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Central Florida is breaking temperature records as the state heats up

High temps elevate threat of wildfires

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Orlando, Fla. – 2020 has been on a steady trend towards being the hottest year on record. In the past ten months, we have broken monthly temperature records seven times in Orlando.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with a stronger La Nina in place we could see less fronts making their way through Central Florida. This in turn, could mean warmer and drier than normal conditions for the next three months.

If the seasonal outlook verifies, this could mean that several Central Florida cities will have the opportunity to smash their yearly temperature records.

TEMPERATURE RANKINGS

2020 Temperature Rankings
2020 Temperature Rankings
  • Orlando: 77.2° (+3.1°) 1st Warmest Year
  • Sanford: 76.8° (+2.7°) 1st Warmest Year
  • Melbourne: 76.5° (+3.00°) 1st Warmest Year
  • Daytona Beach: 79.5° (+2.5°) 2nd Warmest Year

When it comes to rainfall this year. The numbers are vastly different depending on the location. At this point, Orlando remains the only location seeing a surplus of rainfall this year.

The one area that could fall into a drought situation is in Seminole County. Sanford has seen only about 38.48 inches of annual rainfall. This puts this reporting station just over nine inches below normal.

RAINFALL RANKINGS

2020 Rainfall (Year To Date)
2020 Rainfall (Year To Date)
  • Orlando: 50.33″ (+3.52″ above average)
  • Sanford: 38.48″ (-9.06″ below average)
  • Melbourne: 49.91″ (-0.91″ above average)
  • Daytona Beach: 42.10″ (-3.27″ below average)

Although the entire state of Florida remains drought free, the ongoing warm and dry weather means Seminole County could see an elevated risk this wildfire season.

Florida Drought Monitor
Florida Drought Monitor

Florida’s largest fires usually spark around May and June, with the return of our afternoon sea breeze storms. The common cause of these fires are from lightning strikes while conditions on the ground are dry.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, you can practice some of the following tips around your property to reduce the risk of brush fires nearing your home:

  • Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, porches and decks
  • Remove dead vegetation within 10 feet of the house
  • Remove flammable materials within 30 feet of your home, including garages and sheds
  • If you have trees on your property, prune so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground
  • Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained -- if it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity
  • Enclose under-eave and soffit vents or screens with metal mesh to prevent ember entry into your attic.

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