According to a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the winter of 2016 should be nice and mild for Florida, exactly how we like it. While that forecast is specific to a certain calendar year, warm and dry Florida winters are the norm here rather than the exception. That might spur you to consider a new home in the Sunshine State, especially if you live somewhere not so pleasant from November through March.
Perhaps one plagued by snow and ice?
Read on to discover how Mother Nature can give Florida’s naturally balmy winters an extra shot of nice.
A Lesson in Florida Weather
Although Florida winters are much milder than most areas in the United States, these tendencies are amplified by changes in weather patterns — like anywhere in the world. A pattern change known as La Nina is driving NOAA’s prediction of a warmer, drier 2016 winter for the southern U.S. La Nina and a similar weather phenomenon known as El Nino are rooted in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. La Nina occurs when those equatorial ocean surface temperatures temporarily cool. When this happens, winters generally are colder and wetter in the northern part of the U.S., and drier and warmer in the south.
El Nino is the reverse. When equatorial Pacific surface temperatures temporarily warm, wetter, cooler weather affects the southern U.S. — and thus Florida. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, which issues seasonal U.S. weather outlooks, has predicted and verified La Nina conditions for the winter of 2016.
What’s a “Mild” Florida Winter?
North and Central Florida are considered subtropical weather zones, while South Florida — closest to the equator — is solidly tropical. All three regions enjoy mild winter weather, on a scale of mild in North Florida, milder in Central Florida and mildest in South Florida. This is a big reason people move to, retire to — or, if you’re current Floridian — refuse to move from Florida. Our winters rock! Bright, warm sunshine almost always is the norm.
Why the Term ‘Snowbird’ Exists
Seasonal Florida residents are known colloquially by this term and often are proud of it. In North Florida, you’ll have occasional nippy nights and chilly, breezy days. Again, plenty of sunshine, but don’t toss all the lighter outerwear if you move from a colder climate.
Keep a coat, especially if you’re a mariner. It can be windy on the water in winter. Feel free to toss all the heavy-duty fleece, thick down trench coats and snow chains. In Central Florida, many cold-weather transplants, snowbirds and new residents DO toss the outerwear; you might hang onto a few pieces if you travel. Sweaters, light jackets and a cozy sweatshirt will keep you warm during infrequent cool downs, usually in association with a short-lived cold front. It may be chilly for a day or two, then warm back up.
In South Florida, this is what the predicted 2016 La Nina winter feels like every year — warm, balmy and pleasant at night, with lower humidity. Snowbird weather!
Become a Florida Snowbird
If you’re ready for “La Nina” winters — seasonally or full-time — ICI Homes can help. We’re Florida’s Custom Home Builder and we love being permanent snowbirds. Click here to join us.