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Weather and Climate

Weather and Climate

Patrick Weather

Brevard County is swaddled by a humid, subtropical climate with hot, humid summers. A distinct dry season lasts from December through May, while the wet season typically runs from June through November. The 72-mile-long, north-south county can see noticeable temperature differences, especially in the winter. The ocean moderates coastal weather readings, with higher low temps and lower high temps than regions farther west. January is the coldest month with an average low of 50 degrees and an average high of 71. July and August are the warmest with an average high of 90 degrees and an average low of 72.2.

Though on Florida’s eastern peninsula, Brevard County has not suffered from the direct landfalls of hurricanes, unlike other parts of the Panhandle, mainly because of its northerly latitude and the frontal systems that exit the East Coast. By the time most hurricanes strike the region, they have weakened to tropical storms or depressions.

Local Hazards

Every second counts in a disaster so planning and preparation can be lifesavers.

Preparation is essential to cope with a disaster, and disaster readiness should be in place long before a disaster occurs. Brevard County Emergency Management warns that disaster can strike anytime, anywhere in many forms — a hurricane, tornado, flood, fire, hazardous spill, an act of nature or an act of terrorism. It can hit suddenly or build over days or weeks. Take time to learn about evacuation routes, sand availability, shelter locations, care for pets and more at the Brevard County Emergency Management website, www.brevardcounty.us/EmergencyManagement. You can also create your personal disaster plan at
www.floridadisaster.org/planprepare/disability/personal-and-family-plans. Don’t wait until there’s an approaching storm and you are under pressure.

The following are considered significant hazards in Florida.

Sun Exposure

Some exposure to sunlight is good, even healthy, but too much can be dangerous. Broad-spectrum ultraviolet radiation, listed as a known carcinogen by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, can cause blistering sunburns and such long-term problems as skin cancer, cataracts and immune suppression. Over­exposure also causes wrinkling and aging of the skin.

Cloud cover reduces UV levels but does not provide complete protection. Depending on the thickness of the cloud cover, you can still burn on a cool, dim day, so always be prepared with sunglasses, sunscreens, long-sleeved garments, wide-brimmed hats and an umbrella.

Lightning and Thunderstorms

A thunderstorm can knock out power and bring high winds, lightning and flash flooding. Pay close attention to storm warnings and always follow the instructions of local officials. Head indoors when thunder and lightning hit, avoiding electrical appliances and plumbing fixtures. Unplug desktop computers and other electronics, or use a surge protector. The National Weather Service recommends following the 30/30 Rule: that people seek shelter if the “flash-to-bang” delay (length of time in seconds from the sight of the lightning to the arrival of thunder) is 30 seconds or less and remain under cover for 30 minutes after the final thunderclap. For more information, visit the National Weather Service at www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.

Hurricanes

Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30. Hurricane hazards come in many forms, including high winds, heavy rain, flooding and storm surges (high tidal waves). Visit www.stateofflorida.com/articles/hurricane-preparedness-guide.aspx for preparedness tips and help in creating a hurricane emergency plan.

Thunderstorms

While more likely at certain times of the year, thunderstorms can happen anytime. A severe thunderstorm can knock out power; bring high winds, lightning, flash floods and hail; and spin into a twister in seconds. Pay attention to storm warnings. Remember the rule: “When thunder roars, head indoors.” The National Weather Service recommends following the 30/30 rule: People should seek shelter if the “flash-to-bang” delay — the length of time in seconds from the sight of the lightning flash to the arrival of its subsequent thunder — is 30 seconds or less, and remain under cover for 30 minutes after the final thunderclap.

For more information, visit the National Weather Service’s website at www.weather.gov/safety/lightning.

Tornadoes

Because tornadoes often accompany thunderstorms, pay close attention to changing weather conditions when there is a severe thunderstorm watch or warning.

A tornado watch is issued when weather conditions favor the formation of tornadoes, such as during a severe thunderstorm. During a tornado watch, stay tuned to local radio or TV stations or a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio for weather information.

A tornado warning is issued when a tornado funnel has been sighted or is indicated by weather radar. You should take shelter immediately. Tornadoes can develop very quickly, with minimal warning or time to prepare.

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