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British Virgin Islands

Best and Worst Months to Visit British Virgin Islands

Lambert Beach Tortola
Lambert Beach Tortola
People who like swimming will find that the best time to visit the British Virgin Islands runs from late spring to the middle summer. But only to mid summer.

The reason for going from late spring to the middle summer is no surprise: Temperatures are warm enough to make swimming comfortable.

Warm weather doesn't always mean it's the best time to visit these nearby cousins of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The annual Caribbean hurricane season makes some of the warmest months the worst times to go.

BVI attracts more than 600,000 visitors each year, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). They are almost equally split between cruise visitors and stopovers, which are people who visit for days or weeks. Tortola is a popular port of call among eastern Caribbean cruises. Other popular islands in the chain include Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke.

Tourism statistics reveal the most popular months to visit BVI.

Popular Times to Visit

British Virgin Islands tourism statistics
Statistics from the CTO show that the most popular month to visit BVI is March and the least popular month to visit is September.

March is popular for several reasons including spring break for schools and the increase in temperatures. January and February are next in popularity because northerners want to escape the cold winter temperatures.

September is least popular because it is the peak month of the hurricane season. Both stopover vacations and cruises plummet during the month. October is the second worst month of the year for the same reasons.

August is third on the unpopular list even though it receives less rain than November.

Rainy Season = Hurricane Season

The rainy season for the British Virgin Islands extends from September through November with an average rainfall of more than five inches a month.

August is next with about 3.6 inches on average, followed by a brief increase in rain during May.

These numbers are based on a 30-year history from the World Weather Organization, which gets its data from the meteorological service of each country.

It is important to keep in mind that these numbers are averages. The actual rainfall may vary quite a bit from year to year.

Dry Season

Virgin Islands average monthly rainfall
© 2019 Scott S. Bateman
BVI has a dry season that runs from January through March -- the most popular months of the year to visit -- when rain falls an average of less than two inches each month.

But the most popular months to visit may not always be the best months to go.

Crowds and prices increase during the most popular months. Anyone with children who wants to go during the dry season will pick March because of spring break. Adults without children may find that January or February are the best months because of smaller crowds and lower prices.

Several other months have only slightly more rain on average but higher temperatures that will be appealing for beach goers.

April, June and July experience between two and three inches of rain per month on average and are less crowded than January through March. They also have temperatures that are usually several degrees warmer.

Average Temperatures

Virgin Islands average monthly temperatures
Average monthly daytime temperatures for the Virgin Islands. © 2020 Scott S. Bateman
The average high temperature each month in the British Virgin Islands range from the mid 80s Fahrenheit in winter to about 90 degrees in the summer.

Daytime temperatures in the mid 80s Fahrenheit in the winter sounds warm enough. But nighttime temperatures get down to the low 70s Fahrenheit. It's comfortable enough for walking around. But cooler nighttime tempertures with trade winds and cold northern currents may make seawater feel too chilly for swimming.

The best months to visit for a combination of warm tempatures and low risk of rain are April through July.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category: Best Times to Go   

March 07, 2020
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