The climate of Barbados
has a tropical monsoon climate (Köppen climate classification Am) that verges on the moderately tropical type due to habitual sea breezes. The climate is predominantly hot and humid throughout the year, with a slight drop in temperatures in the dry season. Barbados is an island country in the West Indies, in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean area of North America. The Windward Islands, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent lie to the east, Martinique to the north-west, and Trinidad and Tobago to the south-west of Barbados. The island's location at just 13°N of the equator blesses it with bright sunshine and an equal duration of days and nights. Northeast trade winds prevail throughout the year to reduce the effect of the tropical sun. The monsoon rains, proximity to the equator, the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, influence the climate.
Barbados forms the easternmost boundary of the Caribbean Sea with the North Atlantic Ocean. The island is relatively flat, with gentle rises in the Scotland District or the central highland region. Coral reefs surround the island, and the island itself comprises of coral formations more than 90 meters above the sediment. The land gradually inclines from west to east in a series of terraces. Swampland and scrubland with wild cattle and vegetation chiefly of small plants, grasses, and palm trees comprise parts of the island. The Scotland District has most of the streams that include an extensive system of aquifers and channels. The action of waves, currents, and winds continuously alter the relatively soft limestone composition on the Atlantic east coast. Rocky capes are standard along with many caves and gullies, especially in the north-eastern region. The coral reefs are a great attraction for divers, and the white, sandy beaches attract visitors from all over the world. Mount Hillaby is the highest point in Barbados at 340 meters above sea level.
The tropical island of Barbados has two primary seasons. The wet season runs from June
and the dry season from January
. Summers are hot, humid, and wet. The average high temperatures touch the 31.1°C (88°F) mark at the peak of June, but extreme temperatures are rare. Temperatures do not vary much over the year and average between 21.1°C (70°F) to 31.1°C (88°F). Every month has a mean temperature above 17.8°C (64°F). Winters are warm and relatively dry, with the average low temperatures below 21.1°C (70°F) in January. The drop in humidity lowers the heat index and keeps the atmosphere pleasant. Wind speeds of 11.3km/h (7mph) to 24.1km/h (15mph) are standard throughout the year and moderate the heat. The wet season is prone to heavy rainfall and tropical storms. However, hurricanes are rare due to the location of the island in the relatively sheltered southeast Caribbean region.
Barbados receives abundant rainfall in the range of 1016mm (40") of 2286mm (90") annually. Bridgetown, the capital, receives an average annual rainfall of 1270mm (50") during 165 wet days in the year. The wettest period is from September
, while the driest is from February
. June to December contributes at least 80% of the annual precipitation. The rainfall is intense but in the form of downpours that do not last for prolonged periods. The annual sunshine registers an impressive 3000 hours, with 8 to 9 hours of daily sunlight. The wet season receives ample sunshine, as most days witness the sun on the horizon for at least 8 hours. The average relative humidity ranges from 69 to 78% and is at its highest in August
. The seawater temperatures are in the mild 26.1°C (79°F) to warm 27.8°C (82°F) zone, which is suitable for swimming and many other water activities.
The best time to visit Barbados
The best time to visit Barbados
is from January
in the mild winter season. The temperatures are relatively mild, and the period is the least rainy of the year. The island resembles a tropical paradise with white sandy beaches and tranquil waters under blue skies. The days receive at least 8 hours of sunshine, even during the coldest time of the year. Moderate breezes with wind speeds of approximately 24.1km/h (15mph) make evenings pleasant on the beaches. Beach nights are enjoyable in the mild weather, absence of rain, and calypso music. The dry season is less prone to tropical storms and other extreme weather events.
The worst time to visit Barbados
The worst time to visit Barbados
is during the hot and humid summer from June
. The sunshine is intense, and the humidity increases the heat index to uncomfortable levels. The heavy spells of rain make it challenging to sunbathe or engage in water-related activities. Barbados registers at least 152.4mm (6") to 177.8mm (7") of rain every month during the wet season. The interior receives more rainfall and is prone to higher temperatures than the coast. The tropical storm season adds to the uncertainty of the weather even though hurricane strength usually does not surpass category one or category two. Excursions on the sea are challenging when there is a high probability of storms and heavy rainfall.
The natural weather hazards in Barbados
comprise of earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and landslides. The island is part of a volcanic arc in the Lesser Antilles in the east Caribbean Sea. Barbados lies in the southeast part of the Caribbean region, which is outside the principal hurricane strike zone. Hurricanes are generally rare than tropical storms. A major hurricane occurs every 25 years, such as Hurricane Janet in 1955 and Hurricane Thomas in 2010. Earthquakes of moderate-intensity occur due to the collision of the South American and Caribbean Plates. Landslides are many times triggered by heavy rainfall or earthquakes and even occur underwater. Thunderstorms and rainstorms occur in the wet season. Mineral dust from the Sahara Desert poses a challenge to the health of coral reefs surrounding Barbados.
Weather in January
is the coldest month of the year in Barbados
, yet the average temperatures are in the warm range of 21.1°C (70°F) to 27.8°C (82°F). Visitors find sunscreen necessary during mid-day, even in the cold season. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated during the daytime activities on the beaches. January registers scattered showers to the tune of 50.8mm (2") to 76.2mm (3") in Bridgetown. Weather in January »
Weather in February
is usually the driest period of the year in Barbados
, with less than 38.1mm (1.5") of rainfall. The conditions are mild, with the average temperatures in the zone of 21.1°C (70°F) to 28.9°C (84°F). The precipitation registers below 50.8mm (2"), and the dry season is well underway. Weather in February »
Weather in March
is sunny in Barbados
, with hardly seven wet days amid usually blue skies. The average temperatures register a slight increase during the day but remain in the comfortable 21.1°C (70°F) to 30°C (86°F) zone. The highest sunshine of 10 hours occurs during the Ides of March in Barbados when it is cold in the early spring season in many parts of the world. Weather in March »
Weather in April
offers a chance to soak in 9 hours of sunshine under mostly blue skies in Barbados
every day. Wet days usually are less than seven in April, which averages 50.8mm (2") of rainfall. Bathsheba, on the east coast, registers average temperatures in the comfortable range of 22.2°C (72°F) to 30°C (86°F). Weather in April »
Weather in May
receives between 63.5mm (2.5") to 76.2mm (3") of precipitation in Barbados
, as the island country sees a gradual transition from the dry season. The average temperatures are in the range of 22.8°C (73°F) to 31.1°C (88°F), with hot days and mild nights. The daylight increases gradually to register slightly less than 13 hours at the end of the month. Weather in May »
Weather in June
is the beginning of the wet season in Barbados
that brings more than 101.6mm (4") of rainfall across the country. Temperatures are in the range of 23.9°C (75°F) to 31.1°C (88°F), but humidity levels make the heat oppressive. Avoid roaming during the afternoons when the sun rays are at their peak intensity. Weather in June »
Weather in July
records at least 19 wet days in Barbados
and registers 127mm (5") to 152.4mm (6") of rain. Afternoons are prone to thundershowers and torrential downpour that pass away quickly. The average temperatures are in the range of 22.8°C (73°F) to 30°C (86°F), with a slight decrease during the day compared to the beginning of the summer. Weather in July »
Weather in August
is wet but hot in Barbados
, with the average temperatures in the zone of 22.8°C (73°F) to 31.1°C (88°F). The weather is tropical and humid, and particularly oppressive between 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Showers are due in the afternoon, and the rain gauge registers at least 152.4mm (6") of precipitation in the month. Weather in August »
Weather in September
has the warmest average seawater temperatures at 29.4°C (84.9°F) in Barbados
. Precipitation increases significantly to average between 152.4mm (6") and 177.8mm (7") and comprises the wettest part of the season. The average temperatures are in the range of 22.8°C (73°F) to 30°C (86°F), with a slight drop during the day compared to the peak of summer. Weather in September »
Weather in October
sees a slight drop in average temperatures in Barbados
, which register in the 22.8°C (73°F) to 30°C (86°F) range. Bridgetown receives 152.4mm (6") to 177.8mm (7") of rainfall during 16 wet days in the month. Much of the island is in the grip of heavy rainfall that makes rain protection gear mandatory. The daylight is just short of 12 hours, and the daily sunshine lasts for an average of 8 hours, even during the wet season. Weather in October »
Weather in November
is usually the wettest month of the year in Barbados
, with an average of 177.8mm (7") to 203.2mm (8") of rainfall. The days are muggy and hot, but passing showers keep the temperatures in check. Nights are warm, especially in the coastal areas, where the skies remain mostly cloudy. Weather in November »
Weather in December
has comfortable weather in Barbados
, with a transition towards the dry season. The significant drop in rainfall yields 76.2mm (3") to 101.6mm (4") of precipitation in the month. A slight decrease in heat keeps the temperatures in the range of 22.2°C (72°F) to 28.9°C (84°F). The shortest days of the year occur in December, which registers 11.5 hours of daylight. Weather in December »