Warmest US Cities in Winter

The clear front runner among large cities in the continental United States for hot winter weather during December, January and February is Miami, Florida. Depending how you measure things, Tampa and Orlando also rank high. Other winter hot spots are scattered from Louisiana to California. Then, of course, there is Honolulu, which tops the lists for hottest winter temperatures. By looking at temperatures from various angles, this page ranks the hottest major US cities in winter.

The lists of hottest cities use long-term temperature averages for the three winter months, December, January and February, based on weather data collected from 1991 to 2020 for the US National Centers for Environmental Information. The major cities included in these weather rankings represent the 56 metropolitan areas in the United States with the most people, all those with over one million residents in 2020, according to the US Census Bureau.

Highest Overall Winter Temperature

Ten of America's large cities average daily temperatures above 55 °F (13 °C) throughout winter.

US cities with the highest normal daily mean temperature for December, January and February
City Mean °F Mean °C
Honolulu, Hawaii 74 24
Miami, Florida 70 21
Tampa, Florida 64 18
Orlando, Florida 63 17
Los Angeles, California 58 15
San Diego, California 58 15
Jacksonville, Florida 58 15
Phoenix, Arizona 57 14
Houston, Texas 57 14
New Orleans, Louisiana 56 14
Riverside, California 56 13

City links take you to more detailed information on temperatures for that location. You can also view a summary of temperature averages for all major US cities and city temperatures in recent years and a complete list of America's 56 largest urban centers.

Hottest Winter Days

Temperatures during winter at American cities don't reach into the 100s, and 90-degree weather is rare. Just five cities have briefly reached 90 degrees at this time of year: Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Los Angeles and Riverside.

At least a day of 80-degree weather usually shows up during winter at 15 major cities. The same cluster of cities are also the only ones to have over 12 days during a typical winter when the thermometer rises to 70 °F or more. Yet for most of those cities, days in the 60s are more the norm.

The warm–winter cities are mainly concentrated in Florida, California and Texas. Among the group, only Honolulu, Miami, Tampa and Orlando have a daily high that averages above 70 during winter.

The cities listed below most often see temperatures above 70 or 80 degrees during winter.

Number of days in winter when the temperature climbs to at least 70 or 80 °F
City 70 °F
21 °C
80 °F
27 °C
Honolulu, Hawaii 90 67
Miami, Florida 81 42
Orlando, Florida 63 24
Tampa, Florida 61 17
Jacksonville, Florida 42 10
Phoenix, Arizona 39 6
Riverside, California 38 11
Tucson, Arizona 38 5
Houston, Texas 37 5
San Antonio, Texas 37 7
Los Angeles, California 36 9
New Orleans, Louisiana 33 4
Austin, Texas 32 6
San Diego, California 20 2
Dallas, Texas 19 3

Warmest Winter Nights

While freezing weather is a reality during winter in many American cities, that's not true for all. Freezing temperatures are not at all expected in Honolulu, Miami, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, and are a rare event in Phoenix and Tampa. In fact, at those cities plus a few others, it's not often that temperatures even drop below 40 °F on a winter's night.

At the other end of the scale, every night during the season does cool down to 70 in every major US city except in Miami and Honolulu. The Florida winter destination averages 16 nights a winter with temperatures above 70 degrees, and most winter nights end up in the 60s F (above 16 °C). At Honolulu, the majority of winter nights are above 70 degrees.

The list below ranks major US cities which average fewer than 30 nights a winter with temperatures of 40 °F or below.

Number of nights in December, January and February when the temperature drops to 40 or 50 °F or lower.
City 40 °F
4 °C
50 °F
10 °C
Honolulu, Hawaii 0 0
Miami, Florida 1 7
San Diego, California 1 48
Los Angeles, California 2 52
San Francisco, California 4 71
Tampa, Florida 7 33
Orlando, Florida 7 35
Phoenix, Arizona 13 68
Jacksonville, Florida 17 48
Houston, Texas 22 58
New Orleans, Louisiana 25 58

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). Climate Normals.

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