The National Weather Service in Miami announced this morning that South Florida’s dry season officially started Oct. 17, a date determined by lower dew points, less rain and an end to the traditional summertime weather pattern of daily afternoon thunderstorms.
The dry season typically lasts through mid-May with the mean start date of the rainy season beginning May 20.
This year, there is a 70 percent chance of a La Nina forming and dominating winter weather throughout the U.S. During a La Nina event, the jet stream stays more north, keeping storminess away from southern states.
That means a drier and warmer winter for the south, but also can make very specific events in South Florida more prevalent during some months.
- Rip currents are most frequent in November and then again in March and April when easterly winds kick up surf.
- Severe weather, such as tornadoes and hail, are most frequent in February through April.
- Wildfires and drought can occur in February through April.
- Freezes are still possible if the jet stream makes a sojourn south and that usually occurs December through February.
Robert Molleda, the warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Miami, said this year’s La Nina is expected to be a weak event, meaning other weather patterns may overshadow it periodically.
“We are looking at conditions that are right at the threshold of what we would consider La Nina,” Molleda said. “Because of that there is a higher possibility that other intra-seasonal cycles can temporarily modulate or contradict some of the La Nina impacts but these cycles will be much shorter in duration and harder to predict.”