110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Rick Tonyan and
One rule of thumb for dealing Florida weather is: If you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes. Those of us who've lived here for a while often add: Or move 5 miles.
Or even 5 feet. A staffer at The West Volusia Beacon once stood on a sidewalk along New York Avenue and stuck his arm out into the street. His arm was soaked by the rain pouring down on the avenue. The rest of him on the sidewalk was dry.
The point is, even when the weather's distressing in Volusia County, it usually isn't countywide and it rarely lasts long. Even a full week of gray days or coat-wearing cold is unusual.
Yes, it gets really, really hot in the summer (the average summer temperature is 81).
There are at least three ways to handle it:
1. Plunge yourself into the 72-degree waters of either Blue Spring or DeLeon Springs. You'll be cool for hours afterward.
2. Escape indoors. Air-conditioning is a wonderful thing.
3. Wait for late afternoon, when there will almost certainly be a cooling summer shower. Go outdoors and enjoy it.
At the end of three years, you'll be acclimated, and it won't seem so hot anymore. In fact, you'll start packing a sweater any time you're traveling north of Palatka.
Every locale has something. West Volusia is blissfully free of snow, ice and earthquakes. But we have hurricane season, from June 1 to Nov. 30.
Historically speaking, West Volusia is one of the best places in the state for folks who fear hurricanes. For years, a hurricane hadn't struck the area. Local lore said Cape Canaveral, jutting out into the Atlantic, steered them away from the East Coast, and Gulf-based storms generally lost their steam by the time they crossed the state and arrived here.
But that changed with a vengeance in 2004, when the eyes of three storms passed over West Volusia in little more than a month, with the eastbound storms as bad as the one that came in from the Atlantic.
At 30 miles inland, West Volusia doesn't have as much to fear from hurricanes as do the coastal areas, but the storms can be challenging.
Several more years will be required, however, before we know whether 2004 was a fluke or the beginning of a longer cycle of more frequent storms. While we wait to figure that out, we'll keep on enjoying our 360 or so days a year of really fine weather.
Volusia County's average summer temperature is 81. The average winter temperature is 61.5, and the average rainfall is 48.46 inches. All of this is from Volusia County's official Web site: www.volusia.org.
At that site, you'll find a number of other useful weather links, along with a live beach cam, so you can plan whether to wear your windbreaker or your bikini to the beach.