This Week in Walt Disney World Weather — July 14, 2019

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Is the hurricane season heating up? After a wet week and the season’s second named storm, you might be a little bit wary of what’s coming up next in Walt Disney World weather. If your vacation is coming up this July, what’s on the horizon? It’s already been quite the summer of extremes. Big rain, big heat: can’t we just choose one or the other?

Not in Florida!

Last week’s extra rainfall was brought to us courtesy of what would become Tropical Storm Barry, and there were plenty of tropical downpours and gloomy skies to go around. Tropical systems don’t need to have a name in order to bring flooding rains — that’s just a title to help forecasters get the word out, and help insurance adjustors organize their claims. No matter where a tropical cyclone falls on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, it’s going to mean wet days. Scattered to numerous storms brought dramatic skies to the Walt Disney World and Orlando resort area just about every day, and some inconvenient flooding as well!

A flooded playground at Disney's All-Star Resorts.
A flooded playground at Disney’s All-Star Resorts.

That rainy week then turned into a dry weekend, which is typical when a tropical system moves past the area. As Tropical Storm Barry moved inland over Louisiana, the rain disappeared and left us with a sullen gray Saturday which fooled a lot of guests into thinking they were in for another wet day. Not so fast! Appearances can be deceiving in Florida. A gray day, with no sunshine to heat up the land and interact with the sea breeze, is often a dry day.

Once the clouds cleared, Sunday managed to heat up, with just a few scattered storms brushing the Walt Disney World area. If you caught a couple of raindrops, you probably didn’t feel much cooler once they cleared up. The evenings have been sultry, with the temperatures sticking into the high 80s late into the night, and that’s the way things will remain until the afternoon rain coverage increases again.

A rain plume falls over Orlando during a "scattered storms" kind of afternoon last week.
A rain plume falls over Orlando during a “scattered storms” kind of afternoon last week.

It’s worth mentioning here that the forecast models for Tropical Storm Barry showed just how accurate an early, long-range forecast for tropical cyclones can be these days. Forecasts for a tropical cyclone in the Gulf of Mexico came out on July 5. The first advisory on Potential Tropical Cyclone Two (later organized and named Barry) came out on July 10, and it was exactly where the models had forecast it to be. This is more good news on the effort to increase the warning time for looming tropical storms and hurricanes.

What’s coming this week in Walt Disney World weather

This week, things start out hot, sunny, and dry. If you’re ready for a break from the roasting sun, the afternoon rain clouds are expected to return by Tuesday. That’s when things flip to the other extreme again. The storms that develop from sea breeze collisions each afternoon won’t be in a hurry to go anywhere. We’re expecting heavy rain, dangerous lightning, and perhaps some gusty winds from slow-moving storms which don’t dissipate until well after sunset.

After last week, the ground is already waterlogged and our retention ponds are full, so there will be pockets of flooding during storms. If you’re driving around Orlando through the rest of this week, be cautious, especially around blind turns—there might be a minor lake on the other side you weren’t expecting.

Temperatures will reach the mid 90s each day before being brought down by afternoon and evening rains. On days when rain sticks around until late evening, the temperatures will drop into the low 70s.

There is good news, though, and that’s in the tropics. With Tropical Storm Barry out of Florida’s weather picture, there are no other potential storms being tracked by the National Hurricane Center. No tropical storm formation is expected through the work week.

All in all, it looks like a pretty average July week. With the occasional exceptions of weather influenced by tropical storms or any particularly intense weather systems, this is the basic weather pattern to expect anytime you’re traveling to central Florida between June and early October. We’ve had a few exceptions already this summer, starting with that stubborn ridge that kept us baking hot and dry in June, and of course last week’s tropical moisture from the developing tropical cyclone. Average weeks have felt like the exception, rather than the rule. So although we are expecting to be a little wetter than average this week, all in all, given the extremes we’ve had this summer, the final week of July should be comparatively normal.

And normal is a word we would like to throw around a lot over the next month. After all, the end of August is the start of something big for Walt Disney World—two something bigs, actually. With both Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival gearing up for August 30 openings, there are going to be plenty of temptations to risk the weather and join big queues, drink some libations that are, shall we say, less than hydrating, and stay out all day in both sun and storms to take in everything the new land and the popular festival have to offer.

With so many new things to experience, if we could have some nice, normal days with some afternoon clouds and a little rain to cool things off, but nothing too crazy. That would surely be the best case scenario for everyone.

We’ll be watching the weather for you.

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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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