Are you planning a trip to the sunshine state and are thinking how cold does it get in Florida?
I've spent many winters in Florida, so I know firsthand how cold it can really get. And you will be surprised to learn that it does actually get cold in Florida.
But how cold?
Florida is famous for its warm weather and sunny beaches. But you may be surprised to hear that it experiences a range of temperatures throughout the winter months. While most people consider it hot and humid year round, it can get chilly sometimes.
In much of Florida, the climate is sub-tropical, resulting in mild winters and hot, sunny summers. The far south, where cities like Miami are located, boasts a tropical climate with average temperatures reaching 20°C (68°F) in January.
However, colder spells can occur during winter, particularly in Northern Florida, where temperatures can drop as low as 5°C (41°F) in cities such as Tallahassee.
But how cold does it really get in Florida?
How Cold Does It Get in Florida?
On average the coldest it gets in Florida is typically around 5°C (41°F), particularly in Northern regions like Tallahassee. This is far from the freezing temperatures in many other parts of the United States during winter.
However, it's worth noting that occasional cold fronts can cause temperatures to drop even further, although such incidents are rare. I have seen temperatures dip below freezing in central and north Florida. Brrr!
Even in these cases, extremely low temperatures are short-lived, and the mercury soon rises to more comfortable levels. So, while you may get a cold burst, usually in a few days, you will be back to mild temperatures.
Let's talk about Florida's climate. Florida is known for its generally warm climate and mild winters. The state's weather is influenced by its location and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico giving it more of a tropical climate.
However this will vary depending on where in the state you are located.
South Florida enjoys a tropical climate with hot summers and mild winters. The daily average temperature in January ranges from 20°C (68°F) in the far south, making it one of the warmest places in the United States mainland in winter.
The southern region experiences a rainy season from June to September, where heavy rainfall and thunderstorms are typical. The dry season occurs from October to May, with low humidity and less frequent precipitation making it a great winter destination.
Central Florida's climate is humid subtropical, with a mix of hot summers and somewhat cooler winters compared to the southern region.
Temperatures in Central Florida can fluctuate more compared to the south but still provide a generally comfortable climate for residents and visitors alike. Winter temperatures are pleasant, with daytime highs averaging around 18°C (65°F).
North Florida experiences the most diverse climate compared to the rest of the state. Winter temperatures in this region can be much cooler, with average around 41°F (5°C) in Tallahassee.
Like the rest of Florida, North Florida's weather includes a rainy and dry season but with more temperature fluctuations between the seasons. This region is also occasionally subjected to overnight frost and freezes, which are rare in the central and southern parts of the state.
Average Winter Temperatures You Can Expect Across Different Cities in Florida
To give you a better idea of what to expect during your Florida winter getaway, here are some average winter temperatures you can expect across the Sunshine State.
Miami (Southern Florida)
In Miami, and South Florida, winter temperatures tend to be mild. During the coldest month, which is January, the average temperature ranges from 60°F to 77°F. This provides the city with a warm and sunny environment throughout the winter months of December, February, and beyond.
Orlando (Central Florida)
Orlando, situated in Central Florida, also experiences relatively mild winter temperatures. In January, the average temperature ranges from around 49°F to 71°F. This makes Orlando an appealing destination for visitors seeking a break from colder climates during winter.
Central Florida's slightly cooler temperatures than South Florida are mainly due to its inland position.
Tallahassee (Northern Florida)
Tallahassee, the state capital located in North Florida, experiences cooler winter temperatures than regions further south. During January, daytime highs range from 62°F, while average lows can drop to almost 41°F.
Nighttime temperatures can get particularly chilly, but daytime temperatures remain relatively comfortable, providing pleasant, cool conditions ideal for outdoor activities.
Key West (South Florida)
Key West, as the southernmost city in the continental United States, enjoys the mildest winters in the country. Average lows hover around 65°F during January, and daytime highs can reach 77°F.
In the winter you will find a pleasant, subtropical climate with abundant sunshine and gentle winds r in the Florida Keys.
Located in the Panhandle, Pensacola's winter temperatures are generally colder than those in South and Central Florida due to its proximity to the northern climate zones.
In January, Pensacola's temperatures range from around 44°F to 61°F, a bit cooler than other parts of the state. As in other North Florida regions, nighttime temperatures can drop significantly, but the winter climate remains mild.
Coldest Times of the Year in Florida
January is typically known as the coldest month in Florida. Average low temperatures during this month can range from 65°F (18°C) in Key West to almost 41°F (5°C) in Tallahassee. Daytime highs vary, with Tallahassee experiencing temperatures around 62°F (17°C) and Miami reaching 77°F (25°C).
In rare cases, Florida has witnessed flurries in its northern areas. Although snow is not a common occurrence, there is a possibility during the coldest months in the state. These flurries have typically been short-lived and minor. Still, they serve as a reminder that Florida is not immune to colder weather.
During the transition to spring, March usually sees a rise in average temperatures. Although this month marks the beginning of warmer weather, it can still be somewhat cooler compared to the summer months.
Florida's Temperature by Month
Florida is known for its warm, tropical weather. While the state experiences relatively mild temperatures throughout the year, there can be some variance in the climate depending on the month and location.
Winter (December to February): Florida experiences its coldest temperatures in the winter months. The coldest month in the state is January, with the lowest temperature ranging from 45°F to 63°F, depending on where you are located.
The winter climate in Florida is characterized as sub-tropical, with mild conditions but occasional short cold spells.
Spring (March to May): As the season progresses into spring, Florida sees a gradual increase in temperature. The average temperature in March ranges from 59°F to 81°F, while May experiences temperatures from 70°F to 89°F.
This is the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities, as the weather is pleasant and not too hot.
Summer (June to September): Summer months in Florida can be hot and humid, with the highest temperatures experienced from June to September. Average high temperatures during this period can reach 90°F or more, with frequent afternoon thunderstorms.
The humidity levels can make the heat feel even more intense, so staying hydrated and taking breaks in the shade is important.
Autumn (October to November): As the summer heat dissipates, autumn offers comfortable temperatures and slightly lower humidity levels. October temperatures range from 65°F to 85°F, while November sees an average range of 57°F to 80°F.
This is another ideal time for outdoor activities and enjoying the state's natural beauty.
Planning Your Winter Getaway To Florida
So now that you know what winter is like in Florida it is time to plan your winter getaway in Florida.
When planning your trip there are a few things you want to think about .
Let's start with picking the region of Florida that aligns with your desired temperature. Northern areas like Tallahassee offer cooler temperatures, perfect for those who want a respite from harsh winters but still enjoy a touch of cool weather.
If you'd prefer a tropical winter experience, head to southern regions like Key West for warmer winter temperatures.
You will also want to think about the activities you enjoy. Florida's mild winter climate means you can partake in outdoor activities such as golfing, hiking, or beach time, even in the middle of January.
For nature lovers, winter is an excellent time to visit the Everglades National Park or take a manatee-spotting boat tour in Crystal River.
Once you know where you are going and what you are doing it is time to start packing. As you already know Florida's winter weather can be unpredictable. While you'll need your bathing suit and sunscreen for the beach, don't forget a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings and potential cold snaps.
Florida Winters: Frequently Asked Questions
Let's talk about some of the questions we tend to get when people ask us about visiting Florida in the winter.
What is the average winter temperature in Florida?
Florida is known for its mild winters, which rarely drop below freezing. The state's climate can vary depending on the region, with North Florida generally experiencing cooler temperatures than Central and South Florida. Winter temperatures range from the mid-50s to mid-70s (°F) across the state.
What was the lowest temperature ever recorded in Florida?
The lowest temperature recorded in Florida occurred on February 13, 1899, when the thermometer dipped to -2°F in Tallahassee.
Does it ever snow in Florida?
While relatively rare, it does occasionally snow in Florida. North Florida is more likely to experience snowfall than Central and South Florida, which have a more tropical climate.
Which region in Florida experiences the coldest temperatures?
North Florida usually experiences the coldest temperatures in the state, with a greater likelihood of frost and freezing temperatures during winter.
How do temperatures fluctuate throughout the year in Florida?
Florida has a sub-tropical climate characterized by hot and sunny summers and mild winters with occasional cold spells. Summer is typically accompanied by high humidity and frequent thunderstorms, while winter is generally drier and cooler.
Is there a significant difference in temperature between the North and south of Florida?
Yes, there is a noticeable difference in temperature between the North and south of Florida. North Florida sees colder temperatures and is more prone to frost and freezing temperatures during the winter months, compared to Central and South Florida, which tend to have milder winters and a more tropical climate.
Final Thoughts: How Cold Does it Get In Florida?
I love spending the winters in Florida. It is my favorite time of year. Everyone always wants to know, “How Cold Does it Get in Florida?” but the truth is, it's all relative. For a native Floridian, 50 degrees might feel like freezing temperatures, while for someone from a northern state, it may feel like a warm spring day.
Florida's winter climate is as diverse as it is appealing. From the milder winters of South Florida, ideal for beach-goers and sun-lovers, to the cooler temperatures in the North that offer a respite from the harsh cold elsewhere while still giving you that winter feel.
The best thing? The ability to enjoy outdoor activities year-round, thanks to the state's consistently mild and warm temperatures. Now it's your turn to experience Florida's unique winter climate.
What kind of Florida winter vibe do you prefer?