Hazards & Weather

070202_G12_IR4_24.bmpThe climate in Florida has often been considered its most important natural resource, which is reflected in its official nickname, the sunshine state. However, due to the unique climate of Florida, we are afforded a distinctive pattern of weather that is exclusive to us. We are participants of an eclectic variety of weather patterns, including wildfire and flooding seasons.

Daily changes in the weather are due to winds and storms. Seasonal changes are due to the Earth revolving around the sun.

Causes of Weather
What causes weather? Because the Earth is round and not flat, the sun's rays don't fall evenly on the land and oceans. As the Sun shines more directly near the equator, it brings these areas more warmth; however, the polar regions are at such an angle to the Sun that they get little or no sunlight during the winter, causing colder temperatures. These differences in temperature create a restless movement of air and water in great swirling currents to distribute heat energy from the Sun across the planet.

When air in one region is warmer than the surrounding air, it becomes less dense and begins to rise, drawing more air in underneath. Elsewhere, cooler denser air sinks, pushing air outward to flow along the surface and complete the cycle.

Climate is not the same as weather, but rather, it is the average pattern of weather for a particular region. Weather describes the short-term state of the atmosphere.

Severe Weather