ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Caribbean weather and climate

Updated on January 8, 2012

The physical geography and even the culture of the Caribbean are affected by its climate and weather.

The Caribbean encompasses islands of the Lucayan archipelago, the Greater Antilles, Lesser Antilles and Leeward Antilles (includes Margarita and the Dutch Antilles).

In the geopolitical sense, it also includes Guyana (South America) and Belize (Central America).

By virtue of having a tropical climate, the islands and countries of the West Indies do not experience four seasons.

Temperature andgeneral conditions

Unlike temperate and desert climates, the temperatures in the Caribbean are characterized by low diurnal ranges with no extremes of cold or heat. The average daily temperature across the Caribbean is approximately 28 ºC (82.4 ºF).

Between September and December, when daytime is reduced, the diurnal range is smaller (highs of 32/33 ºC and lows of 23/22 ºC).

The majority of Caribbean countries have high temperatures, with a low diurnal range (difference between highs and lows).

The maximum temperatures are not usually beyond 36 ºC (96.8 ºF) with lows of approximately 22 ºC (72 ºF) on average.

Mountainous areas of the Caribbean tend to be cooler because of the higher altitude. The islands of the Lucayan archipelago (Bahamas and Turks and Caicos) tend to be cold in the latter part of the year as well.

During the dry season, the temperatures in the Windward Islands (Trinidad to Martinique) are marginally lower than those of the Leeward Islands (East of Puerto Rico to Dominica.

Precipitation is not exclusive to the rainy season, but the activity of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) may lead to periods of torrential rainfall for several days – even during the dry season.

Overcast and humid weather that's prevalent in the rainy season.
Overcast and humid weather that's prevalent in the rainy season.
Semi-arid conditions in Curacao. Note the relatively clear skies.
Semi-arid conditions in Curacao. Note the relatively clear skies.
Tropical storms and hurricanes are prevalent during the rainy season.
Tropical storms and hurricanes are prevalent during the rainy season.

The two seasons

There are only two recognized seasons – the dry and wet seasons. The Caribbean is typically warm and humid – although there are exceptions to the rule.

The dry season is generally between January and May, and the wet season from June to December.

Dry seasons are characterized by low precipitation for extended periods with isolated showers.

The wet season not only has higher precipitation on average, but also weather systems like tropical storms and hurricanes.

Trinidad and Tobago’s weather pattern is like that of Guyana in South America.

Although both countries are outside of the hurricane belt, they usually experience higher levels of precipitation than other Caribbean countries – even in the dry season.

In addition, the rainy season is more pronounced and humidity levels higher.

Recently, the trend in some parts of the Caribbean is to experience dry seasons with higher levels of precipitation and wet seasons with periods of dry weather.

Semi-arid climates

The Dutch Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) is peculiar in that they experience semi-arid conditions, with deserts in parts of the three countries that comprise it. Margarita also experiences similar dry weather with low precipitation around the year. This is because the cloud cover is scarce or even absent in those areas.

Conclusion

The tropical conditions of the Caribbean make it a great getaway during the winter months in North America and Europe. However, there is diversity in conditions among countries of the region.

The Lucayan archipelago is close to the Temperate Zone and may be unusually cold. Trinidad and Tobago has similar weather conditions to Guyana (a Caribbean country on the South American mainland).

Then, the Leeward Antilles (Margarita, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao etc.) experience semi-arid conditions.

Indeed, the Caribbean has different sub-regions and a variety of climatic and geographical influences. After all, the Caribbean region has many different sub-regions with different climatic and geographical influences. To get the best of the sun, sea and sand it is best to travel during the dry season, which loosely corresponds with the peak season for travel.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Credence2 profile image

    Credence2 

    6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

    That is generally the impression I got based on your descriptions in the article. We don't get as hot and it can be a bit colder. There is snow to be found on the mountains on the Big Island of Hawaii. Thanks

  • SpiffyD profile imageAUTHOR

    SpiffyD 

    6 years ago from The Caribbean

    Thanks for the comment Credence. That must have been a nice vacation. St. Marteen/Martin is a unique island. It's split between two former colonial powers and the airport's runway (on the Dutch side) is mere feet from the water!

    As far as Hawaii, apparently it experiences a tropical climate with two basic seasons - summer and winter. Given the topography of the islands, one can even get snow on the high-altitude terrain.

    However, the temperature ranges are similar to the Caribbean's, but with lower averages. The Hawaiian islands are generally cooler than Caribbean islands in the main archipelago - from Cuba in the north to Trinidad in the South.

  • Credence2 profile image

    Credence2 

    6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

    Thanks, I have had the pleasure of visiting St. Marteen a few years ago during February, the weather was lovely. I wonder how the climate of the Caribbean compares with our climate here in Hawaii? Cred2

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)