Is Florida Hotter Than Texas?

Is Florida Hotter Than Texas?

At first glance, the answer to the question “Is Florida hotter than Texas?” seems simple: Florida is the hottest state in the United States so it has to be hotter than Texas, too. Florida has mild winters and warm weather year round. Meanwhile, Texas can see much more variety, including freezing temperatures and snow.

But that quick answer misses some important details which I’ll explore in this article.

Florida vs Texas: Average Temperatures

I wrote articles on the warmest cities in Florida as well as the warmest cities in Texas. Both are some of the best states for weather and both have some of the hottest cities in the US.

Based on my research, the average daily mean temperature (the yearly average of the average high temperature and the average low temperature) for 100 major cities in Florida is 73.3 °F. For 50 cities in Texas, that number is 67.6 °F.

According to WorldPopulationReview, Florida’s average temperature is 71.5 °F while for Texas it’s 65.8 °F.

If we compare the states this way, then Florida is hotter than Texas. And by a large margin: 5.7 °F. Despite being some of the hottest states in the country, their climates differ a lot. But there are other ways we can compare them that may give us different answers.

Florida vs Texas: Summer Temperatures

Florida vs Texas: Which Is Hotter?

If we look exclusively at average temperatures in the summer months, it appears that Texas gets hotter than Florida. But temperatures alone don’t pain the entire picture. We also need to consider humidity.

The hottest Texas cities on the coast (like Houston or Brownsville) have similar humidity to Florida in the summer so if they have higher temperatures, they’ll feel hotter. The cities in the semi-arid, western part of the state (like El Paso) may record higher temperatures but with lower humidity they’ll be more comfortable than hot, muggy days in Florida. Most people find dry heat more comfortable because it allows sweating while a humid climate makes it difficult (you’re constantly drenched in sweat that doesn’t evaporate).

For example, between June and August, Houston records average temperatures during the day between 92-95 °F. That’s hotter than 89-91 °F in Miami (and other neighboring cities in South Florida like West Palm Beach or Florida City). Because Houston is similarly humid to Miami, the heat index in Houston is higher due to the slightly higher temperatures. In this case, Texas is hotter.

If we compare the southernmost city of Florida, Key West, with the southernmost city of Texas, Brownsville on the Gulf Coast, we’ll learn that Brownsville is much hotter. Daytime temperatures reach sweltering 94-96 °F, while Key West has temperatures between 89-90 °F. Both places are humid in the summer and the heat index is well above 100 °F but Brownsville’s heat is worse. So, again, the Lone Star State is also hotter.

If we compare the coldest cities in both states, Milton in the Florida Panhandle and Amarillo in North Texas, Texas appears to be warmer. Summer temperatures in Milton are between 90-91 °F. Meanwhile, in Amarillo they’re between 90-93 °F. But Amarillo has low humidity in the summer while Florida has high humidity. Barring the hottest days during heat waves, Amarillo will feel cooler than Milton. Here, Texas is cooler than the Sunshine State.

Florida vs Texas: Winter Temperatures

If we look at winter temperatures, Florida has hotter winters than Texas.

Between December and February, Key West enjoys temperatures of 76-78 °F. Meanwhile, the hottest city in Texas, McAllen, has temperatures of 73-77 °F. It’s comparable to Florida’s heat but slightly cooler nonetheless.

But these are average high temperatures.

If we look at average low temperatures, Key West is much warmer: temperatures drop to 66-68 °F compared to 53-57 °F in McAllen. You could still wear only a t-shirt in Key West at night during winter. In McAllen, probably not.

If we compare the coldest cities of both states, we’ll see a bigger difference. Milton in Florida has daytime temperatures of 60-64 °F and nighttime temperatures of 36-40 °F. Meanwhile, Amarillo has daytime temperatures of 52-56 °F and nighttime temperatures of freezing cold 25-28 °F. Here the difference is very pronounced. Milton rarely gets frost while Amarillo has guaranteed frost and snowfall.

If we compare Miami with Houston, the differences are also very visible. Miami has the same winter temperatures as Key West, between 76-78 °F. Meanwhile, Houston is considerably colder at 65-68 °F. And the nighttime temperatures in Miami are still comfortable at 61-64 °F while Houston can get chilly at 44-48 °F.

Of course, if we compare South Texas with the northern part of Florida, then we’ll see that Texas has some cities with milder winters. But overall, Florida wins.

South Florida vs South Texas

South Florida vs South Texas Climate

To compare Florida and Texas, we can also look at the hottest regions of each state.

In Texas, it’s the southern part of the state, on the Gulf of Mexico or close to the coast. The three warmest cities are McAllen, Brownsville, and Laredo.

In Florida, the hottest region are the Florida Keys. The three warmest cities are Key West, Marathon, and Islamorada.

Here, Florida is yet again hotter. The coolest out of the three cities in the Keys, Islamorada, has an average temperature of 77.9 °F. Meanwhile, Laredo’s daily mean temperature is 74.95 °F.

Laredo has a much higher average high temperature in the summer than Islamorada. It registers temperatures of 100 °F in the hottest summer months. Meanwhile, Islamorada has temperatures of about 89 °F.

Year round, though, the Keys have a much higher heat index. They’re also sunnier, which makes their hot and humid climate even hotter.

Florida vs Texas: Climate in the Biggest Cities

Florida vs Texas Weather: Cities Comparison

Let’s compare a few major cities in Florida and Texas to see which are hotter. I’ll pair the most populous city in Florida with the most populous city in Texas, then the second most populous in Florida with the second most populous in Texas, etc. It’s not a perfect comparison climate-wise but it’s a useful comparison if you want to live in a big city with a warmer climate.

1. Jacksonville, Florida vs Houston, Texas

Yearly average temperature in Jacksonville: 69.25 °F

Yearly average temperature in Houston: 70.5 °F

Houston has slightly higher average temperatures than Jacksonville. Jacksonville has slightly warmer winters than Houston, though. Overall, the most populous cities of Florida and Texas are most similar in their climates.

2. Miami, Florida vs San Antonio, Texas

Yearly average temperature in Miami: 77.45 °F

Yearly average temperature in San Antonio: 69.6 °F

No doubts here: Miami is much hotter than San Antonio. San Antonio is much colder during winter but has hotter summers.

3. Tampa, Florida vs Dallas, Texas

Yearly average temperature in Tampa: 74.55 °F

Yearly average temperature in Dallas: 68 °F

Tampa is warm year round compared to Dallas which can get cold in the winter. Dallas has hotter summers but other than that, it’s a colder city.

4. Orlando, Florida vs Austin, Texas

Yearly average temperature in Orlando: 71.4 °F

Yearly average temperature in Austin: 69.95 °F

These two cities have relatively similar yearly average temperatures. Orlando, as the rest of Central Florida, is warm year round, though, while Austin is much hotter in the summer months. In the hottest month, it reaches 98 °F compared to 92 °F in Orlando (though Orlando has higher humidity and will feel hotter).

5. St. Petersburg, Miami vs Forth Worth, Texas

Yearly average temperature in St. Petersburg: 74.15 °F

Yearly average temperature in Dallas: 65.85 °F

The Texas cities may form a Dallas-Fort Worth area but Fort Worth is colder than Dallas so I treat them separately. St. Petersburg is much hotter than Fort Worth, which is one of the colder cities in Texas.

Further Reading

If you want to learn more about the climate of Texas, here are other articles on the state:

If you want to learn more about the climate of Florida, here are other articles on the state:

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