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Watching Butterflies in Florida

Butterfly Watching - part 3

It is this transition that makes Florida unique. The state essentially brings together two climatic regions. North Florida and the Panhandle from Jacksonville to Ocala and west to Pensacola experience four distinct seasons. Here the winters are generally mild with occasional hard freezes and rare snowfall; the summers are hot and wet with temperatures regularly approaching 90°F, and the springs and falls are short but warm. This portion of Florida supports a diverse assemblage of temperate species, including many that you could also encounter in a New England deciduous forest or Midwestern prairie. South Florida represents the other extreme. From just below Lake Okeechobee, things take a decidedly more tropical turn. In place of summer and winter, the seasons are best described as wet and dry. During the wet season, temperatures consistently peak in the 90s, the humidity is high and rain showers are regular and abundant. Conditions moderate somewhat in the dry season but rainfall totals drop dramatically. Luckily though, the thermometer rarely follows. The lack of freezing temperatures ensures a lush, year-round environment and helps to make South Florida a safe refuge for many tropical species.


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