Strategies for Managing Flight Delays During Florida’s Thunderstorm Season

by joeheg

As residents of Central Florida, we’re acutely aware of summer weather patterns. While the mornings can be pleasant, it isn’t long before the heat and humidity build, eventually resulting in almost daily thunderstorms. According to NOAA, the Florida Thunderstorm Season runs from May to September (although the realities can vary from year to year. It’s mid-June and we’re still in a draught).  a screen shot of a weather report

In general, the rainy season is characterized by warm, humid conditions with frequent showers and thunderstorms. The start date of the rainy season varies from year to year and is largely determined by the onset of almost daily showers and thunderstorms over the Florida peninsula, as well as late night and morning showers and thunderstorms over the waters of the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

How To Avoid Weather Delays

If you want to avoid these storms, your best bet is to take an early flight. That’s because even if there’s not a storm when you’re flying, there’s a chance that a storm earlier in the day will cause flight delays. For instance, here’s a list of Southwest flights to Orlando on a day when storms were in the area (even though Orlando was sunny).

a screen with blue and white textNote how many of the flights are delayed, even if they’re several hours from their scheduled departure time. Fortunately, most of the delays were only 30-60 minutes, but some were over 2 hours.

When you’re traveling to Orlando during thunderstorm season in the afternoon or evening, prepare to take some unusual routes, like this roundabout trip from Atlanta. To avoid the weather, we flew to the east over Savannah and then over the Atlantic.

a map of the united states

That’s undoubtedly the most unusual route from ATL-MCO that I’ve ever been on.

I can’t speak for your home airport, but we know that when flying from Orlando, it’s best to travel early in the morning. That way, we’re able to get away before the storms develop. When flying home, it’s a different story. Delays are almost inevitable, and we try not to take the last flight of the day as it’s the one most likely to be canceled due to delays and the crew timing out.

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1 comment

Lance June 20, 2023 - 4:52 pm

A better headline, you should just avoid Florida. That state has become toxic.


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