Florida is known for its warm and pleasant weather, which is why it is one of the top tourist destinations in North America and has been named "The Sunshine State". Florida has mild winters; this is the main reason why many residents of the cold Northeast and Midwest (as well as many international travelers) spend their winters or retirement here.
The average temperature in Florida
during the winter months
is in the low to mid 60's (near 20C), occasionally getting up into the high 70's (near 25C), although frost is not uncommon (especially in January and February), so a light jumper/sweater is often needed even during the day, and a fleece or lined windbreaker a must at night. Florida has early and warm springs
and long autumns
sometimes lasting well into December, with sapphire-blue skies, low humidity, and only very occasional showers. Spring and autumn in Florida might be the perfect moment of the year to charter a boat in Miami
or rent a luxury convertible
in order to truly enjoy the best of Florida’s weather. The temperature in Florida rises in the spring and autumn
hover in the low 80s (20-22C). Summers are long, hot, and humid, (70% or more) with temperature sin the state averaging in the high 80's to mid 90's (30-35C) during June, July, and August.
Rainfall, especially thunderstorms, is also common in Florida. In fact, the state has the highest number of thunderstorms in the U.S. Average rainfall for most of the state is between 50 and 60 inches (125-150 cm). Because it is in a subtropical climate zone, there is a wet season starting in late spring (usually May-June) and lasting until the end of November. Between the end of November and late May, showers are few and far in between, only arriving to herald a cold front in the winter months. Late springs can occasionally bring wildfires to rural areas, but these only rarely threaten populated areas.
Summers are wet and humid, but here is an upside. The mornings are quite bearable, with the heat of the day being the worst between early and mid-afternoon. This best activity during summer would be to lie down at the pool of your Miami hotel or Miami Beach vacation rental. It will begin then to cloud over, with ominously dark and heavy thunderclouds towering where the ever-present sea breeze meets the evaporation over the inland part of the state. Just when the day is getting too hot to stand, there is an almost daily thundershower with lots of lightning and rumbling thunder. It will rain as much as 1-2 inches (2.5-5cm) in an hour or two, but will clear off, and the puddles will drain away to leave a very pleasant evening with stellar sunsets and starlit nights. (Florida is the lightning capital of the United States, so those who like to watch thunderstorms from a safe indoor venue will not be disappointed.)
The sun is far more intense in Florida than in more northern climes, so please take precautions against sunburn. Plan to wear at least a 25-30 SPF, and do not forget a hat and sunglasses. Cover up before you start to look red -- at that point the damage is done, and you will be living with a painful crimson burn. (There are plenty of aloe lotions available in every retail outlet to help ease the pain if you cross that line!) Remember to drink lots and lots of water, keep in mind that caffeine and alcohol compound dehydration, and heat-related injuries (dehydration, heat exhaustion) can ruin a day or two of your hard-earned vacation at best, and can require a trip to hospital at worst. Invest a little time and common sense, and your payoff will be feeling ready to enjoy every minute of your visit!
Visitors come to Florida (list of cities in Florida) all year 'round for its popular family resorts and beaches. The winter and spring may be the most popular time for people to visit, but great deals on airfare and Miami hotels can be had during the summer months when tourism numbers decrease. Spring time is also great to enjoy romantic vacations in Miami.
Hurricane season officially runs from June 1st to November 30th with the peak activity coming in August and early September. You can keep an eye on the tropical happenings at NOAA National Hurricane Center, the government gives updates every six hours (11 a.m., 5 p.m., 11 p.m., and 5 a.m.) during the season, with an intermediate advisory at 2 p.m., 8 p.m., 2 a.m., and 8 a.m. when there is an active storm. The site is also a treasure trove of information about these fascinating weather phenomena, as well as the best way to prepare for the landfall of a storm.
The NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration is the U.S. government weather agency) site, officially dubbed the NHC, or National Hurricane Center, is more reliable and far more preferable to the commercial weather sites, as their job is to report the position and intensity of the storm, and forecast its future movements and growth (or dissipation, as the case may be). Commercial weather sites are frequently driven by profit motivations to highlight the more frightening aspects of a storm.
Florida does not get a direct hit every year and not every storm is a Category 5 storm of the century. The state has borne strikes from small tropical storms that bring nothing but torrential rain, to the horrors of Andrew (1992) and Ivan (2004). Do not panic just because you see a storm forming keep an eye on the updates, and contact your travel providers (Miami hotels, Miami car rentals, Miami concierge services, Florida theme parks, Miami airlines, Miami cruise lines, etc.) by phone, fax, or email, and check their websites to find their policies about hurricanes, and ask them under what circumstances those policies are enacted. (Disney, for example, requires a hurricane warning to be posted before replacing tickets.)