Miami has what is described as a subtropical climate, This means it is warm and sunny year-round and as such, it is a sought-after location for vacationers at all times of the year, even during the winter. In fact, there are very few places in the United States where you can bathe in the sun on a beach or sit on a patio and drink cocktails – in FEBRUARY, or, as the rest of America calls February: THE DEAD OF WINTER. However, that is certainly the case in Miami and the rest of South Florida. With daytime highs between 65-75 DegF (18-24 DegC) in the winter, and 75-90 DegF (24-32 DegC) the rest of the year, you are sure to get your fill of sun and fun in Miami whenever you decide to go. So what is the weather like in Miami Florida?
What is The Weather Like in Miami Florida?
Florida is the SUNSHINE STATE, and you will be reminded every single day of your stay. It is also a very humid state, and from June to September it is the worst, with humidity levels hitting 90% on some days. Afternoon thunderstorms are common during these months, contributing to half of the state’s yearly accumulated rain totals. These summer storms pop quickly and roll away just as fast.
Furthermore, Florida is a peninsula that digs into the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Straits, so hurricanes hit land occasionally. Hurricane season is officially from June 1 to November 30, and it is during this time that room rates are the least expensive, and a good time to find a bargain rate if you are not particular about the time of year that you vacation in Florida.
Each season in Miami is unique, though probably not as much as you see in other parts of the world. To ensure that you are prepared for the weather conditions in Miami regardless of the time of year you visit, our Miami Weather Guide provides you with all of the details you need to stay safe and be prepared, as well as a packing list for every season.
You can’t beat a good Chart when looking at the weather so here are the averages for the year in Miami.
Don’t be too alarmed as most of the Summer rain comes in brief but heavy showers.
Miami During the High Season
While South Florida has mild weather throughout the year, which is why it is a year-round vacationer’s paradise, the mildest months of the high season—which we describe in the winter section below – mixed with holidays and school breaks, creates an influx of traffic that brings huge crowds of sun-seeking tourists.
This “high season” (or peak season) begins with the Christmas holiday and continues through Easter. Retired folks and others wanting to escape hard winters in the Northeast and Midwest, head to Florida during this time, along with a younger crowd looking for one of many festivals, or are just happy to bake in the sun on energetic beaches during Spring Break and long weekends.
With limited rain, warm days that hover around 80 degF 27 DegC, and temperatures and humidity low enough at night to keep mosquitoes at bay, it is the perfect mix to keep travelers returning year after year to visit the coast and the Keys, and to head out into the Everglades for adventure.
The following are the busy holidays in Miami that create high tourist traffic:
- President’s Day weekend coincides with the third Monday in February
- The week leading up to Good Friday and Easter
- Spring Break, which sometimes coincides with Easter, but is not always
- Memorial Day weekend coincides with the last Monday of May
- Independence Day (Fourth of July)
- Labor Day weekend coincides with the first Monday of September
- Thanksgiving week
- The week before and after Christmas
- New Year’s Eve and Day
Despite not having real seasons as most people know it, people still like to understand what the weather will be like when you leave your home Season, be warned things could be very different in Miami from where ever it is you are leaving!
Winter Weather in Miami
Winter in Miami provides the perfect climate for tourists. While there is an occasional cold snap, it doesn’t last long, with temperatures ranging between 75-80 degF 24-27 DegC, even in the deepest winter months. While most of the East Coast and Midwest are locked down in heavy winter weather from December to February, Florida goes untouched. In fact, snow has not fallen in Miami since January 19, 1977, when a few flakes landed on the shores of Miami Beach. If you’re doing the math, that is more than 40 years ago. There is no other day in recorded history in which it snowed in Miami, though there are stories of a heavy snowstorm that lasted two hours in February “1899”.
In other words, don’t pack your snow boots, even in Miami’s coldest months. However, you might need a light jacket or sweater for the winter evenings, which get down to a “frosty” 60-65DegC 15-18DegC on average.
It’s also possible to get much colder. Temperatures down to Freezing are not unheard of. But that is definitely, the exception, and most nights are still mild by comparison to the more northern states!
Another Plus side for winter is the Everglades. The Water levels are much lower and this means Wildlife is far more concentrated. It is very easy to find Gaters and other water-dwelling creatures as the water levels drop and they congregate around the deep water that is left!
Fall Weather in Miami
The autumn months of September through November are a great time to visit Miami as well. The hot days of summer have disappeared and the crowds are thin, as children and college students are back in school. September is still HOT but the temperature drops off as the month goes on. Expect some rain, and Storms are possible, as is the threat of Hurricanes.
November is one of the driest months of the year in Miami unless a tropical storm or hurricane comes through, but that is rare. The weather during these three months is in the low- to mid-80s (25-30 °C) and rarely gets below 70°F (21 °C) until November when lows drop down towards the mid-’60s ( 18°C )
Spring Weather in Miami
From March to May, Miami gets a lot of rain, but not as much as in the summer. Outside of Spring Break when college kids charge to the shore full of alcohol and hormones, the beaches are less crowded in the spring, as the snowbirds head home. Expect high temperatures in the upper-70s (25 °C+) in March and the mid-80s (28°C) in May.
Summer Weather in Miami
Our trips to Miami are Normally in the summer, which is the time of the year that most tourists avoid because of the heat and the summer storms, which hit like clockwork nearly every afternoon. From our experience, even when it rains, the sun is still visible because Miami is hardly ever covered completely in clouds, and it is rare for any rain shower to last longer than 30-40 minutes unless the state is engulfed in a tropical storm or a hurricane is on the horizon, which we discuss below.
As far as the heat goes in the summer, sea breezes help with the roasting temperatures and relentless sunshine, which makes the beaches bearable. While there are precautions to take because of the direct sun, it is nothing that sufficient water, sunscreen, and shade cannot handle. However Physical Exertion, even walking can be uncomfortable when the needle gets right up. The Humidity can really make it swelter.
If you head out into the Everglades, which surround Miami, make sure you are lathered in bug spray to stay safe. Mosquitoes are abundant this time of the year, and they are attracted to bright colors and body lotion, and perfume with a sweet scent (And ME!). Therefore, wear neutral colors and apply nothing to your skin but unscented sunscreen and bug repellent when you are romping about Everglades National Park, the United States’ largest subtropical wilderness, which is just south of Miami. On the shoreline, mosquitoes are not an issue, as they cannot compete with the ocean winds.
From May to September, temperatures in Miami stay at about 90 DegF (31-33DegC) during the hottest part of the day and rarely get lower than 75 DegC (24DegF), even at night. Severe thunderstorms are common in the afternoons, and June sees the most rain with 200mm (8.8 inches) on average during the month. These pop-up storms gather steam somewhere in the middle of the state and hit hard around Orlando, but the incoming winds from the shores push back the storms a bit in Miami. Still, you are sure to get wet at some point during your stay. The Sun is invariably only minutes away, however.
Hurricane Season in Miami
Florida has a reputation as a hurricane haven, however, they are very rare. Despite what it feels like after 2017. When hurricanes do hit the coast, they are deadly and cause severe damage, and that is why they are top of the mind to Florida residents and vacationers.
Florida is subject to the Caribbean Sea’s hostility. Storms form in the eastern Atlantic and move west. Sometimes, these tropical storms form into a hurricane. There is very little mystery to the route that tropical storms take; they follow an arc that plunges into the Caribbean islands before heading up the U.S. coast or getting trapped in the Gulf of Mexico. Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas get the worst of it.
Unfortunately, of all the places in the hurricane danger zone, Miami is the most likely city in the United State to experience one, according to Accuweather.com, with a 16 percent chance on any given year. Sounds scary, right? Not really. This means that based on historical data, a hurricane will pass within 50 miles of Miami every six to eight years at SOME point during the year, which will probably not be when you are there!
While there have been few hurricanes in more than 50 years in Miami, Hurricane Irma came around in September 2017, with winds that reached an unthinkable 213 m.p.h. In its wake, 124 people died throughout the Caribbean and Florida. We were Due to land in Orlando the Day Irma was due to arrive in town and were heading to Miami the week after.
Obviously, this trip was postponed and we arrived in Miami around 3 weeks after. After hearing about the devastation we feared the worst, however, for the most part, Miami was spared, as winds had died to 90 m.p.h. when it arrived, and because the building codes in Miami-Dade County have the nation’s highest wind standards. There were some damaged trees and a few signs down but it stood up incredibly well and was spared the large Storm surge that devastated some areas. The Header Photo for this Blog was taken on that trip!
Regardless, the impact of the storm still cost Miami’s economy about $100 billion.
Before Hurricane Irma, the last one that dusted Miami was in 1992, when Hurricane Andrew hit the city, causing $30 billion in damage. Before Andrew, you would have to go back to 1962 to find another hurricane that impacted Miami greatly. As you can see, while a hurricane contingency plan is a good idea, you have very little to worry about while visiting Miami.
If you are heading in August September or October the best bet is to Remain Flexible, ensure you have adequate travel insurance, and above all listen to the authorities. They know what they are doing and Florida is well-drilled when it comes to Hurricanes. While a Death toll of 124 people is horrific, it could, and probably should, have been a lot worse!
What to Pack for Miami Weather
What you will need to pack for your trip to Miami depends on the season in which you plan to visit. There isn’t a great sway in temperatures and overall weather, but there are a few variations to consider.
Summer – The following are the items that you should pack when you are visiting Miami from June to September:
- Sunscreen: To avoid sun exposure that could cause a burn, wear sunscreen with a high protective factor over any exposed skin. However, you should not use sunscreen to prolong your time in the sun. Sunscreen is only your first line of defense because damaging sunrays still connect with your skin. Therefore, do not stay out in it for too long. When choosing a sunscreen, read the label and make sure that it protects against long-wave ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, which penetrate deep into the dermis, and short-wave ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which burn the superficial layers of your skin. The sunscreen should also have a sun protection factor, or SPF, of 30 or higher. If you properly wear SPF 30 sunscreen, then 30 minutes in the sun is equivalent to one minute in the sun without any protection. Therefore, theoretically, one hour in the sun with SPF 30 is similar to exposing your naked skin to two minutes in the sun.
- Hat: A hat with a two – three-inch brim all around is perfect to protect your skin from the direct sun while lounging about. Hats of this kind protect eyes, ears, forehead, nose, and scalp from the intensity of direct sunlight. Shade caps work well, too. These hats have a wide brim visor to shade the face and a neck drape that covers the neck and ears. A baseball cap only protects the front and top of the head, so you need to drape a bandana underneath the hat in order to protect your ears and neck.
- Sunglasses: An ideal pair of sunglasses blocks 99 percent to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. Sunglasses that are cosmetic only block about 70 percent of UV rays. The shade of the sunglasses is not a factor in determining UV protection. Protection comes from an invisible chemical that is applied to the lenses, so make sure you read the sunglasses label to get a proper pair. Wraparound or large-framed sunglasses work the best.
- Bug repellent: While bug repellent isn’t normally required for hanging out on Miami beaches or even downtown, it is definitely required when heading out into the marshes and everglades while looking for gators and other wildlife. They can be Fierce. We hate Deet. It’s a very strong chemical and we would prefer to avoid it at all costs. However, we have not found anything to work nearly as well. If you want the strongest tropical formula you can find 100% Deet if possible.
- Umbrella (or light ponchos for kids): Keep an umbrella with you at all times because short summer showers are a common occurrence in Miami, usually at least once a day. While running for cover can also provide shelter in a lot of instances.
- Open-toe shoes or sandals: Unless you are walking for long periods of time, expose those toes to stay cooler, and leave the socks at home.
- Swimsuit: The oceans in Florida are an impossibly warm 80 degrees or higher in the summer! The reason is that ocean currents push warm water north from the Caribbean. So, get in the water and enjoy the warmest seawater in the Mainland United States.
- Light fabrics: Where light and loose, cotton and linen shorts, skirts, Capri pants, and short-sleeve or sleeveless shirts. Also, consider clothing that provides UV protection for long days in the sun.
- Light sweater: Bring a light sweater just in case. Since it is hot outside, the restaurants, museums, and offices pump out the cold AC, so a sweater might be in order if you plan to spend a lot of time inside.
Spring – The following are the items that you should pack when you are visiting Miami from March to May:
- Umbrella or poncho
- Open-toe shoes or sandals
- Light fabrics
- Long-sleeve shirts: In addition to short-sleeve and sleeveless shirts for warm days, bring a few long-sleeve shirts for cool nights and chilly mornings. It might still actually feel warm compared to home the Temp Difference makes it feel cooler than it is.
- Light sweater
- Light jacket
Autumn – The following are the items that you should pack when you are visiting Miami from October to November:
- Umbrella or poncho
- Along with open-toe shoes or sandals, bring close-toed shoes for nights and mornings.
- Along with shorts, skirts, and Capri pants for the day, bring lightweight long pants for nights and mornings.
- Short-sleeve or sleeveless shirts, and long-sleeve shirts for nights and evenings
- Light sweater
- Light jacket
Winter – What to pack when you are visiting Miami from December to February:
- Close-toed shoes for nights and mornings
- Lightweight as well as warm long pants
- Short-sleeve or sleeveless shirts, as well as long-sleeve shirts
- Light sweater
- Light jacket
- Swimsuit: In the winter, the water is as warm as the air, which is the low- to mid-70s. If you are going to go to Miami, get in the ocean at least once to say that you did! At Miami Beach, it is likely to be pretty Wavey so have fun playing in the Surf!
Overall Miami has a truly wonderful Climate and year-round is a fantastic destination. The cooler Winters are offset by the clear and dry weather and the fact it’s probably snowing and bitterly cold at home! Imagine swapping that for a cocktail, and a swim in the warm ocean. The Summers are Scorching but Miami is the perfect place to feel the heat!
Have Your Say?
What time of year do you prefer Miami? Red hot in the Summer or to escape the Winter Blues? Do you prefer Dodging summer downpours or the cooler drier winters? Let us know in the comments below. Or let us know if you have any other Weather-related comments or questions. We love hearing from you.