Welcome to the first edition of Walt Disney World Weather! I’m really excited to combine a little bit of weather nerdery, some practical Disney park touring advice, and some of the peculiarities of central Florida’s climate in one place. Whether you’re thinking about visiting in the future and want to get some idea of what the weather’s like in a particular week or month, or you’re getting ready to jump aboard your flight to Orlando, this blog will try to help you plan for the sunshine, rain, and even the occasional frost you might find waiting for you.
This Week at Walt Disney World: May 19-25, 2019
This week, expect mostly sunny days with temperatures reaching into the 90s each afternoon, starting out around 90 early in the week, and possibly pushing 94 or 95 by Friday/Saturday. Early in the week, there is a slight chance of an afternoon thundershower, which could cool things off a little.
But, all in all, expect very hot, sunny days. If you need to escape the heat, look to the east coast, where the strong onshore breeze from the Atlantic Ocean will keep temperatures in the 80s. At night, dry air and a breeze should help cool things out a little, but lows will only be dipping into the 70s as the week progresses.
At the parks, the strong sun is going to make water and sunblock the most important part of your theme park kit. Take a refillable water bottle, or you’re going to be using all your snack credits on Dasani — not the best use of the Disney Dining Plan! Pick up a keychain-sized sunblock holder at the drug store before your trip to save on park-priced bottles inside the gates or at your resort — you can fill it up every morning before heading out.
Any time you can find shade or an open area, the breeze will probably be extremely refreshing — as long as the humidity continues to be held at bay by the dry air in control of our weather this week. Once the humidity returns, the breeze will probably just feel like a wet slap in the face. Which, who knows, you might find oddly refreshing, too. And if you’ve been looking for a good return on your dollar for a water park day, this week might be your best bet all year.
Why is it so hot this week?
This time of year, we’re usually talking about some intense heat, and the forecast isn’t doing anything unexpected. A lot of times, people (even long-time Florida residents) tend to wail: “If it’s this hot in May, what will it be like in August?”
The fact is, May heat has very little to do with August heat, because our weather is being influenced by different factors. May is part of Central Florida’s dry season; August is part of the rainy season. Humidity, cloud coverage, and even the prevailing winds have a lot to do with both the soaring temperatures of spring, and the more limited heights of summertime highs. So, just because it might hit 96 degrees in May, there’s no reason to fear it will be 106 degrees in August. Or even 96, for that matter.
This year, the dry spring heat is hitting us very late in the month. After a wet start to May that had us all (well, mostly me, but I know I’m not the only storm fan around here) hoping for an early start to the summer rainy season, more typical May weather is settling in towards the tail of the month. We’re talking big blue skies all day long, with air so dry you can feel the difference from a week ago just by stepping outside. As I write this, the humidity is only 32%—that won’t even seem like a possibility in a few weeks!
The ridge of high pressure that is keeping us sunny and dry this week isn’t going anywhere any time soon, limiting rain chances, and letting the temperatures soar. Right now, models are predicting a significant heat wave for the entire Southeast. North Florida, which doesn’t get as much help from onshore sea breezes as Central Florida, could be in the triple digits by the end of the week. The heat and sunny days are expected to hang on through Memorial Day.
What’s on the horizon?
The typical beginning of rainy season is the first week of June. When that arrives, you can expect high humidity, a strong chance of afternoon thunderstorms, and some welcome afternoon cloud cover for shade. All those clouds will usually help hold afternoon temperatures down in the upper 80s throughout June.
Touring the parks during the rainy season has its own unique set of challenges, from planning when you can enjoy outdoor attractions, to severe weather safety, to how many extra sets of shoes you ought to bring on your trip! We’ll cover those topics in detail in blog posts to come.
Got a weather question that you want to see answered? Let us know in the comments.