Plaza de España, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Florida Weather vs Canary Islands Weather

Florida and the Canary Islands are considered some of the places with the best climate in the world.

They are located at the same latitude on both sides of the Atlantic, and in many aspects they have very similar types of climate.

Literally, both are located where the subtropical meets the tropical climate zone.

However, Florida covers much bigger territory so from this point of view it has more diverse climate.

For example, the northernmost parts of Florida have significantly colder climate than the Canary Islands while Florida Key, which is located in the southernmost part of the state, is a bit warmer.


Plaza de España, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Plaza de España, Santa Cruz de Tenerife by Marcus Buchwald

The main difference between the weather in Florida and that of the Canary Islands is the precipitation.

While Florida receives extremely heavy and intense rainfalls, especially during the summer months, the Canary Islands are much more moderate in this respect, and many parts of the islands are even dry.

Some areas have practically semi-arid tropical climate and rainfall are rare.

The precipitations in Miami, Florida, vary between 52 mm in December and 210 mm in June.

Meanwhile, the precipitations in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria vary between 0 mm in July and 25 mm in January.

Humidity in Florida and the Canary Islands

Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida by Chad Sparkes

The humidity in Florida is much higher than that of the Canary Islands.

This makes the air heavy and the heat – exhausting, especially during the summer months.

In the morning hours, when the humidity in Florida is highest, it generally ranges between 79 and 91%, depending on the location.

In the coastal areas of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, on the Canary Islands, the average humidity usually ranges between 55 and 66% during the year.

This difference between Florida and the Canary Islands makes the weather of the Canaries much more enjoyable and easily tolerated under the same temperatures.

Daytime temperatures

Las Teresitas beach, Tenerife
Las Teresitas beach, Tenerife by Marc Veraart

The average temperatures in Florida are very similar with those on the Canary Islands.

For example, in January the daytime temperature in Florida is respectively 21°C in Tampa and 23-24°C in Miami, while Costa Adeje, in the Southwest of Tenerife, experiences usually around 22°C during the day.

Meanwhile, the average daytime summer temperatures reach 31°C in Miami and 35°C in Tampa in July, while in Las Palmas on the Canary Islands they are about 31°C in August.

However, we still have to mention that Florida falls within two very different climate zones and there are huge differences between the North and the South of the state.

Number of sunny days

Sunny Isles and Aventura Skyline, Florida
Sunny Isles and Aventura Skyline, Florida by Jimmy Baikovicius

The sunlight that falls over the Canary Islands and Florida is approximately equally strong.

The reason is that the light falls at the same angle in both locations as a result of the similar distance from the equator.

The difference in the number of sunny hours during the year is insignificant.

For example, in Tampa in December the number of sunny hours is 192, while in the same month in Santa Cruz de Tenerife it is 168 hours.

As you can see, there is a little difference in favor of Florida.

In summer, however, the situation is just the opposite. The sunniest month in Tampa is May.

It receives 315 hours of sunshine. At the same time, the sunniest month on the Canaries is July when Santa Cruz de Tenerife receives around 337 hours of sun shining.

The reason for the difference is that most of the cloudy and rainy days in Florida occur in summer, while on the Canaries they are in winter.

Snowfall in Florida and the Canary Islands

Presa de Chira, Gran Canaria
Presa de Chira, Gran Canaria by El Coleccionista de Instantes Fotografía & Video

Snowfalls are not typical neither in Florida nor on the Canary Islands.

In fact, over the Canaries sometimes really falls snow but only in the mountains and never along the coast.

The lowest temperature ever in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is 8,1°C, which is too warm for snowfalls. The situation in sunny Florida is not very different.

Described as the land of eternal summer, Florida still remembers snowfalls in the distant past.

For example, in Tampa the last snow cover was formed in January, 1977.

In the northern parts of Florida snowfalls are quite possible and definitely could happen during colder winters. However, this is something that really happens very rarely.

Seawater temperature

Fort Lauderdale beach, Florida
Fort Lauderdale beach, Florida by Mauricio Lima

One of the greatest differences between Florida and the Canary Islands is the seawater temperature.

The difference comes from the fact that along the coast of Florida passes the warm Florida current, which is a part of the Gulfstream.

Unlike Florida, the Canary Islands are strongly influenced by the cold Canary current, which brings much cooler waters.

For example, in January the seawater temperature along the coast of Miami is usually between 22 and 25°C, while at the same time the water off the shores of Tenerife is between 18 and 22°C.

In August and September the sea surface temperatures off the coast of Tenerife is between 22 and 25°C, similarly to the winter water temperature in Miami.

At the same time, the ocean water along the coast of Miami reaches 29 – 31°C in August and September!

Number of sunny days

Canary Islands in December
Canary Islands in December by Thomas Depenbusch

Miami enjoys approximately around 249 sunny days per year, and according to statistics, approximately 74 of them are completely sunny and cloudless, and the rest are partially sunny.

The Southwest of Tenerife (Playa de las Americas) and in the Southwest of Gran Canaria (Puerto Rico) experience approximately 320 days of sunshine a year.

The number of grey cloudy days is 45-46. Another advantage is that the number of completely cloudless days is significantly bigger than in Miami.


Summer storm, Navarre, Florida
Summer storm, Navarre, Florida by M.M.Meeks

Although the Canary Islands and Florida have the same geographical location, they differ significantly from each other when it comes to hurricanes.

The warm ocean waters off the coast of Florida give additional power to the tropical storms, making the region one of the most frequently affected by hurricanes in the world.

In the area of the Canary Islands in turn, hurricanes are a very rare phenomenon.

Of course, they are not completely impossible, but if there is a place south of the 30th parallel, where hurricanes happen really rarely, it is definitely the Canary Islands.

Usually the archipelago is not affected by hurricanes even when similar storms occur in the region.

On the one side, hurricanes do not happen often around the northwest coast of Africa.

On the other hand, even in cases when the Canaries are affected, the air masses tend to push the storms to the west of the shore of Africa, which strongly reduces their power.