Florida where it's located

Index


Introduction


In much of Florida, the climate is sub-tropical, with mild winters (but subject to short cold spells) and hot, sunny summers. Summer, from June to September, is also muggy and with frequent thunderstorms. In the far south, where Miami is located, the climate is tropical, since the average temperature in January reaches 20 °C (68 °F). In summer and early autumn, Florida is prone to hurricanes.

In summer, temperatures are uniform from north to south, especially in the daytime, when they range between 31 °C and 33 °C (88 °F and 91 °F), while at night, they become warmer as you head south, in fact, they range from 21 °C (70 °F) in the far north to 27 °C (81 °F) in the Keys. On the contrary, temperatures in winter are very different: in January, the daily average ranges from 11 °C (52 °F) in the north (where it is similar to that of many Mediterranean areas) to 20 °C (68 °F) in the far south. In summer, it's especially the high humidity that makes the heat uncomfortable, although periods of intense heat are also possible, with highs about 37/38 °C (99/100 °F). Afternoon breezes and thunderstorms give a bit of relief, otherwise, you can swim in the sea or take refuge in air-conditioned buildings.
In winter, there are on average 8/9 days with rainfall in the north and 6/7 in the center-south. The rains are due to frontal systems, which are formed because of the clash of air masses, and may be accompanied by the wind, and sometimes by cold temperatures. The rare cold spells can occur from late November to mid-March.
In the northern part of Florida, snow is rare but it can sometimes occur; in the central part (see Orlando), it's very rare, while in the south, which includes Miami, it practically never snows.
On winter nights, fog may form in the north.

Here are the average minimum and maximum temperatures of January in some locations, both in Fahrenheit and Celsius degrees.

Average temperatures in January in Florida

In summer, it's often sunny, but some cloudiness can form, more or less extended, which can lead to thunderstorms, sometimes accompanied by wind gusts, and less frequently by hail. Fortunately, these thunderstorms do not last long, and quickly give way to the sun.
Tornadoes in Florida are more common than in the Great Plains and in the Midwest of the United States, but they are generally much weaker. Sometimes, particularly intense tornadoes can occur in winter or spring because of abrupt intrusions of cold air.
The season of hurricanes and tropical storms goes from June to November, although they are more likely from August to October. A particularly intense hurricane that hit Florida was the Labor Day hurricane, in August-September 1935. The areas most at risk are the coastal ones because of storm surges coming from the sea.
The amount of sunshine in Florida is very good all year round, and it is no surprise that the state nickname is "Sunshine State" (although, in reality, the deserts of California, Arizona and Nevada get more sunshine). The sunniest months are March and April in the south and April and May in the north, while the least sunny season is winter, when, however, the sun often shines as well. In summer, as mentioned, the sky is not always clear: scattered clouds can form, and they can sometimes grow until they give rise to showers and thunderstorms, while later, the sun will come back. The south is slightly sunnier than the north: the sun shines 70% of the time in Miami, 66% in Tampa, and 60% in Pensacola.
Here are the average daily sunshine hours in Tampa.
Tampa - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours67910109987876

The cities


Now, let's see in detail the climate of some cities, starting from the north.

Pensacola

In Pensacola, located in the northwest and overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, the average temperature ranges from 11 °C (52 °F) in January to 28 °C (82 °F) in July. Therefore, winter is not so mild, in addition, short cold spells are possible, and sometimes even frosts. The coldest record is as low as -15 °C (5 °F), and was set in January 1985. Here are the average temperatures.
Pensacola - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)681114192324232116117
Max (°C)161821242831323230262117
Min (°F)434652576673757370615245
Max (°F)616470758288909086797063

Rainfall amounts to 1,600 millimeters (63 inches) per year, and it's quite abundant even in winter, when it exceeds on average 100 mm (4 in) per month, while there are two relative breaks in spring and autumn, in April-May and October-November (although heavy rains can sometimes occur also in these periods). Winter rains are due to the clash of air masses, which generate disturbances and draw mild and moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, while summer rains are mainly due to heat thunderstorms. Here is the average precipitation.
Pensacola - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)1201301501101051701901701501351201151660
Prec.(in)4.75.15.94.34.16.77.56.75.95.34.74.565.4
Days998771114149679110

Pensacola was hit by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, along with the neighbouring state of Alabama, while it was only brushed by Hurricane Katrina in the following year.

In the other northern cities of Florida (see Tallahassee, Jacksonville), the climate is similar to that of Pensacola.

Orlando

Continuing to the south, we arrive in Orlando, at the center of the peninsula, where Disneyworld is also located. Here, winter is much milder, since the January average rises to 15.5 °C (60 °F). However, even here, short cold spells with slight frosts are sometimes possible, from November to March. Every so often, even snow can fall, although the only event with accumulation in the city occurred in 1948, and on the outskirts also in 1977.
Here are the average temperatures.
Orlando - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)101214172023242423201512
Max (°C)222325283133333332292622
Min (°F)505457636873757573685954
Max (°F)727377828891919190847972

In Orlando, as generally happens in central and southern Florida, winter is the least rainy season, in fact, 55 to 65 mm (2.2 to 2.6 in) of rain fall per month from November to February. Summer is, as usual, the rainiest season because of thunderstorms, but also because of the contribution given by hurricanes: rainfall exceeds 150 mm (6 in) per month from June to September. Here is the average precipitation.
Orlando - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)60609570901951851801558555651290
Prec.(in)2.42.43.72.83.57.77.37.16.13.32.22.650.8
Days7778816161713867119

The sun in Orlando shines for a good number of hours all year round. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.
Orlando - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours789999998777

In Tampa, located on the coast to the south-west of Orlando, and in Bradenton, located south of Tampa, the climate is similar.

Miami

Further south, we enter an area where cold waves in winter are very rare, and in any case, they are less intense, and only bring a bit cold at night. In this area, the climate can already be described as tropical. In West Palm Beach, the average in January is 19 °C (66 °F), and in Miami, it reaches 20 °C (68 °F).
Here are the average temperatures in Miami.
Miami - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)161718202324252525232017
Max (°C)252627283132333332302826
Min (°F)616364687375777777736863
Max (°F)777981828890919190868279

South of Miami, in the Keys, the temperature during the day is similar, but it's even higher at night: in Key West, lows range from 18 °C (64 °F) in January to 26.5 °C (79.5 °F) in July.

Florida Keys

Sea temperature


In the northernmost part of the Gulf of Mexico, the sea is warm enough for swimming from May to November, and becomes very warm from June to September, while it is a bit cold in winter, as you can see in the table regarding the sea temperatures near Pensacola.
Pensacola - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)181819212428292928252320
Temp (°F)646466707582848482777368

On the northeast coast, the Atlantic Ocean is warmer in the winter months, in fact, it does not drop below 21 °C (68 °F), as you can see from the sea temperatures at Fernandina Beach. To find similar temperatures on the west coast, you have to go down to the latitude of Tampa.
Fernandina Beach - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)212121222527282928262423
Temp (°F)707070727781828482797573

To find acceptable sea temperatures even in winter, about 23/24 °C (73/75 °F), you have to go to the southern part of the west coast (see Marco Island), while on the east coast, these temperatures are found already at the latitude of Orlando (see Cape Canaveral). In Miami, in the south-east, the sea is just warmer than in Cape Canaveral.
Here are the average sea temperatures in Miami.
Miami - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)242424252729293029282625
Temp (°F)757575778184848684827977

Best Time


The best time to visit South Florida and Miami is from December to April. In winter, Miami is definitely the warmest and most sheltered place throughout the United States, and there are many sunny days, however, even here, sometimes there can be cool and windy conditions, as well as some rain. In the center-north, where the risk of cold and rainy weather is higher, you can choose spring and autumn, ie March-April and October-November, although hurricanes are still possible in October.
As previously mentioned, in the south, the sea is warm enough for swimming even in winter, although the weather is not always ideal: it can sometimes get cool, and even a little cold; hence, you can choose the period from mid-March to late April. In May, the heat begins to be felt and thunderstorms become more frequent, but you can still go for a beach holiday. Of course, you could also go in the long summer, but the heat is sweltering, and there is also the risk of hurricanes.

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