marine Thunderstorm Wind 68
Non-Thunderstorm Wind Gust 0
Tornado/Waterspout/Funnel Cloud 3/16/1
Thunderstorm Wind Damage 24
Thunderstorm Wind Gust 105
Lightning 6
Rip Currents 1
Storm Surge 2
Tropical Storm 137


Drought-Related Impacts.

As of the end of July, drought was not impacting any part of the state. From early to mid-July, a small pocket of abnormally dry conditions persisted in the southern tip of the Peninsula, but by end of July this had dissipated. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, just 1.13% of the southern part of the state was experiencing abnormally dry conditions (D0) but with continued rainfall during the wet season this has been alleviated.

As of July 31, the Lake Okeechobee water level was at 13.70 ft. above sea level (Feet-NGVD29), which is right around the average for this time of the year. At the first of the month, the water level was 12.82 ft. above sea level.


drought monitor


Agriculture-Related Impacts.

In mid-July, topsoil moisture levels were adequate for 67% of the state, short in 4%, and 29% of the state was in surplus. By the end of July, topsoil moisture levels were adequate in 80% of the state, short in 7%, and 13% of the state was in surplus. Much of the state had either good (51%) or excellent (35%) pasture and range conditions by the end of the month. For more information, consult the weekly Crop Progress and Conditions report 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 81.0 -0.4 13.99 +7.31
Sarasota 82.9 -0.2 10.38 +2.99
Melbourne 82.9 -0.2 5.13 -1.37
Fort Myers 84.0 +0.8 8.86 -0.52
West Palm Beach 83.3 +0.2 5.66 +0.03


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

Location Date Record (˚F) Broken/Tied Last
Melbourne 7 79 Broken 78 in 2010
Perrine 7 78 Broken 76 in 2017
Stuart 7 80 Tied 80 in 1973
Vero Beach 7 80 Broken 77 in 2016
Plant City 8 78 Broken 77 in 2000
Tampa 8 81 Tied 81 in 2020
Lakeland 8 77 Broken 76 in 1963
Key West 9 84 Tied 84 in 1965
Daytona Beach 15 80 Tied 80 in 2012
Key West 18 84 Tied 84 in 2019
Jacksonville Beach 22 80 Broken 79 in 2020
Punta Gorda 22 79 Broken 78 in 2015
Orlando 22 79 Broken 78 in 2015
Key West 22 84 Broken 83 in 2011
Lakeland 22 78 Broken 76 in 1995
Perry 23 77 Broken 76 in 1932
Plant City 23 79 Broken 77 in 2015
Punta Gorda 23 81 Broken 80 in 2005
Fort Myers 23 81 Broken 80 in 2005
Lakeland 23 79 Broken 76 in 1995
Jacksonville Beach 24 83 Broken 82 in 1987
Wewahitchka 27 76 Broken 75 in 1998
Lakeland 27 78 Broken 77 in 1962
Plant City 28 79 Broken 78 in 1916
Lakeland 28 77 Broken 76 in 1968
Key West 30 85 Tied 85 in 2009
Panama City 31 81 Tied 81 in 2020
Usher Tower 31 77 Broken 76 in 2010
Ochopee 31 80 Broken 79 in 1999
Key West 31 85 Tied 85 in 2019
Lakeland 31 77 Broken 76 in 1986
Tallahassee 31 77 Tied 77 in 2015
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Florida Climate Center