Best Time to Visit Florida for Warm Weather and Low Rain

Updated on July 25, 2017
promisem profile image

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely along the East Coast including Virginia, Florida and the Carolinas.

Hurricane Sandy was the most destructive hurricane in 2012.
Hurricane Sandy was the most destructive hurricane in 2012. | Source

Say the word “Florida” to someone from Europe, Canada, or the northern states of the U.S., and they are likely to picture hot weather, clear skies and wide sandy beaches.

That’s what most visitors want when they go to Florida for vacation, but that’s not always what they get.

The best time to visit Florida depends on avoiding the cooler northern part of the state during the winter and the sometimes intense heat and humidity of the summer.

It also depends on the risk of tropical storms and even an occasional hurricane during the late summer and fall.

The Best and Worst Times to Visit:

  1. April and November have the lowest rainfall
  2. June has the most rain, followed by July through September
  3. May and October have the best combination of low rainfall and warm but not blistering hot temperatures for Orlando

The graphic above shows the tracks of tropical cyclones (storms or hurricanes) that had effects on Florida between 1975 and 1999. Source: National Hurricane Center
The graphic above shows the tracks of tropical cyclones (storms or hurricanes) that had effects on Florida between 1975 and 1999. Source: National Hurricane Center

Florida has a hurricane season because the Caribbean has a hurricane season. The season officially runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 every year.

Florida Hurricane Season

Florida has a hurricane season because the Caribbean has a hurricane season. The season officially runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 every year.

Bad weather usually forms in the eastern Atlantic and moves west. Sometimes that bad weather evolves into a tropical storm and may grow with intensity into a hurricane.

These weather patterns also tend to travel in an arc that heads toward the Caribbean and then turns up along the U.S. coast. Sometimes the arc has little impact on the U.S. and other times it does.

In recent years, Florida has had few hurricanes hitting landfall or even coming close.

But over the last 30 years, the state has the highest average rainfall from June through September because the impact of these tropical storms and hurricanes can spread over a wide area.

That doesn’t stop hordes of tourists from visiting during the summer, the most popular time of the year to visit Florida.

The summer months are popular because of families with children out of school.

Adults without children will find that the ideal combination of temperatures in the mid to upper 80s plus lower chances of rain usually takes place in April and May.

Orlando Climate Chart

Month
Average Low
Average High
Rain Inches
Jan
50
71
3
Feb
53
73
3
Mar
57
77
4
Apr
62
82
2
May
68
88
3
Jun
73
91
9
Jul
76
92
7
Aug
76
92
8
Sep
74
89
6
Oct
68
84
3
Nov
60
78
2
Dec
54
72
3
The above chart is a 30-year history of weather averages for Orlando from the National Weather Service. Notice the spike in temperatures and rainfall during the summer.
Beaches like this one in Miami get packed during the hugely popular summer months.
Beaches like this one in Miami get packed during the hugely popular summer months. | Source

Florida Weather in Summer

Worst Time to Visit Disney World

This writer still remembers standing in a two-hour line waiting for a ride at Disney World in Orlando during the summer.

A child sat on his shoulders. The temperature was above 90, not a cloud dotted the sky and the humidity was high. Sweat poured off every inch. It was a miserable day.

The reality is that many families vacation in Florida during the summer and especially in Orlando because kids are out of school. But for some people, it is the worst time to visit Disney World because of hot and humid weather.

Best Time to Visit Hottest Beaches

A more recent visit to Fort Myers Beach in August had similar hot and humid weather -- sometimes with the heat index nearing 100 degrees Fahrenheit -- except for a thunderstorm that passed by every afternoon without fail. They came from the east, the remnants of Tropical Storm Cristobal.

The second vacation was better than the first simply because the second one was on a beach and not at the much hotter and more humid interior part of the state.

The heat and humidity aren't the only problems with vacationing in Florida during the summer. The heaviest rainfall of the year usually occurs from June through August, according to 30 years of data from the National Weather Service.

Miami Climate Chart

Month
Average Low
Average High
Rain Inches
Jan
63.1
74.6
2
Feb
64.9
75.8
2
Mar
67.0
77.2
3
Apr
70.1
79.9
3
May
74.4
82.8
5
Jun
77.1
86.2
8
Jul
78.9
88.3
4
Aug
79.0
88.4
6
Sep
79.0
86.9
8
Oct
75.2
83.7
5
Nov
70.5
79.5
3
Dec
65.9
75.9
2
Late fall is one of the best times to visit Universal Studios, above, or Disney World in Orlando because of comfortable temperatures. Source: public domain
Late fall is one of the best times to visit Universal Studios, above, or Disney World in Orlando because of comfortable temperatures. Source: public domain

Weather in the Fall

The period of September through November shows a common pattern for almost every location -- more rains in September and then less rain for the rest of the fall season.

The east coast of Florida sees continued high rainfall, especially Miami and West Palm Beach, because September is the worst month of the year for the Caribbean hurricane season.

As a result, the east coast is susceptible to bad remnant weather.

Average temperatures drop about 10 degrees over the three-month period. A glance at each of the climate charts will show that October looks attractive for a combination of lower rainfall and comfortable daytime temperatures.

Rainfall is even lower in November, but temperatures drop another five degrees or so. Ocean swimming will be uncomfortable at best.

Florida vacation poll

What attracts you the most to Florida?

See results

Florida in Winter

Winter is the worst time to go to Florida beaches and among the best times to go to Orlando for Disney World and Universal Studio.

Northern destinations like Jacksonville see average daytime high temperatures in the 60s Fahrenheit, while destinations as far south as Key West see daytime temperatures in the mid 70s.

No destination is likely to have weather warm enough for sunning on beaches or especially for swimming.

But winter also is one of the best times of year with the lowest rainfall, making it ideal for land activities such as visiting theme parks, golfing and other recreational sports.

During the winter, avoid northern locations such as Jacksonville and Daytona and instead focus on the southern locations -- Miami, Tampa and the Florida Keys. But don't expect Caribbean-like temperatures.

Beach destinations such as Sanibel Island, above, are likely to be less crowded but much cooler during the spring and fall. Source: public domain
Beach destinations such as Sanibel Island, above, are likely to be less crowded but much cooler during the spring and fall. Source: public domain

Rainfall is still moderate for most places in May except for Miami and West Palm Beach.

Weather in the Spring

The same could be said about rain in the spring, except for the fact that it stays low only during March, climbs in April and climbs again in May.

Likewise, temperatures get warmer in March and climb the next two months. March remains too cool for sunbathing and swimming on most days, while April and May do better.

It’s worth pointing out that rainfall is still moderate for most places in May except for Miami and West Palm Beach, both of which see a slightly higher jump.

Virtually every major destination in Florida sees average high temperatures rising into the 80s Fahrenheit during May.

Keep in mind that nighttime temperatures still average in the 60s during this time, which will make ocean waters cool in the mornings until the afternoon sun heats them back up.

When to Go

For beach goers, May is the best choice.

The best time to go to most beach destinations in Florida for warm weather is May through September.

Keep in mind that a mix of heat and humidity will be at its worst from June through August -- also the same months with the highest average rainfall.

Without a doubt, the month with the best combination of warm weather and low rain for beach goers is May.

Because Orlando is in the interior of the state, it has even higher temperatures during the summer than the coastal destinations.

The best time to go to Orlando is November through May because of lower chances of rain and of course comfortable temperatures for standing in line for rides.

The worst time to visit the Florida keys is during the peak rainy season months of August through October. For Miami, it is June and September. For Orlando, it is June and August.

The best time to go to Orlando is November through May because of lower chances of rain

Questions & Answers

  • What month do most people travel to Florida?

    Most people visit during the first quarter of the year from January through March, according to the Florida state tourism agency. March spikes because of spring break. The next popular visiting time is April through June.

    The least popular season is July through September for the simple reason that rainfall is much more common.

  • When is the best time to visit Saint Petersburg, Florida?

    The best months for rain in St. Petersburg are the worst months for temperatures and vice versa.

    The dry season goes from October through May and the rainy season from June through September. Rainfall averages just around 3 inches a month during the dry season, according to the National Weather Service. It peaks at 9 inches in July.

    Average daytime temperatures drop toward 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter and climb to 90 in the summer.

    To cut to the chase, I would go in late spring or late fall for the best combination of warm temperatures and lower risk of rain.

  • When are all of the Spring break times?

    Most schools have different dates for their spring breaks, but most of them have a break during one of the first three weeks of March.

© 2014 Scott S Bateman

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • promisem profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott S Bateman 

      14 hours ago

      M, August is a bit risky with rain in Miami. It rains on average 14 days during the month or once every other day.

      July is usually (but not always) a better month.

      The Caribbean hurricane season goes from June through November. That hurricane season also can bring storms and heavy rains to Florida. Rainfall gradually increases each month until hitting a high point in September.

      That said, you may get lucky. If you must go to Miami in August, then I would manage my expections, hope for good weather but don't be surprised if it rains.

    • promisem profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott S Bateman 

      16 hours ago

      Bonnie, the weather even as far south as Miami is a tradeoff between rain and temperatures. The warmer the weather, the more it rains and vice versa.

      If I had to choose a winter or spring month, I would go in April when temperatures are warmer but the risk of rain is usually lower.

    • profile image

      25 hours ago

      Hello! Our family is considering vacationing on Miami beaches in August. Is it worth it? What is your opinion please?

    • profile image

      Bonnie 

      3 days ago

      Hi! I am planning a trip to Seaside and wanted to go this fall/winter. We have a four year old and wanted to go at a time when it was still nice and hot but avoiding the hurricane season. What do you suggest?

    • promisem profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott S Bateman 

      12 days ago

      Sajan, the odds aren't good. Even Miami has temperatures that reach only into the 70s in December and January. That's great for land activities, but not so great for the water because you usually need daytime temps in the 80s.

      If it's warmer than usual, the water might be comfortable for swimming.

      If you want warm water in the winter, I suggest going to the Caribbean. The farther south the better.

    • profile image

      Sajan 

      12 days ago

      Are water activities still an option if i plan my trip around christmas and new years? My fiance loves water activities and beach time.

    • promisem profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott S Bateman 

      6 weeks ago

      Hi, Traci. I'm afraid I can't help you with villas, flights and cars because there are so many possibilities. For the best time of year, I recommend May if you are willing to take your daughter out of school. Otherwise, spring break is the best time to go for families who want warm temperatures and low risk of rain.

    • profile image

      tracitraci 

      6 weeks ago

      I am trying to arrange to go to Florida with my husband and 6 yr old daughter. Recommendations please for a villa/flights/car also what time of year would be good wanting it warm and dry ..

    • promisem profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott S Bateman 

      6 weeks ago

      Hi, Maggie. That depends on how much you like spending time on beaches. Personally, we would rather spend December in 75 degree weather (and hope for even warmer) than spend it in 40 degree weather up north.

      The other advantage to December in Miami is a low chance of rain.

      If you want warmer temperatures in December, I recommend the southern Caribbean.

    • profile image

      Maggie García 

      6 weeks ago

      Im planning my Miami vacation in December. Is it worth it ?

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      8 weeks ago from UK

      Same here. We've had some incredibly cheap holidays a little out of season.

    • promisem profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott S Bateman 

      8 weeks ago

      I agree completely about the balancing act. Now that our kids have grown, we like to travel during low seasons and save quite a bit of money.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      8 weeks ago from UK

      We found Disney Paris cheaper and cooler at Easter. Luckily we got good weather as well, but we could have had rain. It's a balancing act between price, school holidays and weather.

    • promisem profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott S Bateman 

      2 months ago

      Thanks, Liz. I fondly remember going to Disney World in the summer and standing in line for hours with a 3-year-old on my shoulders. The sweat poured off my body. But at least I got a nice tan. :)

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 months ago from UK

      This is an excellent guide that all travelers from the UK would be well-advised to read. Florida is the dream destination for most kids in the UK because of the theme parks. Ours felt a little deprived that we didn't get further than Disneyland Paris. We've had several friends, who have 'braved' it in the school summer holidays and endured the heat. humidity and queues, along with one family, who arrived in Orlando just in time for a hurricane!

    • promisem profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott S Bateman 

      2 months ago

      Sue, I've learned after dozens of beach vacations over decades that I try to make every one of them memorable even with bad weather.

      FYI, I'm at Virginia Beach right now while it's raining. We still have found ways to make it worthwhile.

    • profile image

      Sue 

      2 months ago

      Thank for the reply Scott

      Hopefully the vacation will have sunshine and good memories at the beach.

    • promisem profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott S Bateman 

      2 months ago

      Hi, Sue. Few people go to the beach during thunderstorms because of the lightning risk. The rainfall is usually brief, but the cloud cover tends to stay a while.

    • profile image

      Sue 

      2 months ago

      Going to Venice Florida first two weeks of July

      Do people go up the beach even if there is a thunderstorm and do the storms last for a large portion of the day?

    • promisem profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott S Bateman 

      2 months ago

      I agree, Debbie. It's the start of the rainy season.

    • profile image

      Debbie Spadavecchia 

      2 months ago

      Weather is horrible in Florida the month of may

    • promisem profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott S Bateman 

      15 months ago

      Hi, Carolyn. Yes for the most part, but of course you should check with individual beaches, hotels and businesses. They usually have to be leashed. The local ordinances below may help.

      https://www.municode.com/library/fl/key_west/codes...

    • profile image

      Carolyn Smith 

      15 months ago

      Is Key West dog friendly?

    • promisem profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott S Bateman 

      3 years ago

      Thanks for the tip! We'll definitely check it out.

    • the rawspirit profile image

      Robert Morgan 

      3 years ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      We use to live just north if Singer Island, in Jupiter. Great area. Check out Jupiter's new boardwalk. Best to you...

    • promisem profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott S Bateman 

      3 years ago

      Rawspirit, I'm glad to hear you love it there. My friends love it there for most of the year. We will be done there in a few weeks for another of our many visits -- this time at Singer Island.

    • the rawspirit profile image

      Robert Morgan 

      3 years ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      You touched on staying at the beach... We love it here. Summer, winter or fall. Living on the beach in Florida is past amazing. Thanks for writing this article.

    • promisem profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott S Bateman 

      3 years ago

      Yep, it got pretty hot the last time we were down there. On the other hand, we got good rates at our hotel and the beaches weren't crowded.

      Thanks for the great insights!

    • rebekahELLE profile image

      rebekahELLE 

      3 years ago from Tampa Bay

      August is by far the worst month to visit Florida. It's extremely humid and temperatures go into the high 90's with a heat index in the low 100's. April and May are both nice as far as temperatures and rainfall and the Gulf water is warm enough to enjoy. Personally I love October through December. The temps are starting to become more moderate, there is less humidity and at times there's a slight coolness in the evenings. Tourists still go into the Gulf, but it gets cooler by December and January. And despite what some may think, we do get cold weather in the winter, and it feels cold. But the next day may be light jacket weather. Leaves of some trees do change colors slightly in the winter. It's very beautiful. You've written an informative, helpful hub for those who are planning a trip to the Sunshine State.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wanderwisdom.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://wanderwisdom.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)