Florida is the warmest place in the continental United States.
The main reason is the latitude of the peninsula, which lies between 24°30’N and 31°N in the southeastern part of the country.
Due to its relative proximity to the Tropic of Cancer (The Northern Tropic), Florida enjoys relatively warm weather throughout the year.
At the same time, the climate is dramatically different in the different parts of the state.
- Climate zones
- Factors that modify the climate of Florida
- Florida Planting Zones – USDA Map Of Florida Growing Zones
- Learn More About The Florida USDA Zone Map For Plant And Tree Hardiness
- Find Your Growing Zone
- Planning a Garden is Simple! First Find your Growing Zone
- Gardening: Daffodils will grow in Northeast Florida if you pick the right varieties
- The Time in Florida
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- What Time Is It In Florida? There Are 2 Time Zones
- Daylight Saving Time
- Florida Time Zone Chart
- Florida Time
- What time zone is Florida Time in?
- Current Florida Time (Eastern Time)
- Towns and Cities in Florida on Eastern Time
- Towns and Cities in Florida on Central Time
- Current Florida Panhandle Time (Central Time)
- Does Florida Time observe Daylight Saving Time?
- Current daylight saving dates for USA
- Our creative collection
- Related posts:
South Beach Miami by David Trawin
Florida falls within the borders of two climate zones – tropical and subtropical.
Although they are very different from each other, in general, there are some common features.
For example, summers on the entire territory of the state are very hot, humid, and quite rainy.
Another common feature is the sunny weather throughout the year.
Besides the large number of similarities, however, there are also many differences.
For example, in the south of the state winters are very warm and some days are even hot.
At the same time, in the northern parts of Florida winters are changeable and range from mild to quite cool.
For example, while the residents of Miami Beach and Key West enjoy plenty of sunshine and summer temperatures on the beach in January and February, the weather in Northern Florida can be quite chilly, with temperatures sometimes falling even below 5°C!
The species of plants are another difference between the tropical and subtropical climate zones.
While many plants lose their leaves during the winter months (although many species are evergreen) in North Florida, this is not typical in the southern parts of the state, where most of the vegetation is evergreen.
Subtropical climate zone of Florida
Art Deco Historic District, Miami Beach by Dennis Trigylidas
The Subtropical climate zone of Florida covers most of the territory of the state.
It stretches north from the line Tampa – Palm Bay.
The northern you travel, the easier you distinguish the features of the subtropical climate.
This basically finds expression into colder winters and greater temperature difference between summer and winter temperatures but also into the changing landscapes.
And while winter temperatures in the north of Florida are significantly lower, summers are generally the same in the whole of the state.
The subtropical climate zone here actually has a very pleasant climate – warm and sunny, with long summers and short winters.
However, local subtropical climate is not a Mediterranean type, and its features are significantly different from what you can find in Southern California or along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and Spain.
Local climate is of oceanic type and is strongly influenced by the surrounding water basins.
For example, while the Mediterranean type of climate is characterized by hot and dry summers and short, mild and wet winter, here, in the northern half of Florida, is just the opposite – summers are also long and hot but very humid and rainy while winters are also short but very dry and sunny.
Temperatures along the coast of Northern Florida are about 16 – 18°C in January and reach to about 32 – 33°C on average in August.
Although most of the days are pleasantly mild even in the midst of winter, the night temperatures can be quite cold and in rare cases even drop to about 0°C.
Some cities of North Florida even have experienced snowfalls in the past, although the snow cover always melts almost immediately.
Tropical climate zone of Florida
Peaceful sunset on the beach, Florida by Chris Martin
The tropical climate zone of Florida brings some typical oceanic features such as the abundance of rainfall throughout the year.
The summer months receive most of the annual precipitation, and sometimes it rains every day, especially in the afternoon.
The weather in winter is nice because of the smaller number of rainy days.
In addition, the weather is sunny, and the humidity of the air is considerably lower.
Temperatures in the tropical climate zone of Florida are high throughout the year, ranging around 23 – 24°C on average during the day in January and about 31 – 32°C on average during the day in August.
Night temperatures are also warm, ranging between 16°C in January and 26°C in August (data for Miami Beach).
The combination of warm temperatures and less rainfall turns winter into the most attractive season to visit South Florida.
Sometimes, in very rare cases, are possible cooler and cloudy days with rainfalls during the winter months, which is generally typical for almost all destinations located beyond the North or South Tropic.
Transitional zone between tropical and subtropical climate zones
South Beach in winter by n kw
Because of the specific location of Florida, part of the state falls within the influence of both climate zones.
This is the territory between the lake of Okeechobee to south and the line Tampa – Palm Bay to the north.
For example, in the area of Tampa Bay winters are very mild, sunny and resemble late spring, which is typical for areas located in tropical latitudes.
However, sometimes are possible cold waves and lower temperatures in the region, causing locals to go outside with warm clothes and jackets.
Meanwhile, to the south, in the area of Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Florida Keys, this is not very common and happens very rarely.
Factors that modify the climate of Florida
Summer storm, Navarre by M.M.Meeks
Although the latitude of Florida is the most important factor for the formation of local climate, in fact there are many other specifics that are not less important.
Oceans and other water bodies
The climate of Florida is heavily influenced by the surrounding waters, which is not surprising, especially given the fact that the state is surrounded by water on three sides.
West of the state extends the Gulf of Mexico whose waters absorb a huge amount of heat during the long and hot summer months. East of Florida extends the Atlantic Ocean.
Its water temperature is generally quite warm all year round, so the ocean strongly influences the climate, both in summer and in winter. To the south is the warm Florida Strait.
It separates the United States from the Caribbean Islands, which are known for their warm weather and tropical climate.
Although less influential, there are numerous small water bodies on the territory of the state, and they modify the climate of the peninsula at a local level.
As you will be able to realize if you see Florida from above, the state is a mosaic of lakes, marshes and river canals.
They undoubtedly influence the climate, making it milder but also much more humid and unbearable during the hot summer season.
Influence of the Gulf Stream
Florida tropical storm by Mike Miller
The warm Gulf Stream is a very strong factor too.
It has a huge impact not only over the climate of Florida but also the climate of our planet as a whole.
It transports warm waters from the tropical latitudes of the Caribbean Sea all the way to Northern Europe across the Atlantic, where it heavily modifies the climate of Northern Europe, especially of Iceland, the British Isles and Scandinavia.
The influence of the Gulf Stream on the climate of Florida is even bigger because the state is located near the tropics where the temperature of the current is highest, and for this reason, its climate-modifying power is stronger.
The current runs in a southwest-northeast direction, gradually increasing the distance from the east coast of Florida.
Running along the shores of the state, the Gulf Stream affects the climate mainly increasing the average temperature throughout the year and bringing heavy rainfalls.
It is also among the reasons for the frequent tropical storms in the area.
Here we should note that Florida is the state with the greatest number of thunderstorms a year, and Miami falls among the top places as one of the rainiest cities in the continental United States.
Influence of the relief
Florida has an extremely flat terrain with no mountains or high hills.
The absence of climate barriers means that the warm and cold air masses can freely move north or south depending on the season.
This is the main reason why sometimes the north of the state experiences very high temperatures during the winter months, but on the other side, it is also the reason for colder waves reaching South Florida in the same season.
The state is strongly influenced by the fact that Florida is a peninsula surrounded by water on three sides.
This causes a fundamental influence by making the state’s climate mild and protecting for extreme temperatures, with no mater too high or too low.
Florida Planting Zones – USDA Map Of Florida Growing Zones
Learn More About The Florida USDA Zone Map For Plant And Tree Hardiness
The map above is the Florida USDA zone map for plant hardiness. This map shows the growing zones for Florida. Knowing the plant growing zones in Florida is important because this will help you decide which plants you should have in your garden.
In order to find the plant growing zone in Florida that applies to you, locate where you live on the above Florida planting zone map. Take the color of that area and match it to the Florida planting zone map legend to the right. This will tell you what hardiness zone you live in.
This Florida zone map for hardiness of plants is based on the 2012 USDA plant hardiness zone map. In 2012, the USDA reviewed the hardiness zone map and found, that due to climate change, the zones had shifted. This map was created to show the new hardiness zones.
It is important to understand what the growing zones for Florida are and which zone you live in because this will help you have a successful garden. Planting flowers, trees, vegetables and other plants that are appropriate for you zone will ensure that these plants grow well from year to year.
To find plants that will grow in your zone, you can visit your local plant nursery. They will carry plants that will be clearly marked with the zone that they will grow in. You can grow any plant in your zone or lower in your garden. If you wish to grow a plant that is in a zone that is higher than yours, you will need to provide extra protection for those plant and possibly even bring them in for the winter.
Find Your Growing Zone
For novice and advanced gardeners alike, the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is a useful tool for planning a garden.
The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map (below) is a color coded map of the US that breaks the country into color coded zones based on average low temperature readings. The zones are then used to rate plants based on their hardiness. Plants are typically labeled “hardy to zone X”, allowing gardeners to quickly and easily identify which plants are capable of growing in their area. If they’re not labeled, a quick Google search is always helpful.
A perennial plant labeled “hardy to zone 10”, for example, can survive in a minimum temperature of 30°F (Zone 10 expects temperatures never below 30°F), while a plant labeled “hardy to zone 6” can tolerate a minimum temperature of -10°F (Zone 6 expects temperatures never below -10°F). Using the map you can find the plant hardiness zone you live in to help choose plants accordingly. Growing zones influence vegetables as well, but more so on the time of year you can plant them with reduced concern of killing frost.
You can find the USDA Plant Hardiness Map in many nurseries and garden centers, but with the wonders of the internet you can always look up your zone using the USDA’s interactive map. to find your area’s hardiness zone.
Planning a Garden is Simple! First Find your Growing Zone
Florida Growing Zones
For those of you like us, living in Florida we experience growing zones 8-10 with some of the Keys falling into 11. Overall, the bulk of the state is broken into three distinct areas north, central and south Florida. Zones 8-10 can expect their coldest temperatures to range from 10°F-40°F (the colder end of that spectrum for the lower zone number).
That said, central Florida and south will find winter a suitable time to grow cold-hardy plants (here are cold-hardy plant options to try). Northern Florida, while you can grow a few cold tolerant vegetables during winter such as kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, you’ll still want to keep an eye out for occasional temperature drops into the low 20’s and 10’s.
Growing Zones & Vegetables
These zone significations however, are mainly intended for selecting perennials, shrubs and trees that can survive in the extreme ends of the zone parameters. For annuals like vegetables and many flowers, the zone temperature ranges can be used to guide your plant choices if trying to grow into the colder seasons. (See examples above for Florida)
Some zones have very short viable growing seasons. Some gardeners in Montana, for example, have a growing season that is only 55 days long (give or take based on Mother Nature’s kindness). For gardeners in areas like this, it is usually best to start seeds indoors and then move them outdoors as seedlings when your season permits.
It is important to remember the Zone Map is intended as a guideline. For instance, annuals like tomatoes and lettuce can be grown in nearly all US zones at different times of the year. Gardeners should reference the back of their seed packs to find the best planting times for their zone’s area .
After you find your growing zone and determine your planting time, it’s time to plant! Proper seed spacing is a must. You’d be amazed by how much you can grow in a small space. Reference our all-in-one Plant Spacing Guide for raised bed gardening to help you along.
We’re located in Zone 10a, so interestingly enough fall, winter and spring are our best growing seasons due to the intense summer heat of South Florida. Where do you garden? Share your growing zone and the best plants by time of year in the comment section below!
Gardening: Daffodils will grow in Northeast Florida if you pick the right varieties
A recent transplant from Colorado shared with me that she bought tulip bulbs and planted them in her new landscape. The bulbs were pre-chilled and she planted them in December. She should get blooms this year, but she was disappointed to learn that the bulbs will not survive to bloom in following years. The same is true of hyacinths and some daffodils, but it is possible to grow daffodils here if one chooses the right variety.
Daffodil bulbs require no artificial chilling and require very little care if the right varieties are selected. If you have experienced poor luck with daffodils in the past, the reason for their lack of success could be variety selection, choosing the right site, planting and/or care.
Daffodils are wildflowers from the Mediterranean, which has a broad range of climates. Daffodil varieties adapted to our climate are those that grow in the lower areas of the Mediterranean basin. There are more than 28,000 named varieties, but fewer than 50 varieties have proved to grow well in trial gardens in Florida. In the northern U.S., daffodils are thought of as a spring crop. In Florida, they bloom earlier – early varieties starting in November and late varieties in early April. Bloom time will be dependent on the weather. This year, flowers are emerging a little later than normal because of the extended cool weather.
Select a sunny location with full or nearly full sun. Many will bloom well with at least a half day full sun, preferably morning sun. Don’t plant them close to plants that require frequent irrigation. Daffodils require water during their growing season, but need to be in a non-irrigated area when they are dormant during the summer.
The soil should be slightly acid to neutral in pH and well drained. “Ice Follies” is a variety that can tolerate more alkaline soils. Avoid adding organic amendments and bark to soil because they tend to hold more water. Loosen the soil to a depth of 10 inches to make it easier for root development.
Never refrigerate your bulbs or purchase pre-chilled daffodil bulbs. Plant bulbs in October to early November, space them three times the width of the bulb to get an attractive clump effect. One exception is the tazetta type, which tends to get quite large and require 8-inch spacing. Tazettas have 8 to 20 flowers on an individual stem and are commonly called narcissus in the South. Make sure to plant in clumps versus a bulb here and a bulb there because they grow better when their roots touch.
Plant bulbs 4 to 6 inches deep, except for tazetta types, which are planted 8 inches deep. Fertilize at planting by lightly sprinkling some super phosphate over the soil surface if it is deficient in phosphorous. Do not add other fertilizers at planting and do not mulch with bark. Bulbs are prone to rotting, so use leaves or pine straw as a mulch because they promote better drainage and air flow.
Daffodils grow during the fall through spring and go dormant during the summer. In the fall, the leaves emerge and roots develop as the soil cools. Provide consistent water while leaves are developing (about 1 inch per week) and stop watering once flowering is over. If it is extremely dry in spring, some supplemental irrigation may be needed. Do not irrigate while they are dormant during summer months.
Fertilize with a 5-10-15 or 6-24-24 blend with trace elements in early September and immediately after bloom. If you have access to wood ashes, apply up to a half-inch layer. Avoid using higher nitrogen fertilizers because plants will respond by producing very healthy leaves with very few flowers.
To encourage bulb growth, deadhead the tips of old flowers so the energy will go back into the bulbs and not into seed production. Based on some older studies, it is beneficial to leave the flower stems intact because they are responsible for some of the photosynthesis that helps nourish the bulbs.
Try planting drought-tolerant annuals or perennials between clumps like vinca, gallardia, verbena or lantana during the summer to fill in the voids while bulbs are dormant. This will help provide color during the off-season.
Over time, bulbs may become too dense and require dividing. If the number of blooms decreases over time, it’s time to dig your bulbs. The best time to divide bulbs is when the foliage turns yellow as it dies back. Lift the bulbs with care to avoid damaging the basal plate (bottom where roots emerge). Shake off excess soil and rinse with water. Place the bulbs in a cool, shady area for several weeks and allow them to heal. Once the bulbs are dry, you can gently pull them apart. Then, either replant or store the bulbs. If stored, place in a mesh type bag and place indoors in air conditioning, but not in the refrigerator.
VARIETIES FOR FLORIDA
Daffodils take a couple of years to really establish and develop a strong root system, so be patient. According to test sites and information listed by the Florida Daffodil Society, varieties that are proven as far south as Gainesville include: Carlton, Ice Follies, February Gold, Itzem, Sweetness, Trevithian, Chinese Sacred Lily, Soliel d’Or, Cragford, Erlicheer, Nony, Golden Dawn, Grand Primo and Silver Chimes. Most paperwhites (N. papyraceus) will perform well in our area.
For more information on Florida daffodils, check out the website at www.FlaDaff.com. This site will provide information on how to join the Florida Daffodil Society, a deal in today’s standards at $5 per year.
Terry Brite DelValle is a horticulture extension agent with the Duval County Extension Service and the University of Florida/IFAS.
Home >> Encyclopedia >> Time Zones >> USA >> Florida Time
The Time in Florida
Saturday, September 21, 2013 by buleganteng — creator of Time Genie
Updated: Friday, March 11, 2016
Flag of Florida.
What time is it in Florida? This is a commonly asked question — but this question requires a question in return — where in Florida?
Florida actually has 2 time zones — the Central and Eastern Time Zones to be exact. Most of Florida is located in the Eastern Time Zone. However, part of western Florida is located in the Central Time zone. As a general rule, the western part of Florida that is located below Alabama is located in Central Time Zone.
Keep reading to learn more about time zones in Florida.
Discover Florida — a simple yet informative video!
What Time Is It In Florida? There Are 2 Time Zones
There are, in total, 67 counties in Florida. Of these 67 counties, 9 are 100% in the Central Time Zone while Gulf County has locations in both the Central and Eastern time zones. All other counties are in the Eastern Time Zone.
The 9 counties that are 100% in the Central Time Zone include: Bay County, Calhoun County, Escambia County, Holmes County, Jackson County, Okaloosa County, Santa Rosa County, Walton County, and Washington County.
→ Learn more about the counties in Florida
A map of Florida. You can also download this map in PDF format.
The 2 Time Zones in Florida
|Time Zone||Major Cities|
|Eastern Time||Brandon, Cape Coral, Clearwater, Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Gainesville, Hialeah, Hollywood, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Bay, Pembroke Pines, Port Saint Lucie, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, Tampa|
|Central Time||Callaway, Cantonment, Crestview, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Lynn Haven, Navarre, Niceville, Pace, Panama City, Panama City Beach, Pensacola, Santa Rosa Beach|
Time Zone Data
Information about the time zones in Florida.
|Standard Time||Daylight Saving Time|
|Eastern Standard Time||EST||GMT -5||Eastern Daylight Time||EDT||GMT -4|
|Central Standard Time||CST||GMT -6||Central Daylight Time||CDT||GMT -6|
Notice how the Florida Panhandle is orange while the rest of Florida is green. The orange indicates the Central Time Zone while the green indicates the Eastern Time Zone.
Daylight Saving Time
All of Florida observes daylight saving time (DST).
Daylight saving time (DST) schedule:
→ At 2 AM local time, clocks are advanced 1 hour on the second Sunday in March.
→ At 2 AM local time, clocks go back 1 hour on the first Sunday in November.
Florida Time Zone Chart
By using the following time zone chart you can see the time differences between the 4 main time zones in the United States including the Central Time Zone (Florida Panhandle) and the Eastern Time Zone (the majority of Florida).
→ Try Time Genie’s time zone converter.
Click a heading to sort the table.
What time zone is Florida Time in?
The Eastern part of Florida (which includes all the major towns and cities) fall in the Eastern Time Zone , which is 5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time ( GMT-5 ).
The Western part of the Florida panhandle falls in the Central Time Zone , which is 6 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time ( GMT-6 ).
Current Florida Time (Eastern Time)
Current time now in Time Zone: America New York (USA Eastern Time)
Towns and Cities in Florida on Eastern Time
Towns and Cities in Florida on Central Time
Current Florida Panhandle Time (Central Time)
Time Zone: America Chicago (USA Central Time)
Does Florida Time observe Daylight Saving Time?
Like most states in the US, Daylight Saving Time ( DST ) is observed in Florida, where the time is shifted forward by 1 hour, resulting in a 4 hours and 5 hours difference behind GMT for the Eastern and Western part of Florida respectively.
After the Summer months the time is shifted back by 1 hour resulting in the normal time difference behind GMT
Current daylight saving dates for USA
USA & Canada clocks are now on:
- Standard Time began: Sunday 3 November 2019 02:00 local time. Clocks went back one hour.
- Standard Time ends: Sunday 8 March 2020 02:00 local time. Clocks go forward one hour.
USA and Canada past and future DST schedules here
Daylight Saving 2019
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The Gulf County – Bay County line marks a change in time zones. Mexico Beach, in Bay County, is in the Central Time Zone, and adjacent St. Joe Beach, in Gulf County, is in the Eastern Time Zone.
This change of time zone creates a lot of confusion in nearby communities, including Mexico Beach, St. Joe Beach, Port St. Joe, and Wewahitchka. Here’s how to handle it:
- Do not rely on the clock in your cell phone. Depending on the cell tower you are being served by, the time will vary, and cannot be considered accurate. Boat rental services in this area will often provide a clock to refer to so you can return the boat on time.
- When making reservations and appointments, always confirm the time zone. For example, if calling for a store closing time in Port St. Joe, ask “That’s Eastern time, right?” after you’re given the closing time.
- When flying into Panama City, times are in Central time. If, for example, you’re driving to St. George Island near Apalachicola, remember to add an hour. 2pm in Panama City is 3pm on St. George Island.
A popular activity among New Year celebrants in this area is to cheer in the new year twice: First in Port St. Joe, then in Mexico Beach an hour later.
Click on the following link for more basic information about visiting the Florida Panhandle: Panhandle 411