Climate (December - March): Winters are mild throughout most of this region. This is the dry season and conditions are most favorable during this time of year for exterior concrete work. Temperatures range from 60 F to 80 F, with freezing temperatures very rare. Rain is infrequent, but hit-and-miss rain showers can occur.
Mix Designs: Because of the warm year-round climate, most exterior concrete mix designs have compressive strengths of 3000 psi concrete and need little in the way of additional chemical set accelerators during the winter. In northern areas of the region, 4000-psi concrete is often specified and set accelerators and air entrainment may be used if necessary.
Placement and Curing Practices: Mild temperatures and moderate humidity allow for relatively easy placement and curing of concrete in these regions during the winter. Cold-weather concrete practices are rarely, if ever, used. However, the use of curing compounds is still recommended, especially in the wind-prone coastal areas.
Special Equipment: Since this region has mild winter temperatures, there are no special equipment requirements when placing concrete in the winter.
Climate (March – April): Spring brings increasing humidity and temperatures. Rain can become more frequent, but it is still considered part of the dry season. Temperatures are still moderate, and exterior concrete work is preformed with little concern for extreme weather.
Placement and Curing Practices: Hot-weather concreting practices become more critical as the temperatures start to increase.
Special Equipment: Sprayers to apply curing compounds and surface set retarders during hot weather.
Climate (May – September): Hot and humid! Even coastal areas experience hot conditions. Along with the warmer weather comes the tropical monsoon season, with almost daily afternoon downpours of rain, sometimes with heavy winds. In most areas of this region, summer can be the most demanding time of year to pour exterior concrete.
Mix Designs: When hot conditions do exist, hydration stabilizers, fly ash, and water reducers are common admixtures used in this region to extend working life without affecting performance. The use of ice in mix water is also common to cool the concrete during mixing transport.
Placement and Curing Practices: Hot-weather concreting practices are the norm in the summer months. With the high heat and oppressive humidity, placement and curing of concrete may require extreme measures. In most areas, all concrete placement is recommended to take place before 10 a.m. On many larger projects, concrete is placed at night or during the early morning hours to avoid the extreme heat of the day and to allow concrete to set before afternoon rains. Rapid surface hydration is always a threat, so surface evaporative control agents and curing compounds are common on exterior concrete placements.
Special Equipment: Sprayers to apply curing compounds and surface evaporative control agents; plastic sheeting for protection from rain.
Climate (October – November): Fall temperatures can still be quite hot, with high humidity. This is the heart of hurricane season, so constant monitoring of the weather forecast is important since major storms can last for days and do major damage.
Placement and Curing Practices: Hot-weather concreting practices are in effect well into the fall in most areas of the region. The use of plastic sheeting for rain protection is also common well into the fall.
Special Equipment: Sprayers to apply curing compounds and surface evaporative control agents; plastic sheeting.
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Plan Your Pour
The predominant weather is warm and humid. Precipitation is frequent, and can be heavy. Annual rainfall averages 40 to 60 inches. There is a distinctive wet and dry season for most of this region. The wet season runs from June to October, with the dry season running through the winter into early summer. Frost and winter freezing spells can occur, but do not last long. The farther south you go, the rarer frost and cold weather become. Exterior concrete is poured year-round, but special attention is needed due to extreme summer heat and sudden downpours. This entire region is vulnerable to Atlantic hurricanes during the hurricane season, which runs from June through November.