Thinking about moving to the Sarasota area from out-of-state? Depending on where you're coming from (most likely a place with a cooler climate), you're probably more than a little concerned about how to deal with the Florida weather.
I can offer some great practical advice, as well as some Sarasota weather statistics that might surprise you. You might also find that when Sarasota residents talk about living in "paradise," they are not just referring to the beautiful beaches, friendly people, and the arts and culture, but the weather as well!
Florida summers: not as hot as you may think
Most full-time residents in Sarasota love summer. The beaches, restaurants, and roads aren't crowded; short afternoon thunderstorms keep their gardens watered almost every day; and the evenings can actually be very pleasant. The key to being active outside (including going to the beach): Either go earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon. Wearing light, loose-fitting clothing is also highly recommended. Pretty simple advice, because honestly, Sarasota is not that hot.
Sarasota's record summer temperature is 100°F. Here are some record summer temperatures of other cities around the country:
New York, NY: 102°F
Atlanta, GA: 106°F
Cleveland, OH: 104°F
Dallas, TX: 112°F
Portland, OR: 106°F
Milwaukee, WI: 102°F
Yes, but what about the humidity?
Sarasota's yearly average relative humidity is 74%. Let's see how we compare*:
New York, NY: 63%
Atlanta, GA: 68%
Cleveland, OH: 71%
Dallas, TX: 65%
Portland, OR: 73%
Milwaukee, WI: 72%
Our average relative humidity is only a little higher. So why does everyone say the Sunshine State is so hot? Because most of our visitors come in winter from places with much colder temperatures. Here are some record lows to put things in perspective:
New York, NY: -4°F
Atlanta, GA: -9°F
Cleveland, OH: -20°F
Dallas, TX: -3°F
Portland, OR: 8°F
Milwaukee, WI: -26°F
The point here is that the weather in Sarasota is warmer year-round, but it doesn't have the extremes of most U.S. cities, thanks to our cool Gulf breezes.
But I'm really going to miss the change in seasons ...
Maybe we don't have the striking, shifting foliage of the more northern states, but we do have noticeable seasonal changes beyond the obvious influx of tourists every winter. For us, the change in seasons is expressed as “wet” versus “dry.” In our dry season, November through April, we receive very little rainfall, but in our “wet” season, May through October, rain showers and convection storms are common, especially in the afternoons.
What about hurricane season?
Like anywhere on the U.S. coast, hurricanes are always a possibility in Sarasota, but historically this has been a rare event. The last time Sarasota was hit by hurricane-force winds was in 1960, when Hurricane Donna made landfall 100 miles south in Naples. Tropical storms are fairly common, however, and while they rarely cause fatalities, they should be taken seriously. Most result in a little street flooding and yard cleanup, but you will be amazed by how healthy and lush plants can look after a hard tropical rain. Lightning is a factor in many of our summer convection storms, and this is something that also should be taken seriously. But the storms subside quickly; I recommend ducking into a local pub or restaurant as the best way to deal with a Florida lightning storm.
Welcome to paradise!
For most people, after a few years of living in Sarasota's mild tropical climate, it becomes impossible to even consider living anywhere with months of freezing winter temperatures. It's like a warm spring day most of the year, with enough hot and cold days to remind you that people in other states deal with some pretty extreme weather. Welcome to paradise indeed!
Julian is a happy Sarasota resident and your go-to guy for information about the perks of living in paradise. For more, get in touch with Julian directly via the Sarasota Property Finders Contact Page.
*These figures are the relative humidity, which is a more accurate measurement of how hot the air feels than actual humidity. You can find a good explanation of relative humidity here.
All weather data sourced from The Weather Channel.
Sarasota Area Real Estate Specialist