Anticipating fall
The long-awaited arrival of summer's end

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Question: Is fall the hurricane season or the start of the cooler half of the year, and when does it begin?

It’s never a question of if, but when …

While sooner than latter is always preferred.

Fall is Florida’s most anticipated season

Fall is probably Florida’s most anticipated season. After a long summer stretch of endless heat and humidity punctuated by an uptick in tropical storms at the end (and just when it looks like fall with never arrive), the arrival of cooler and drier weather is a reason for celebration across the state.

Up North on the continent, Labor Day usual signals the reliable shift to crisper fall air. The conventional wisdom in south Florida is that fall is still 6-8 weeks away, or is it closer than we think?

The clues are gradual at first, and quite subtle, making them easy to miss. Botanically, cypress lead they way as they slowly senesce, first to a duller shade of green and then a mix of browns and finally to gray – just bare branches – as the needles fall to the grown. Meteorologically, starting in early October, the summer afternoon rain machine sputters to a stop. Also working in the background is the steady drop in daylight hours and eventually the daylight savings one-hour shift. If you didn’t notice before, by 6 o’clock it’s getting dark.

When the first official cold front arrives

It’s about this time two that the first true blue cold fronts arrives. Not quite cold enough to wear long pants, it might inspire a long sleeve shirt and possibly a thin fleece.

Fall has arrived, at long last!

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