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

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May Key Points:

  • May was near normal and dry for much of Florida.
  • Moderate drought conditions (D1) expanded across southwestern Florida during the month, but this is likely to be ameliorated with the onset of the summer rainy season.
  • Wildfire risk increased across the state, particularly over central and south Florida.
  • Above-normal tropical cyclone activity is likely (60%) for the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
  • Monthly climate data are now compared to the new normals (1991-2020), which were made official in early May.

 

Average temperatures in May were generally within +/- 2 ̊F of normal across the state. Average temperature departures ranged from -2.6 ̊F in Jacksonville to +2.7 ̊F in West Palm Beach for the month (see Table 1 and Appendix 1 for select cities) West Palm Beach had its warmest May on record. Many daily high maximum and daily high minimum temperature records were set during the month (see Appendices 2 and 3).

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

Station Mean Temperature Departure from Normal
Pensacola 74.8 -1.2
Tallahassee 74.0 -1.2
Jacksonville 72.3 -2.6
Orlando 78.5 +1.2
Tampa 81.1 +1.6
Miami 81.2 +1.1
Key West 81.1 0  

 

Rainfall totals in May were below normal across the state, especially in parts of south Florida, while the western Panhandle saw a surplus of rainfall. Much of Florida has been drier than normal over the past 90 days, and this trend continued in May (Figure 1). During mid to late May, a blocking pattern emerged over the eastern U.S. with a strong upper-level high pressure system commonly associated with slow-moving and persistent weather patterns. This led to heavy rainfall and wetter-than-normal conditions across the western and central Gulf Coast regions, but dry and hot conditions over Florida and much of the Southeast. The western Panhandle region was the only area with above normal rainfall during May. By the end of the month, south Florida had gone over 3 weeks without any measurable rainfall. Monthly departures from normal ranged from +4.59 inches in Pensacola to -4.30 inches in West Palm Beach (Table 2 and Appendix 1). Orlando and Ft. Myers had their driest May on record with 0.17 and 0.04 inches of rainfall, respectively. Several other cities ranked among the driest on record for May as well, including Lakeland (2nd driest), Homestead (4th driest), West Palm Beach (5th driest), and Ft. Pierce (3rd driest).

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

Station Total Rainfall Departure from Normal
Pensacola 8.49 +4.59
Tallahassee 1.46 -1.90
Jacksonville 0.48 -2.94
Orlando 0.17 -3.85
Tampa 0.16 -2.44
Miami 2.68 -3.64
Key West 3.09 -0.03 

 

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

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

 

ENSO-Neutral Conditions.

The La Niña advisory ended in early May, shifting to ENSO-neutral conditions. Neutral conditions are expected to persist through summer (67% chance June-August), with more uncertainty in the models after summer based on the latest IRI/CPC models. There is a chance for La Niña conditions to redevelop during late fall or winter (50-55% chance), but given large uncertainty confidence in ENSO-neutral for the coming seasons is highest.

 

Hazardous Weather Events in May.

According to the Local Storm Reports issued by the local National Weather Service offices serving Florida, there were 127 individual local reports of hazardous weather events recorded across the state during the month of May (see Table 4 for a breakdown by event type). Severe storms swept through the Panhandle on May 10th, and lightning struck I-10 causing an accident and two injuries. Wildfires were active throughout the month. As of May 25, there were 61 active wildfires across the state with most of those contained, according to the Florida Forest Service. The Indian River County fire, known as the Tree Frog Fire, has burned roughly 800 acres and shut down I-95 for part of a day. In addition, wildfires have destroyed or damaged homes in multiple counties including St. Lucie, Marion and Collier Counties.

 

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

Report Type Number of Reports
Flood 5
Hail 11
Marine Thunderstorm Wind 13
Non-Thunderstorm Wind Gust 3
Tornado/Waterspout/Funnel Cloud 0/18/1
Thunderstorm Wind Damage 9
Thunderstorm Wind Gust 38
Lightning 2
Rip Currents 7
Wildfire 20

 

Drought-Related Impacts.

By the end of May, abnormally dry conditions existed across southern Florida and southwestern Florida was in moderate drought (D1). From early to mid-May, abnormally dry conditions existed across parts of the southern Peninsula, and pockets of moderate drought expanded across extreme southwestern Florida. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, about 21% of the state was experiencing abnormally dry conditions (D0) and roughly 7% was experiencing moderate drought (D1) by the end of the month.

As of May 31, the Lake Okeechobee water level was at 12.82 ft. above sea level (Feet-NGVD29), which is just below the average for this time of the year. At the first of the month, the water level was 13.99 ft. above sea level.

 

drought monitor

 

Agriculture-Related Impacts.

During mid-May, topsoil moisture levels were adequate for 57% of the state, short in 31%, and very short in 3%, while 9% of the state was in surplus. By the end of May, topsoil moisture levels were adequate in 30% of the state, short in 46%, and very short in 24% of the state; no part of the state was in surplus. Much of the state had either fair (34%), good (18%) or excellent (5%) 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 May 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 73.4 -1.6 1.10 -1.98
Sarasota 78.6 +0.8 0.29 -2.29
Melbourne 78.3 +0.2 1.34 -2.19
Fort Myers 80.7 +1.4 0.04 -3.42
West Palm Beach 81.4 +2.7 0.61 -4.30

 

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

Location Date Record (˚F) Broken/Tied Last
Punta Gorda 1 93 Tied 93 in 2017
West Palm Beach 2 92 Broken 91 in 1962
Plant City 3 98 Broken 96 in 2002
Orlando 3 95 Tied 95 in 2002
Clermont 4 98 Tied 98 in 2002
Punta Gorda 4 96 Broken 94 in 1986
Tampa 4 94 Broken 92 in 2002
Mayport 4 93 Broken 91 in 2010
Bradenton 5 92 Broken 91 in 2003
Clermont 5 99 Broken 96 in 2002
Fort Lauderdale Beach 5 90 Broken 89 in 2017
Wauchula 5 96 Broken 95 in 2017
Lakeland 5 96 Broken 95 in 1995
Jacksonville 5 97 Broken 95 in 1995
Daytona Beach 6 95 Broken 93 in 2003
Lisbon 6 95 Broken 92 in 1991
Fort Lauderdale 7 92 Tied 92 in 2020
Perrine 7 91 Broken 90 in 2020
Hialeah 8 99 Broken 93 in 1994
Bradenton 9 93 Broken 92 in 2003
Fort Lauderdale Beach 9 91 Broken 87 in 2019
Hialeah 9 98 Broken 96 in 1987
Clermont 11 97 Tied 97 in 2009
Lakeland 11 95 Broken 94 in 1995
Miami 13 94 Tied 94 in 2019
Perrine 14 94 Broken 92 in 2017

 

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

Location Date Record (˚F) Broken/Tied Last
Orlando 1 73 Broken 72 in 2017
West Palm Beach 2 77 Tied 77 in 2016
Usher Tower 3 73 Broken 70 in 2010
Vero Beach 3 74 Broken 73 in 2019
Key West 3 81 Broken 80 in 2019
Tampa 3 76 Tied 76 in 2016
West Palm Beach 3 78 Broken 76 in 2011
Pensacola 3 74 Tied 74 in 2002
Cross City 4 72 Broken 69 in 1956
Wewahitchka 4 74 Broken 72 in 2010
Miami 4 79 Broken 78 in 2010
West Palm Beach 4 78 Tied 78 in 1978
Plant City 5 74 Broken 73 in 2010
Orlando 5 76 Broken 74 in 2010
Bradenton 6 77 Broken 74 in 2003
Clermont 6 74 Broken 72 in 1956
Lisbon 6 73 Broken 72 in 2010
Plant City 6 76 Broken 72 in 2018
Sanford 6 75 Broken 74 in 2002
Lakeland 6 75 Broken 72 in 1991
Punta Gorda 7 75 Broken 74 in 1978
Key West 10 81 Broken 80 in 2014
West Palm Beach 10 78 Broken 77 in 2019
Venice 12 75 Tied 75 in 1974
Key West 12 81 Broken 80 in 2003
Tampa 12 77 Tied 77 in 2019
Canal Point 14 75 Tied 75 in 2015
Sanford 29 76 Broken 74 in 2000
Tampa 30 78 Broken 76 in 2017

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

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June Key Points:

  • Average temperatures were near normal during the month.
  • Rainfall totals in June were mixed, with some places receiving well above normal rainfall and other places slightly below normal.
  • Abnormally dry conditions (D0) persist in some places in South Florida, but moderate drought has dissipated with the onset of the wet season.
  • Tropical Storm Claudette impacted the western Florida Panhandle, leading to high surf and localized flooding.

 

Average temperatures in June were near normal across the state. Average temperature departures ranged from -1.3F in Key West to +0.9F in Tampa for the month (see Table 1 and Appendix 1 for select cities). There were only a few daily high maximum temperature records set, but many daily high minimum records were set during the month (see Appendix 2).

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

Station Mean Temperature Departure from Normal
Pensacola 81.3 -0.4
Tallahassee 80.8 0
Jacksonville 79.1 -1.2
Orlando 81.9 +0.7
Tampa 83.8 +0.9
Miami 82.7 -0.1
Key West 82.8 -1.3 

 

Rainfall departures from normal in June were mixed, with many areas well above normal and other areas slightly below normal. Rainfall across the state increased in June compared to the previous month with the onset of the wet season, which provided drought relief to some parts of south Florida though much of the southern Peninsula still had below normal rainfall (Figure 1). Monthly departures from normal ranged from +5.23 inches in Tampa to -1.93 inches in Miami (Table 2 and Appendix 1). The Panhandle was particularly wet during the middle to latter part of the month as Tropical Storm Claudette impacted the western Panhandle on the 19th, which was followed by a slow-moving cold front that produced heavy rainfall and thunderstorms and led to flash flooding in the area. Pensacola set a new one-day rainfall record for the 19th with 3.99 inches due to Tropical Storm Claudette. Several additional daily rainfall records were set during the month of June.

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

Station Total Rainfall Departure from Normal
Pensacola 12.26 +4.94
Tallahassee 5.84 -1.92
Jacksonville 9.71 +2.11
Orlando 7.06 -0.99
Tampa 12.60 +5.23
Miami 12.44 +1.93
Key West 2.58 -1.65 

 

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

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

 

ENSO-Neutral Conditions.

ENSO-neutral conditions currently exist and are likely to remain through the summer (78% chance for June-August). There is more uncertainty in the models after summer based on the latest IRI/CPC models. There is a 51% chance that neutral conditions will persist in the fall (August - October) and a slightly greater chance for La Niña conditions to potentially redevelop during fall and last through the winter season (66% chance during November-January).

 

Hazardous Weather Events in June.

According to the Local Storm Reports issued by the local National Weather Service offices serving Florida, there were 447 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). Thunderstorm activity throughout the month resulted in flash flooding and peak wind gusts exceeding 40 mph in several instances. Straight-line winds impacted Brevard County on the 13th when winds were estimated to be between 65-70 mph, which resulted in significant damage to a couple of homes that had their roofs uplifted. Tropical Storm Claudette impacted the western Florida Panhandle on the 19th, with gusts peaking at 81 mph and high surf of 6-12 feet flooded local beaches and roadways. No injuries or fatalities were reported in Florida, though at least 14 people died in Alabama due to the storm.

 

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

Report Type Number of Reports
Flood 19
Coastal Flood 2
Flash Flood 7
Hail 34
Heavy Rain 38
Marine Thunderstorm Wind 77
Non-Thunderstorm Wind Gust 2
Tornado/Waterspout/Funnel Cloud 0/13/3
Thunderstorm Wind Damage 76
Thunderstorm Wind Gust 165
Lightning 3
Rip Currents 5
Wildfire 3

 

Drought-Related Impacts.

From early to mid-June, moderate drought (D1) existed across much of the southern Peninsula, and both northern and southern Florida were experiencing abnormally dry conditions. As of June 29, abnormally dry conditions existed across parts of the southern Florida Peninsula and any areas that were in moderate drought earlier in the month have dissipated. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, about 11% of the state was experiencing abnormally dry conditions (D0) by the end of the month, down from 26% the week before.

As of June 30, the Lake Okeechobee water level was at 12.77 ft. above sea level (Feet-NGVD29), which is just below the average for this time of the year. At the first of the month, the water level was 12.79 ft. above sea level.

 

drought monitor

 

Agriculture-Related Impacts.

During mid-June, topsoil moisture levels were adequate for 60% of the state, short in 32%, and very short in 8%, while no part of the state was in surplus. By the end of June, topsoil moisture levels were adequate in 73% of the state, short in 10%, and very short in just 1% of the state; 16% of the state was in surplus. Much of the state had either fair (29%), good (53%) or excellent (10%) 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 June 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 79.8 -0.1 11.38 +3.82
Sarasota 82.6 +0.8 9.20 +2.15
Melbourne 81.4 -0.5 6.61 -0.49
Fort Myers 83.0 +0.7 11.58 +1.92
West Palm Beach 82.7 +1.0 6.85 -1.63

 

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

Location Date Record (˚F) Broken/Tied Last
Orlando 5 75 Tied 75 in 2019
Vero Beach 7 78 Broken 77 in 2016
Daytona Beach 7 78 Broken 77 in 1950
Orlando 7 78 Broken 77 in 1903
Lakeland 7 77 Broken 75 in 1982
Daytona Beach 8 79 Broken 78 in 2013
Jacksonville Beach 8 80 Broken 76 in 2011
West Palm Beach 8 80 Tied 80 in 2020
Clermont 9 77 Broken 76 in 2020
Miami 10 80 Tied 80 in 2020
Fort Myers 12 78 Broken 77 in 2009
Bradenton 13 78 Broken 77 in 2016
Clermont 13 76 Broken 75 in 2020
Plant City 13 77 Broken 76 in 2016
Venice 13 80 Broken 79 in 1997
Fort Myers 13 79 Broken 78 in 1998
Jacksonville Beach 18 78 Broken 77 in 2019
Perrine 19 79 Broken 76 in 1993
Plant City 19 77 Broken 76 in 1990
Vero Beach 19 78 Broken 76 in 2017
West Palm Beach 19 81 Broken 78 in 2017
Lakeland 19 78 Broken 76 in 1969
Bradenton 20 80 Broken 78 in 2019
Plant City 20 79 Broken 75 in 2019
Sanford 20 78 Broken 76 in 2013
Key West 20 83 Tied 83 in 2020
Tampa 20 82 Broken 80 in 2018
Orlando 20 79 Broken 77 in 2009
Sanford 21 79 Broken 75 in 2017
Mayport 26 78 Broken 76 in 2020
Vero Beach 27 77 Broken 76 in 2017
Lakeland 29 77 Broken 76 in 1978

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

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August Key Points:

  • Average temperatures were near or above normal during the month.
  • Rainfall totals in August were mixed, with many northern locations receiving above normal rainfall and central to southern locations receiving below normal rainfall.
  • Drought conditions did not impact any part of the state during the month.
  • Tropical Storm Fred impacted much of the Panhandle on the 16th with reports of localized rainfall of 7.0+ inches, flash flooding, and wind gusts.

 

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

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

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

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Average temperatures in February were on average 3 ̊F warmer than historical averages across the state. Average temperatures were at or near normal across northern Florida and the Panhandle and much above normal across the Florida Peninsula. Average temperatures for the month ranged from +5.8 ̊F in West Palm Beach to +0.2 ̊F in Pensacola (see Table 1 and Appendix 1 for select cities). West Palm Beach experienced its third warmest February on record, and Fort Lauderdale had its fourth warmest February on record. Many daily high maximum and high minimum temperature records were set during the month (see Appendices 2 and 3).

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

Station Mean Temperature Departure from Normal
Pensacola 54.9 +0.2
Tallahassee 56.6 +1.9
Jacksonville 57.9 +1.5
Orlando 67.1 +4.1
Tampa 67.3 +3.9
Miami 74.5 +4.3
Key West 74.8 +3.8  

 

Rainfall totals in February were variable across the state with some locations receiving above normal rainfall and other locations with near or below normal rainfall. Monthly departures from normal ranged from -1.3 inches in Tallahassee to +3.4 inches in Jacksonville (Table 2 and Appendix 1). Much of the northern Peninsula and parts of the Panhandle had above normal rainfall while southwestern Florida experienced below normal rainfall throughout the month (Figure 1). No monthly rainfall records were set during the month. Vero Beach had its third wettest February on record and Jacksonville had its fourth wettest February on record.

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

Station Total Rainfall Departure from Normal
Pensacola 3.85 -1.21
Tallahassee 3.58 -1.27
Jacksonville 6.63 +3.44
Orlando 2.38 0.0
Tampa 3.74 +0.93
Miami 2.90 +0.65
Key West 0.69 -0.8 

 

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

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

 

La Niña Conditions in the Pacific Persisted.

La Niña conditions continued during February, but forecasters estimate a shift to ENSO-neutral conditions this spring (~60% chance for April-June). ENSO-neutral conditions are then expected to continue at least through the Northern Hemisphere summer. Recent stratospheric warming and disruptions in the polar vortex, along with a negative phase in the Arctic Oscillation, have influenced weather patterns in the eastern U.S. this winter and overwhelmed typical weather patterns generally seen during La Niña. However, more typical La Niña conditions have returned with above-average temperatures and drier than average conditions across much of the southern tier of the U.S.

 

Hazardous Weather Events in February.

According to the Local Storm Reports issued by the local National Weather Service offices serving Florida, there were 249 individual local reports of hazardous weather events recorded across the state during the month of February (see Table 4 for a breakdown by event type).

 

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

Report Type Number of Reports
Marine Thunderstorm Wind 24
Non-Thunderstorm Wind Damage 1
Non-Thunderstorm Wind Gust 55
Tornado/Waterspout/Funnel Cloud 6/1/5
Thunderstorm Wind Damage 41
Thunderstorm Wind Gust 54
Lightning 3
Hail 31
Flood/FLash Flood 9/1
Heavy Rain 17
Rip Currents 1

 

Drought-Related Impacts.

Near the end of February 2021, abnormally dry conditions were found in parts of the Florida Peninsula and the extreme western panhandle region. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 33 percent of the state was in abnormally dry conditions (D0) at the end of the month. In early February, abnormally dry conditions emerged across much of the Florida Peninsula but by mid-February these conditions dissipated in some areas. Dry conditions are expected to continue, and the seasonal drought outlook indicates that drought development is likely through the spring across the Peninsula.

As of February 28, the Lake Okeechobee water level was at 15.33 ft. above sea level (Feet-NGVD29), which is above average for this time of the year. At the first of the month, the water level was 15.51 ft. above sea level.

 

drought monitor

 

Agriculture-Related Impacts.

For the month of February, the Crop Progress - State Stories, produced monthly December through March, for Florida indicates that pasture conditions declined at the beginning of February due to colder temperatures but improved throughout the month as temperatures rose. Cattle conditions remained mostly good during the month, while sugarcane had minimal damage from frost that was reported mid-month. Toward the end of the month, powdery mildew and worm pressure were reported in some crops. Many citrus fruits were harvested, and several vegetable crops came to market.

 

Appendix 1
Additional February 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 60.5 +3.0 6.01 +2.81
Sarasota 67.6 +4.2 2.19 -0.51
Melbourne 68.1 +5.4 2.61 +0.08
Fort Myers 70.8 +4.2 2.98 +0.83
West Palm Beach 73.6 +5.8 2.62 -0.20

 

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

Location Date Record (˚F) Broken/Tied Last
Fort Lauderdale 8 84 Tied 84 in 2020
Punta Gorda 9 89 Broken 87 in 2017
Orlando 9 86 Broken 84 in 1994
West Palm Beach 9 85 Tied 85 in 2017
Clermont 10 87 Broken 85 in 2001
Tampa 10 86 Broken 85 in 2020
Orlando 10 86 Broken 85 in 2018
Clermont 11 88 Broken 87 in 2018
Miles City 12 90 Tied 90 in 2020
Vero Beach 13 88 Broken 87 in 2020
Lakeland 13 84 Tied 84 in 1959
Vero Beach 14 88 Broken 87 in 2009
Perrine 15 87 Broken 86 in 2020
Plant City 15 89 Broken 88 in 1959
Punta Gorda 15 88 Broken 87 in 2003
Tampa 15 86 Broken 85 in 1990
Ochopee 15 87 Tied 87 in 2003
Daytona Beach 15 86 Broken 85 in 1959
Miami 15 86 Broken 84 in 2017
Melbourne 16 88 Broken 87 in 1982
Sanford 16 87 Broken 85 in 2001
Punta Gorda 17 87 Tied 87 in 2020
Tarpon Springs 18 85 Tied 85 in 2020
Mayport 18 87 Broken 85 in 2019
Daytona Beach 18 88 Broken 87 in 1944
Lisbon 19 85 Broken 84 in 2019
Sanford 20 88 Broken 85 in 2019
Vero Beach 20 88 Broken 87 in 1975
Tampa 26 87 Broken 85 in 1997
Plant City 27 90 Broken 89 in 1962
Pensacola 28 79 Broken 78 in 2018

 

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

Location Date Record (˚F) Broken/Tied Last
Clermont 7 69 Broken 67 in 1955
Perrine 7 70 Broken 68 in 2018
Punta Gorda 7 71 Broken 65 in 1971
Lakeland 7 68 Broken 66 in 1955
Mountain Lake 8 70 Broken 68 in 2018
Vero Beach 8 67 Broken 65 in 2008
Fort Pierce 9 69 Tied 69 in 1939
Orlando 9 67 Broken 64 in 1965
Bradenton 10 66 Tied 66 in 1982
Miles City 10 67 Broken 66 in 1982
Orlando 10 67 Broken 65 in 2019
Bradenton 13 69 Tied 69 in 2018
Perrine 14 71 Broken 69 in 1997
Miami 14 76 Broken 74 in 1997
Fort Lauderdale Beach 15 75 Broken 72 in 2018
Tampa 15 66 Broken 64 in 2018
Stuart 16 75 Broken 73 in 2020
Fort Lauderdale 18 73 Broken 71 in 1995
Perrine 18 71 Broken 68 in 2008
Daytona Beach 19 70 Broken 66 in 2020
Hastings 19 67 Broken 64 in 1994
Titusville 19 70 Broken 68 in 2020
Mountain Lake 22 78 Broken 70 in 2014
Tampa 27 70 Broken 69 in 1997
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