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Today's Featured Story: Vacation Pointers Highlight Best Time to Visit Florida

July 13, 2011

By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Fred Allen

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Vacationers that flock to the Sunshine State on a yearly basis contend with a wide-spectrum of weather. Florida, although sold as a sunny paradise, contends with cold blasts, stifling heat and humidity, daily thunderstorms and even hurricanes. So, what time of year is best to visit Florida?

The best time to pack your bags and head to Florida is late-February through early-June when you can avoid hurricane season and summer`s extreme heat and humidity. The late-winter months offer a second close choice for vacationers to take refuge in Florida, when the state rarely sees a big cold snap.

Florida, known for its 1,200 miles of lush sandy beaches, spring break extravaganzas, vacation getaways and the Orlando resorts is one of America`s hottest travel getaways. The average annual temperature is around 70 degrees, and Miami is consistently in the 70s and 80s year round. By contrast, Pensacola, located in the northern Panhandle, has a wider temperature range. In the winter, the average temperature dips into the lower 50s in January, but by summer it rapidly rises into the 70s and lower 80s.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Spring Break and Easter is a great time to visit. The temperatures are warm and it lies within the driest time of year. Florida`s dry season runs from late October to mid-May.

Florida is not all pure tropical bliss year-round. Tropical storms and hurricanes coinciding with the rainy season could pose real threats for vacationers looking to escape for a long Memorial Day weekend, the Fourth of July or a final hurrah of summer, Labor Day weekend.

Vacationers looking to escape to Florida will need to keep in mind when the hurricane threat is greatest. Western Florida is typically the first area in the U.S. to experience tropical storms and hurricane in June. The second and greatest peak for hurricane activity occurs between August and October, where storms develop more often and take a variety of tracks toward or across the state. Almost every part of the state has a chance of seeing a hurricane`s effect. Contingency travel plans may be needed for those venturing to Florida. No surprise, the bulk of Florida`s annual rainfall is influenced by tropical cyclones.

Whether it`s a get-a-way from the doldrums of winter, a break from the hustle and bustle of college life during spring break or a family summer trip, the Sunshine State`s weather offers a tropical getaway.


Story Image: In this photo released by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Cynthia Aguilar carries her paddleboard to the beach in Key West, Fla., following a 103.2-mile journey from 14 miles off the coast of northern Cuba Thursday, June 16, 2011. She became the first prone paddleboarder (propelling the board with her arms) to complete a voyage across the Florida Straits, doing so in 29 hours, 12 minutes. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Rob O`Neal)

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