This Week in Walt Disney World Weather — August 18, 2019

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A week of clouds, a week of rain, and a week of dodging the bullet (seriously!): a remarkably gloomy run of days have made this August at Walt Disney World good weather for ducks. And Eeyore, if you’re going with the argument that he actually likes his little black rain cloud. Here’s what’s been happening, what to expect next week, and a preview of fall weather at Walt Disney World.

August has been more than earning its reputation as Central Florida’s hottest and wettest month so far this year, with an absolutely soaking-wet atmosphere that’s been fodder for heavy downpours, sticky evenings and cloudy mornings. A trough hanging low over north Florida pushed our summertime ridge of high pressure all the way down to the Florida Keys. The resulting southwest flow of air has been dumping incredibly moist air right onto the Gulf Coast, and each day all of that moisture has been pushed on to us in Central Florida. The humidity has soared, with heat index temperatures starting off the day close to 90 degrees–at sunrise!

Clear, sunny, and a heat index of 89 at sunrise: Monday, August 12 at Disney Springs
Clear, sunny, and a heat index of 89 at sunrise: Monday, August 12 at Disney Springs

But despite daily gray skies and dumping downpours, we’ve gotten off easy! Over on the Nature Coast to our northwest, they’re measuring August rainfall in feet already. That’s where the bulk of the rain has been pouring, all day every day, since last weekend.

This week’s weather at Walt Disney World

To start the week, the ridge is advancing north from the Florida Straits at last, and it’s bringing some drier air with it. That won’t last long before another trough stirs up the air and brings back stronger rain chances from Tuesday onward.

This coming week, we are looking forward to more sun, with highs around 90 each day and a chance of an afternoon thunderstorm pushing through. Evenings will cool slightly, especially if it rains late, but lows will be close to 77 degrees overnight, so don’t look for a lot of relief after sunset.

With rain chances bottoming at about 30% on Monday before pushing back to 60% for the rest of the week, this week’s forecast looks much closer to a typical summertime forecast than anything we’ve seen lately. That’s great news if you’ve been hoping to get some pool time or hit a water park during your Disney vacation! But additional sun is going to continue to make daytime temperatures uncomfortable or, depending on your activity level, downright dangerous. Continue to make your theme park plans with shade, hydration, and A/C breaks for the middle of the day a priority.

What’s happening in the tropics?

The Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and Atlantic Ocean are not doing much of anything! Off the Carolina coast, there’s an invest associated with the low pressure that’s been influencing our rain for the past week. It has a low chance of formation and will primarily cause heavy rain for the Carolinas. There are no other tropical cyclones or areas of interest in the north Atlantic region to start the week!

Fall Preview

We’ve been talking about afternoon rain and hot days since May, but now that we’re heading into late August, fall travel is starting to come up quickly on the calendar. What can you look forward to in Central Florida and Walt Disney World weather in the autumn months? Let’s take a peek, month by month.

September: The traditional first month of fall is basically Summer, Extended here in Central Florida. It’s still quite hot and storms are still a daily occurrence. A lot of guests and residents will tell you that September feels hotter than August, and I think one reason for that is the slightly drier weather. While September is still very much part of our rainy season, we often see more clear mornings and later storm coverage, especially as the end of the month looms. That lets the sun get really searing-hot! Afternoons in the 90s and lingering late-evening storms make September problematic for pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween costumes. The normal high in September is 89, slipping only from 91 to 89 from the first to the last of the month. The normal daily rainfall is about two-tenths of an inch. There’s also a decent chance of a tropical system affecting the area.

A September afternoon on the Seven Seas Lagoon... looks pretty summery!
A September afternoon on the Seven Seas Lagoon… looks pretty summery! You can see the sun angle has shifted south a little, if you’re looking closely at the clouds.

October: This is the first month of fall in Florida, but the drop in temperatures is heavily reliant on a cold front passing through the area. The average date for the first cold front is around October 14, and the dry air that sweeps in behind the front is what switches off our rainy season. The mid-month low also usually brings some heavy rainfall, and some of October’s highest recorded rain totals are for that sweet spot. Normal high temperatures dip from 88 at the beginning of the month to 82 at the end, and normal lows from 70 to 62.

November: Pack your swimsuit and your jacket, because this is where the fun starts. November at Disney World can become a guessing game of cool mornings and warm, sunny afternoons. Cold fronts can dart through the area bringing heavy rain (often these rain events seem to happen overnight, for some reason) and chilly temperatures for a day, before the sun warms everything up again. The normal high in November starts at 81 and dips to 76, but the high 80s haven’t been too unusual and the latest recording of 90+ is on November 16. The normal low dips from 62 to 56—brrr!

Writing about autumn weather in August feels too close for comfort in the northeast, but it feels like a fairy tale in Florida. With most residents (myself included) not even thinking about where we stashed our sweaters for another three months, and the temperature outside steadily climbing towards a forecast high of 93 today, the idea of fall is almost incomprehensible. In Florida, the seasons are so extreme that it can be hard to remember what time of year it actually is. Lucky for us, we have all the Halloween decor at Magic Kingdom to help us remember!

Natalie Reinert

One of those Florida locals who can usually tell you if it's going to rain by the sun angle and the feel of the air, I'm an avid weather fan and a certified weather spotter for the National Weather Service's SkyWarn program. I tweet about Central Florida weather at @WeatheratWDW. As I work for Walt Disney World, please note all of my views are my own, and do not represent the views of The Walt Disney Company. All information shared in my posts comes from publicly available sources.

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