October can be a depressing month in Florida. We're on the tail end of the most active part of the hurricane season, so there's always the very real possibility a major storm could ruin life for awhile. The tourists have mostly left but the snowbirds will arrive before any of us want them to. But most of all, October is depressing because although the calendar may claim it's fall, the thermometer refuses to budge.
Right now, Monday, Oct. 5 at 11:25 in the morning, the Weather Channel's website for Tampa lists a temperature of 85 degrees, with a heat index of 97. The forecasted highs this week are all in the 90s, with projected temperatures of 93 degrees on both Thursday and Friday, October 8 and October 9 respectively.
This same time, it's 48 degrees in Denver, 59 degrees in Dallas, 57 degrees in Atlanta. Las Vegas is cooler (by 30 degrees or so), Phoenix is too. Even New Orleans is five degrees cooler.
Hot is something you learn to live with in Florida, much like you learn to live with it in Nevada or Arizona or Texas. You have to learn to live with hot anywhere really, but down here it's so hot for so long it just becomes a part of who you are. Hot doesn't bother me, until October rolls around.
Fall is the best season on the calendar. Football is in full swing, baseball is finally wrapping up its interminable march to the postseason, hockey is just getting underway. There are enough legitimate sports going on to mask the fact that the annual farce of competition known as the NBA is revving up. The weather cools off, the leaves change, it starts getting darker earlier.
Except in Florida.
The leaves don't really change down here as much as they just spontaneously fall off their branches one night on the few deciduous species around. It does get dark earlier, but on the Florida peninsula that just means the insanity starts a little before dinner.
It's the heat though that kills the idea of fall down here. When the mercury is in the 90s all week long and the lows never dip below the low 70s, the calendar can say October all it wants. It's still June to me.
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