One of the most popular questions we receive from guests is “what is the weather like on Sanibel?”
Our answer is a simple one! Though it may seem like the sun is always shining on Sanibel, just like anywhere else, our weather changes day to day; but let’s be honest, it tends to lean towards the sunnier side. On average, there are 262 days of sunshine per year on Sanibel, the remaining days of the year bring partly cloudy days, which are great for long shelling trips or bike rides because they allow you to avoid the sun part of the time, and our rainy days, which in our opinion, can be just as stunning as a sunshiny day.
Looking for a better idea as to what kind of weather you can expect during your time on Sanibel? One thing we can do is predict the weather based on the time of year you will be visiting. As you know, Sanibel does not follow suit with much of the rest of the world in relation to seasons. On Sanibel, we do not experience the traditional seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter. Our seasons are categorized as the rainy and the dry seasons.
As we come into May, we are entering the wet season. The wet season, which occurs through the months of April to November allows our guests to experience the wet and wild side of our area. During the wet season, Sanibel plays host to humid temperatures and afternoon thunderstorms that are sure to be just as awe-inspiring to watch as any seasonal sunset. Plenty of rain also brings wildlife out of hiding once the showers have passed. stunningly humid temperatures with plenty of rain that all our native wildlife enjoy and thrive in. Keep an eye out for lizards, turtles, dolphins, birds, and more! Also, you may wonder “when is the best time of year to shell on Sanibel?” The answer—the rainy season. After a powerful storm churns up the Gulf, she deposits treasures from the deep directly on your doorstep. Keep an eye out for alphabet cones, lion’s paws, and the elusive Junonia! Another rainy season perk? It is Sanibel’s ”off-season,” meaning zero traffic and a quiet island experience away from the crowds.
On the flip side, the dry season is traditionally held throughout the months of November through April. The best thing about the dry season is the large numbers of animals that are visible during this time of year. Expect to witness many migratory birds like the American white pelican, Franklin’s gull, and the swallow-tailed kite as well as a number sunning reptiles like American alligators! This period is characterized by a lack of rain and a bounty of sunshine and mild Florida temperatures. It is the perfect time for a wildlife lover to experience the beauty of natural Southwest Florida.
Whenever you decide you’d like to visit Sanibel, you’re sure to experience an area unlike the rest of the United States. Get in tune with nature, follow the sounds of the shore, and relax in our very own island sanctuary—it truly is beautiful here all year long!