Average state temperatures have varied
substantially over the past century, with a warming
trend since the late 1960s. Average winter rainfall
has increased while average summer rainfall has decreased.
Extreme rainfall events have become more frequent.
Sea level along Florida's Gulf coast—from the Everglades
to the Panhandle—has steadily risen, increasing
by up to eight inches over the past one hundred years.
The number of miles of eroding beaches has been increasing
WINTER - Average temperatures, High 78 Low 60 Average
SPRING - Average temperatures High 83 Low 66
Average precipitation 8.3
SUMMER - Average temperatures High 89 Low 75 Average
FALL - Average temperatures, High
85 Low 70 Average precipitation 13.6
3-10°F rise in winter lows and 3-7°F rise in summer
highs. July heat index-a measure combining temperature
and humidity to represent the temperature actually
felt—could rise by 10-25°F. The freeze line is
likely to move north. Ocean water temperatures
are also likely to warm.
In South Florida, one climate model projects the
area to get wetter, while the other projects the
area to become drier. However, summer soil moisture—critically
important to agriculture and forestry determined
by rainfall gains and evaporation losses—is projected
to change little in the southern part of the state.
On the other hand, rainfall over northern Florida
is projected to decrease, with soil moisture projections
varying. Where and when dry conditions do increase,
the risk of wildfires is likely to increase as
More frequent intense rainfall events are projected,
with longer dry periods in between. Hurricane
intensity (characterized by maximum wind speeds
and rainfall totals) could increase slightly with
global warming, although changes in future hurricane
frequency are uncertain. Even if storm frequencies
and intensities remain constant, the damages from
coastal flooding and erosion will increase as
sea level rises.
SEA LEVAL RISE
Sea level will increase at a faster rate over
the coming century, rising approximately fifteen
inches by the end of the century. Even a relatively
small vertical rise in sea level (under one foot)
can move the shoreline inland by a substantial
distance (several tens of feet) along low-lying,
flat coastal areas.