Florida isn’t called the Sunshine State for no reason. Summer never really ends in southern Florida, while the northern parts of the state experience a more temperate climate with seasonal weather variations. The best time to plan your trip depends on the places you want to visit, the activities you want to do, how well you cope with the heat and if you’d prefer to dodge intense tropical storms (hurricanes are never fun). 

Weather in Florida

Northern parts of Florida such as Jacksonville and Tallahassee have a temperate climate with seasonal weather variation, including below-freezing temperatures and a chance of snow in winter. Central and southern areas like Miami and the Florida Keys have a tropical maritime climate and only two seasons: wet (summer/fall) and dry (winter/spring). Florida summers are generally very hot and humid with daily highs often reaching the mid-90s (°F). 

The wet season (also known as hurricane season) starts in June through November with an average of 9-14 days of rainfall per month. It’s particularly hot and muggy down south from mid-August to mid-October, and this is when you're most likely to experience a hurricane. The dry season starts in December through May; it's dry and sunny throughout most parts of the state with daytime highs averaging a pleasant 75°F (24°C) in the south, and a cooler 64°F (18°C) in the north. 

Average temperatures in the Florida Keys 

MONTH

AVERAGE HIGH (°F)  

AVERAGE LOW (°F)  

January 

75

66

February

77

66

March

79

70

April

82

73

May 86 77
June  90 79
July 90 81
August  90 81
September 88 79
October  84 77
November  81 72
December  77 68

Best time to visit the Florida Keys for great weather and events

If you want great weather, aim to plan your trip during the dry season between December and March. Hurricane season has been and gone, the temperature is pleasant and the mugginess is bearable. The ‘coldest’ month is January, but daytime highs still average a warm 75°F (24°C) — although to Floridians, this might feel cold! December through February is the busiest time in the Keys – the sub-tropical weather is a massive drawcard for people from colder parts of the US who want to escape the cold or go on vacation for Christmas and New Year. Things quieten down slightly at the end of February, but it’s back in full swing in March when throngs of college students arrive for spring break. 

Despite the bigger crowds and higher prices, there’s a real vibe in the Keys during the high season and there are plenty of food, music and art festivals to enjoy including:

  • The Key Largo Boat Parade (December)
  • Key Largo and Islamorada Food & Wine Festival (January)
  • Key West Food & Wine Festival (January)
  • Original Marathon Seafood Festival (March)
  • St. Patricks Day Parade (March)
  • Seven Mile Bridge Run in (March/April)
  • Conch Republic Independence Day(April)

Best time to visit the Florida Keys for smaller crowds 

The most hectic period for storms is mid-August to mid-October, so it's no surprise this is the quietest period for tourism. July and August are the hottest months with average highs of 90°F (32°C), while September is the most humid and wettest month. If you don’t mind rocking the sweaty look and putting up with daily thunderstorms (and maybe the occasional hurricane), you can still visit during the wet season – and you might even bag yourself cheaper prices at restaurants and tourist attractions. Just ensure you check daily forecasts, follow the local weather advice and pack a rain poncho… you’ll need it! 

The sweet spot

If you want to avoid throngs of tourists and stormy weather, the sweet spot is April to late May. The winter crowds have headed home now that spring has sprung, the spring breakers have gone back to college and the hurricane season is still a little while away. Temperatures hover between a comfortable 72-82°F (22-28°C) in April and creep up to 86°F (30°C) in May. The waters are also prime for swimming, snorkelling and diving during these months. 

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