The State of Florida possesses a climate that many Americans and Canadians envy. As the author of an upcoming local climatology, I envy author Morton D. Winsberg's task in writing Florida Weather. How many ways can "good" be described? One of Winsberg's hardest tasks was finding ways with which to define Florida's fairly uniform seasons. To define winter, for example, he picks the first week in which the average daily maximum temperature drops to 75oF (23.9oC) to delineate its onset in a given area of the state. I live in the area of Canada (southern Vancouver Island) known as its "tropics" based on our very mild winters, but by Professor Winsberg's criteria, we never leave winter!
Joviality aside, the author's task is not as easy as those of others tackling the climate of other American States, exactly because of this uniformity of climate. In Florida Weather, Winsberg explains how the forces that control Florida's weather and climate work: latitude, altitude, land and water distribution, ocean currents, prevailing winds, storms, and pressure systems, organizing the book by the seasons. The discussions of seasonal climate variabilities are followed by chapters on the various seasonal weather hazards: lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts and freezes. In its appendix, the book contains a number of useful statistical charts including probable temperature and rain possibility for each of the 52 weeks of the year for selected cities.
Florida Weather is a precise and readable account of the weather and climate of Florida that will find a place on many bookshelves for those interested in the many aspects of life in Florida. Its charts have the potential to be used by tourists or those considering relocation to the Sunshine State, including retirement. If the book has a downside, it is that the topic of tropical storms is rather sparsely treated. (The topic is, however, well treated by another University Press of Florida release Florida Hurricanes and Tropical Storms by John M. Williams and Iver W. Duedall.)
I recommend Florida Weather for anyone's reference library, particularly if Florida climate holds a high interest.
Weather Doctor's Book Review: Florida Weather ©2004, Keith C. Heidorn, PhD. All Rights Reserved.
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