Weather in the Caribbean

The Caribbean islands are spread over a large geographic area, but the weather is similar for all the islands. Winters (May to October) are warm and sunny and the summer months are hot but not usually scorching and are usually tempered by a strong breeze. Maximum temperatures rarely exceed 38°C (100°F) and winter temperatures do not usually drop below 15°C (60°F) - the exceptions being the more northerly islands such as the Bahamas and Cuba. The sea temperature remains fairly warm all year around.

The wettest months in the Caribbean are from May to October - the winter months are comparably dry. Many of the Caribbean islands have micro climates, with the weather varying from one side of the island to the other, affected by the warm seas and mountainous interiors. Rainfall is much higher on the mountains and in general the northern and eastern coasts are wetter than the southern and western ones which tend to be more protected from the trade winds, which come from the northeast.

During the summer months (May, June, July, August, September and October) tourists can expect short thunderstorms in the late afternoon and evening. Although it rains most days in the summer, thunderstorms usually quickly over. The hurricane season runs from June to November and during this period a huge amount of rain may fall over a period of two or three days. Although hurricanes occur every year in the Caribbean, individual islands may not experience hurricanes for many years and there are hurricane warnings which which provide sufficient notice for tourists on the islands. Tropical storms which do not develop to the intensity of full hurricanes are more common and may bring a period or rain and cloud which can last for two or three days. 

Visit one of the pages below for a full month-by-month guide to the weather in the major Caribbean islands.