With its iconic beaches, tropical climate, and warm coastal waters, Miami is a magnet for swimmers year-round. But what is the water actually like during the winter month of December? Is swimming still an option in Miami at this time of year?
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Yes, you can absolutely still swim in Miami in December. The water and air temperatures remain warm enough for most swimmers.
In this in-depth guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to enjoy swimming in Miami during December. We’ll look at average water and air temperatures, beach conditions, what to wear, best swimming spots, and tips for an awesome swim.
Water and Air Temperatures
Ocean Water Temperature
Miami is known for its beautiful beaches and warm waters. Even in December, the ocean water temperature in Miami remains relatively mild. The average water temperature during this time of year is around 74°F (23°C).
This makes it quite comfortable for swimming, especially for those who enjoy cooler waters.
Average Air Temperature
December in Miami is a time when many people escape the cold weather in other parts of the country and head south for some warmth. The average air temperature in Miami during December ranges from around 68°F (20°C) to 77°F (25°C).
This means that even though it might not be scorching hot, it is still pleasant enough to enjoy outdoor activities, including swimming in the ocean.
Miami is known for its humid climate, with high humidity levels throughout the year. In December, the humidity levels in Miami are slightly lower compared to other months. The average humidity in December ranges from around 66% to 73%.
While this might still feel humid to some, it is generally more comfortable than the peak summer months.
It is important to note that these temperatures and humidity levels are averages and can vary from day to day. It is always a good idea to check the current weather conditions before heading out for a swim in Miami in December.
If you are interested in tracking the current ocean water temperature in Miami, you can visit the Weather.com website for up-to-date information.
Beach and Ocean Conditions
When considering swimming in Miami in December, it’s important to take into account the beach and ocean conditions. Here are some factors to consider:
Wave Size and Intensity
During December, the wave size in Miami is generally smaller compared to other months. On average, waves range from 1 to 3 feet, making it suitable for swimming and water activities for people of all ages and skill levels.
However, it’s always a good idea to check the current wave conditions before heading to the beach. Websites like Surfline provide up-to-date wave forecasts and surf reports to help you make informed decisions about swimming in the ocean.
Chance of Rain
December is considered the dry season in Miami, with lower chances of rainfall compared to other times of the year. On average, Miami experiences around 2-3 inches of rain during December. This means that the chances of encountering a rainy day while swimming in Miami’s beaches are relatively low.
However, it’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast for the specific day you plan on swimming, as weather conditions can vary.
UV Index Strength
Even though December is winter in Miami, the UV index can still be quite strong. The UV index measures the strength of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation and indicates the risk of sunburn. It’s important to protect your skin by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses, especially during the peak hours of sunlight.
The American Cancer Society’s website offers guidelines on how to choose and use sunscreen effectively to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
What to Wear for Swimming
When swimming in Miami in December, it is essential to choose the right swimsuit that will keep you comfortable and protected. While the weather may be mild, the water temperature can still be quite chilly. Opt for a swimsuit that provides adequate coverage and insulation.
A one-piece swimsuit or a rash guard paired with swim bottoms can help keep your body warm. Additionally, consider choosing a swimsuit made from thicker materials such as neoprene, which can provide extra insulation.
Cover-ups and Footwear
Aside from your swimsuit, it is important to bring appropriate cover-ups and footwear for your swimming excursion in Miami. A lightweight and quick-drying cover-up, such as a sarong or a beach dress, can protect you from the sun and provide some warmth when you’re out of the water.
As for footwear, opt for water shoes or sandals with good grip to protect your feet from any sharp objects in the water or on the beach.
Wetsuits and Cooling Accessories
If you want to take your swimming experience in Miami to the next level, consider investing in a wetsuit. Wetsuits are designed to provide insulation and keep your body warm in colder water temperatures.
They come in different thicknesses, so choose one that suits the water temperature you’ll be swimming in. Additionally, you can enhance your comfort in the water by using cooling accessories such as a cooling towel or a cooling vest.
These accessories can help regulate your body temperature and keep you cool even in warmer conditions.
Best Spots for Swimming
When it comes to swimming in Miami, December may not be the first month that comes to mind. However, with its warm climate and beautiful beaches, there are still plenty of opportunities to take a refreshing dip in the water. Here are the best spots for swimming in Miami during December:
South Beach is perhaps the most iconic beach in Miami, known for its vibrant atmosphere and crystal-clear waters. Even in December, the water temperature remains pleasant, making it a great spot for swimming.
The beach is also lined with trendy hotels, restaurants, and bars, so you can easily spend a whole day enjoying the sun, sand, and waves.
Bill Baggs Park
Located on the southern tip of Key Biscayne, Bill Baggs Park offers a more secluded and peaceful swimming experience. The park is home to the Cape Florida Lighthouse, which provides a stunning backdrop for beachgoers. The water here is calm and shallow, perfect for swimming and wading.
Additionally, there are picnic areas and nature trails, making it a great spot for a day trip with family or friends.
Matheson Hammock Park
Matheson Hammock Park is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Miami. The park features a man-made atoll pool that is filled with water from Biscayne Bay. The pool is naturally filtered and offers a unique swimming experience in a picturesque setting.
The park also has a sandy beach, picnic areas, and walking trails, making it a great place for a leisurely swim and a relaxing day in nature.
Crandon Park is a popular destination for both locals and tourists, thanks to its expansive beach and clear blue waters. The beach here is wide and spacious, offering plenty of room for swimming, sunbathing, and beach games.
There are also barbecue areas, volleyball courts, and a nature center, providing ample opportunities for outdoor fun. Whether you want to swim or simply soak up the sun, Crandon Park has something for everyone.
Tips for an Enjoyable Swim
When visiting Miami in December, you may be wondering if it’s possible to take a swim and enjoy the beautiful beaches. While the weather may be cooler compared to the summer months, there are still opportunities to take a dip and have a great time. Here are some tips to make your swim enjoyable:
Watch for Rip Currents
Even in December, it’s important to be aware of rip currents when swimming in Miami. These powerful, narrow channels of fast-moving water can pull swimmers away from shore and are a common occurrence in coastal areas.
It’s crucial to pay attention to any warning signs or flags posted at the beach and listen to the advice of lifeguards. If you find yourself caught in a rip current, don’t panic. Swim parallel to the shore until you’re out of the current, and then swim back to land.
While swimming in the cool December waters of Miami, it’s easy to forget about staying hydrated. However, it’s important to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, especially if you’re spending a significant amount of time in the sun.
Pack a reusable water bottle and make sure to take regular breaks to drink water and reapply sunscreen. Staying hydrated will help you stay energized and make the most of your swim.
Swim Near Lifeguards
When swimming in Miami, it’s always a good idea to stay close to lifeguarded areas. Lifeguards are trained to spot potential dangers and can quickly respond to any emergencies. Additionally, they can provide valuable information about the current conditions and any specific hazards to be aware of.
Swimming near lifeguards provides an extra layer of safety and peace of mind while enjoying the water.
Before heading to the beach, make sure to pack the essentials for a comfortable swim. This may include a towel, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. If you plan on staying at the beach for an extended period, consider bringing snacks, a beach umbrella, and a beach chair for added comfort.
Don’t forget to bring a bag to carry your belongings and a waterproof case for your phone to capture those amazing moments in the water.
Remember, swimming in Miami in December can be a delightful experience, but always prioritize safety and be prepared. By following these tips, you can have an enjoyable and refreshing swim while soaking up the beauty of Miami’s beaches.
December presents excellent weather and water conditions for taking a dip in Miami’s iconic beaches and parks. With warm ocean water in the 70s Fahrenheit plus balmy air temperatures, swimming is certainly feasible.
By preparing with the right swim gear, keeping safety in mind, and heading to the best beach spots, you can soak up the sun and enjoy the water during your Miami visit in December.