Physical Geography of Miami, Florida

Date: Jul 8, 2019


Spence and Lieb define the term ‘physical geography’ as the study of the processes and patterns in the natural environment as the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere. In the exploration of this, the paper will study the physical geography of Miami City, Florida. The location of Miami city is in Southeastern Florida on the Atlantic coast. The elevation of Miami never rises above 12 m. On average, the elevation is at around 1.8 m above the sea level because of the city’s location near the coast. It lies on latitude 25°46?27? N and longitude 80°11?37? W.

Miami City is the most populous town in Miami metropolitan with a population of 417,650. It is one of the leading centers of commerce, culture, finance, media, arts, entertainment, and international trade. The climate of Miami is a tropical monsoon classified according to Koppen climate classification system with hot and humid summers and short warm winters that are the dry season. Its climate follows a pattern where the winter starts on January and the temperature ranges to 20.1 °C. The winter features mild to warm temperatures with little rainfall. The wet season begins in May and ends in mid-October, and during this period, the temperature ranges from 29–35 °C with high humidity (Spence and Lieb).

How the Following Factors Affect the Temperature of Miami City

The regions of low latitudes are warm due the distance from the sun. The places of high latitudes near the poles are cold. Miami lies far from the equator, and this make it experience cool temperatures, especially during winter. The regions of high altitudes experienced cool climate and regions of low altitudes are warm. Miami City has relatively warm temperatures because it is just slightly above sea level (Spence and Lieb).

Water heats slowly than the land and hence, the regions near the ocean are affected by the ocean. The location of Miami city is near Atlantic Ocean and the city experiences cooler summers and warmer winters. The sea breeze blows from the sea onto the shores. During the day, cooler air from the sea flows onto the beach and replaces warm rising air that then carries moist. The moist rises and condenses, forming the clouds that later falls as rain. Miami receives little rains during winter because the cold breeze runs from the land to the warmer ocean. The global pressure affected Miami City more than the wind pattern. Miami has a tropical monsoon climate caused by the low pressure (Schmidt and Wolfe). Miami City is also affected by Atlantic hurricanes. The city of Miami is one of the most vulnerable cities to hurricanes because of its location and the fact that it is surrounded by the ocean.

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The city has an excellent National Park called Everglades. The Everglades is one of the most important breeding grounds for the tropical wading birds in North America. It has one of the largest mangrove ecosystems in the Western hemisphere. From the atlas, the biome of Miami is tropical and sub-tropical forest. The Everglades has an International Biosphere Reserve with a World Heritage Site. The Everglade forest is also a habitat for many wildlife and a home of endangered spices. The threatened species include the Florida panther, the West India manatee, and American crocodile. They are habited in Miami because of its unique habitat, and the species are safeguarded to ensure they do not become extinct (Spence and Lieb)

Miami is located on the North American Plate, and it moves in roughly the southwest direction and away from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The boundaries of the city of Miami are from the Florida Everglades to the west and extend to the east of Biscayne Bay and from Florida Bay north to Lake Okeechobee.

The Landforms of Miami, Florida

In his book, John Henry Davis describes several landforms of Miami, Florida. The coastal features that have a low-lying margin composing a 1,200-mile coastline consist mostly of dunes, saline marshes, and a large area of mangrove swamp. These are some of the long ridges trending south to north along portions of the Florida peninsula. The landforms stem from the old beach terraces and the windblown deposits of sand. The Everglade is the most iconic landmark and it forms a vast, low-lying wetland mosaic in the South.

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The greatest challenges of Miami is that the city is vulnerable to the hurricanes. Many hurricanes have affected the city. One of them was the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926. Miami prepares for hurricanes by educating the residents. They also have a world-class Emergency Operations Center that supports them in the emergency situations.


The City of Miami is a busy town with many activities ranging from commercial, international trade, and tourism. It has a tropical climate that is free of extreme temperatures with a long warm summer, and abundant rainfall followed by a dry mild, winter.

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