Miami is about as far south in Florida as you can get except for the Florida Keys, and as you might expect, it has a subtropical climate (think of all those palm trees in photos of Miami). That's why temperatures don't vary as much as in the rest of the United States from season to season. It has a wet (summer) and a dry (winter) season, as is typical of subtropical and tropical regions, rather than large temperature fluctuations.
South Florida is typically a sought-after destination during the winter, when it's warmer than most of the rest of the United States and has little rain. So sunny beach days are in the offing, along with dining alfresco and great chances for all kinds of outdoor activities.
Urgent Seasonal Information: Hurricane Season
Hurricane season lasts from June 1 to Nov. 30 in the Atlantic Basin. Most hurricanes happen in the fall, and especially in September. The Miami area is at the top of the list for hurricane hits. Meteorologists estimate that the Miami area will be hit by a Category 3 hurricane or higher once every 10 years. (A Category 3 has winds of 111 mph or higher.)
Miami Weather Year-Round
The lowest recorded temperature in Miami is 30 F, although it rarely falls below 40 F at night. Much of the winter sees daytime highs between 65 and 75 F, and it doesn't get more perfect than that. The average low temperature in January, the coldest month, is 59.5 F.
Summer is hot and humid, with daily highs in the upper 80s to low 90s F, with the temperature rarely falling below 75 F at night.
Miami receives about 60 inches of rain annually, most of that during the rainy season from May through September, with the wettest months June, August, and September. The driest are December, January, and February.
The warmest ocean temperature along the U.S. coast during the winter is at Miami, where the water temperature is a pleasant 71 F in January. In July, it's 86 F. You can swim in the ocean no matter what time of year you visit Miami.
What to Pack
You basically need the same type of clothing no matter when you travel to Miami: Short-sleeved tees and shirts, shorts, beachwear, sunglasses, lightweight pants, sandals, and closed canvas shoes. If you visit during the winter you should also take a lightweight sweater, jacket, or pashmina for evenings, along with closed-toes shoes that are a bit dressier than canvas for evenings out. You should take an umbrella, rain jacket, or rain poncho if you are planning a summer visit, when you can expect thunderstorms more days than not.
Annual Events in Miami
Miami hosts wide-ranging events each year. Some of the highlights are:
- Art Deco Weekend: Art Deco Weekend in Miami Beach happens every January and features retro fashion shows, classic cars, local and national musicians, and guided tours in this city renowned for its Art Deco architecture.
- Miami Marathon: A marathon and half marathon that draw 20,000 runners is held at the end of January annually.
- South Beach Wine & Food Festival: This five-day event every February features renowned chefs, culinary personalities, and wine and spirits producers from all over the world to make a foodie paradise.
- Miami Open: If you love watching tennis matches, get yourself to Miami in March for the annual Miami Open. But tennis is just the star attraction: Entertainment, fashion, culinary attractions, and art are also part of the event.
- Miami Fashion Week: This style extravaganza, held in May, is the only one that focuses on resort and pre-spring fashions.
- Miami Carnival Parade: This yearly October tribute to the art, culture, and traditions of the Caribbean draws 50,000 spectators every year on the Sunday before Columbus Day.
- Art Basel Miami Beach: This five-day show every December showcases contemporary artists from around the world.
Since your travel dates have a relatively insignificant effect on things to consider on a trip to Miami, these points should be part of your planning no matter when you plan to go.
- Miami is a tourist mecca all year-round, so make reservations for hotels and plane tickets as far in advance as possible.
- When you're there, check out the great Cuban and pan-Latin culinary scene. It's relatively rare in the rest of the country.
- Check out at least one glam hotel restaurant, where the ambiance and social scene are as important as the food. A couple of options are Fountainbleau Miami Beach and Mandarin Oriental.
- If you plan to go during hurricane season, and especially in late August and September, when the risk is highest, check the forecast as close to your travel dates as possible and buy travel insurance in case you have to cancel.
- If you are in Miami during a hurricane, stay on top of it with weather notifications on your phone, weather apps, and weather reports on television. If a strong hurricane seems imminent, consider leaving before your trip is scheduled to end.
For more detailed information on weather in Miami, check out this weather guide.