Weather and Climate
Climate - Due to its inland location, Gainesville experiences wide temperature fluctuations for Florida. During the summer season, roughly from May 15 to September 30, the city’s climate is the same as the rest of the state, with frequent downpours and tropical humidity. Temperatures range from the low 70s at night to the mid 90s during the day on average. From October 15 through April, however, the Gainesville area has a climate distinct from peninsular Florida with occasional freezing temperatures at night, and sustained freezes occurring every few years. Snow is rare, but can occur once every 5-10 years. The city’s flora and fauna are also more distinct from coastal regions of the state, and include many deciduous species; such as dogwood, maple, hickory and sweet gum, alongside palm trees and other evergreens. Due to this, the city enjoys brief periods of fall color in late November and December, and a noticeable and prolonged spring from late February through early April. This period is the time most favored by residents, as colorful blooms of azalea and redbud complement a cloudless blue sky, for this is also the period of least precipitation and lowest humidity.
Current Weather Conditions
Lightning – Florida is the Lightning Capitol of the U.S., having more lightning strikes per hour year-round than any other state in the US. The University of Florida hosts the International Center for Lightning Research and Testing (ICLRT) for the purpose of advancing the science and technology of lightning. The Center occupies over 100 acres at Camp Blanding, about 45 km north-east of Gainesville, Florida.
Hurricanes – Although Gainesville is not on the coast, we are still very much at risk from tropical storms and hurricanes. In fact, during the last 30 years, inland flooding has been responsible for more than half the deaths associated with tropical cyclones in the United States. Hurricane season lasts from June 1 until November 30 each year.
It is important to note that Alachua County will never be placed under a Hurricane Watch or Warning. Hurricane Watches/Warnings are issued by the National Hurricane Center only for the coast. Instead, the National Weather Service will issue an Inland Hurricane Wind Watch or Warning (for winds greater than 73 mph) or an Inland Tropical Storm Wind Watch or Warning (for winds 40 to 73 mph).
The University of Florida has a Natural Disaster Plan for the campus that includes providing shelter, food, and water for students, staff, the families of staff, and possible evacuees from coastal or flood areas. Any official UF announcements related to classes, business activities, and scheduled activities are posted on the UF website and released to local media. The UF Rumor Control line is 1-866-UF-FACTS.
Having a plan for your family and their needs will help to ensure their safety and comfort. Visit the Family Disaster Planning website to create your own personalized Family Disaster Plan. Visit the Alachua County Emergency Management web page for local storm watch and alert information.