Blissful Weather for Miami, Torture for Everyone Else
It's winter in Miami, and you finally know why you moved to Florida: so you could torture your friends with reports about Miami's glorious winter weather as they suffer through snow, ice and bitter cold.
You may think that's impossible when the weather is as bad as it was this morning: cloudy, just 64 degrees when you woke up and a high of only 74 expected. The sun may not even come out until later.
Woe is us.
Now share that sad tale with your best friend in Chicago, where it's windy and today's high is expected to be 22. She will not be sympathetic.
Winter is when Floridians complain when the temperature dips below 70, donning fuzzy slippers, sweatpants and old sweaters that went out of style the year they moved to Miami. If you've got a fireplace, light it now and make up your annual cup of hot cocoa, because it will be too warm for hot chocolate in front of the fire in a few days.
The rest of the winter is going to be made up of weather that will make you remember why you moved to Miami: brilliant blue skies, highs in the low 80s and lows in the 70s, low humidity – day after day of cloudless perfection.
The average winter temperatures in Miami are comfortable—the high in January is around 76, with an average low of 60. In February, the average high is 78 and the low is 62. While the occasional cold snap may bring temperatures down for a day (anything below 60 is front-page headlines), winter in Miami is, in general, the best weather anyone could hope for.
In fact, Miami owes its founding partly to its great weather. Back in the late 1890s, Henry Flagler had intended to end his Florida East Coast Railway at West Palm Beach, 60 miles north of Miami. But after the great freeze of 1894–95 decimated the Central Florida orange groves, Flagler was persuaded to extend his railroad to Miami by businesswoman Julia Tuttle, who sent him a bouquet of flowers to demonstrate that the freeze had not extended to Miami.
The only time it has snowed in Miami's history was January 19, 1977, and the flurries were over by 9:30 a.m. It was such an unusual event that major media felt compelled to mark the 35th anniversary of the snow in 2012. So little snow fell that it didn't become part of the official weather record.
A true Floridian does not swim in the ocean in winter, but Miami weather in the winter is fabulous for long walks on the beach, bicycling, visiting the Everglades and enjoying the tropical foliage at Fairchild Botanical Garden. Yes, we've still got plenty of tropical foliage in January. In fact, Floridians do much of their gardening in winter, because that's when you can grow tomatoes, beans, lettuce and other edible crops, including oranges and lemons.
Facebook is an ideal medium for sharing your new winter lives. Here are 10 ways to share your joy about all the fun things to do in Miami in winter and make your friends up north jealous.
- Post a photo of your feet in fuzzy slippers while you are sitting on the screened porch. Make sure the tropical foliage outside the porch shows. Complain about how the temperature has plummeted to 65, and you're freezing.
- Share photos of the weather app on your phone reflecting the day's weather. Even the cold 60s will look good to your friends up north. The 80s with all those little suns will be almost unbearable.
- Tag friends you wish were with you as you post photos of your outdoor dining experiences. Even the best writers have trouble describing the special lush embrace of Miami air in winter, and most January nights are balmy enough to eat on restaurant patios without heat lamps.
- Tout your progress on fitness apps with photos of yourself enjoying winter in Miami Beach: riding your bicycle, hiking and running all make good choices.
- Complain about the cost of heating your house with the inadequate heating system that comes with your air conditioner. After all, it could cost as much as $10 to keep your house warm this winter.
- Mention that you are so cold inside your house that you are forced to go outside in the bright sunshine to warm up. Homes in Miami were built to be cool, which means that it could be 65 inside your house while it's 75 outside. You may need to take off your fuzzy slippers if you stay outside too long.
- Ask for tennis partners, running buddies, volleyball participants and friends who want to join you for a hike in Everglades National Park. Your New York relatives will hate you.
- Create a photo album of your great outdoor barbecue, showing your friends in short-sleeved shirts and shorts.
- Ask for help identifying the myriad birds and tropical plants you see in the yard of your Miami home. Make sure you show the tropical flowers in bloom.
- Talk about and photograph your garden, wondering if you have chosen too sunny a spot for your basil and bemoaning the fact that you have to water as Miami celebrates one glorious, sunny day after another.