It’s hard to believe, but there are places in the world that get colder than Florida. However, that doesn’t stop the state from having some pretty chilly winter nights. In fact, the average low temperature in January is somewhere around 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). If you want to know more about how cold it gets in Florida and what kind of weather to expect, keep reading.
How Cold Does It Get in Florida?
The winters in Florida can be very mild, but temperatures can still drop below freezing. The coldest month is January, which averages a high of 73 degrees and a low of 48 degrees. February is even colder, with an average high of 69 degrees and an average low of 50 degrees. You can expect the thermometer to hover around freezing for most of the winter months, with brief snow flurries possible in January and February.
Why Does It Get Cold in Florida?
1. It’s not always hot in Florida
If you’ve ever visited Florida for vacation in the summer, you might assume that it is always hot and humid. However, in reality, temperatures in the summer months are quite moderate. Although it is warm, you won’t be sweating buckets like you would if you lived in some tropical cities like Honolulu or Savannah. The real culprit when it comes to uncomfortably warm weather is humidity. When the dew point (the temperature at which water vapor in the air turns into droplets) increases to very high levels, it’s called “tropical” or “steaming” humidity.
2. Temperatures are very humid
Just like we mentioned above, humidity is what causes discomfort during the summer months. The good news is that the humidity level decreases as you near fall and winter. This means that you won’t feel quite as sticky and gross. Although the drop in the thermometer is a great reason to celebrate, you should still plan around the humidity in your daily life. It may not feel as sticky, but it will still be humid, so be sure to drink plenty of water!
3. Showers are common
If you’re not used to the weather in Florida and are hoping for temperatures to drop, don’t count on it. Although the thermometer will drop, the difference in temperature is rarely enough to create a drastic change in your day. The culprit behind this drop in temperature is a change in the weather pattern, not a change in temperature. In other words, the air temperature will stay the same but the clouds will move in and bring showers.
4. Hurricanes can strike
Florida is well-known for being prone to hurricanes. While it’s true that the majority of the state does experience a few weeks of warm weather each year, it is also possible for temperatures to drop and for a hurricane to strike. If you are visiting or living in the state in September or October, it is important to keep an eye on the weather forecast. If a hurricane is in the area, it could drop the temperature. Hurricanes can cause drastic changes in weather, so be sure to always stay informed!
When Does Cold Weather Occur in Florida?
- Generally, winter and the months following are when you’re most likely to experience colder weather in Florida. December, January, and February are when you can expect the coldest weather, though it can happen as early as November and as late as April.
- However, even in winter, temperatures don’t often drop below freezing in the Florida panhandle and along the Gulf Coast. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to bundle up with a parka.
- The average high temperatures in Florida are around 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter.
How to Dress for Cold Weather in Florida?
1. Dress In Layers
The most important thing to remember when it’s cold in Florida is to dress in layers. When you stay in a colder environment with less clothing, you’re more likely to get sick and you can also get frostbite. In the summer, wearing a lot of clothing can be uncomfortable and even unhealthy due to the heat, but in the winter, it is necessary to take precautions to keep warm. Wear an extra layer on your head, including a warm hat or scarf. Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and thick socks. Layer your clothes so you can take off or add clothing as needed. This is especially important if you’ll be outside at different times of the day. If you know you’ll be outside during the day or evening, wear a light jacket or sweater and make sure it’s not too loose-fitting.
2. Stay In Brightly Lit Areas
Staying in a brightly lit area can help warm you up during the winter. It’s more important to stay warm than to stay out of the sun, even in the winter. Find a place that’s well-lit and has plenty of people around. If you’re at home, be sure to turn on all the lights in the house. If you’re in a public place, like a coffee shop or library, sit near the windows. This will help keep your body temperature up. If you have to go outside during the day, try to find a shaded area. If you have to walk or drive somewhere while it’s sunny, wear sunglasses (ideally those with UV protection) and consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
3. Eat Warm Food
If you have to be outside during a cold day, you should eat something warm to keep your body warm. It also helps to have a snack before going outside to help keep you full longer. Avoid eating foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients, as those will just give your body more energy to get cold. Instead, eat foods that are high in protein and contain other nutrients. Good examples include peanut butter and crackers, cheese and crackers, chicken noodle soup, and hot chocolate. Also, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you’re outside, it’s easy to get dehydrated from sweating.
4. Bring A Portable Heater
If you have to be outside for a long time, or if you’re just visiting Florida during the winter, you can bring a portable heater with you. There are many different types available, so you can find one that best fits your needs. Portable space heaters can be used indoors or outdoors and some can be hung up on the wall or placed on a table. Other types of portable heaters include electric blankets, hand warmers, and even socks that have a built-in heating source.
5. Jump In A Hot Shower
If you’re inside and can’t find anything else to do to stay warm, jump in a hot shower. The water will help your muscles relax and keep you warm. You can also use bath bombs to make the water even more relaxing. If you have a fireplace in your home, you can light it to help keep you warm. Be careful not to let the fireplace get too hot, as it can be dangerous to be too close to it unless you have a fireplace that has a barrier in front of it. If you’re in a hotel, you may have a plug-in heater in your room. Plug it in and turn it on to help keep you warm.
Tips to Stay Warm When It’s Cold in Florida
- If you’re experiencing colder temperatures in Florida, you may want to consider these tips to stay warm:
- Use a foot warmer – Foot warmers, hand warmers, and hand warmers are great products that will keep your feet, hands, and body warm.
- Stay in a heated place – A warm place to stay is one of the easiest ways to stay warm when it’s cold outside. You can find public places like shopping malls, airports, and libraries that offer free or low-cost indoor places to stay.
- Eat warm meals – Eating hot meals, like soup, stew, or chili, will warm you up, give you energy, and provide your body with nutrients.
- Drink warm drinks – Hot tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or other warm drinks will warm you up, give you energy, and hydrate you.
- Get enough sleep – Sleep is important for your body and mind. Sleep deprivation can make you feel tired and sluggish, and make you more susceptible to cold weather.
- Stay active – Stay active when it’s cold outside. Go for a walk, go jogging, or ride your bike in a safe environment.
- Be mindful of others – Be mindful of people who are more susceptible to the cold weather, like small children, the elderly, and pets.
When it gets colder than usual in Florida, it’s called a cold spell. The state has experienced temperatures below zero on several occasions, but temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius are very rare. If you’re in Florida when it’s cold, make sure you wear layers, stay indoors, and drink warm drinks to stay warm. Stay active and be mindful of others who are more susceptible to the cold weather. Keep in mind that the weather in Florida is very unpredictable. You never know when a cold spell will hit, or how long it will last. Be prepared in case a cold spell hits and you need to protect yourself from the cold.