By now I know the drill. I better after more than half a century in Florida.
Every day is like the day before or the day to come. It’s sort of like Groundhog Day, except it’s not in the middle of a Pennsylvania winter. And it’s not a movie where I co-star with Andie MacDowell.
Hardly. Our sweaty succession of Groundhog Days is not another six weeks of winter, or summer. It’s much longer than that, a seemingly endless summer, summer without mercy, summer that that wraps you in sweat and won’t let go.
I consider our high summer to run from Memorial Day to Labor Day, which doesn’t coincide with either of the two definitions of summer.
There is, of course, astronomical summer, which starts June 21 and runs until Sept. 22. Those dates mean nothing in Florida. It’s hot now and will remain hot once autumn appears on our calendars.
Then there is meteorological summer, which consists of June, July and August. In Florida, May and September are only incrementally less hot than those three months.
I book end summer with Memorial Day and Labor Day. Up until Memorial Day, mornings and evenings can be pleasant, at least by Florida standards. Stepping outside early in the morning or in the evening doesn’t mean you’ll get slapped in the face with a metaphorical damp washcloth.
After Memorial Day, though, that changes. And the weather remains the same, through June and July and August.
Once Labor Day rolls around, though, I know relief is not far off. Oh, I won’t need to break out sweaters or sweat suits in September but at least the relentless heat and humidity will soon begin moderating.
Not right away. And not by much. But fairly soon.
I looked it up. Labor Day this year falls on Sept. 4. In Fort Myers, the average high that date is 91.2, hot by any standards.
But it is incrementally less hot than earlier in the summer. The average high in Fort Myers is 92 starting on June 13 and running through most of August.
The first day of the year with an average high of 90 in Fort Myers is May 16. That remains the case for more than four months. That’s more than a third of the year with an average high of 90 or more.
I know, though, with the coming of Labor Day, relief is on the way.
The average high in Fort Myers is 90 or more every day but one in September. On Sept. 30, the average high is “only” 89.3.
Put another log on the fire.
That marks the first day since May 15 when our average high is lower than 90.
Once we slip past Labor Day on Sept. 4, I know we’ll be drawing close to the end of another summer.
The days are shorter. The sun is lower in the sky. Its rays are burning us from slightly lower in the sky than in June and July.
Yes, fall is near.
Oh, it’s not time to turn off the AC. Not yet. Not in Florida.
The average low in Fort Myers is 70 or higher every day in both summers, meteorological and astronomical.
May 15 is the last date in the spring when our average low is 69. The next date with an average low below 70 is Oct. 15, one day shy of five months since the last date with a sub-70 average low.
So, right now we’re slogging through summer and will continue doing so for months.
But once Labor Day arrives, the end will be in sight. The return of pleasant mornings and evenings won’t be far away at that point.
But Labor Day is still 11 weeks from Monday.
I hope the air conditioner can keep working. …
For another four months, and then some.