temperature check

High humidity blues
And why shade matters

Temperatures don’t rise as high in south Florida …

As they in the Great American Southwest.

Let’s just say both are hot in their own way

But the humidity is off the charts. Actually, technically speaking, it’s still on the chart. But did anybody else notice this week how the wave of heat hits you the moment you open the door. The thing about summer in south Florida — it’s so thick, it almost feels like you’re wearing a sweater, even though you’re only in short sleeves. The caveat is you better keep a sweater handy because it can get cool in the air conditioning inside.

Back to the comparison between Naples and Arizona on the heat index scale. There’s an old wise tale about how in Arizona, yes it’s hot — but its a dry heat, thus its cool(er) in the shade — in contrast to Florida that is so humid that the shade brings no reprieve. This just in: Shade matters in Florida. In fact, that’s exactly how you can spot a native (or a long-time year rounder) in a crowd. All the tourists will be standing int he sun, but the salty and seasoned old-timer will be predictably standing in the sand, no matter how small the sliver. Shade isn’t as cool as AC, but it may be Florida’s only sweater-free zone come summertime.

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Swamp Rules: Count on summer nighttime lows to stay at or above 70° F all summer long. That doesn’t mean it can’t get shivery cold after a June downpour.

temperature check

Shades of summer

There are normal summers …

And then there is summer in south Florida.

Going by the 88 degree rule (which I just made up), summer in south Florida consumes over half the year. Compare that to the Florida panhandle where it more properly occupies just a quarter of the year (as all good seasons should). That raises the question of whether summers in Atlanta (2.2 months using the 88 degree rule), Baltimore (1.2 months) and Boston (0.6 months) are too short. More properly conceived, summer wherever you are is perfectly timed. Florida’s summer is all about the afternoon showers that fill up the regional aquifers and spread water in its swamps.

More than just a season, summer is a state of mind.

Spring nosedive explained
The Tortoise pulls ahead of the Hare

Campfire talk on the spring nosedive

Florida’s wet and dry seasons …

Are comparable to the race between the Tortoise and the Hare.

The Tortoise pulls ahead!

Think of the hare as the hard-pounding summer rains.

That’s when the swamp rapidly floods over and fills up and the Hare pulls ahead with a far lead.

But just when it looks like the Hare all but won the race …

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