What does fall mean in Florida? It’s more than ‘nothing’

TAMPA (WFLA) – Help me out here, what does fall mean in Florida?

I moved to Tampa in the middle of June so all I’ve known is cute sandals and sleeveless shirts.

But in Ohio, fall means suede boots, plaid shirts and the start of sweater-weather. Does living in Florida mean that I can wear white after Labor Day?

I made the statement in the newsroom this week that fall starts on Friday and one of my coworkers said, “You’re in Florida now, you don’t have to worry about fall.”

Even visiting Disney in December last year, we were the family in shorts and T-shirts when the high was only 70 degrees. That was warm to us. And we got a lot of funny looks from park-goers in jeans and jackets.

I know some of the leaves have turned brown already because of Hurricane Irma’s winds. And palm trees look the same year-round, but what are the signs of fall in the Tampa Bay area?

The Gulf of Mexico’s water cools quickly and will be chilly by December, but you can still go to the beach.

“There is little notice for us,” Chief meteorologist Steve Jerve told me when inquiring about fall weather.

A cold front will come through the second or third week of October and the humidity will drop and that old summer heat won’t be able to keep up. We’ll change from 90-degree temperatures to the 80s, Steve said.

The average high temperature for us by Oct. 1 is 82, and it drops to an average high of 81 by Nov. 1. Finally, by December, our highs are in the mid-70s.

I think I can get used to that pretty quickly.

The other difference will be after the time change when we fall back the first weekend of November. (Nov. 5 to be exact)

Come late November and December, I remember the days always being dark – dark when you go to work and dark when you drive home. It sounds like I’ll get a break this year, because that happens more in the northern hemisphere. Here in the south, the earth tilts away from the sun so it won’t go dark quite so early, Steve demonstrated for me.

I already noticed that all the major theme parks in Tampa and Orlando have Halloween specials and haunted nights to put you in the fall mood. And you can find pumpkin-flavored anything… everywhere.

I’ll finally get to enjoy outdoor festivals and even sit on the lanai – Yep; I don’t call it a patio anymore. I can pick up a golf club without sweating.

So while the first day of fall may feel like another summer day, to me it’s just another day in paradise. I’m so happy to be living in the sunshine state.

So grab your pumpkin latte and meet under a big beach umbrella!

And if you want to tell me more about fall in Florida, drop me an email – cseitz@wfla.com

Colleen Seitz, Digital Director

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