Is winter in Florida cold?

Florida has one of the most pleasant winters in the United States.

And whether you are visiting or moving to Florida in the near future, you are wondering if the winter in Florida is cold?

We’ve lived in Florida for years and have experienced winter all over the state. In addition, we’ve helped dozens of people move to Florida and pick their perfect winter climate.

Can Florida get cold? Yes.

Does everywhere in Florida get cold? No.

Have Floridians seen snow before? Yep.

Do we love Florida winters? You bet.

We answer questions like these in great detail.

Sit back, grab your mug of hot chocolate, and join us for exploring Florida’s winters.

What Is Winter Like in Florida?

Winter in Florida is wonderful. We moved to Florida years ago and have enjoyed winter after winter.

If you are asking this question, there is a chance you are moving from somewhere colder.

In general, Florida has a warm winter with comfortable summer temperatures. Although there may be occasional weeks with cooler temperatures, the delightful summer-like weather with reduced humidity swiftly makes a comeback.

And let’s be honest, us older people move here because the winter weather is so great.

In the northern regions of Florida, winters are known for their cooler temperatures and abundant rainfall.

Moving towards the central regions, rainfall decreases slightly, and autumn-like temperatures appear for a few weeks each year—even during the daytime. Hot chocolate and palm trees? Yes please.

Finally, in the southern region of Florida, one can expect summer-like conditions during the day and a pleasant touch of autumn at night.

Florida Winters Vary by Region

Florida has various climate zones that offer slightly different winter experiences.

We classify Florida into three regions: Northern Florida, Central Florida, and Southern Florida.

A map of Florida divided into counties and showing the three zones (North, Central, and South) used for assessing nonnative species. Credits: Adapted from Wunderlin (1982). Map prepared by Seokmin Kim, 2020.

Northern Cities (Pensacola, Gainesville, Tallahassee)

Winter in the northern cities of Florida can get a bit nippy and will have the coolest winters. Looking for autumn-like experiences?

This is your spot.

For those of you who are moving from the Northern or Interior Western U.S. States and are worried about missing the cool air, this could be a great area for you.

You’ll experience cooler temperatures with highs in the low to mid-60s (°F) and lows dipping into the 40s (°F).

While snow is rare here, if it’s going to happen in Florida, it’ll happen here.

Fox News Reports Snow Falling in North Florida
Snow Falling Outside of Florida Home

Where is North Florida?

To find North Florida on a map, draw a line passing through Levy, Alachua, Clay, and Duval counties. This will define the region as North Florida.

Some major cities in North Florida include Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Pensacola.

Central Cities (Orlando, Tampa, Ocala, Melbourne)

If you prefer a milder winter, central Florida might be your sweet spot.

Expect average highs ranging from the mid-60s to mid-70s (°F), and lows ranging from the mid-40s to mid-50s (°F).

Central Florida doesn’t have a true winter, but you will get a few weeks of cooler temperatures.

Orlando and Tampa tend to experience the most autumn-like temperatures in the evening and morning times from the months of December through March.

And every so often, you’ll be delighted with a three to four day span of 60 degree daytime temperatures that feel like paradise.

Central Florida is where we have chosen to live. Our blog here details why we chose the Central Florida winter.

Where is Central Florida?

To find Central Florida on a map, everything south of Crystal River and north of Sarasota would be considered Central Florida.

Southern Cities (Naples, Miami, Florida Keys, Sarasota)

Ah, the southern charm of Florida winter!

If you want to leave winter behind and have no desire to put on a coat, moving to South Florida is the place to be.

Down south, the temperatures are much warmer than Central and Northern Florida.

If you can imagine yourself enjoying average highs in the mid to high 70s (°F) in the middle of January, you will love Southern Florida.

If you enjoy warm daytime temperatures but also appreciate the occasional cool night, cities such as Miami and Naples will be perfect for you.

In these cities, winter nighttime temperatures typically range from the mid-50s to mid-60s (°F).

We say this is the “windows open” season.

Where is South Florida?

South Florida is easily identified on a map by looking at every city below Sarasota and Port St. Lucie.

Northern Florida, Central Florida, and Southern Florida Winter Temperatures

LocationCityAverage High Temperature (°F)Average Low Temperature (°F)Snowfall (Inches)Rainfall (Inches)
Northern CitiesPensacola63°F43°FVery Rare17.8″
Tallahassee65°F43°FVery Rare15.3″
Central CitiesOrlando74°F53°FVery Rare11.2″
Tampa72°F54°FVery Rare9.6″
Southern CitiesNaples77°F58°FExtremely Rare5.3″
Miami77°F63°FExtremely Rare6.9″
Florida Keys75°F66°FExtremely Rare7.6″
Sarasota73°F54°FVery Rare9.1″

Are Florida Winters Different from Other Warm Weather States?

Yes, Florida is quite different from other states in the winter.

Florida is the hottest winter state in the United States with an average temperature of 72.3°F. In close second, Hawaii with an average annual temperature of 70.2°F.

Now, we realize that Florida isn’t the only state with nice winter temperatures. There are plenty to pick from, but there are differences between those states and Florida.

Florida’s winters are generally always mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from the 60s to 80s (°F).

It rarely snows in Florida, making it a rarity to see frost, and you can count on Florida staying relatively dry during the winter.

Let’s compare Florida with other warm winter states like Georgia, Arizona, Texas, Hawaii, and the close neighbor of Alabama.

Florida vs Georgia Winter

If we compare Florida to Georgia, winters are also mild like Florida, but you can see occasional snow and frost and will experience much cooler temperatures at night on average.

The closer you live to the Appalachian Mountains, the more likely you are to feel real winter.

Florida vs Arizona Winter

Due to its desert and mountainous climates, Arizona lacks the consistent winters that Florida enjoys.

When traveling across Arizona, you will encounter a wide range of winter conditions, while traveling through Florida will only yield minor variations in temperature.

In other words, if you want a tropical summer, many parts of Arizona won’t have what you are looking for.

In Phoenix, the temperatures are usually mild, ranging from the 60s to 70s (°F). However, in the north, like in Flagstaff, it can get colder, with temperatures in the 40s to 50s (°F) and even snow, which is considered a proper winter.

Florida vs Texas Winter

Texas’ winters vary based on location. South Texas sees mild highs in the 60s to 70s (°F), while the north, like Dallas, gets cooler in the 50s to 60s (°F) with some snow.

Florida vs Hawaii Winter

Okay, this is a totally fair comparison because Hawaii has arguably the best climate in the United States.

Hawaii, with its tropical climate, has mild winters all year round, and it hardly changes, regardless of what Island you are on.

However, we quite like that we can jump in a car in Florida, travel north and find cooler temperatures. We can even drive up to the South Appalachian area of Georgia and celebrate winter seasons with snow through our cabin windows.

To experience even the slightest hint of winter weather in Hawaii, such as the snow-capped peaks of the California Mountains, one must endure a minimum of 5 hours of flying or hope for the exceedingly uncommon occurrence of snow in the mountains of Hawaii.

USA Today Reports Snow in Hawaii

Florida vs Alabama Winter

Alabama experiences winters similar to Florida, staying mild and dry, and occasionally seeing frost and snow.

Alabama, much like Georgia, experiences winters that are most similar to those in Florida. However, Alabama has a significantly greater chance of encountering prolonged winter weather from December to March.

The closer you move in Alabama to the northeastern corner, the cooler your winters will be.

In Alabama, the southern and coastal regions have climates similar to Florida. Snowfall in these areas is rare, and if it does happen, it doesn’t last long and is usually light.

So, whether you prefer Florida’s warm beaches or Arizona’s snowy mountains, each warm state has its own unique winter experience!

Does it Snow in Florida?

Snow is rare in Florida, especially in Central and South Florida. If you’re going to visit or move to Florida, keep this in mind.

Over the past century, the majority of recorded snow events have occurred in North Florida, mainly in the northernmost regions.

From the available data, snow events have been infrequent, with no occurrences from 1921 to 1945 and minimal snow during the 1950s and 1960s. There are literally decades without snow here.

However, there was a slight increase in snowfall from the 1970s to the 1990s in North Florida, with four recorded events during that period. There seems to be some indication that snow frequency in North Florida is increasing.

For snow enthusiasts, settling in North Florida, especially near the Florida-Georgia border, is the best option to experience winter snow.

Cities such as Jacksonville and Pensacola have seen some snowfall historically.

However, it’s important to note that even in North Florida, snow is not a common occurrence, and significant snow events are still rare. You can go years without seeing snow in Florida.

Therefore, if snow is a crucial factor in your decision to move, you may want to explore other states with more consistent and frequent snowfall.

While it is exceptionally rare, South Florida did experience snowfall on January 19th, 1977, for the first time in recorded history.

Snow in Miami (1977)

Although it rarely snows in South Florida, this event shows that it can happen in certain unique weather conditions.

However, for practical purposes, don’t move to South Florida if you want to guarantee snow in your lifetime.

Snow Events in Florida by Decade

Year RangeRegionSnow EventsNumber of Events
1901-1905NorthLight snow1
1906-1910NorthLight snow flurry1
1911-1915NorthSnow overnight1
1946-1950NorthSnow due to cold wave1
1951-1975NorthSnowfall accumulates4
1976-1980North/SouthSnow accumulates1
1986-1990NorthSnowfall, freezing rain1
1991-1995NorthSnow flurries1
1996-2000NorthSnow in Escambia County1
2001-2005NorthOcean-effect snow1
2006-2010NorthSnow, sleet, freezing rain1
2011-2020CentralSnow flurries3
2021-2022CentralLight snow, freezing rain2
Snow in Florida by Decade

What Months Are Winter in Florida?

Early winter in Florida (November)

Winter weather in Florida starts to change in November, transitioning from warm and humid conditions to cooler temperatures.

The start of winter is influenced by various factors, including the movement of cold fronts and the positioning of high-pressure systems moving across the country.

In November, cold fronts from the northern parts of the United States start to move southward, bringing cooler and drier air into the state.

You can tell when winter is starting by the arrival of Northern cold fronts. They bring lower humidity and colder temperatures, mainly in the evenings and early mornings.

This change is most felt in Central and Northern Florida. South Florida may not have a “signal” for winter as it stays warm most of the year.

Winter in Florida (December, January, February)

Winter in Florida, from December to February, has a range of temperatures from mild to chilly. The northern regions are cooler than the southern parts.

Central and South Florida tend to be milder and more pleasant during the winter, making them popular destinations for “snowbirds” seeking respite from colder climates.

In fact, our clients often choose Central Florida for the unique mix of big cities (Tampa/Orlando) and milder winter temperatures (60 to 80 degrees).

End of Winter in Florida (March)

The end of winter in Florida, which typically occurs in March, marks the transition to the warmer and more humid conditions of spring. Before long, the rainy season of the early summer will begin.

As daylight hours extend, temperatures gradually rise, and cold fronts become less frequent. In fact, we rarely feel “winter” conditions in Central Florida during March.

March and April bring an end to the cooler mornings and nights, and the state starts to experience more stable and pleasant weather. But get ready because this is also high-travel season.

While Florida doesn’t experience the harsh winters found in northern states, occasional cold snaps and frosts can affect the state, especially in the northern areas.

Overall, winter in Florida offers a comfortable escape from the Western and Northern U.S. cold, making it an attractive destination for those seeking a milder winter climate.

Average Winter Temperatures In Florida

Florida has a unique climate as you travel north and south through the state.

RegionNovember (°F)December (°F)January (°F)February (°F)March (°F)
North Florida55-7550-7045-6548-6852-72
Central Florida60-8055-7550-7055-7558-78
South Florida65-8560-8060-8065-8568-85
Average Winter Temperatures by Florida Region

Based on the table above, temperatures in Florida gradually cool as the winter months progress from November to March.

This is one of our favorite times of the year.

Northern Florida has the lowest average winter temperatures, ranging from a low of 45 degrees in January to a high of 75 degrees in November.

Jacksonville is a wonderful city in North Florida to visit during the winter. You can have a fun day exploring the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, observing animals and enjoying the pleasant weather.

Central Florida has the perfect balance for winter temperatures. We think the range of 50 to 80 degrees is almost perfect.

Check us out in a light sweatshirt on the beach at Treasure Island in November. This was an amazing day, 68 degrees.

Early Winter in Treasure Island, Florida

South Florida has the warmest weather of the three regions with temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees. You will rarely see temperatures plunging in the 50s here.

In March, as spring approaches, all three regions see a gradual increase in temperatures, with South Florida still being the warmest of the three.

Overall, Florida’s winter weather offers a pleasant and comfortable escape for those seeking milder temperatures during the colder months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Warmest Places in Florida in Winter

During winter, South Florida is home to the warmest places in Florida. Cities such as Miami, Naples, and the Florida Keys offer temperatures that are consistently the warmest in Florida.

In general, the further south you travel in Florida, the warmer it will be. The most Southern tip of the Florida Keys will the warmest weather.

In Key West, the southernmost part of the Florida Keys, winter temperatures can get very high. During winter, the average highs range from the mid-70s to low 80s (°F), making it the warmest place in the state.

What is the Coldest month in Florida?

The coldest month in Florida is usually January, especially in the northern regions, with average temperatures gradually increasing as you move southward in the state.