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A Brief History of West Palm Beach
The city of West Palm Beach is located in South Florida. Lake Worth Lagoon separates it from the neighboring city of Palm Beach. The downtown districts of CityPlace and Clematis Street are full of clubs, bars, shops, and restaurants. The Norton Museum of Art has displays of Impressionist paintings as well as Chinese, European and American art. Nearby is the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, which has 4 theaters and hosts opera, dance, plays, and concerts.
West Palm Beach features a tropical rainforest climate. The mean temperature is over 64.6 degrees F in all months. The tropical climate allows numerous species of tropical plants to thrive all throughout the city.
May through October is the wet season. It is wet, humid and hot. From April 20 to October 8 the average temperature is 90 degrees F, but since record-keeping started in 1888 there have been four times where the temperature was 100 degrees F or higher. During this time, over half the days include thunderstorms in the afternoon along with sea breezes to cool down the air for the remainder of the day.
November through April is the dry season. It is mainly dry and warm, with 80 degree F temperatures being fairly common even in the months of December through February. The area does experience cold fronts occasionally during these months, with daytime temperatures dropping below 65 degrees F and lows going down to 45 degrees F or even lower. The fronts only last for a couple of days and then high temperatures go back to the 70s and 80s, with the low temperatures being in the mid-60s. In January 2010 there was a prolonged and severe cold snap where there were 12 days in a row with low temperatures of 45 degrees F or below. Nine of those twelve days were less than 40 degrees F and included several mornings that were near or at freezing temperatures.
The start of South Florida’s historic period began in 1513 when Juan Ponce de Leon first came into contact with the area’s native people. A thriving native population was found by the Europeans. They categorized them into separate tribes: the Ais and Jaega people north of the Tequesta on the east coast and in the East Okeechobee area and the Mayaimi people living in the Lake Okeechobee basin. South Florida had around 20,000 Native Americans when the Spanish first arrived. However, by 1763, after Florida had come under the control of the English, the native people had been almost completely wiped out by European diseases, enslavement, and war.