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Caribbean Weather in May


Yes, the weather in May is warmer than April, but it also brings a brief rainy season to some destinations.

They include the Bahamas, Cancun, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. It's a better time of year for eastern or southern Caribbean cruises and not western.


April


Now we're talking about great weather. In my experience, April has the best weather in the Caribbean.

Temperatures have warmed to the point where swimming is usually comfortable even in northern destinations. It's near the end of the dry season, so most islands have low risk of rain.

March


March weather in the Caribbean is nearly ideal for a combination of warm temperatures and low risk of rain. Average high temperatures hover around 85 degrees Fahrenheit or 29 Celsius for many major destinations.

March weather also offers one of the driest months of the year for the Caribbean. Many islands have two inches of rain or less for the entire month.

February


My trips to the Caribbean in February have taught me to expect some of the lowest rain of the year but also some of the coolest water temperatures.

I suggest planning on shopping, shore excursions and other land activities in the mornings until temperatures get warmer. Then hit the beach in the early afternoon for the warmest land and water temperatures of the day.

Our February weather guide has average temperatures for every major destination.

January


The Caribbean in January offers a warm escape from cold northern winters. Most major destinations have an average high temperature in the mid 80s Fahrenheit or high 20s Celsius. Low rainfall is common because the region is starting the annual dry season.

But nighttime temperatures are cool enough to bring down water temperatures during the night. They become uncomfortable for swimming at times. My advice: click on the January link to see temperature charts for every major destination and choose the warmest.

Western Caribbean Weather Email
Get forecasts each morning for every major island.
Eastern Caribbean Weather Email
Get forecasts each morning for every major island.


December


Our recent Caribbean cruise in December had fantastic weather with temperatures in the low 90s Fahrenheit and almost no rain. But we had some good luck with the weather. It was warmer and drier than usual.

Temperatures are normally in the mid 80s Fahrenheit for most destinations. Rainfall averages about three to four inches during the month, which is slightly above average.

The better options for weather include Antigua, Aruba, Grand Cayman and the Virgin Islands. Cancun, Cozumel, Jamaica and San Juan are still a bit wet. The Bahamas are usually dry but cooler. Keep in mind that these historical averages may vary from year to year. See more about December weather in the Caribbean.

November


Grand Cayman is popular in the winter, thanks in part to Seven Mile Beach.
It's tempting to breathe a sigh of relief in November, which is the final month of the Caribbean hurricane season.

November historically averages no hurricanes and only one tropical storm every other year.

Temperatures stay in the mid to upper 80s Fahrenheit for most destinations. But rainfall is higher than average for nearly all islands in the region, especially the popular cruise ports at Barbados, Grand Cayman, St. Lucia, St. Maarten and St. Thomas.

October


Hurricanes Irma and Maria delivered massive damage to the Caribbean in September.

Visitors in October may hope for better weather, but they might not get it. October is the second worst month of the hurricane season with an average of three a month.

Aruba and Curaçao historically have the lowest rainfall during the month at three inches each, which is actually above normal for them.

They are the islands to visit with the lowest risk of rain. St. Maarten ranks third, but it is still badly damaged by Irma.

Places to avoid with an average of eight or more inches of rain include Belize, Cancun, Cozumel, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Grand Cayman and St. Lucia.

September


Three types of people visit the Caribbean in September:

  1. People who don't know that September is the worst weather month.

  2. People who do know but take a chance anyway.

  3. People who see a good 10-day weather forecast and book at the last minute.

Weather in the Caribbean during September is the worst of the year because it is the peak time of activity for the annual hurricane season. Historically, the region averages four tropical storms with three becoming hurricanes and two of them becoming major hurricanes.

The dry island of Aruba still is the leader for the lowest risk of rain, followed by nearby Curaçao. Most other destinations average between six and 13 inches of rain. Daytime temperatures for most of them average in the upper 80s to low 90s Fahrenheit.

August


August weather is usually grim for the Bahamas. Historically, Nassau averages more than nine inches of rain during the month, according to the Bahamas Department of Meteorology. Anyone planning a Caribbean cruise might want to avoid the Bahamas.

Other destinations that average high levels of rain in August include Belize, Costa Rica, Dominica, Guadeloupe and Martinique. Islands with the lowest average rain are Aruba and Curacao.

Heat reaches the highest point of the year for many destinations. Average daytime temperatures often go above 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 32 Celsius for Cancun, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Aruba and Curaçao.

July


Cozumel beach
Cozumel beaches are hot in July when temperatures often go above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
July weather in the Caribbean is more risky than June.

The region averages three tropical storms during the month with two becoming hurricanes, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Average daytime high temperatures reach or go above about 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 32 Celsius for many major destinations. They include Aruba, Cancun, Cozumel, Curacao, Grand Cayman and St. Maarten.

Early July is less risky than late July because the Caribbean hurricane season gradually gets worse as its gets closer to the peak months of September and October.

June

Caribbean weather in June is the start of hurricane season, but hurricanes are rare. Temperatures reach the upper 80s Fahrenheit and rainfall is above normal.

The Bahamas have the highest rainfall among major islands with an average of more than eight inches. Other destinations with higher than normal rainfall include Cancun, Cozumel and Grand Cayman.

Belize and Costa Rica have high levels of rain, but heavy rainfall is normal. Islands with moderate rainfall include Antigua, Aruba and St. Maarten.

Average daytime temperatures for all major islands rise above 85 degrees Fahrenheit or 29 Celsius. Temperatures at Cancun, Cozumel and Grand Cayman increase to more than 90 Fahrenheit or 32 Celsius.

- Scott S. Bateman


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