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

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August Key Points:

 

Average temperature departures in August were near or above normal across the state. Average temperature departures ranged from -0.8 ̊F in Key West to +2.2 ̊F in Orlando for the month (see Table 1 and Appendix 1 for select cities). Clermont had its warmest August on record; Jacksonville Beach and Lakeland had their second warmest Augusts on record; Orlando, Lakeland, and Tampa had their third warmest Augusts on record. Several daily high maximum and daily high minimum temperature records were set during the month (see Appendices 2 and 3).

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

Station Mean Temperature Departure from Normal
Pensacola 83.8 +0.8
Tallahassee 82.4 0
Jacksonville 81.9 -0.2
Orlando 84.8 +2.2
Tampa 85.0 +1.0
Miami 84.8 +0.6
Key West 84.7 -0.8 

 

Rainfall totals in August were mixed, with above normal rainfall in the western Panhandle and north Florida regions and below normal rainfall across much of the central and southern portions of the state. Precipitation departures from normal ranged from -2.29 inches in Miami to +3.49 inches in Pensacola (Table 2 and Appendix 1 for select cities). Lakeland observed its driest August on record, and Fort Lauderdale recorded its third driest August on record. Daytona Beach had its second wettest August on record at 10.96 inches. Tropical Storm Fred, which impacted the Panhandle region on the 16th, resulted in flash flooding and heavy rain. Rainfall of 4.27 inches in 6 hours was reported at Alligator Point in Franklin County and 7.22 inches over 24 hours was reported in Bay County on the 16th. In the Pensacola area, annual rainfall to date is just shy of 15 inches above normal.

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

Station Total Rainfall Departure from Normal
Pensacola 10.99 +3.49
Tallahassee 5.55 -2.05
Jacksonville 7.48 +0.60
Orlando 6.14 -1.55
Tampa 7.43 -1.60
Miami 7.29 -2.29
Key West 4.14 -1.23 

 

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

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

 

La Niña Watch.

A transition from ENSO-neutral to La Niña is favored in the next couple of months, with a 70-80% chance of La Niña during the Northern Hemisphere winter 2021-22. Over the last month, ENSO-neutral conditions continued with near-to-below average sea surface temperatures persisting in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific. The latest Niño index values ranged from -0.2 °C to -0.3 °C. As of now, forecasters anticipate La Niña to be of weak strength (seasonal average Niño-3.4 index values between -0.5°C to -0.9°C).

 

Hazardous Weather Events in August.

According to the Local Storm Reports issued by the local National Weather Service offices serving Florida, there were 700 individual local reports of hazardous weather events recorded across the state during the month of June (see Table 4 for a breakdown by event type). There were many reports of strong thunderstorm wind gusts and flooding throughout the month. Tropical Storm Fred impacted much of the Florida Panhandle on August 16 with rain bands and strong wind gusts of more than 50 mph in places. One injury was reported in Bay County when a tree fell on a car. Lightning strikes resulted in several injuries during the month. Two people were hospitalized with injuries after being struck by lightning at Saint Petersburg Beach on the 12th and two more people suffered injuries after being struck by lightning in Clearwater and Safety Harbor on the 13th. A fatality resulted when a kitesurfer was blown off course and launched into a building at Fort Lauderdale Beach due to strong thunderstorms with gusty winds in the area.

 

Table 4. Breakdown of storm reports submitted in Florida during the month of August (compiled from Iowa State University/Iowa Environmental Mesonet).

Report Type Number of Reports
Flood 33
Flash Flood 39
Hail 6
Heavy Rain 26
Marine Thunderstorm Wind 243
Non-Thunderstorm Wind Gust 70
Tornado/Waterspout/Funnel Cloud 3/11/3
Thunderstorm Wind Damage 27
Thunderstorm Wind Gust 216
Lightning 5
Tropical Storm 18

 

Drought-Related Impacts.

Throughout the month of August, drought did not impact any part of Florida, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The past few months have provided sufficient rainfall to prevent abnormally dry or drought conditions from developing.

As of August 31, the Lake Okeechobee water level was at 14.69 ft. above sea level (Feet-NGVD29), which is just above the average for this time of the year. At the first of the month, the water level was 13.72 ft. above sea level.

 

drought monitor

 

Agriculture-Related Impacts.

During mid-August, topsoil moisture levels were adequate for 68% of the state and short in 3%, while 29% of the state was in surplus. By the end of August, topsoil moisture levels were adequate in 77% of the state and short in 3%, while 20% of the state was in surplus. Much of the state experienced fair (13%), good (54%), or excellent (30%) 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 August 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 81.9 +0.6 8.21 +1.81
Sarasota 83.4 0 9.33 +0.22
Melbourne 82.9 -0.5 7.08 +0.41
Fort Myers 82.7 +1.3 7.75 -1.00
West Palm Beach 84.5 +1.3 9.90 +1.22

 

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

 

Appendix 3
Select daily record high minimum temperatures tied or broken during August (compiled from NOAA).

Location Date Record (˚F) Broken/Tied Last
Key West 1 94 Broken 93 in 2020
Miami Beach 1 96 Broken 93 in 1999
Quincy 2 99 Tied 99 in 2010
Plant City 6 98 Tied 98 in 1980
Plant City 7 98 Broken 97 in 2020
Key West 9 95 Broken 94 in 2020
Crestview 10 97 Tied 97 in 2015
Tampa 12 96 Tied 96 in 1972
Tampa 18 97 Broken 95 in 1960
Clermont 19 99 Broken 97 in 2018
Orlando 19 97 Tied 97 in 2005
Plant City 20 100 Broken 98 in 2017
Punta Gorda 20 97 Tied 97 in 2014
Gainesville 20 95 Tied 95 in 2016
Clermont 21 98 Broken 97 in 2017
Plant City 21 100 Broken 99 in 1902
Daytona Beach 21 97 Broken 96 in 2016
Clermont 22 98 Broken 97 in 2016
Punta Gorda 22 98 Broken 97 in 2018
Daytona Beach 23 94 Broken 93 in 2015
Punta Gorda 23 98 Broken 97 in 2016
Tampa 25 96 Tied 96 in 2020
Orlando 31 95 Tied 95 in 1989
Location Date Record (˚F) Broken/Tied Last
Clermont 1 77 Broken 75 in 2019
Tarpon Springs 1 82 Broken 80 in 1999
Venice 1 83 Tied 83 in 2012
Fort Myers 1 80 Broken 79 in 1999
Tampa 1 83 Tied 83 in 1999
Key West 1 86 Broken 84 in 1977
Punta Gorda 2 80 Broken 79 in 1999
Venice 2 84 Broken 79 in 2012
Fort Myers 2 79 Broken 78 in 2012
Key West 2 86 Broken 84 in 1962
Lakeland 2 78 Broken 76 in 1958
Key West 5 86 Broken 84 in 2020
Key West 7 85 Broken 84 in 2020
Cross City 9 76 Broken 75 in 2019
Key West 9 87 Broken 85 in 2020
Lakeland 11 77 Broken 76 in 1991
Fort Lauderdale Beach 12 83 Broken 82 in 2004
Daytona Beach 13 83 Broken 79 in 2013
Fort Pierce 13 82 Broken 81 in 1937
West Palm Beach 15 83 Broken 81 in 2016
Usher Tower 16 79 Broken 76 in 2017
Orlando 16 79 Broken 78 in 2010
Daytona Beach 17 79 Broken 78 in 2010
Perry 18 77 Broken 76 in 2010
Miami 18 83 Broken 82 in 2015
Jacksonville Beach 19 81 Tied 81 in 2009
Clermont 20 77 Broken 76 in 2016
Cross City 20 77 Broken 75 in 2010
Tampa 21 81 Broken 79 in 2018
Usher Tower 22 79 Broken 77 in 2015
Miami 22 82 Broken 81 in 2007
Pensacola 22 79 Broken 78 in 2017
Quincy 23 75 Broken 74 in 1993
Key West 23 86 Broken 84 in 2020
Crestview 23 77 Broken 75 in 2015
Perry 24 76 Broken 75 in 2019
Miami 24 84 Broken 82 in 2000
Key West 24 87 Broken 84 in 1964
Clermont 28 78 Broken 77 in 2020
Perrine 28 81 Broken 79 in 2005
Clermont 28 78 Broken 77 in 2020
Usher Tower 28 78 Broken 76 in 2012
West Palm Beach 28 83 Broken 81 in 2010
Key West 29 85 Broken 84 in 2014
Crestview 31 76 Broken 74 in 2020