Average Weather in West Palm Beach Florida, United States
In West Palm Beach, the summers are hot, oppressive, wet, and mostly cloudy and the winters are comfortable, windy, and partly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 59°F to 89°F and is rarely below 46°F or above 92°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit West Palm Beach for warm-weather activities is from late October to early May.
The hot season lasts for 3.8 months, from June 5 to September 29, with an average daily high temperature above 86°F. The hottest day of the year is August 9, with an average high of 89°F and low of 77°F.
The cool season lasts for 3.0 months, from December 5 to March 6, with an average daily high temperature below 77°F. The coldest day of the year is January 18, with an average low of 59°F and high of 74°F.
Average High and Low Temperature
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Average Hourly Temperature
Anakao, Madagascar (8,949 miles away); Kaohsiung, Taiwan (8,776 miles); and Ayr, Australia (9,409 miles) are the far-away foreign places with temperatures most similar to West Palm Beach (view comparison).
In West Palm Beach, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in West Palm Beach begins around October 10 and lasts for 7.5 months, ending around May 28. On March 6, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 67% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 33% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around May 28 and lasts for 4.5 months, ending around October 10. On July 7, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 70% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 30% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in West Palm Beach varies significantly throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 4.6 months, from May 22 to October 11, with a greater than 39% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 61% on August 24.
The drier season lasts 7.4 months, from October 11 to May 22. The smallest chance of a wet day is 17% on December 17.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 61% on August 24.
Daily Chance of Precipitation
To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. West Palm Beach experiences extreme seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
Rain falls throughout the year in West Palm Beach. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around June 19, with an average total accumulation of 5.9 inches.
The least rain falls around December 23, with an average total accumulation of 1.7 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall
The length of the day in West Palm Beach varies over the course of the year. In 2018, the shortest day is December 21, with 10 hours, 28 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 13 hours, 49 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 6:26 AM on June 10, and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 8 minutes later at 7:33 AM on March 11. The earliest sunset is at 5:26 PM on November 30, and the latest sunset is 2 hours, 51 minutes later at 8:17 PM on July 2.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in West Palm Beach during 2018, starting in the spring on March 11, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 4.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
West Palm Beach experiences extreme seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.
The muggier period of the year lasts for 7.6 months, from April 15 to December 1, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 43% of the time. The muggiest day of the year is July 31, with muggy conditions 100% of the time.
The least muggy day of the year is January 27, with muggy conditions 24% of the time.
Humidity Comfort Levels
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.
The average hourly wind speed in West Palm Beach experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 7.4 months, from October 7 to May 20, with average wind speeds of more than 9.5 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is March 14, with an average hourly wind speed of 11.8 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 4.6 months, from May 20 to October 7. The calmest day of the year is August 9, with an average hourly wind speed of 7.2 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in West Palm Beach varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the south for 6.0 days, from June 16 to June 22 and for 1.3 months, from June 28 to August 6, with a peak percentage of 44% on July 10. The wind is most often from the east for 6.0 days, from June 22 to June 28 and for 10 months, from August 6 to June 16, with a peak percentage of 42% on June 24.
West Palm Beach is located near a large body of water (e.g., ocean, sea, or large lake). This section reports on the wide-area average surface temperature of that water.
The average water temperature experiences some seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The time of year with warmer water lasts for 3.6 months, from June 24 to October 11, with an average temperature above 83°F. The day of the year with the warmest water is August 13, with an average temperature of 85°F.
The time of year with cooler water lasts for 3.6 months, from December 23 to April 12, with an average temperature below 78°F. The day of the year with the coolest water is February 3, with an average temperature of 76°F.
Average Water Temperature
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in West Palm Beach throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.
The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit West Palm Beach for general outdoor tourist activities is from late October to early May, with a peak score in the last week of March.
The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best times of year to visit West Palm Beach for hot-weather activities are from early April to late May and from mid October to early November, with a peak score in the first week of May.
For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.
Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.
Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.
Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.
Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.
Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).
Temperatures in West Palm Beach are sufficiently warm year round that it is not entirely meaningful to discuss the growing season in these terms. We nevertheless include the chart below as an illustration of the distribution of temperatures experienced throughout the year.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season
Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.
Growing Degree Days
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 1.9 months, from March 31 to May 27, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 6.1 kWh. The brightest day of the year is May 2, with an average of 6.7 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 2.7 months, from November 8 to January 30, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 4.2 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 22, with an average of 3.6 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of West Palm Beach are 26.715 deg latitude, -80.053 deg longitude, and 10 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of West Palm Beach is essentially flat, with a maximum elevation change of 36 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 8 feet. Within 10 miles is also essentially flat (43 feet). Within 50 miles is also essentially flat (62 feet).
The area within 2 miles of West Palm Beach is covered by artificial surfaces (82%) and water (16%), within 10 miles by artificial surfaces (46%) and water (46%), and within 50 miles by water (59%) and artificial surfaces (15%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in West Palm Beach, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Temperature and Dew Point
There are 2 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in West Palm Beach.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and West Palm Beach according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
The estimated value at West Palm Beach is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between West Palm Beach and a given station.
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets , by Jean Meeus.
All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.