Weather in Sarasota, Florida: Climate, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperature

Siesta beach in Sarasota, Florida
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Sarasota is located on the northern reaches of Florida's Southwest coast, just south of Tampa Bay. Experiencing mild to hot weather—with the exception of the summer and fall hurricane season—Sarasota is a year-round destination for tourists. In fact, Sarasota's mild temperatures made it the perfect winter home for John and Mable Ringling's Ringling Brothers Circus for many years. Today, visitors can tour their lavish home and art collection and the adjacent museum full of years of circus memorabilia.

The highest recorded temperature in Sarasota was scorching 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) in 1998 and the lowest recorded temperature was a very cold 20 F (minus 7 C) in 1983. Sarasota has an overall average high temperature of 83 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius) and an average low of 62 F (17 C), making the weather perfect for enjoying lunch at a sidewalk cafe in ​St. Armands Circle, an upscale shopping and dining destination.

If you plan to visit the posher areas of Sarasota, you may want to include resort casual attire when packing for your trip. Otherwise, cool and comfortable shorts in the summer and slacks in the winter will suffice. Of course, you should also always include a bathing suit, which you can use whether you're swimming or sunbathing at Sarasota's Lido Beach or Siesta Key.

Fast Weather Facts

  • Hottest Month: July and August (82 degrees Fahrenheit/28 degrees Celsius)
  • Coldest Month: January (61.5 degrees Fahrenheit/16 degrees Celsius)
  • Rainiest Month: August (9.43 inches over 16 days)
  • Driest Month: April (1.83 inches over four days)
  • Best Month for Swimming: August (Gulf of Mexico temperature: 86 degrees Fahrenheit/30 degrees Celsius)

Hurricane Season

While the hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, the months of August and September are the most active months. If you are planning on traveling to Florida during the hurricane season, it is important to ask about hurricane guarantees when booking your trip.

Summer in Sarasota

The most popular time of the year to visit Sarasota is the summer when temperatures are at their highest in the Gulf of Mexico and in the scorching sun on one of Sarasota's many beaches. With daytime highs above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius), lows never dipping below 70 F (21 C), and around 14 hours of sunlight per day, you'll have plenty of time to enjoy the city's many outdoor events, attractions, and activities. However, summer is also the city's rainiest season thanks to the possibility of hurricanes and tropical storms from June through November.

What to pack: You won't need more than a light sweater (if you even need that) this time of year, though you may want to bring a raincoat in case of a sudden tropical downpour. Remember to pack plenty of sunscreen—even on cloudy days, the UV levels are high this time of year—and your bathing suit so you can enjoy the beaches in Sarasota this summer.

Average Air and Sea Temperatures by Month

  • June: 90 F (32 C)/71 F (22 C); 82 F (28 C) Gulf temperature
  • July: 91 F (33C)/73 F (23 C); 84 F (29 C) Gulf temperature
  • August: 91 (33 C)/73 F (23 C); 86 F (30 C) Gulf temperature

Fall in Sarasota

With slightly cooler temperatures and rain subsiding by the end of October, late fall is a great time to visit Sarasota if you want to avoid the crowds but still enjoy the beaches and attractions. While September and early October may still experience heavy rainfall from tropical storms moving across the region, temperatures remain mildly warm throughout the early part of fall. There are also still plenty of warm, sunny days throughout the season, too, so you'll be able to enjoy swimming in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico no matter what time you visit.

What to pack: Since nighttime temperatures never cool off too much, you can get away with just bringing a light sweater or pullover for evening adventures. Otherwise, bring a raincoat and umbrella in September (or the rest of the season in case of an occasional shower), and be sure to pack a variety of shorts, pants, T-shirts, and tank tops to beat the heat in the daytime.

Average Air and Sea Temperatures by Month

  • September: 90 F (32 C)/72 F (22 C); 84 F (29 C) Gulf temperature
  • October: 85 F (29 C)/65 F (18 C); 81 F (27 C) Gulf temperature
  • November: 80 F (27 C)/59 F (15 C); 77 F (25 C) Gulf temperature

Winter in Sarasota

While temperatures drop significantly from their summer highs throughout the winter, average lows rarely get below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), even in January. In fact, the average temperature for December is the same as that of February: 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit (17.5 degrees Celsius). You'll also only experience rain for about a fourth of the season (seven days a month), so you can expect relatively mild weather during your winter trip to Sarasota's popular indoor and outdoor attractions.

What to pack: Since nighttime lows dip far below daytime highs, you may want to pack a light jacket, long-sleeved shirts, and pants—especially if you're staying at a Gulf-side resort or hotel. While the water may be a little cold for swimming at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius), you can still enjoy the beach all winter long, so be sure to pack your sunbathing outfit, too.

Average Air and Sea Temperatures by Month

  • December: 74 F (23 C)/53 F (12 C); 73 F (23 C) Gulf temperature
  • January: 72 F (22 C)/51 F (11 C); 70 F (21 C) Gulf temperature
  • February: 74 (23 C)/53 F (12 C); 68 F (20 C) Gulf temperature

Spring in Sarasota

As temperatures start to heat up, you'll find more tourists flocking to Tampa and Sarasota, especially for spring break in March and April. If you're visiting in March, expect daytime temperatures of 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) and nighttime lows of 55 F (13 C), but if you're coming in May, the days will be closer to 90 F (32 C) and the nights closer to 70 F (21 C).

If you're planning on swimming, Gulf temperatures similarly rise throughout the season, jumping almost 10 degrees from March to May. Although the weather allows for beachside activities all season long, you may want to wait until May to jump in the water.

What to pack: In the early spring, consider bringing a light jacket for nighttime activities, but you'll probably be comfortable in pants or shorts and a T-shirt most of the season.

Average Air and Sea Temperatures by Month

  • March: 77 F (25 C)/57 F (14 C); 70 F (21 C) Gulf temperature
  • April: 82 (28 C)/60 F (16 C); 70 F (21 C) Gulf temperature
  • May: 87 F (31 C)/65 F (18 C); 79 F (26 C) Gulf temperature

Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours

If you're planning a Florida vacation or getaway, find out more about the weather, events, and crowd levels from our month-by-month guides.

  • January: 61.5 F (16 C); 2.94 inches of rain (7 days); 11 daylight hours
  • February: 63.5 F (17.5 C); 2.66 inches of rain (7 days); 11 daylight hours
  • March: 67 F (19 C); 3.36 inches of rain (6 days); 12 daylight hours
  • April: 71 F (22 C); 1.83 inches of rain (4 days); 13 daylight hours
  • May: 76 F (24 C); 2.85 inches of rain (7 days); 14 daylight hours
  • June: 80.5 F (27 C); 7.41 inches of rain (12 days); 14 daylight hours
  • July: 82 F (28 C); 8.71 inches of rain (15 days); 14 daylight hours
  • August: 82 F (28 C); 9.43 inches of rain (16 days); 13 daylight hours
  • September: 81 F (27 C); 7.25 inches of rain (13 days); 12 daylight hours
  • October: 75 F (24 C); 2.88 inches of rain (7 days); 11 daylight hours
  • November: 69.5 F (21 C); 2.35 inches of rain (6 days); 11 daylight hours
  • December: 63.5 F (17.5 C); 2.45 inches of rain (6 days); 10 daylight hours
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