What you need to know about rainy season in Orlando area

Season begins in late May across Central Florida


ORLANDO, Fla. – After months of dry, sunny weather, rainy season is almost here.

But when does the rainy season actually begin in the Orlando area? Although there is no set date, like the official start of hurricane season, the weather pattern begins to shift into a wetter pattern by mid-May.

The rainy season normally begins when the weather pattern shifts to a much warmer and more humid setup. In Central Florida, once the humidity values rise, there is usually a parallel increase in the chance of showers and thunderstorms a few days later. The added available moisture in the air helps create a buoyant atmosphere, which produces showers and storms nearly every afternoon.

Once the humidity arrives, Central Florida moves into a consistent pattern with predictable showers and thunderstorms popping up. Some locals even joke that it rains at the same time every day. Although that’s not exactly true, Central Florida summer rainfall does have somewhat of a rhythmic pattern.

The pattern is due to the colliding sea breezes from the Atlantic Ocean from the east and the Gulf of Mexico from the west.

The collisions during the afternoons often spark widespread storms that can produce gusty winds, heavy rain and frequent lightning. It's also why the inland portion of the state, between Tampa and Cape Canaveral, is termed the “Lightning Capital of the United States."

On average, the wet season lasts about five months and also provides about 61 percent of the total annual rainfall for Orlando.

Average start of the rainy season in Central Florida:

  • Orlando: May 27
  • Daytona Beach: May 30
  • Sanford: May 27
  • Melbourne: May 28

The final decision of when the rainy season begins each year is up to the forecasters at the National Weather Service office in Melbourne. 

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