Fun Facts about the Florida Climate in Winter

Whether you’re a Florida native or you’re a relative newcomer, you probably know the Sunshine State isn’t always warm and bright. In fact, there are times when it can get downright cold in Florida, even in the far southern part of the state. Here, you’ll discover some interesting tidbits about the Florida climate. You’ll also find some statistics highlighting record lows, average temperatures, and even a few unique wintertime weather events.

The Average Winter Temperature

In the Lakeland area, winters are typically quite mild. There are only a few days each year – if any at all – that might prompt you to turn on the heat.  According to the US Climate Data website, the average annual low temperature is about 63 degrees. During the winter months, this falls to between 50 and 53 degrees. For some people, the cool weather is a respite. They even open their windows in the evening hours to “air out” their homes. For others, 50 degrees is too cool for their liking, and this prompts them to turn on the heat at night to stay cozy and warm.

At the time of writing, on December 13, 2017, the temperature in typically sunny Lakeland was a chilly 43 degrees. It can be assumed that you are likely heating your home with your furnace, heat strips, or space heaters. You may even be sitting next to a crackling fire in the fireplace. The Florida climate can definitely surprise you – especially overnight and early in the morning.

Florida Climate Anomalies

Unique weather events occur all the time, and Florida is certainly no exception to that rule. Though the Florida climate is known for mild temperatures and comfortable humidity, even in mid-January when much of the country is blanketed in snow and ice, it can get downright cold. Though official records only date back so far, the coldest temperature ever recorded in the state of Florida occurred on February 13, 1899 when temperatures plummeted to a bone-chilling -2 degrees. This temperature was recorded in Tallahassee, and since then, it’s the only time a sub-zero temperature has been verified in the state.

Wintry Precipitation in Florida

When it comes to the Florida climate, snow is rare just as it is in much of the Southern US, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t fall. On March 6, 1954, a record-breaking four inches of snow fell in Milton, which is just a few miles northeast of Pensacola. In early January of 2015, those living in Jacksonville, Florida got quite the treat when they saw flurries falling outside their windows. Though measurements were only trace, it tied a record set for 57 years prior. Finally, in 2014, the Florida panhandle was covered in snow and ice, bringing traffic to a standstill and causing power outages for hundreds of customers.

As you can see, the Florida climate isn’t always sunshiny, warm, and humid. There are times when it gets downright cold (including this morning) and staying comfortable involves using your heating system. Fortunately, snow and ice are quite rare, and storms such as these occur once in a generation according to meteorologists. Nonetheless, snowstorms aren’t impossible, and cold temperatures occur all the time.