New to Florida? Here's when the Sunshine State's rainy season gets underway

June, July, August and September typically produce the majority of the rainfall for the year across Florida. During the early months, hail, damaging winds and frequent lightning are common.

Welcome to the rainy state! It’s the unofficial slogan that residents of Florida live by, and tourists, who visit for sun-filled skies, dread.

The start dates of the wet weather vary from year to year, but if climatology gives meteorologists any sense of direction, the state will soon see nearly daily events of showers and thunderstorms.

During La Niña patterns, South Florida usually kicks off the wet weather in mid-May, followed by Central Florida and North Florida getting in on the act weeks afterward.

The combination of warm air temperatures, moisture and sea breezes are the main ingredients that align for showers and thunderstorms to pop during the afternoons. 


During El Niño events, the start of the rainy weather season tends to be delayed, but years wind up more precipitation due to a 40-60 percent increase in rain between November through March.

The FOX Forecast Center say it all comes down to the strength and position of the Bermuda high.

When the high-pressure system is aligned in its usual position, the flow can help increase moisture off the warm ocean waters - one of the key ingredients for thunderstorm activity.

The combination of the flow and interaction with various sea breezes tends to initiate the showers and thunderstorms that can pop up as early as late morning and last well into the afternoon.


National Weather Service meteorologists say the storms that form in May and June are typically more severe than those that develop during the later summer months.

If the right ingredients line up, it is not uncommon for early season storms to produce damaging winds, hail, lightning or even waterspouts and brief tornadoes.

Meteorologists say colder air aloft and less atmospheric moisture lead to the storms being potentially more potent.

As the summer progresses, more moisture will saturate the atmosphere, leading to heavier rainfall and less of a chance of storms becoming severe.

The wet weather pattern usually does not wind down until at least mid-September, when attention turns to the threat of tropical systems and fall’s first cold fronts.