With winter quickly approaching, many people are starting to prepare for the cold weather. However, some towns don’t have to worry about dragging out the winter clothing from storage as the year comes to a close.
Below, we list the 10 warmest US cities and give a little insight into why these cities stay consistently warm year-round. Read on and enjoy our list of warm places that you can escape to during these chilly months.
The Warmest US Cities
Below we’ve listed the 10 warmest US cities by their average annual temperature. You might notice a pattern here: seven of the 10 warmest US cities are in the state of Florida.
- Key West, FL: 78.1°F
- Miami, FL: 76.7°F
- Yuma, AZ: 75.3°F
- West Palm Beach, FL: 75.3°F
- Fort Wayne, FL: 74.9°F
- Phoenix, AZ: 74.2°F
- Brownsville, TX: 73.3°F
- Vero Beach, FL: 73.2°F
- Tampa, FL: 73.1°F
- Orlando, FL: 72.8°F
More Top 10 Lists
Why is Florida warm year-round?
Florida has long been a haven for those looking to escape the cold. Florida’s warm weather is thanks to a region of warm water currents called the Gulf Stream. This warm current helps keep temperatures in the state relatively warm, even during winter’s chilliest months.
This is not to say that Florida never gets cold. It is not uncommon for the temperature to drop below freezing in January and February, especially in the northern part of the state, called the “Panhandle.”
However, this does not last long as warm temperatures quickly return by March or April. And things can get downright oppressive during the summer, thanks to the nasty combination of Florida’s typical heat with high humidity levels.
Why Arizona and the Desert Southwest Get So Hot
Unlike Florida, Arizona and the Desert Southwest do not sit near a warm water current. Instead, this region is known for its dry and desert-like climate. Yuma, the third warmest us city, is located here. The dryness of the air contributes to the scorching temperatures found in Yuma and other Southwestern towns during the summer.
But it also allows temperatures to sometimes fall just as quickly at night: in Florida, the dewpoint is often high, making it challenging for temperatures to drop rapidly at night. However, the Desert Southwest has very low dewpoints, which allows the temperature to fall far more quickly after sunset.
This is why some cities like Yuma and Phoenix, which are far hotter than Florida during the summer, end up averaging cooler than many Florida towns.
Why are All the Warmest US Cities in the Southern US?
Across the northern US, there is far more seasonal variation in the weather, especially when it comes to temperature. The warmest US cities are all located in the southern part of the country because this area has a warm climate that is more consistent throughout the year.
This consistency allows us to grow crops like oranges, strawberries, and tomatoes which you might have seen sold at your local grocery store. Yuma produces 86% of all lettuce grown in the United States, as a matter of fact.
So, warm climates are great for growing crops, but they also have their drawbacks. Because there is minimal seasonal variation in the warmest US cities. These areas can be more vulnerable to extreme weather events like hurricanes and tropical storms, as seen with Hurricane Irma, which devastated Florida in 2017.
These climate patterns that affect our warmest cities are thanks to our warm ocean currents and atmospheric circulation. But how exactly do these things affect the weather?
How the Atmospheric Circulation Affects Temperature Patterns Across The US
Atmospheric circulation describes how winds move throughout the Earth’s atmosphere. These winds can influence temperature patterns across different regions of the world, including the warmest us cities.
The warm weather across the US is primarily thanks to warm air rising over warm water in the Pacific Ocean and then moving north into Alaska, Canada, and even Greenland. When winds move from one place to another, it’s called an “air-mass,” which explains how a warm current of air can push temperatures up north.
The warm air continues to move north until it reaches a place where cold polar air has pushed southward, such as the upper Midwestern and the Northeastern US during winter months. The warm current meets this cold air and sinks towards the surface of the Earth, which helps keep temperatures warm in Florida even when there is snow on the ground up north.