National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
So When Does It Usually Cool Off
Across West Central and Southwest Florida in the Autumn?

Astronomically speaking autumn will begin at 3:50 AM EDT Monday September 23, but across West Central and Southwest Florida the temperatures will remain anything but fall-like. We will continue to have rather high humidity with dew points in the middle 60's to middle 70's, along with high temperatures in the mid 80's to lower 90's.

During most years we do not see the first shot of cooler drier air until the middle of October, albeit usually is rather short lived lasting only a day or two, with the real cool down not occurring until November. A good way to examine the timing of the first cool down is by looking at overnight low temperatures. The overnight low temperatures are highly dependent on a few factors, not the least being the amount of moisture in the air near the ground measured by looking at the dew point, the amount of cloud cover, and winds. In general overnight low temperatures cannot fall below the dew point, therefore if the dew points are still in the middle 60's to middle 70's as they are now, then the overnight low temperatures will most likely also be in the mid 60's to mid 70's unless a cool front moves through during the night. So to see when the first cool front moves across the region we’ll take a look at the dates when low temperatures fall below different thresholds at some locations.

Examining the tables and maps below we do see that the average time of the first real cool front appears to be during mid-October. This is when temperatures generally fall into the mid 50's across inland portions of the Nature Coast and below 60 degrees elsewhere across West Central and Southwest Florida. The only exception is near the coast where the water keeps temperatures higher and these areas take longer to fall below 60 degrees, as seen at St. Petersburg.
 

Click on a "Site" name below for detailed graphs at each location.
 
  Left click an image to magnify, click a second time to return to original size.
 
Date of First Low Temperature ≤ 60°F
          Records
Site Earliest Latest Average 2018 Began
Arcadia Sep 16 1962 Nov 19 1911 Oct 11 Oct 28 1901
Archbold Sep 08 1997 Nov 04 2007 Oct 07 Oct 23 1969
Bartow Sep 16 1913 Nov 14 1946 Oct 14 Oct 28 1892
Brooksville Sep 16 2001* Nov 04 1900 Oct 08 Oct 12 1892
Bushnell Sep 09 1997 Nov 03 1969 Oct 05 Oct 13 1948
Chiefland 5 ESE Sep 08 2011 Oct 25 1959 Sep 28 Oct 12 1956
Fort Myers Oct 01 1920* Dec 03 1986 Oct 26 Oct 28 1902
Inverness 3 SE Sep 09 1997 Oct 25 2017* Oct 07 Oct 13 1948
Lakeland Sep 19 1981 Nov 14 2015* Oct 17 Oct 28 1915
Mountain Lake Sep 19 1981 Nov 04 2007* Oct 11 Oct 22 1935
Myakka Rvr St Pk Sep 19 1981 Nov 14 2015 Oct 11 Oct 29 1956
Plant City Sep 19 1981 Nov 14 2015 Oct 10 Oct 28 1893
Punta Gorda Oct 02 2001* Nov 23 2015 Oct 21 Oct 28 1914
Sarasota-Bradenton Sep 20 1981 Nov 23 2015 Oct 15 Oct 28 1911
St. Leo Sep 18 1910 Nov 08 1919 Oct 11 Oct 22 1895
St. Petersburg Oct 01 1920 Dec 04 1986 Oct 28 Nov 16 1914
Tampa Sep 19 1981 Nov 15 1919 Oct 17 Oct 28 1890
Tarpon Springs Sep 19 1981* Nov 15 1919 Oct 12 Oct 28 1892
Venice Sep 27 1956 Nov 23 2015 Oct 19 Oct 28 1955
Wauchula Sep 19 1981 Nov 23 2015 Oct 14 Oct 28 1933
Winter Haven Sep 19 1981 Nov 14 2015* Oct 18 Oct 28 1941
*Last of Multiple Occurrences        
           
           
Date of First Low Temperature ≤ 55°F
          Records
Site Earliest Latest Average 2018 Began
Arcadia Oct 01 1920 Dec 04 1986 Oct 24 Oct 28 1901
Archbold Sep 29 2006 Dec 03 1986 Oct 20 Oct 28 1969
Bartow Sep 24 1916 Nov 25 1922 Oct 23 Oct 28 1892
Brooksville Sep 19 1981 Nov 14 1946 Oct 19 Oct 13 1892
Bushnell Sep 27 1956 Nov 14 2015 Oct 16 Oct 23 1948
Chiefland 5 ESE Sep 10 1963 Oct 27 1994 Oct 07 Oct 22 1956
Fort Myers Oct 01 1920 Dec 11 1994 Nov 04 Oct 29 1902
Inverness 3 SE Sep 16 1956 Nov 04 1985* Oct 15 Oct 13 1948
Lakeland Oct 01 1920 Nov 25 1948* Oct 26 Oct 29 1915
Mountain Lake Sep 21 1938 Nov 22 2015 Oct 21 Oct 27 1935
Myakka Rvr St Pk Oct 02 1984 Nov 23 2015 Oct 24 Oct 30 1956
Plant City Sep 20 1981 Nov 23 2015 Oct 21 Oct 28 1893
Punta Gorda Oct 09 2000 Dec 05 1946 Nov 01 Oct 29 1914
Sarasota-Bradenton Oct 01 1920 Nov 25 1922 Oct 27 Oct 29 1911
St. Leo Sep 19 1981 Nov 15 1919 Oct 21 Oct 28 1895
St. Petersburg Oct 01 1920 Dec 15 1998* Nov 08 Nov 16 1914
Tampa Sep 22 1897 Nov 25 1948* Oct 27 Nov 16 1890
Tarpon Springs Sep 20 1981 Nov 25 1922 Oct 22 Nov 16 1892
Venice Oct 03 1974 Dec 03 1986 Oct 29 Oct 29 1955
Wauchula Sep 27 1956 Nov 23 2015 Oct 24 Oct 28 1933
Winter Haven Oct 04 1974 Dec 03 1986 Oct 28 Oct 29 1941
*Last of Multiple Occurrences        
           
           
Date of First Low Temperature ≤ 50°F
          Records
Site Earliest Latest Average 2018 Began
Arcadia Oct 01 1920 Dec 11 1994 Nov 01 Oct 29 1901
Archbold Oct 08 2010 Dec 19 2015 Oct 30 Oct 28 1969
Bartow Oct 01 1920 Dec 16 1998 Nov 01 Oct 29 1892
Brooksville Sep 22 1897 Dec 04 1905 Oct 28 Oct 28 1892
Bushnell Oct 02 2011* Nov 14 2015* Oct 24 Oct 28 1948
Chiefland 5 ESE Sep 20 1981 Nov 14 2015 Oct 14 Oct 29 1956
Fort Myers Oct 18 1977 Jan 16 1972 Nov 19 Nov 28 1902
Inverness 3 SE Sep 27 1991 Nov 23 2015 Oct 23 Oct 28 1948
Lakeland Oct 01 1920 Dec 15 1919 Nov 05 Nov 16 1915
Mountain Lake Oct 08 1987 Dec 05 1946 Oct 30 Oct 28 1935
Myakka Rvr St Pk Oct 08 1987 Dec 04 1986 Nov 01 Nov 17 1956
Plant City Oct 04 1929 Nov 25 1948 Oct 29 Nov 16 1893
Punta Gorda Oct 14 1977 Jan 02 1987 Nov 11 Nov 17 1914
Sarasota-Bradenton Oct 02 1920 Dec 19 2015 Nov 05 Nov 17 1911
St. Leo Sep 22 1897 Nov 30 1958 Oct 31 Nov 16 1895
St. Petersburg Oct 17 1943 Jan 07 2017 Nov 21 Nov 28 1914
Tampa Oct 11 1906 Dec 15 1998* Nov 07 Nov 16 1890
Tarpon Springs Oct 01 1920 Dec 05 1919 Nov 02 Nov 16 1892
Venice Oct 14 1977 Dec 19 2015 Nov 10 Nov 17 1955
Wauchula Oct 10 2000 Dec 04 1986 Nov 01 Oct 29 1933
Winter Haven Oct 10 2000 Dec 12 1994 Nov 05 Nov 16 1941
*Last of Multiple Occurrences        
           
           
Date of Earliest Freeze (≤ 32°F)    
      Records    
Site Temp Date Began    
Arcadia 32° Nov 11 1956 1901    
Archbold 30° Nov 15 1995* 1969    
Bartow 30° Nov 12 1913 1892    
Brooksville 29° Oct 29 2008* 1892    
Bushnell 30° Nov 01 1954 1948    
Chiefland 5 ESE 32° Oct 21 1989 1956    
Fort Myers 32° Dec 10 1917 1902    
Inverness 3 SE 31° Oct 29 2008 1948    
Lakeland 27° Nov 16 1940 1915    
Mountain Lake 26° Nov 16 1940 1935    
Myakka Rvr St Pk 32° Nov 24 1956 1956    
Plant City 32° Nov 04 1966 1893    
Punta Gorda 28° Nov 25 1970 1914    
Sarasota-Bradenton 27° Nov 17 1940 1911    
St. Leo 31° Nov 15 1969 1895    
St. Petersburg 32° Dec 07 1937 1914    
Tampa 31° Nov 16 1940 1890    
Tarpon Springs 31° Nov 16 1940 1892    
Venice 29° Nov 25 1970 1955    
Wauchula 29° Nov 11 1956 1933    
Winter Haven 31° Nov 24 1970 1941    
*Last of Multiple Occurrences        
           
 
First Date of Low Temperature at or below 60 degrees Fahrenheit
 
First Date of Low Temperature at or below 55 degrees Fahrenheit
 
First Date of Low Temperature at or below 50 degrees Fahrenheit
 
Earleist Low Temperature at or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit

 
 
 

 

Another way to look at when it may cool down is to take a look at the graphs of the average (based on 1981-2010 Normals) and record low temperatures during the autumn at sites across the region. We can see from the graphs below that during some years the first cool down has occurred as early as mid-September when temperatures have fallen into the upper 40's across northern portions of the Nature Coast to the lower 60's south. However, looking at the average lows we see that for the most part it takes until November before low temperatures fall into the mid 50's north to lower 60's south on a consistent basis. Also on these graphs we can see that on a few rare occasions there has been a freeze across portions of the Nature Coast during the second half of October, with areas further south during November.
 

All images on this page can be magnified by left clicking on them, and resized back to original size with a second left click.
 


Chiefland 5 ESE data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 


Inverness 3 SE data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps and Maps)
 


Bushnell 1 E data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 


Brooksville Area data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 


St Leo data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 


Tarpon Springs data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 


Tampa Area data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 


St Petersburg Area data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 


Plant City data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 


Lakeland Area data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 


Winter Haven Area data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 


Bartow Area data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 


Mountain Lake data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 


Sarasota-Bradenton Area data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 


Myakka River State Park data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 


Venice data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 


Wauchula 2 N data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 


Arcadia data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 


Archbold Bio Stn data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 


Punta Gorda Area data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 


Fort Myers Area data
 
(Back to Tables and Maps)
 
 


As a side note, for those who miss or would like to see where the foliage has begun to change color across the United States, visit the USDA Forest Service web site listed below.

        https://www.fs.fed.us/fallcolors/

And for an idea of the approximate time of peak fall foliage see the image below:

Peak Fall Color Map


For more local climate information, visit our web site at

        https://www.weather.gov/tampabay

and go to the Climate and Past Weather drop down menu above the weather forecast graphics.