It’s mid-April and it’s hot already! March was much warmer and dryer than normal and the first two weeks of April have seen VERY much above temps, even a few records set in the Nature Coast Region. So, what’s up? Hint: humidity.

Spring is a transition period, where winter gives way to summer. Depending upon where you are from or live now, April might have been a pleasant, blossoming time or one big muddy, thawing mess. Here in the Nature Coast region, and let’s include the Southeast as a whole, April and early May sees a transition from the dry (cooler) season to the wet (warmer)season. Humidity will begin to increase and stay longer, though an occasional cool front may usher in dry air before the moisture creeps right back in. We tend to get some shower and thunderstorm days interspersed with many days without precipitation. But, even without precipitation, you will notice the humidity will become more and more prevalent. We are transitioning from a winter monsoon (prevailing surface winds coming off the drier continent) to a summer monsoon (prevailing winds coming off the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic/Caribbean).

One characteristic of the spring transition season is an increase in severe weather chances. No matter where you are in the southeast, thunderstorms and tornadoes are prone to be more violent in April. FYI, they are also typically less violent but more widespread in May. In that regard, you might want to brush up on your hazardous weather plans. You probably have your favorite sources, but here’s a link to Mike’s Weather Page if you want to gorge yourself on weather info: https://spaghettimodels.com/

And then, hurricane season officially begins on June 1. More on that next time.

Enjoy spring while you can!

Ken Nash

Director, Physical Sciences and Climatology