Northerners think of Florida as being …
A land where eternal summer prevails all year round.
But really you have to travel south of Lake Okeechobee to get the full dose of year round Florida sun. The reason? Two come to mind. (1) First, north of the Lake and including the entire panhandle, continental fronts are much more common and packed with cooler air. Many a weak front makes it to Orlando but peters out south of the Lake. That leaves Naples and Miami basking in warm air as the upper half of the peninsula plunges into cooler and drier air. (2) Second is the issue of the clouds. Sunny blue skies prevail south of the Lake as the northern climes of Florida are more frequently shaded under continental frontal clouds.
Not that all of Florida isn’t warm by Minnesota standards all winter long. Just don’t expect to wear shorts in January and March in Gainesville. In fact, you’ll probably need a good fleece and scarf. At least that’s my opinion looking at the weather chart chart from the Naples point of view.
Other notes: (1) Notice how Gainesville is hotter than Naples during the peak summer weeks. (2) Summer starts about a month later in Gainesville (more June-ish) compared to Naples (by May).