Does this weeklong rain event mean Central Florida’s wet season has begun?

Wet season usually begins in late May, ends by mid-October

Raindrops collect on a window at the KPRC studios on the Southwest Freeway on Dec. 7, 2017.
Raindrops collect on a window at the KPRC studios on the Southwest Freeway on Dec. 7, 2017. (KPRC)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Across most of the country, the year is broken up into four very different seasons: winter, spring, summer and fall. But for the Sunshine State, the year is really broken up into only two seasons: wet and dry.

To start the wet season, a certain criteria must be met. Just because we get rain for a few days, doesn’t mean the rainy season begins. The start of the season coincides when weather patterns start resembling summer afternoon across much of the region. This means, Floridians see a consecutive stretch of sea breeze-driven storms appearing during the afternoon. Although it does not have to rain every day, it’s the frequency of rainfall that usually begins late May.

Wet season:

Wet season in Florida usually begins in late May and ends by mid-October. During these four-plus months, the state receives about 68% of its total rainfall for the year.

Wet trend begins through May

Sea breeze showers and storms are practically a daily afternoon occurrence. On average, the Orlando area racks up about 25-30 inches of precipitation during the season.

Average start dates:

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

Dry season

Dry season normally kicks off with the first initial push of cooler air by a significant cold front.

Drier pattern sets up during October

This annual changeover brings down humidity values and ushers in a drier, more stable air mass, suppressing sea breezes from developing storms each afternoon.

Average start dates:

  • Orlando: Oct. 15
  • Daytona Beach: Oct. 15
  • Sanford: Oct. 15
  • Melbourne: Oct. 17

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