Aruba experiences a hot semi-arid type of climate (Köppen climate classification BSh). The climate is tropical and remains hot throughout the year. Aruba is a tropical island and a constituent country of the Netherlands in the South Caribbean Sea. The Dutch Caribbean Island is just 18 miles north of Venezuela and 620 miles west from the main Lesser Antilles region. Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao constitute the ABC Islands that lie outside the Hurricane Alley of the Caribbean. Northeast trade winds prevail for 9 months of the year to reduce the effect of the tropical sun. The proximity to the equator, trade winds, and the vast waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean influence the climate.
Aruba is a flat, small island, which lies just 12°N of the equator. The land area measures 180 square meters, with a diagonal length of 20 miles from the northwest to the southeast and maximum width of 6 miles. The landscape is arid and cactus-strewn, unlike the rest of the Caribbean. The vegetation is short, and there are no rivers, natural lakes, or streams on the island. The hinterland has few rolling hills, such as Hooiberg, with an altitude of 165 meters. The shore areas are mainly of limestone, rocky cliffs, and coral reefs. White sandy beaches dot the western and southern coasts in the protection of calm waters. Coral reefs and clear waters make the southern beaches a popular tourist destination. The northern and eastern coasts face rough seas due to strong ocean currents. Swimming is risky on the northern shores due to rocky coasts and strong currents. Mount Jamanota is the highest point in Aruba at 188 meters above sea level.
Aruba has a long, dry season from January to September and a short, wet season from October to December. The monthly mean temperatures vary little between a low of 26.7°C (80.1°F) in January and a high of 29.4°C (84.9°F) in September. Summers are hot and dry. The average high temperatures touch the 32.7°C (90.9°F) mark at the peak of September but rarely register above 37.8°C (100°F). Microclimatic differences exist between coastal and interior areas as well as windward and leeward sides of the island. Predominantly easterly winds moderate the temperatures. Winters are warm and sunny, with the average low temperatures at 24.4°C (75.9°F) in January. The period from October to December has the highest average monthly humidity above 26.1°C (79°F). The wet season is prone to heavy rainfall amid thunderstorms and tropical storms. Hurricanes occasionally occur between August to October.
Aruba receives scarce average precipitation of 469.9mm (18.5") annually. Extreme variations register rainfall between 152.4mm (6") in El Nino years to 1016mm (40") in the La Nina periods. The northern coast receives relatively higher rainfall than the southern and western coasts and the interior. The wettest period is from October to December, while the driest months are March and April. The rainy season contributes to 70% of the annual precipitation. The yearly sunshine registers an abundant 3000 hours, with at least 8 hours of sunlight every day. The average monthly relative humidity ranges from 75% to 79%, with the least 75% in March. The average wind speeds remain above 29.6km/h (18.4mph) in the windy part of the year between December and August. The calm period between September and November registers average wind speeds below 24.6km/h (15.3mph). The average sea temperatures register in the 26.1°C (79°F) to 28.9°C (84°F) range during the year and are the warmest in October.
The highest temperature on record in Oranjestad, the capital, is 36.5°C (97.7°F), while the record for the lowest temperature is 20.5°C (68.9°F).
The best time to visit Aruba
The best time to visit Aruba is from late December to mid-March in the dry season. The third week of January has the most comfortable conditions, with temperatures between 24.4°C (75.9°F) to 30°C (86°F). The daily sunshine is for 8 hours, and the daylight lasts for 12 hours. The moderate wind speeds between 24.1km/h (15mph) to 25.7km/h (16mph) delight the surfers and sailing enthusiasts. Tropical storms and cyclones are few, as the tropical island with white sandy beaches and tranquil waters delights the visitors. December to March is the brightest part of the year, with clear skies up to 54% of the time.
The worst time to visit Aruba
The worst time to visit Aruba is during the hot and sultry summer from June to September. The intense sunshine lasts for a daily average of 9 hours during the hot season, with a peak of 10 hours in July. Temperatures touch the 33.3°C (91.9°F) mark during the day, and the heat is oppressive. The humidity increases the heat index in the latter half of the summer, and the days are uncomfortable. The skies remain cloudy up to 82% of the time. The interior is hotter than the coast, which receives relief from the trade winds. The tropical storm season brings uncertain weather to the island and the surrounding seas.
Aruba is prone to weather hazards, such as hurricanes, droughts, flash floods, and tsunamis. Tropical storms frequently occur between June and November and bring damaging winds and heavy rainfall. August to October is the season of storms, but hurricanes are rare and usually do not scale category one or category two. Hurricanes, such as Ivan in September 2004, and Omar in October 2008 hit Aruba hard, even though its location on the southern edge of the hurricane belt is relatively safe from the storms. Droughts are regular due to low precipitation and lack of freshwater resources. The desalination of seawater caters to the needs of the inhabitants and the visitors.
Weather in January
January is the coldest month of the year in Aruba, with the average temperatures in the comfortable range of 24.4°C (75.9°F) to 30°C (86°F). The precipitation is in the form of light showers that hardly accumulates 40.6mm (1.6") in the month. The bright daily sunshine lasts for 8 hours, and the daylight registers for 11 hours and 30 minutes. The visibility is at least 6 miles, with clear skies up to 54% of the time. Sunscreen is necessary on the beaches, even though it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Loose summer clothing is the order of the day. The calm and clear waters of the southern beaches at 26.1°C (79°F) are perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling. The conditions remain humid, with relative humidity is in the range of 65% to 90%. The northern shores have rough waters, with wind speeds between 30.6km/h (19mph) to 32.2km/h (20mph), and are avoidable. Aruba in January is a nice winter getaway for people from cold countries.
Weather in February
February is hot and dry in Aruba, with hardly 5 wet days and less than 20.3mm (0.8") of precipitation. The average temperatures in Oranjestad are in the zone of 24.4°C (75.9°F) to 30.6°C (87.1°F), with hot days and warm nights. Angochi registers average temperatures in 25°C (77°F) to 30°C (86°F) range, with day highs mostly below 32.2°C (90°F). The sunrise is a little late between 6.55 a.m. and 7.05 a.m., but there is ample time to explore the small island during the 12 hours of daylight. Spend afternoons in the shade of hotels as the sunshine is intense between 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Light jackets are suitable for the evenings, as wind speeds cross 32.2km/h (20mph). The average monthly humidity is 76%, which is humid yet comfortable. Seawaters are mild at 26.1°C (79°F) and a contrast to the cold waters of the North Atlantic during the winter. February sees many visitors in Aruba due to its warm weather and blue skies.
Weather in March
March is often the driest month of the year in Aruba, with hardly any rain. The rain gods may send a few light showers or entirely skip the island. The average temperatures register a slight increase but are still in the comfortable 25°C (77°F) to 31.1°C (88°F) zone. The daily sunshine lasts for 8 hours, with cloudy skies for 50% to 60% of the time. The sunshine is intense during the day, and sunscreen is mandatory, with the ultraviolet index at the peak of 12. The best way to deal with the heat is to be in the mild ocean waters. The sea temperatures at 26.1°C (79°F) are comfortable for swimming, especially in the mornings and evenings. Wind speeds are between 32.2km/h (20mph) to 33.8km/h (21mph) during the windiest part of the day. Sailing boats benefit from the high-speed winds and do better if they align with the mainly eastern wind. Sweatshirts are suitable for the evenings. Do not pack rain gear for a March visit to Aruba.
Weather in April
April is hot and dry in Aruba, with 8 hours of glorious sunshine every day. Oranjestad registers average temperatures in the warm 25.6°C (78.1°F) to hot 31.7°C (89.1°F) range. Temperatures in Savaneta range between 25.6°C (78.1°F) and 31.1°C (88°F). The sea breezes do not allow the land to heat or cool quickly. The daylight registers for 12 hours and 30 minutes by the mid of April and the skies remain clear for 40% of the time. The days are muggy, with humidity levels between 65% and 90%. Broad-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen offer protection from the harsh sun. Avoid beach visits in the afternoon. Gusty winds blow from the east with average speeds of 32.2km/h (20mph). Surfers enjoy the wind, especially in the evenings on the southern shores. The turquoise waters at 26.7°C (80.1°F) are perfect for discovering the colorful underwater world of the coral reefs. April skies are mostly clear, and nights are perfect for stargazing while on the beach or at sea. Aruba has fair weather in April for a family Easter holiday.
Weather in May
May registers average temperatures between 22.8°C (73°F) to 31.1°C (88°F) and is hot in Aruba. The daylight increases gradually to 12 hours and 49 minutes by the month-end. Temperatures in Noord are in the 23.3°C (73.9°F) to 31.1°C (88°F) range, which rarely exceed 32.2°C (90°F) or fall below 22.2°C (72°F). Early risers find the morning air relaxing, with the sun usually in the sky by 6.15 a.m. The rainfall is negligible, apart from a few light showers in the afternoon. The skies remain cloudy up to 78% of the time, with running clouds. The average monthly humidity sees a slight increase to 78% and asks for light summer clothing that is more breathable. The average daily wind speeds clock between 30.6km/h (19mph) to 33.8km/h (21mph), and the wind direction is generally from the east. The seawater temperatures are warm at 27.2°C (81°F) and best for excursions on the sea. Tourist footfalls decrease in the hot May weather in Aruba with the onset of the summer.
Weather in June
June brings the hot summer to Aruba, with average temperatures in the range of 26.1°C (79°F) to 31.1°C (88°F). Temperatures in Santa Cruz rarely exceed 32.8°C (91°F) or fall below 25°C (77°F), and the average monthly humidity is constant at 77%. The northeast trade winds temper the heat to a certain degree. The brightest days see clear skies for 30% of the time, and the sunlight lasts for 9 hours. June 15 is the windiest day of the year, with an average daily wind speed of 34.6km/h (21.5mph). June 20 is the longest day in Oranjestad, with 12 hours and 52 minutes of daylight. A few showers wet the island occasionally, but June is mostly dry.
Expect the heat to rise with the progress of the summer. Keep an eye on the weather forecast for tropical storms before planning a trip. June sees a fair number of visitors in Aruba due to summer holidays but is uncomfortably hot for people from cold countries.
Weather in July
July witnesses the hot summer season in Aruba, which brings negligible rainfall of 30.5mm (1.2") to 38.1mm (1.5"). The average temperatures are in the range of 26.7°C (80.1°F) to 32.2°C (90°F), but rarely exceed 33.3°C (91.9°F) or drop below 24.4°C (75.9°F). The highest temperature on record for July in Oranjestad is 35.3°C (95.5°F).
The skies are overcast for 68% of the time, with the clearest days in the third week of the month. The daily sunshine lasts for at least 10 hours, the highest such period of the year. Afternoons occasionally surprise visitors with thunderstorms when it appears that the heat is relentless. The average wind speed decreases from 33.8km/h (21mph) to 30.6km/h (19mph) during the month, but evenings usually experience a moderate breeze. The average seawater temperatures at 27.2°C (81°F) are comfortable for swimming and other water activities. However, beach visits are more comfortable during the mornings and evenings when the sunshine is moderate. Nights on the beaches often see light breezes. July has fewer crowds in Aruba in the hot weather.
Weather in August
August is hot and dry in Aruba, with the average temperatures in the zone of 26.7°C (80.1°F) to 32.8°C (91°F). Temperatures usually do not surpass 35°C (95°F). The hot and humid conditions induce much sweat, and the best attire is light summer clothing, such as sweatshirts and shorts. The precipitation of 27.9mm (1.1") hardly moves the scale with 4 wet days in the month. Light showers in the day occasionally turn into thunderstorms in the afternoons. The skies remain overcast for 69% to 76% of the time, even in the summer. Trade winds dutifully temper the weather with moderate breezes. Wind speeds decrease from a daily average of 31.4km/h (19.5mph) to 29km/h (18mph) by the end of the month. Seawaters are warm at 27.8°C (82°F) and provide relief from the stifling heat. Summer clothing is suitable, but add a sunhat and sun goggles for protection from the intense rays. The chances of tropical storms increase with each passing day in August in Aruba.
Weather in September
September is the peak of the summer in Aruba, with average temperatures between 26.7°C (80.1°F) to 32.8°C (91°F). The precipitation sees a slight increase to 45.7mm (1.8") in anticipation of the wet season ahead. The average temperatures in Angochi are in the range of 27.2°C (81°F) to 32.2°C (90°F), and the heat index is at its peak. The skies tend to be cloudy for 76% to 81% of the time. The daily sunshine lasts for 9 hours, even under the overcast skies. September 30 is the shortest day of the month, with 12 hours of daylight and sunset at 6.30 p.m. The days are hot, and the relative humidity ranges from 75% to 95%. Light breezes blow during the evenings with wind speeds between 25.7km/h (16mph) to 29km/h (18mph). The Caribbean seawaters register at a comfortable 27.8°C (82°F). September is an off-season for tourism in Aruba and a great time for budget travelers to avail deals on everything.
Weather in October
October begins the wet season in Aruba, which brings moderate rainfall. The precipitation is in the form of thunderstorms and downpour that accumulates 78.7mm (3.1") in the month. The average temperatures register in the hot 26.1°C (79°F) to 32.2°C (90°F) range. Temperatures rarely touch 35°C (95°F), and the northeast trade winds temper the heat. Much of the island sees 7 wet days in the month. October is the peak season for hurricanes, which can pass over the shores of Aruba. Evenings receive light to moderate breezes on the beaches. October 21, the calmest day of the year, registers average daily wind speeds of 24.6km/h (15.3mph). The first week of October is the cloudiest of the year, with only an 18% chance of clear skies. The daylight is just short of 12 hours, and the daily sunshine lasts for an average of 8 hours. The seawaters are the warmest of the year at 28.9°C (84°F) but still comfortable for swimming. Expect wet weather in Aruba in the last week of October.
Weather in November
November is the wettest month of the year in Aruba, which brings 88.9mm (3.5") to 101.6mm (4") of rainfall. With 11 wet days in the month, there is ample daily sunshine of 8 hours. The conditions are muggy, with the average monthly humidity at 79%, the highest of the year. The seawaters at 27.8°C (82°F) see only a few enthusiastic swimmers. The average daily wind speeds increase from 24.9km/h (15.5mph) to 29km/h (18mph) over the month. Check the weather forecast before booking flights as there is a reason for low tourist footfalls. The tropical storm season is in its prime in November. A rain jacket or raincoat is enough for protection, but keep an eye on the weather for tropical storms. The last week of November is the driest and best time for a visit to the island. The skies are overcast for 68% to 76% of the time. Expect the beaches to see fewer visitor numbers in November in Aruba.
Weather in December
December is a wet month in Aruba, with a transition towards the dry season in the last week. The precipitation registers up to 78.7mm (3.1"), with 11 wet days in the month. Oranjestad records a slight decrease in heat, with average temperatures in the range of 25°C (77°F) to 30.6°C (87.1°F). December 20 is the shortest day of the year, with 11 hours and 24 minutes of daylight. Christmas sees 7 hours of daily sunshine, a feat that is almost impossible in the cold winters of the north. Beaches begin to gather crowds, with seawaters at a comfortable 27.2°C (81°F) at the end of the storm season. Wind speeds pick up to 31.4km/h (19.5mph) during the days when humidity levels are low. The conditions transition from sticky and wet, to comfortable, by the month-end. The cloud cover decreases from 68% to 51% over the month. Tourist numbers rise in late December, with the possibility of blue skies and dry days in Aruba.