Miami is for those who like it hot. Its average winter temperature is 20.1 °C, with summers that push into 30 °C and higher. There are no real extremes in the fluctuating temperatures, however. Anything over 30 °C is considered exceptionally hot and less than 18 °C, absolutely freezing. Weather patterns can remain the same for weeks at a time, with very little variation in the temperature. Miami’s sea-level coastal position and close to the proximity to Tropic of Cancer and the Gulf Stream influences its steamy weather. The tropical monsoon climate receives more rainfall than most major US cities, but it receives most of its rain between May and October. Thunderstorms are frequent, with an average of eighty days per year reported/ these thunderstorms are often violent, with lightening strikes, strong winds and very heavy rains. Tornados and waterspouts sometimes occur, although damaging tornados in Miami are rare.
The southeast coastline of the United States is notorious for its hurricane season, and Miami is no exception. Hurricanes, however, do not make landfall as often as you may think. Miami can go for years without a hurricane. In fact, over the last five years, with 900 days counted of hurricane season, only five days of wet, stormy weather were attributed to hurricane activity.
Florida’s hurricane season lasts from June to November first. If you are taking your holiday within those months, you can track hurricane activity through the US Government meteorology service, http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/. As storms begin brewing within the tropical basin, they will appear on the website map. By clicking on the storm, you’ll receive information on its projected path and long term forecast. Meteorologists are able to predict a storm’ progress within one week of its development as a land threatening storm, but cannot give accurate forecasts until at least 72 hours before landfall.
If you’ve booked a hotel on Miami Beach during hurricane season, keep in touch with weather forecasts. If a hurricane is expected to touch down on the south tip Florida Coast, you will be told to evacuate for your safety. Some hotels will work with their guests to help them find a new place to stay, some will not. If you are worried about a hurricane putting a damper on your holiday, check hotel policies before making a reservation.
Although it’s a complicated process, there is insurance coverage available for recuperating from the discomfort a storm can bring to your holiday. If you think insurance is advisable, arrange the details of your insurance plan with your travel agent. Some companies only cover disruptions of your holiday trip if your flight is delayed more than 24 hours due to storms or if the hotel you had arranged accommodations in is uninhabitable.
Most hurricanes that touch down on the Miami Coast do not have more than twenty-four hour duration, but it’s very difficult to predict hurricane strength and duration until it makes landfall. Since Florida does not have any high mountain ranges to obstruct cloud movement, storms in general are short and fleeting. Torrential rains may seemingly spring up out of nowhere, and then pass by within a few short hours. These storms cool down and refresh the air so that the scorching high temperatures characteristics of the plains states in summer are not quite so exhausting on the south-eastern coast.
Southern Florida not only has very mild winters, the baking season begins early, with sun lovers dipping their feet into the warm Atlantic waters and lathering up with sun screen by March. Miami’s dry season begins in November and continues through May. The cooling off period between November and February has average temperatures between 21 °C and 23 °C, as delightful as a sunny London day.
Some of the biggest Miami events are saved for the winter months between November and February, including the Art Basel, which begins its celebration in early December. The International art show features thousands of critics, artists, dealers, curators and art enthusiasts with a collection of more than 260 galleries participating in the main Galleries sector, the Nova sector (designed for young, inspiring artists) and the Positions sector, which is a platform for presentations of major projects done by a single artist.
Although winter temperatures in Miami are warm, they can vary, with fluctuations of several degrees between daytime and evening recordings. The best solution is to dress in layers. The mornings may be cool enough to wear long sleeves and slacks, while evenings may require a sweater. Mid day usually means stripping down to basics and getting a little sun exposure. It begins heating up by March, with the hot, dry months averaging 30 °C, and continuing to nudge, almost imperceptibly into 32 °C weather once the monsoon season takes hold.
Miami receives its heaviest tourist traffic between June and September, then in November to January. Many people avoid travelling to Miami at the height of hurricane season; in late September and October. If you don’t mind gambling with the weather, this can be the best time to secure a holiday package deal.
The slow season begins in February and lasts through April, but it’s also the time when temperatures are hot and dry. For beach lovers, it’s the perfect time to be basking in Miami. The ocean is calm. The oppressive humidity that follows the monsoon season has not yet arrived, and fishermen are patrolling the estuaries, rivers, shoals and islands in search of their big fish. Sail boats are sailing, paddler’s are paddling and swimmers are making the most of the splendid weather.
Swimmers might be very interested in knowing that the ocean temperatures of Miami are very similar to the air temperature. In March, swimming in the bay waters is like taking a warm, salty bath, so your cooling off period won’t last very long before you’ll want to dip into the water again.
Extreme temperatures are rare in Miami, but they can occur. Occasionally, winter temperatures will plummet, bringing freezing rains, but these storm fronts do not last very long. There have been no official recordings of snow in Miami, although some of the locals will insist they have seen it.
If you are travelling to Miami during the summer months, you will need an umbrella, but plenty of light, loose clothing as well. Miami storms are warm, tropical rains that do not alter the overall temperature greatly. Light clothing is also advisable throughout the mid-winter months, along with a sweater or jacket, some long-sleeved shirts and slacks, and comfortable walking shoes. Best heat wave months are March and April. Whatever month you choose, there will probably be some good swimming weather, so to thoroughly enjoy your holiday, be sure to pack your beach gear.