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A large portion of the state of Florida has a humid subtropical climate; southern Florida has a tropical climate. Florida was named by Juan Ponce de Leon, who landed on the peninsula on April 2, 1513, during Pascua Florida (Spanish for "Flowery Easter," referring to the Easter season). Florida is the 4th most populous state in the U.S. 



Most of the state of Florida is situated on a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Straits of Florida. It extends to the northwest into a panhandle, extending along the northern Gulf of Mexico. It is bordered on the north by the states of Georgia and Alabama, and on the west, at the end of the panhandle, by Alabama. It is near several Caribbean countries, particularly the Bahamas and Cuba. Florida's extensive coastline made it a perceived target during World War II, so the government built airstrips throughout the state; today, approximately 400 airports are still in service. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, Florida has 131 public airports, and more than 700 private airports, airstrips, heliports, and seaplane bases.


Florida is one of the largest states east of the Mississippi River, and only Alaska and Michigan are larger in water area. The Florida peninsula is a porous plateau of karst limestone sitting atop bedrock. Extended systems of underwater caves, sinkholes and springs are found throughout the state and supply most of the water used by residents. The limestone is topped with sandy soils deposited as ancient beaches over millions of years, as global sea levels rose and fell. During the last Ice Age, lower sea levels and a drier climate revealed a much wider peninsula, largely desert. The Everglades, an enormously wide, very slow-flowing river encompasses the southern tip of the peninsula.


The climate of Florida is tempered somewhat by its proximity to water. The state has a humid subtropical climate, except for the southern part below Lake Okeechobee, which has a true tropical climate. Cold fronts can occasionally bring high winds and cool to cold temperatures to the entire state during late fall and winter. The seasons in Florida are actually determined more by precipitation than by temperature with mild to cool, relatively dry winters and autumns and hot, wet springs and summers. The Gulf Stream has a moderating effect on the climate, and although much of Florida commonly sees a high summer temperature over 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees C), the mercury seldom exceeds 100 degrees F (38 degrees C). The hottest temperature ever recorded in the state was 109 degrees F (43 degrees C), set on June 29, 1931 in Monticello. The coldest was 2 degrees F (-19 degrees C), on February 13, 1899, just 25 miles (40km) away, in Tallahassee. Mean high temperatures for July are primarily in the low 90s F (32-35 degrees C). Mean low temperatures for late January range from the low 40s F (4-7 degrees C) in northern Florida to mid 50s (-13 degrees C) in southern Florida.


Florida's nickname is the "Sunshine State", but severe weather is a common occurrence in the state. Central Florida is known as the lightning capital of the United States, as it experiences more lightning strikes than anywhere else in the country. Florida has the highest average precipitation of any state, in large because afternoon thunderstorms are common in most of the state from late spring until early autumn. A fair day may be interrupted with a storm, only to return to sunshine. These thunderstorms, caused by collisions between airflow from the Gulf of Mexico and the airflow from the Atlantic Ocean, pop up in the early afternoon and can bring heavy downpours, high winds, and sometimes tornadoes, but the tornadoes do not typically reach the intensity of those in the Midwest and Great Plains. Hail often accompanies the most severe thunderstorms. Snow in Florida is a rare occurrence. During the Great Blizzard of 1899, Florida experienced blizzard conditions; the Tampa Bay area had "gulf-effect" snow, similar to lake-effect snow. The Great Blizzard of 1899 is the only time the temperatures in the state is known to have fallen below 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C). The most widespread snowfall in Florida history happened on January 19, 1977, when snow fell over much of the state, as far south as Homestead. Snow flurries fell on Miami Beach for the only time in recorded history. A hard freeze in 2003 brought "ocean-effect" snow flurries to the Atlantic coast as far south a Cape Canaveral.


Although some storms have formed out of season, tropical cyclones pose a severe threat during hurricane season, which lasts from June 1 to November 30. Florida is the most hurricane-prone US state, with subtropical or tropical water on 3 sides and a lengthy coastline. It is rare for a hurricane season to pass without any impact in the state by at least a tropical storm. August to October is the most likely period for a hurricane in Florida.


Florida is host to many types of wildlife including:


Marine Mammals: Bottlenose Dolphin, Pilot Whale, Northern Right Whale and Manatees


Reptiles: Alligator, Crocodile, Eastern Diamondback and Pygmy Rattlesnakes, Gopher Tortoise, Green & Leatherback Sea Turtles, Indigo Snake


Mammals: Panther, Whitetail Deer, Key Deer, Bobcats, Southern Black Bear, Armadillos


Birds: Bald Eagle, Crested Caracara, Snail Kite, Osprey, Pelicans, Sea Gulls, Whooping & Sandhill Cranes, Roseate Spoonbill, Florida Scrub Jay (State endemic), and many more. Note: Florida is a winter home for most species of eastern North American birds.


On behalf of the State of Florida, we WELCOME YOU! Please come visit our tropical paradise! For more information on Florida, please visit http://www.floridaview.com

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