|Click below for a forecast|
|Montego Bay||Nassau||Puerto Plata|
|Punta Cana||San Juan||St. Barts|
|St. Kitts||St. Lucia||St. Maarten|
|St. Thomas||Tortola BVI||Turks-Caicos|
|Above: Caribbean current satellite image|
The Caribbean in January begins the dry season for many locations, especially in the western Caribbean. As a result, western Caribbean cruises zoom in popularity as vacationers flock to the major ports of call in Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Roatan and Cozumel.
January through April is a great time to travel in the Caribbean for low risk of rain and as an escape from northern winters, but it also has the lowest average temperatures of the year.
Destinations in the northern parts of the Caribbean will have cooler waters for swimming, but places closer to the equator will be comfortable.
Temperatures are moderate for the islands, which hit highs in the 90s during the summer, and the Central American countries don't have the drenching rains that hit later in the year.
Eastern Caribbean islands are more popular during late spring and summer because they reach their ideal temperatures.
Clearly the worst time to go -- and least popular -- are the peak months of the Caribbean hurricane season in September and October.
Caribbean forecasting starts with weather patterns in the eastern Atlantic that move west toward the Caribbean as a result of trade winds.
For storms or hurricanes, check weather satellites and forecasts in the eastern Atlantic to get an early indication of bad weather about five to seven days out from the Caribbean.
Temperature forecasts are less of a concern for most of the Caribbean islands because they usually have daytime temperatures that vary only by several degrees each month.
Northern destinations such as the Bahamas have a much greater change in temperatures between winter and summer.
Caribbean weather is known for more than just warm and sunny days. It's also known for an annual hurricane season that runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
The hurricane season averages about 12 to 15 tropical storms each year, some of which develop into hurricanes.
June and November have only about one storm each on average, while July through September average several storms with an average of two becoming hurricanes. October averages up to four storms but few hurricanes.
Most vacationers do not experience bad weather because of the size of the Caribbean, the path of the storms or the fact that they visit the Caribbean when storms don't occur.
Visits to the Caribbean reach a low point in September and October because those months have the highest total rainfall.