ORLANDO, Fla. – It seems like heat waves are becoming more common, especially for Europe. Just this past week, the United Kingdom experienced an all-time high of 104.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Closer to home, Salt Lake City reached 107 this past Sunday, while Oklahoma City also hit an all-time high of 110 degrees.
And the sweltering heat wave continues for millions of Americans in parts of the Midwest and southern plains through the week, with more record-breaking temperatures expected.
Although Central Florida is known for its hot summers, some might be surprised that Florida doesn’t get to 100 degrees as easily as other states.
Orlando has only hit 100 degrees once this decade, in 2015. But it did get close this year with a high of 99 degrees in late June. That same day though, Daytona Beach did manage to reach 100 degrees, breaking the record set in 1999.
Why are 100-degree days rare in Florida?
Factor 1: Humidity
Central Florida is known for its heat AND humidity. And although the mugginess in the air makes it “FEEL” like the triple digits in the summer, it limits the air from actually getting to 100. This is because the added moisture content in the air makes it more difficult to heat than drier air (like in the desert).
Factor 2: Sea breeze
Another big factor in play during the summer is the routine appearance of the sea breeze each afternoon. This weather feature is almost exclusive to Florida, due to being surrounded by large bodies of water, which transports cooler ocean air inland throughout the day. Along with a change in temperature, sea breezes also tend to develop clouds and rain, helping to keep temperatures from heating much further.
Orlando’s hottest all-time temperature is103 degrees, set over a century ago on Sept. 8, 1921.
Although triple-digit heat is still rare, the trend of warmer-than-normal weather continues for Central Florida. Last month, chief meteorologist Tom Sorrells talked about how the number of days above 95 degrees are increasing at a fast pace. Click here to read more about it.