Up North, Labor Day more or less marks the end of summer, just like Memorial Day marks its start.
Not the case down here in Florida, especially south Florida.
It’s not so much a question of when summer starts and ends in the Sunshine State – it’s always hot in Florida, especially by northern standards; but rather when the endless days of high humidity and non-stop storm vigil will finally draw to a close.
That doesn’t happen in Florida until sometime in October.
And yes, we have our seasonal clues to herald in our low-humidity season:
Cypress needles falling, the disappearance of wet season rain clouds, the first blast of cold air from the continent, and the arrival of the early snowbirds are all signs that the summer is drawing to a close.
We still have a month of unwavering summer-style heat and humidity in the air, not to mention another 3 months of official hurricane season on the books.
In fact, if Labor Day is anything in south Florida, it’s a reminder that peak hurricane season has finally begun. The months of September and October account for 50 percent of the hurricanes that have historically made landfall in Florida.
So up north, Labor Day is your last chance to get to the beach and enjoy the fleeting feeling of another summer gone by (and preparation for a long winter to come).
Here in Naples, Labor Day is our summer version of Groundhog Day: its arrival is a reminder that we still have another 6 weeks of high-humidity and peak storm season in front of us.
And trust me on this one:
The Groundhog always sees his shadow in sunny Florida.
After all, Florida is The Sunshine State.
So it’s never a question of if for adding on 6 more weeks of summer following Labor Day, it’s more a sense of resignation, and an annual ritual to long-time Floridians.
Something along the lines of … “Here we go again.”