December is associated with colder temperatures and harsher weather compared to the other seasons. The average December temperature in 2022 for the United States was 33 degrees Fahrenheit. Some people abhor the cold temperatures and typically want to fly out to warmer places for the holiday season. Rather than being snowed in for the holiday season, travel out to visit the warmest states in December. This article will cover the warmest states in December along with their wildlife, general state demographics, and when it last snowed in those states and certain cities.
California. Well, Southern California To Be Exact.
California is one of the warmest states in December. What people might not know is that California gets very cold in December. Their ranier seasons also take place from October to March, which drops the temperature. Last year was a bit unusual for California as many parts of Southern California experienced snow. Some cities that were hit with snow include Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Claremont, and Ontario. Plenty of cities in Southern California received snow for the first time in over a decade last year. San Bernardino last year got its first snowstorm since 2008.
But, let’s talk about the warmer temperatures. Los Angeles averages sixty degrees Fahrenheit in their December afternoons. Sometimes, the temperature can crack well into the seventies. That usually takes place earlier in the December month. Other areas such as San Diego and closer to the Mexico border are similar and even warmer than Los Angeles. Los Angeles has over seven million people living there today.
California is a large state that has severely different climates. Northern California where San Francisco, Oakland, and Stockton are located experiences colder temperatures. But the hottest California city in December belongs to Anaheim. Anaheim averages a temperature of 71 degrees. Palm Springs which is over an hour to two hours east of Anaheim, averages 68-70 degrees each December.
The wildlife in California varies greatly. People in suburban areas like La Verne, Rancho Cucamonga, and Upland can see some coyotes or mountain lions roaming around their streets at night. California’s vast wildlife includes elephant seals, brown bears, desert squirrels, trouts, red-legged frogs, quails, and sea turtles. In the mountainous and open areas, people will see more birds and vultures in the many different mountain ridges.
Florida is a tropical state that’s popular for its hot and humid seasons. It has many attractions such as big amusement parks, popular sports teams like the Heat and Dolphins, the famous Wynwood Arts District, and much more. Yet, Florida’s winters aren’t really talked about enough. The average December temperatures in Florida make it warmer than California. Florida is one of the warmest states in December with an average high of 77 degrees Fahrenheit and an average low of 62 degrees.
Over 21 million people live in Florida today. It’s very rare for the state to get snow like other states during the winter season. Unless you live in the Northern part of Florida by Mississippi and Alabama. The last time it snowed in Miami was January 1977. That was the only time snow was reported in Miami’s 200-year history.
The wildlife in Florida, like California’s, varies greatly. It’s one of the more ecologically diverse environments for animals to live. Florida has access to both saltwater and freshwater locations and has eight official state animals. The state animal is the Florida Panther. The state bird is the mockingbird. Their state shell is the conch. Yes, they have a state shell. Alligators are the state reptile. They even have a state saltwater fish in the sailfish. Like how they have a state saltwater fish, they have a state freshwater fish in largemouth bass. Florida also has a state marine animal known as the manatee. The state saltwater mammal belongs to the dolphin.
Florida is an eventful place in December for football, basketball, college sports, and especially the Miami nightclubs during the New Year’s festivities. Some of the popular cities include Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami, Ft. Meyers, Key West, and St. Petersburg. They also have some popular Florida airports like Orlando (MCO), Miami International (MIA), and Tampa International (TPA).
Nevada is one of the warmest states in December and has some cities that are enjoyable places to be. Las Vegas and Reno are two cities that rely heavily on the tourism industry for their economy. Compared to the two previous entries on this list, Nevada is much cooler than Florida and California in December.
The average December Nevada temperature is at fifty-seven degrees Fahrenheit for their high and the low is at 37 degrees. Nevada’s record high in December was 78 degrees on December 2, 1940. Their lowest temperature was at a bone-chilling 11 degrees on December 23, 1990.
Nevada’s climate is a mix of desert and mountains. The low humidity in the desert climates can make extremely hot and extremely cold conditions more intense due to the low to no humidity. During the colder seasons, it can feel like the cold eats through people’s articles of clothing, especially for East Coast natives. After all, it is the driest state in the United States.
Nevada usually gets trace snowfall during their winters. However, they have had several snowy winters in the past. If we look at Las Vegas’s snowiest winters, their record is 16.7 inches back in 1949. Their most recent significant snowy season occurred in 2008 with 3.7 inches of snow.
The largest predators in Nevada are bobcats, mountain lions, and coyotes. Nevada has several fox types, from grey to kit foxes and Sierra Nevada red foxes. Some other of the larger animals in Nevada are pronghorn antelopes, mule deer, and elk. Half of the wild horse population in the United States lives in Nevada. There are also over 450 different bird species.
Nevada’s state animal is the desert bighorn sheep. These animals are strong sheep that have adapted greatly to the desert climate. They can go without water for several days and have the ability to scale mountain peaks easily.
Arizona is one of the warmest states in December. Like Nevada, it has one of the driest climates in the United States. The Arizona State Climate Office said that the average December temperatures are 69 degrees at the start of the month and then tapers off to 65 degrees. The average low for that month in Arizona is from forty-four to forty degrees. Arizona’s warmest December day happened on December 10, 1950, when Arizona had an 87-degree day. Their coldest December day happened on two separate days. December 31, 1900, and December 26, 1911, both recorded a twenty-two degree day.
Although Arizona is mainly desert, it has some different climate types for many animals. Some animal species that live in Arizona include many rodents, reptiles, birds, and several large predators. Their state mammal belongs to the ringtail cat. The ringtail cat is a distant relative of the raccoon. Their black and white rings can stretch as far as their entire body.
Arizona’s state bird is the cactus wren. This is a very rare bird species as the cactus wren are only found in certain parts of Arizona and Mexico. The largest cactus wren in the United States is usually 7-7.5 inches tall. Its name comes from how they make themselves at home on and around cactuses.
Arizona also has an official state reptile and it is the ridge-nose rattlesnake. The rattlesnake grows only one to two feet in length. Their top predators are black bears, lynxes, ocelots, and even grey wolves and jaguars.
Although the state is known for its dry climate, Arizona actually gets snow. Where? They get snow in the higher elevation areas and the northern parts of Arizona. The Flagstaff region can get over 100 inches of snow manually.
Hawaii is the only state on the list of warmest states in December that’s not on the US mainland. The average temperatures in Hawaii in December are around the seventies. The islands have a total population of over 1 million. Hawaii’s weather is usually pretty moderate but they can have rare days of hitting 100 degrees. The weather makes Hawaii truly a place to get away from chilly winters and even harsh snowstorms. Although Hawaii has a tropical climate that features inconsistent rain storms, moderate humidity, and northeastern winds, Hawaii does get snow surprisingly enough.
The islands get snow only in the highest elevated areas like the mountains and volcanoes. These high elevations are the Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and the Maui Haleakala. Hawaii is one of the more ecologically diverse states in the United States. The Hawaiian natives and their visitors can enjoy surfing, swimming, fishing, and hiking across the different islands. If anyone wants to snowboard, they can go to the Mauna Kea ski resort to get their snowboarding/skiing fix.
It is estimated that over 21,000 animal species reside in Hawaii. Some of the animals in the area are manta rays, chameleons, whales, tiger sharks, geckos, and dolphins. The official state bird of Hawaii is the Nene. Nenes are known as the Hawaiian Goose. Hawaiian Gooses are exclusive to the Hawaiian islands. Scientists believe that they evolved from Canadian geese. They feature a black head, white and black necks, and brown and white feather patterns.
Texas is the largest state in the United States. It is also one of the warmest states in December. The average Texas temperatures in December are fifty-seven degrees Fahrenheit for the high and the average low is thirty-nine degrees.
Texas’s weather widely varies as it is entirely dependent on the location. They have the most tornadoes out of any state averaging 139 tornadoes annually. Texas is arid in the west and humid in the east thanks to the Gulf of Mexico. The Lone Star State does get snowfall and a majority of the snowfall happens around the Texas/Oklahoma panhandle. Amarillo averages about sixteen inches of snow. Nowadays, that area gets most of its snow from December to January.
The wildlife in The Lone Star State is plentiful like the 31 million people that live in Texas. It’s reported that Texas has more than 800 different habitat types. It’s one of the “battiest states in the nation” as it is home to 32 of the total 47 bat species in the United States. It may be surprising, but Texas has a large alligator population. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says that there are over 400,000-500,000 alligators present. There are also 3 million wild hogs present and they can be found in many different areas of Texas.
There are many forests in Texas. Some of the most common forest animals belong to bobcats, badgers, beavers, nutria, porcupines, tree squirrels, and gophers.
The state birds in Texas are doves, bald eagles, and owls. In the mountain areas, people will find flying squirrels, hawks, and river otters. Texas’s desert climate is home to many reptiles such as Texas rat snakes, short-lined skink lizards, and many amphibians.
There are plenty of things to do in Texas such as attend major sports games from the Spurs, Cowboys, Mavericks, Rockets, Texans, and even some college sports events. There are plenty of beaches, man-made lakes, trails, and desert areas for people to check out.
Louisiana is one of the warmest states in December as it has an average temperature of sixty degrees. The state is known for its high humidity and the many different bodies of water that Louisiana is around such as the Gulf of Mexico and how the Mississippi River runs through New Orleans.
It has vast swamps and bayous across the state along with many different forests. The official state animal of Louisiana is the brown pelican. The brown pelican has a wingspan of eight feet and is the smallest of the pelican species. Louisiana’s two largest animals are the North American black bear and the alligator. Alligators can be anywhere from 6 to 14 feet in length and weigh between 200 to 500 pounds. The North American black bears weigh between 200 to 600 pounds and on their hind legs, are two to three feet tall.
Louisiana is also home to several endangered animal species. Some of those species include the West Indian manatee, long-tailed weasel, and gopher tortoises. The alligator species at one point were at a high risk of endangerment. Thanks to conversation programs managed by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries of Louisiana, they managed to sustain and even increase the alligator population.
The state has plenty of rivers to go kayaking, swimming, fishing, and hiking in different areas. Louisiana has a rich diversity of ecosystems that many animals can thrive in.
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.