The southeastern state of Florida looks like a hand reaching out into the ocean. Rightly so, many tourists visit Florida all year round, eagerly seeking out beautiful beaches and its warmth during winter.
Why is Florida so hot? Florida is so hot for three reasons: its location, the water bordering it, and the resulting humidity. Florida is close to the equator and is also mostly surrounded by water, which creates high humidity and a tropical climate (or subtropical in northern parts).
While Florida is a top-rated destination, its weather is an essential factor to keep in mind if you consider it for travel or retirement.
Let’s take a closer look at why Florida earned the name, “The Sunshine State.”
What Makes Florida So Hot?
- Florida is the closest US state to the equator. If you take a look at the map, Florida is very close to the Caribbean islands. The closest island of the Bahamas is only 50 miles away! The Florida Keys, in the south of the state, is even part of the tropical zone. As such, much of Florida receives a tremendous amount of sunlight. However, the sun isn’t the only thing that makes Florida temperature hot. Some places can get more sun than others, but it doesn’t mean they’re the hottest places.
- The state of Florida is a peninsula. Peninsulas are landmasses entirely or mostly surrounded by water. In Florida’s case, it is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Florida Straits. About ¾ of Florida is coastal land, and its coastline is the longest next to Alaska. These waters take in a lot of heat from the sun, which warms the land it surrounds. Being surrounded by water on most sides gives Florida a lot of warmth, making it humid.
- Florida is a very humid state. Love may or may not always be in the air in Florida, but water vapor definitely is. Florida is the most humid state in the country. Because of all the water surrounding it, it’s no surprise that there is a lot of water vapor. High humidity can be uncomfortable for people in the area. Florida humidity is the highest in the summer for the entire state, with Key West and Orlando having the highest humidities. But places that experience winter in the northern parts feel less humid.
What Is the Weather Like in Florida?
Florida weather varies depending on where you are. In general, the northern and southern parts of Florida experience weather differently.
- What Is North Florida weather like? Does Florida have all four seasons? The answer is yes, but only for North Florida. North Florida weather in March signals a shift from winter as spring begins. The temperature in March averages around 68°F (20°C). Summer starts in June, and it is around July when some days become really hot. Fall begins in September, and winter begins in December. It’s still a bit hot most of the year, but it starts feeling cooler around November during fall.
- What is South Florida weather like? While people can argue that Florida is not really a tropical state, the southernmost cities experience a tropical savanna climate just like the Caribbean. This means that they only experience dry and rainy seasons. South Florida feels hot most of the time, but it can also be rainy in summer and slightly cooler in the months when it’s winter in the North.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Florida?
Many people go to Florida for vacation. Crowds peak during summer and sometime before and after the winter holidays. The temperature in Florida averages above 80°F during the summer, which can be too hot for some. It might be best to visit when the weather and the crowds are more temperate, around May during spring and October during fall.
Take Orlando, Florida, for example. It houses two of the most exciting places a child can imagine: Disney World and Universal Studios. Orlando weather averages between 50°F to 84.2°F during October to December. These temperatures can provide children, families, and retirees a comfortable stay, both in and outdoors.
What’s the Hottest It’s Ever Been in Florida?
The heat record as of 2020 goes to Miami. The weather in Miami Florida, saw two weeks with temperatures rising around 90°F and averaging at 88°F. This broke the previous heat record back in 1895.
That is quite surprising, considering how Miami is neither the hottest nor the sunniest city. The reason behind the unusual weather was due to desert dust blowing into the area, mixed with other existing weather conditions.
How Do People Survive Summer in Florida?
Thanks to air conditioning, you can still feel the cold amid the summer heat. However, summer won’t be too fun staying inside all day. You want to enjoy the state at its fullest. But first, you should prepare for the heat. Here are essential tips on how to survive summer in Florida.
- Stay hydrated. Have a refreshing beverage with you everywhere you go!
- Wear light clothes – both the color and the material. While black is always stylish, it’s not a friendly color to wear under intense sunlight because it tends to absorb more heat.
- Make a splash! Enjoy the lovely waves and fun activities Florida beaches have to offer.
- Stay protected from the sun. Use sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats, or umbrellas. If you want to settle on the beach with your family, it’s good to have a sun canopy (view on Amazon) with you.
- Use Shade. Remember that trees are your friends. Keep yourself (and your car) under the shade to save yourself from burning under the intense heat.
- Be ready for anything – including the rain. Umbrellas are not only good for the sun, but you’ll be thankful for bringing one in case the weather takes a turn and brings in a storm. If you don’t feel like bringing around an umbrella, a raincoat will do.
- Lastly, plan ahead. It’s more enjoyable to go outdoors in the morning and at night. The heat can be unbearable in the noon and afternoon.
What Are the Warmest and Coolest Places in Florida?
The hottest place in Florida is Fort Myers, with temperatures averaging around 85°F. Among the hottest cities in the Sunshine State are Orlando, Jacksonville, and West Palm Beach.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the coldest place in Florida is Crestview. It has an average of 53°F. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Florida was in Tallahassee on an unusually cold winter day in 1899. The weather in Vero Beach is also named as one of the cities with the best weather.
How Does Weather in Florida Compare to Other Hot States?
- Is Arizona hotter than Florida? While both states get their fair share of sun, Arizona experiences dry heat (it also has deserts), and Florida experiences wet heat (i.e., it feels humid). Places in Arizona can also have very different climates. Meanwhile, cities in Florida are generally either tropical or subtropical. Also, Arizona receives more sunlight than Florida does. Among the states, Arizona gets the most sun in a year while Florida was only ranked in 10th place. By the way, if you love snow, you should check out our article about Arizona and Florida during winter here.
- Is Texas hotter than Florida? A survey compared people’s responses about Texas and Florida summers. Some said they preferred Texas because of Florida’s humidity, but some said they preferred Florida because they hardly felt any breeze in Texas. Just like Arizona, Texas also experiences dry heat. In terms of temperature and numbers, Texas is the state with the most number of cities included in the top 50 hottest cities in the US.
- Is Hawaii hotter than Florida? Florida and Hawaii are on opposite sides of the US. Florida is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, while Hawaii is comfortably situated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Both are tropical states abundant in beaches, but they are known for different activities and experience different climates. With its rainforests and volcanoes, parts of Hawaii experience a lot of rain all year round and snow during winter. Its beaches are breezier and are not as humid as Florida. Also, despite being the Sunshine State, Florida experiences more rain.
Conclusion – Why Is Florida So Hot?
The beautiful state of Florida is famous for its beaches, local culture, and iconic places. There are many places to see for anyone, and there are many options for retirement.
If you ask the question, “why is it so hot in Florida?” Geography plays a huge role in the weather that people experience in Florida. It lies close to the tropical zone and is mostly surrounded by water. This makes it very hot at times, or very rainy. Thus, it is essential to plan your visit and prepare for the heat.
Nevertheless, many reasons still make Florida one of the best places to retire. There’s more to Florida than its weather. You can read more about what makes Florida famous, and you can find out more about retiring in Florida in our blog.