Key West Weather
SPOILER ALERT: The weather in Key West is awesome. Warmed by sun and sea, cooled by wind and rain, Key West weather is always great. Let Cool Key West help you plan a frost-free vacation in tropical Key West.
The Florida Keys form a barrier that divides the Gulf of Mexico from the Atlantic Ocean, with the waters of the two merging in the Straits of Florida between Key West and Cuba. The uniformly great Key West weather arises from this location between the two differing bodies of water, as well as from the island’s tropical latitude. The Gulf is much warmer and calmer than the Atlantic, and has a major current that drives heated water along both sides of the Keys.
The Gulf Loop Current is a primary factor in Key West weather. The Loop is born of water pushed by the Earth’s rotation from the Atlantic onto the coast line of Central America and up into the western Gulf, where it runs up the coast of Mexico, across the Southern seaboard of the U.S., and down the western Florida shoreline. The moving water picks up heat along the way, and as it exits the Gulf running east through the Straits of Florida, it is very warm. With surface temperatures averaging 75 to 77°F from December through February, it is the warmest ocean water on the United States mainland.This warm water keeps the Key West weather very mild and stable, with only about a 15°F variation in mean monthly temperatures throughout the year.
The Keys are the only U.S. mainland location where frost or freezing temperatures have never been recorded. The lowest temperature recorded in Key West was 41°F on January 12, 1886, and again on January 13, 1981. Summer temperatures are moderate as well, mellowed by easterly trade winds and local sea breezes drawn off the cool waters of the Atlantic. While Key West weather in the summer may certainly feel hot, the record high summer temperature mark is only 97°F.
Although it might be imagined that a tropical location like Key West is rainy, the island actually has a tropical savannah climate similar to the Caribbean islands rather than a rainforest or monsoon climate. The island has a pronounced dry season and gets only 39 inches of rain per year, a little more than the U.S. average of 37 inches and much less than the 50 to 60 inch average common to the rest of Florida.
The weather in Key West is characterized mainly by the wet and dry seasons. In the months of November through April, the island receives many of its average 260 sunny days per year and about 25 percent of the annual rainfall, usually in advance of cold fronts that move in from the northeast in waves. The wet season runs from May through October, with numerous showers and thunderstorms bringing in about 53 percent of the yearly precipitation, often as early morning rains that are followed by intensely hot afternoon sun.
Unlike mainland Florida and the Gulf Coast, Key West is not often the direct target of hurricanes. The average time between direct hits is 5.88 years, with a 21 year gap between hits occurring from 1966-1987. However, when close brushes are factored in, the island receives some storm effects every 2.71 years. Most tropical storms tracking through the Gulf tend to move north of the Keys, but the island can be affected by the wind and rainfall of storm systems that are hundreds of miles away. Due to the low-lying nature of the Keys, they are vulnerable to the storm surges and rain-fall induced flooding common to tropical storms.
Cruise 70 miles of open water in spacious comfort to Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas National Park aboard the Yankee Freedom III Dry Tortugas Ferry.Duration: 9.5 Hours (approx.) Activity Level: ModerateBest RateDetails
If you want to go beyond snorkeling and experience the world's underwater beauty in the safest and easiest way possible, try Snuba®!Duration: 3 Hours (approx.) Activity Level: ModerateBest RateDetails
Board the Dolphin Watch & Snorkel Cruise Key West for a journey to observe the beauty of Key West dolphins.Duration: 4 Hours (approx.) Activity Level: Moderate
Spend an unforgettable day sailing emerald waters, kayaking mangrove-shaded channels and snorkeling coral gardens in an unspoiled marine wilderness.Duration: 6.5 Hours (approx.) Activity Level: ModerateBest RateDetails
Enjoy an unforgettable morning or afternoon of sailing, kayaking and snorkeling in the pristine marine wilderness of the Key West National Wildlife Refuge.Duration: 4.5 Hours (approx.) Activity Level: ModerateBest RateDetails
Indulge your senses as you pass over natural sands through the blue waters of Key West into the playgrounds of wild dolphins on Dolphin Snorkel Sea Safari.Duration: 3 Hours (approx.) Activity Level: ModerateBest RateDetails
Take a luxury coach tour from Miami to Key West, where you will enjoy a snorkeling trip on North America's only living coral reef.Duration: 6 Hours in Key West Activity Level: Moderate
See the Best of Key West on the tour that's been entertaining visitors to the Island City since 1958.Duration: 90 minutes Activity Level: EasyBest RateDetails
Sit back while the expert tour guides turn back the pages of history to the days of Indians, pirates, wreckers and the Civil War.Duration: 1.5 hour tour. Hop on, hop off all day. Activity Level: EasyBest RateDetails
The morning two tank Key West Dive Trips are great because this includes a double dive in a Vandenberg wreck dive.Duration: 4.5 Hours Activity Level: Difficult
The Dive in a Day Scuba Resort Course is the absolute best way for a person to experience diving. Great for those who want to try scuba diving in Key West.Duration: 9 Hours Activity Level: Moderate
Experience the thrill of Key West deep sea fishing to the fullest on a hunt for trophy game fish in the open sea with your own private boat, captain, and crewDuration: 4, 6 or 8 Hours Activity Level: Easy
Take your own private boat and personal guide to hunt Bonefish, Permit, Sharks and other game fish in the crystal-clear waters of the Key West Backcountry.Duration: 4, 6 or 8 Hours Activity Level: ModerateBest RateDetails
On our Key West Island Jet Ski Tours you jump on one of our Yamaha Waverunners and cruise around the island on a 28 mile, 90 mins guided jet ski tour.Duration: 90 Minutes Activity Level: Moderate