Miami has a tropical monsoon climate with hot and humid summers and short, warm winters, with a marked drier season in the winter. Its sea-level elevation, coastal location, position just above the Tropic of Cancer, and proximity to the Gulf Stream shapes its climate. With January averaging 67.2 °F (19.6 °C), winter features mild to warm temperatures; cool air usually settles after the passage of a cold front, which produces much of the little amount of rainfall. Lows sometimes fall below 50 °F (10 °C), but very rarely below 35 °F (2 °C). Highs generally range between 70–77 °F (21–25 °C). The wet season begins sometime in May, ending in mid-October. During this period, temperatures are in the mid 80s to low 90s (29–35 °C), accompanied by high humidity, though the heat is often relieved by afternoon thunderstorms or a sea breeze that develops off the Atlantic Ocean, which then allow lower temperatures, but conditions still remain very muggy. Much of the year's 55.9 inches (1,420 mm) of rainfall occurs during this period.
Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30, although hurricanes can develop beyond those dates. The most likely time for Miami to be hit is during the peak of the Cape Verde season which is mid-August through the end of September. Although tornadoes are uncommon in the Miami area, a tornado struck the city in 1925 and again in 1997.