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Weather

Caribbean Weather Forecasts - 10 Days

Caribbean satellite map
The image above shows the satellite view of the current Caribbean weather. CLICK MAP FOR LARGER VIEW. Click on a destination on the right to get a full Caribbean weather forecast for that location.
Eastern Caribbean   |   Western Caribbean   |   Southern Caribbean
This Caribbean video explains the best time to visit the region and avoid the annual hurricane season.
Full-Screen Version | YouTube Caribbean Channel

Caribbean weather forecasts have average daytime temperatures ranging from the low 80s Fahrenheit in the winter to the high 80s Fahrenheit in the summer. Some destinations during the summer reach into the 90s Fahrenheit or low 30s Celsius.

The dry season goes from December to May. The Caribbean hurricane season with a higher risk of rain lasts from June through November.

Caribbean Monthly Weather

Following is a summary of average Caribbean weather by month. Click on the links for average rainfall and temperatures by month for every major destination.

Caribbean Weather June

Caribbean weather in June is the official start of hurricane season, but it’s a weak start. Although hurricanes in June are rare, the average rainfall climbs for many Caribbean islands.

The Bahamas, which are just outside the Caribbean Sea, have the highest rainfall among major islands with an average of more than eight inches. Other destinations with higher than normal rainfall include the western Caribbean destinations of Cancun, Cozumel and Grand Cayman. Belize and Costa Rica in the western Caribbean also have high levels of rain, but heavy rainfall is normal for them.

Destinations with a lower risk of rain are in the southern and eastern Caribbean. Islands with a light to moderate risk of rain include Antigua, Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten.

July

Cozumel beach
Cozumel beaches are hot from July to October when temperatures often go above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

July weather in the Caribbean is more risky than June because of increasing rainfall from the Caribbean hurricane season.

The region averages three tropical storms during the month with two becoming hurricanes, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. This compares to one tropical storm and (usually) no hurricanes in June.

It’s a hot month. Average daytime high temperatures reach or go above about 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 32 Celsius for many major destinations. They include Aruba, Cancun, Cozumel, Curaçao, 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. Anyone planning a summer vacation in the Caribbean should try to go in June rather than July and July rather than August.

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 during August might want to avoid the Bahamas.

Belize, Costa Rica, Dominica, Guadeloupe and Martinique also historically have high levels of rain in August. Islands with the lowest average rainfall are Aruba and Curaçao. Destinations with moderate rainfall include Antigua, St. Maarten and St. Thomas.

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

September

September weather in the Caribbean historically is the worst weather of the year. 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 their hotels and flights at the last minute.

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

The dry island of Aruba in the southern Caribbean still is the leader for the lowest risk of rain, followed closely by nearby Curaçao. Many other destinations average between six and 13 inches of rain. Cancun, Cozumel and the Central American countries get hit especially hard. Daytime temperatures for most of them average in the upper 80s to low 90s Fahrenheit or about 30 Celsius.

October

October is the second worst month of the year for Caribbean weather thanks to the annual hurricane season. Visitors in October may hope for better weather than September, which historically has the worst. But they might not get it. October weather also is the second worst month of the hurricane season with higher than normal rainfall. The month historically averages four tropical storms.

A handful of destinations have lower risk of rain. Aruba and Curaçao historically have the lowest of any with three inches each, although these amounts are more than what both islands usually experience. Among all destinations, they have the lowest risk of rain. St. Maarten ranks third.

Places to avoid with an average of eight or more inches of rain include Belize, Cancun, Cozumel, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Grand Cayman and St. Lucia. Despite the bad historical numbers, some Caribbean cruise and resort vacationers may get lucky.

November

Seven Mile Beach
Grand Cayman is popular in the winter, thanks in part to warm weather and Seven Mile Beach.

November is the final month of the Caribbean hurricane season.

It has a much lower risk of rain than September or October for many Caribbean destinations. But it’s still the third worst month of the year for rain.

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

The driest islands include Aruba, Bahamas, Curacao, Jamaica and Cuba.

Temperatures stay in the mid to upper 80s Fahrenheit for most destinations. Cruise and resort visitors won’t have a problem staying warm.

December

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

Temperatures average in the mid 80s Fahrenheit during the day for most destinations. Rainfall averages about three to four inches during the month, which is slightly more than the dry season in the spring.

December is a popular month for Caribbean vacations because of better weather than the previous four to five months. People also flock here from northern destinations to get away from winter and take advantage of Christmas break from schools.

The better options for weather in December include Antigua, Aruba, Grand Cayman and the Virgin Islands because they have lower risk of rain. Cancun, Cozumel, Jamaica and San Juan are usually still a bit wet.

The Bahamas are dry but cooler because of their northern location. See more about December weather.

January

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

Yes, daytime temperatures are usually warm for most destinations. But nighttime temperatures are sometimes cool enough to bring down water temperatures by the time morning comes around. They become uncomfortable for swimming at times, especially in combination with strong trade winds. Western and southern Caribbean weather is ideal during these winter months. Note that the Bahamas are especially cooler in January.

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. Go to farther south destinations for warmer weather. Avoid northern destinations such as the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos.

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

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

March

March weather in the Caribbean is nearly ideal for a combination of warm temperatures and low risk of rain for most destinations. It’s one of the best times to visit for a cruise or hotel vacation. It’s also a popular time because of spring break from schools.

Average daytime temperatures reach the mid 80s Fahrenheit or or high 20s Celsius for many major destinations.

Western Caribbean cruises to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and other islands are especially popular during this month. Beware spring break that will flood some destinations with families and college students. Cancun in particular often gets quite busy.

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 compared to as much as eight to 10 inches in the fall.

April

Caribbean weather in April gets even better than March. In my experience, April has the best weather in the Caribbean for any month of the year.

Temperatures mostly climb into the mid 80s Farenheit and high 20s Celsius. They warm to the point where swimming is usually comfortable even in northern destinations. One exception is the Bahamas, which are in the Atlantic but common stops on Caribbean cruises. April also is near the end of the dry season, so most islands have low risk of rain.

May

Not surprisingly, the Caribbean in May has warmer temperatures than April. But May also brings a brief rainy season to some destinations.

Locations with higher risk of rain include the Bahamas, Cancun, Cozumel, Dominica, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. It’s a better time of year for eastern or especially southern Caribbean cruises to places such as Aruba and Curaçao. It is not the best time for western Caribbean cruises. Instead, a better time to go to the western Caribbean is January through April when those locations have a lower risk of rain.

- Scott S. Bateman