If you’ve ever wondered why so many people choose to retire in Florida, look to the Sunshine State’s winters. Unlike many Americans, Floridians never have to worry about scraping ice off their windshields, shoveling snow off their driveways, or bundling up in scarves and mittens. So what is winter like in Florida?
What Is Winter Like in Florida?
Florida enjoys the mildest winters in the continental United States. The days are typically sunny and warm, while the nights are a little cooler. Residents can wear short-sleeves throughout the year, but they typically need some light jackets and sweaters for winter nights.
As we’re located in Riverview, which is just a stone’s throw away from Tampa, we’ll be focusing on Tampa’s climate in this blog post. The climate in Tampa is considered humid subtropical, and there is much less rainfall in winter compared to the summertime. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Tampa’s average highs, lows, and rainy days are as follows during the wintertime:
- Average High: 75° Fahrenheit
- Average Low: 58° Fahrenheit
- Rainy Days: 4 Days
- Average High: 71° Fahrenheit
- Average Low: 53° Fahrenheit
- Rainy Days: 6 Days
- Average High: 74° Fahrenheit
- Average Low: 57° Fahrenheit
- Rainy Days: 4 Days
- Average High: 78° Fahrenheit
- Average Low: 59° Fahrenheit
- Rainy Days: 4 Days
Why is Florida so warm in the winter? Predominant tropical easterly winds sweep across the central and southern portions of the state, keeping the temperatures mild. El Niño causes the Tampa Bay area to be a little colder and wetter in winter, while La Niña causes it to be a bit drier and warmer than usual.
Does it ever get a little colder? Certainly. From time to time, a cold front will travel down the peninsula and cause freezing or near-freezing temperatures on a few nights in inland, central Florida. This isn’t common, however, occurring only every few years or so. Snow is extremely rare. In fact, the only known measurable snowfall in Tampa occurred in 1977 and amounted to less than half an inch!
Fun Things to Do in Florida in Winter
Because Florida winters are so moderate, you can typically enjoy the same activities you would in summer: strolling on the beach, dining al fresco, enjoying delicious seafood, etc. However, according to Visit Florida, there are a few unique things to do in winter in Florida:
- View Wild Manatees: Manatees head to consistently warmer waters, like freshwater springs, in wintertime. If you visit these spots, you can see wild manatees en masse.
- Enjoy Fresh Oranges: This is the perfect time to dine on oranges (mandarins, minneolas, navels, etc.), which are in season in wintertime. With a little online searching, you can find a local grove that offers pick-your-own citrus fruit.
- Camp on the Beach: The nights are cooler in winter, which makes for great camping weather. Some of the best campsites in the state are located right on the beach, perfect for enjoying Florida’s gorgeous sunsets.
- Visit the Theme Parks: Many of Florida’s famed theme parks have holiday festivities in the winter. Before Christmas, you can enjoy fun events at Disney World, Universal Orlando, Busch Garden, SeaWorld, and more.
- Holiday Boat Parades: Speaking of the holidays, many areas celebrate with boat parades. These include flashing lights, decorations, and even animated characters, which spectators can watch from the shores.
So what is winter like in Florida? Mild and relatively dry, with warm days and cool nights. Many Floridians feel quite smug about their lovely winters, as they’re more likely to be slathering on sunscreen than bundling up in coats and gloves. And of course, if you move to Florida and you miss the snowy winters up north, you can always fly back for a visit before returning to your sunny, scenic home down south.
Are you looking for a relaxing place to retire near Riverview, Florida? Check out the Crossings at Riverview, located near Tampa, Florida. We invite you to tour our community, meet our friendly staff, and see our amenities first-hand. Overlooking the Alafia River on twelve beautiful acres, the Crossings at Riverview offers a relaxing atmosphere, and our talented team is committed to cultivating a welcoming and vibrant community. Our goal is to make our community feel like home for all of our residents. To schedule a tour, contact us online. We look forward to meeting you!