|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 finally gets a break. December is the first month after the annual hurricane season. The odds of tropical storms and especially hurricanes are very low.
December may see less rain for most major destinations, but it also means slightly lower temperatures for many of them as well. See our weather in December guide for more information.
The best weather and most popular months to visit are usually January through August, but with some important differences each month.
The first several months of the year are especially popular times to take a western Caribbean cruise and visit destinations such as the islands of Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel and the Central American nations of Belize and Costa Rica.
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.