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In Florida Seasons, Sunlight is longer in Winter and Shorter in Summer

You'll know you're in Florida when everyone is wearing flip-flops to church, and socks are only for bowling. After all, the Sunshine State enjoys plenty of sunlight and warm temperatures throughout the year, including winter.

For most Floridians, anything under 75 degrees is chilly, and they never get to use umbrellas since the rain doesn't come even after showing signs that it's about to pour.

But that's not even the most ironic part. Sunlight in Florida is longer in winter than in summer, and the state experiences more sunshine than other states within the same time zone.

This post explains why Florida has more daylight in winter and less in summer compared to other states. Read on to find out more.

Why is sunlight in Florida longer in winter than in summer?

The sun is typically out longer during summer than in winter in most states in the Northern Hemisphere. In the summer, the sun rises very early in the morning and sets late in the evening, making the days seem longer than usual.

Interestingly, this is not the case in Florida. Unlike other states in the same time zone, daylight in Florida is slightly longer in wintertime than in summer.

This remarkable occurrence happens every winter, even though Florida is in the Northern Hemisphere. 

It might seem puzzling at first, but there's an explanation for this. The prolonged periods of sunlight have everything to do with a natural phenomenon called solstice, which is an event marked by the sun reaching its minimum or maximum declination.

As you probably know, the earth revolves around the sun for 365 days, which explains why we have four different seasons every year. During the summer solstice, the north pole tilts in the direction of the sun, and that's why we have longer, sunny days during this season.

During the winter solstice, the earth experiences shorter days. The south pole tilts closer towards the sun, meaning countries in the Northern Hemisphere will have shorter periods of sunlight.

Looking at your global map, you will notice that Florida is closer to the equator than all the other Northern States, and the sunrise line cuts across the state differently compared with other states in the time zone.

Florida seems to have prolonged daylight during winter because of its longitudinal position and the earth's spherical shape. The sun might rise simultaneously across all the states on the East Coast but sets an hour later in Florida because the sunrise line (terminator) is marginally different.

You will also observe that Florida's longitude position is 7.5 degrees west of states like New York. Typically, the earth takes approximately 30 minutes to rotate 7.5 degrees, meaning the sun will reach its midday position 30 minutes later in Florida than it does in other states within the region.

Then again, Florida is located more towards the south, meaning it tends to experience more sunshine as the south pole tilts closer to the sun during winter.

The reverse is true during summer. Other states within the same time zone as Florida enjoy an hour more sunlight in the summer. But this time around, the sun rises an hour earlier in other East Coast states but goes down simultaneously for all cities within the time zone.

Reasons Florida gets more sunshine throughout the year

Now that you know why sunlight in Florida is longer in winter than in summer, it's time to explore the reasons why the state experiences more sunshine throughout the year compared with other states.

When you set foot in Florida, you'll never want to leave. After all, it is one of the few states bestowed with plenty of sunshine throughout the year. No wonder many people call it the Sunshine State.

That aside, here are the top reasons why Florida gets more sunshine than other states throughout the year.

Subtropical climate

Florida receives more sunshine throughout the year because it is one of the states within the subtropical climate zone. States within the subtropics experience hot and humid summers and cool and mild winters. It rarely rains in the subtropics, and the heat tends to be intense, particularly in the summer.

Proximity to the equator

Another reason why Florida enjoys more sunshine has to do with its geographical position. Out of the 48 conterminous states, Florida is the only state closest to the equator, although it is thousands of miles away from this planetary line. And as you know, countries in proximity to the equator enjoy warmer temperatures and longer days throughout the year.


Now you know why Florida is called the Sunshine State. It enjoys longer sunlight days during winter and shorter days in the summer. So, if you are planning to escape the cold winter nights and enjoy more sunlight this Christmas, consider adding Florida to your bucket list as one of your must-visit destinations this year.

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