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Climate & Environment
 
 
 

Miami has a true tropical savanna climate (Köppen climate classification Aw), with hot & humid summers and warm & mostly dry winters. The city does experience cold fronts from November through March. However, the average monthly temperature for any month has never been recorded as being under 18 °C (January averages 19.44 °C). Most of the year is warm and humid, and the summers are almost identical to the climate of the Caribbean tropics. In addition, the city gets most of its rain in the summer (wet season) and is mostly dry and mild in winter (dry season). The wet season lasts from May to October, when it gives way to the dry season, which features mild temperatures with some invasions of cool air, which is when the little winter rainfall occurs – with the passing of a front. The hurricane season largely coincides with the wet season.

In addition to its sea-level elevation, coastal location and position just above the Tropic of Cancer, the area owes its warm, humid climate to the Gulf Stream, which moderates climate year-round. A typical summer day does not have temperatures below 24 °C. Temperatures of between 30-35 °C accompanied by high humidity are often relieved by afternoon thunderstorms or a sea breeze that develops off the Atlantic Ocean, which then allow lower temperatures, although conditions still remain very muggy. During winter, humidity is significantly lower, allowing for cooler weather to develop. Average minimum temperatures during that time are around 15 °C, rarely dipping below 4 °C, and the equivalent maxima usually range between 19-24 °C.

Miami has never recorded a triple-digit temperature; the highest temperature recorded was 37 °C. The coldest temperature ever recorded in the city of Miami was -1 °C on several occasions. Miami has only once recorded snowfall, on January 20, 1977. Weather conditions for the area around Miami were recorded sporadically from 1839 until 1900, with many years-long gaps. A cooperative temperature and rainfall recording site was established in what is now Downtown in December, 1900. An official Weather Bureau Office was opened in Miami in June, 1911.

Miami receives abundant rainfall, one of the highest among major US cities. Most of this rainfall occurs from mid-May through early October. It receives annual rainfall of 58.6 inches (1488 mm), whereas nearby Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach receive 63.8 in (1621 mm) and 48.3 in (1227 mm), respectively, which demonstrates the high local variability in rainfall rates.

Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30, although hurricanes can develop beyond those dates. The most likely time for Miami to be hit is during the peak of the Cape Verde season which is mid-August through the end of September. Due to its location between two major bodies of water known for tropical activity, Miami is also statistically the most likely major city in the world to be struck by a hurricane, trailed closely by Nassau, Bahamas and Havana, Cuba. Despite this, the city has been fortunate in not having a direct hit by a hurricane since Hurricane Cleo in 1964. However, many other hurricanes have affected the city, including Betsy in 1965, Andrew in 1992, Irene in 1999, and Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma in 2005.

In addition, a tropical depression in October 2000 passed over the city, causing record rainfall and flooding. Locally, the storm is credited as the No Name Storm of 2000, though the depression went on to become Tropical Storm Leslie upon entering the Atlantic Ocean. Miami has been identified as one of three cities in the United States most vulnerable to hurricanes, mainly due to its location and it being surrounded by ocean and low-lying coastal plains, the other two cities being New Orleans and New York City.

Most of the western fringes of the city extend into the Everglades, a subtropical marshland located in the southern portion of the US state of Florida. This causes occasional problems with local wildlife such as alligators venturing into Miami communities and major highways.

 

 
 


 



 


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