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Last week in the Tampa Bay area (as well as a good chunk of the rest of the state) it was cold outside. Or should I say, cold for here. There were a few days where the highs didn't go over 55° F and the low dipped below freezing briefly for one day.

But everything's all back to standard fare now. The high today will be 80° and the low 55°.

I admit, this still throws me for a loop. When the weather gets cold I expect it to stay cold for a while. This is New Englander thinking kicking in and yeah, I'm still getting used to the way Florida weather works.

. . .

For those that wonder why I keep comparing FL weather to New England weather, the reason is because it's interesting comparing two regions of the US that have vastly different weather patterns. Am I a weather geek? Nah, I don't think so. I do know some guys who are. Pop is a good example. He has a rain gauge and a bunch of electronic weather doo-dads that I couldn't see myself using.

The thing I have to continually remind myself of is that I live in a subtropical zone. Florida is a whole lot closer to the equator compared to where I used to live. There are certain parks here that are jungle-like. Weird? Yes. But that's what subtropical stuff is like. Bear in mind if you want to experience that you specifically have to go looking for it. It's not like you'll find jungle-like stuff on a street corner. 🙂

There's a few other weather things that would make those not initiated in FL weather scratch their heads a bit.

A humidity level of 100% is not bad.

When one thinks of a high humidity level, the mind fills with thoughts of sweltering heat, difficulty breathing outside and other nasty stuff.

That's not the case in FL.

For example, it's 8am as I write this, 59° outside and 100% humidity. Is this terrible? Not at all. The air is clean, not sticky and actually quite pleasant.

So how would you describe humidity like this? Well, put it this way: All the cars are wet as if a small misty rainfall happened but didn't.

When a wind advisory is issued, pay attention.

I used to see wind advisories issued all the time in the north but never paid attention to them. Why? Because it didn't affect anything I did and I could still go about my business normally.

When one is issued in FL on the other hand, you pay attention. Your car does get blown around quite a bit on the highway whereas in the north in wouldn't. In addition, the wind is a lot stronger.

This doesn't mean you can't go about your daily stuff, but it matters a whole lot more down here.

Fog is a lot more common

Fog happens and particularly right before dawn. And even after the sun rises it takes a while for it to burn off.

Upon reflection of my northern driving experience, I can only think of a handful of times where the fog was so thick you literally couldn't see 10 feet in front of you.

In FL I've already encountered dense fog that was close to that mark more than a few times.

Dense fog is one of those things that sucks no matter where you are. It has a similar visual effect of white-out snow conditions, save for the fact you're not driving on snow (thank God).

The lesson learned with Tampa Bay fog is: If you encounter it, ease off the gas, drive slow and take it easy. If it's too thick, stop and wait it out. Better to stop and wait instead of risking an accident from poor visibility.

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