Climate & Weather

Dark frontal clouds approaching

Front approaching Cayo Cost

 The weather and climate in The Bahamas and southwest Florida.

The links below provide current conditions near our paddling destinations.

Current Weather Conditions – Gulf Island   Cayo Costa, Captiva, Sanibel

Current Weather Conditions – Bahamas – 

Colorful sunrise thunderstorm over open water

Thunderstorm over the Great Bahama Bank

In our experience we have found the following:

Common temperature range
Day and night, in our cooler season (winter), Nov-April: 65 – 85 degrees
In our warmer season (summer),  May- Oct.: 78 – 95 degrees.
In late December or early January temperatures may dip into the 50s and once in a great while into the 40s, but usually only for a day or so.
In July and August it rarely gets below 85 degrees and out on the water is the best place to be, for paddling of course and also for comfort while sleeping.

Weather Patterns in the Florida Keys and Everglades
South Florida and the Keys are not in the “trade winds”, where steady breezes blow from the same direction almost constantly. Our weather is dominated, during our six-month (November through April) cooler season, by frontal systems that travel across the North American continent diagonally, typically passing over us last, on their way out to the Bahamas and Cuba. With the passage of each cold front, our wind direction veers clockwise coming from all directions around the compass.

Rose colored sunset with long cirrus clouds

New Years sunset at Cayo Costa

Our “settled in” direction is northeast to east with a shift to the south as the front approaches. Northwest signifies the front arrival along with a wind increase and a temperature drop.

During our period that we refer to as “having a cold front”, the wind will continue shifting clockwise from northwest, to north, to northeast, blowing for these days the hardest that it blows in the Keys or Glades. The cycle then repeats itself. The statistical average is the passage of a cold front every 5 days. My experience is that they are slightly less frequent, more like every six or seven days. The most significant fact to be aware of is this: that there is usually light wind or calm, and also warmer to actually quite warm weather during each cycle.

We have found that when it is windy and colder, we can go way up into the Everglades estuaries, 15 to 18 miles, and spend nights without pests. From there launching kayaks and accessing the creeks’ headwaters, nearing the transition zone between the mangrove fringe and the “river of grass”. If we’ve had a normal or wet summer, it will be thick with alligators. (Mid-December through mid-February are the times when you are most likely to have the benefit of a cold front for a bug free trip deep into the Everglades.)

When it’s appropriate, in coordinating with cold fronts, Mirage will anchor outside, along the coast, keeping a breeze across the decks, it’ll be warmer and we’ll be in short sleeves, under the stars. Going in a little bit, to launch in the morning, and going back out in the late afternoon to anchor offshore or in the mouth of the creeks is also typical. Up in the Thousand Island area of the Everglades and in the Keys back country, there are islands everywhere to anchor behind for wind and wave protection.

Now that you know what the climate and weather is where we explore.  Did you remember to book your space to come join the fun & adventure? Space is limited be sure to book your trip with us today!  We would love to have you aboard Mirage.