Rainy season kicks off in Southwest Florida Today

Posted at 4:52 PM, May 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-15 18:42:36-04

Today marks the first day of the rainy season in South Florida. The rainy season is characterized by near-daily scattered showers and thunderstorms over the southern Florida peninsula and adjacent Gulf and Atlantic waters.

Nearly 70% of the average annual rainfall occurs during the 5-month rainy season which ends on October 15th .

The rainy season can begin abruptly in some years, while in other years, it can takes weeks to fully kick in. May 15th is simply the average start date based upon decades of data. Similar to hurricane season, the rainy season may occur before or after the aforementioned dates. 

The rainy season usually has three phases:

1. Late May through June is the stormiest time frame and when severe storms are most likely. Hail, damaging winds, and waterspouts are common, in addition to heavy rainfall and frequent lightning.

2. July through early September is when the rainy season peaks. This is when locations across Southwest Florida receive most of their rainfall. While the overall threat for severe weather diminishes, seasonal river flooding and frequent lightning remain significant threats.

3. Mid-September through early October is the “wind down" phase. We tend to see more rainfall variability due to potential tropical systems and early-fall cold fronts.

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