Monthly weather forecast and climate
Jamaica

Flag of Jamaica
Flag of Jamaica

The climate of Jamaica

Jamaica has a mainly tropical rainforest type of climate (Köppen climate classification Af), with hot and humid weather. The west coast and central regions display a tropical monsoon climate (Köppen Am), and the south-central region is of tropical wet and dry type (Köppen Aw). A small region in the Blue Mountains in the mid-east has an oceanic climate (Köppen Cfb), with warm summers. Jamaica is an island country in the Greater Antilles of the Caribbean Sea, 90 miles south of Cuba, and 119 miles west of Hispaniola. The tropical latitudes, trade winds, and large water bodies chiefly influence Jamaica's climate.

Jamaica is a small island between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer. A narrow coastal plain surrounds the mountainous interior landscape. Karts formations dominate the island, with two-thirds of the area covered by a limestone plateau. Rainforests, limestone forests, wetlands, woodlands, caves, rivers, and coral reefs support the terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Several small islands, such as Dolphin Island, Long Island, Pigeon Island, and Salt Island, lie towards the east and south of Jamaica in the Caribbean Sea. The northern and western coasts offer white sandy beaches and calm seas. The southern coast has black sandy beaches, with cliffs that drop 300 meters in the sea in many places. Pedro Bank is an area of shallow seas with numerous cays in the southwest of the island. Morant Bank is in the southeast, while Alice Shoal lies 160 miles in the southwest. The Santa Cruz and May Day mountains lie in the west, while the John Crow and the Blue Mountains are in the east. The Blue Mountain Peak in the eastern region is the highest point at 2256 meters in Jamaica.

Jamaica has a wet season from May to October and a dry season from November to April. The windward sides of the mountains have a tropical climate, while the leeward sides are semi-arid. Temperature differences are minimal in the year and register in the average range of 23.3°C (73.9°F) to 30°C (86°F) in the plains and 15°C (59°F) to 22.2°C (72°F) in the mountains. Summers are hot and humid, with average high temperatures above 32.2°C (90°F) in July and August. Winters are sunny and relatively dry, with average low temperatures below 21.1°C (70°F) in January. The days receive onshore breezes, and the nights have cool offshore breezes. Wind speeds remain in the average range of 19.3km/h (12mph) to 24.1km/h (15mph) for the majority of the year. The cold Norte wind from the United States from December to March lowers the evenings and night temperatures by a few degrees at the most.

The average rainfall in Jamaica is an abundant 1960.9mm (77.2") annually. Rainfall occurs throughout the year, with warm trade winds from the northeast and east. May to October is rainy, with the highest precipitation in those two months. The north coast exposed to trade winds receives the highest rainfall in November. The north and east faces of the mountains receive more significant rainfall than the south and west. The precipitation scales a high of 5080mm (200") in the high altitudes of the Blue and John Crow Mountains. The southwest region receives only 762mm (30") of rainfall. The island receives 2500 to 3000 hours of bright sunshine in the year. The southern coasts are the sunniest. The average relative humidity ranges from 65 to 90% and peaks during the wet season. The seawater temperatures are in the warm range of 27.2°C (81°F) to 28.9°C (84°F) year-round and suitable for swimming.

The record for the highest temperature in the capital, Kingston, is 36.1°C (97°F), and the lowest temperature is 17.8°C (64°F).

The best time to visit Jamaica

The best time to visit Jamaica is in the dry season, especially between December and March. The relatively low-rainfall winter months have sunny days amid moderate temperatures. Few places can boast of 8 hours of daily sunshine like Jamaica in the winter. Humidity levels are bearable, and the conditions are comfortable. The end of the hurricane season offers clear blue skies and calm waters to undertake sea excursions. Moderate wind speeds below 24.1km/h (15mph) provide refreshing air on the beaches. New Year has fair weather for a holiday on the white sandy beaches of Montego Bay in the north.

The worst time to visit Jamaica

The worst time to visit Jamaica is during the hot summer from July to October when the humidity is at the highest of the year. August and September are particularly avoidable as they coincide with the peak of the hurricane season. Temperatures reach the highest of the year, and the heat is stifling due to humidity levels above 80%. The strong sunshine causes discomfort due to the shortage of broad-leaf trees, especially on the beaches. Thunderstorms are active in the afternoon and bring torrential downpour in short periods. Cloudy skies and an average rainfall of 127mm (5") to 152.4mm (6") during each month of the summer make it challenging to sunbathe except for brief periods in the morning.

Weather hazards

Jamaica is prone to hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and landslides. The location of the island in the Atlantic hurricane belt brings significant storm damage. Hurricane Dean, a category 4 storm, brought substantial damage and loss of human life. Powerful hurricanes occur from time to time, including Hurricane Ivan in 2004, Dennis and Emily in 2005. June to October season brings hurricanes to Jamaica. Heavy bouts of rainfall cause floods in the low-lying plains. Moderate-intensity earthquakes occasionally occur as the Caribbean and South American plates grind against each other. Afternoon thunderstorms are frequent in the wet season. Karst formations are prone to sinkholes, and heavy rainfall occasionally results in landslides.

Weather in January

January is warm and sunny in Jamaica, even though it is the coldest month of the year. Montego Bay is a popular holiday destination, with fair weather and average temperatures in the 20.6°C (69.1°F) to 27.8°C (82°F) range. The average temperatures in Kingston are in the warm zone of 21.1°C (70°F) to 30.6°C (87.1°F), with 8 hours of daily sunshine. Weather in January »

Weather in February

February is usually the driest month of the year in Jamaica, with average precipitation less than 50.8mm (2"). It is still the winter season, with 8 to 9 hours of warm sunshine, and less than 12 hours of daylight. The average temperatures in Port Antonio in the northeast are lower in the range of 18.9°C (66°F) to 27.8°C (82°F) than Kingston between 21.1°C (70°F) to 30°C (86°F) in the south. Weather in February »

Weather in March

March is dry and warm in Jamaica, with a gradual increase in daylight beyond 12 hours. Early mornings see the sunrise between 6 a.m. to 6.30 a.m., with refreshing air and fewer crowds on the beaches before the temperatures begin to rise. The average temperatures in Kingston are in the warm zone of 21.7°C (71.1°F) to 30.6°C (87.1°F) zone, with 9 hours of daily sunshine. Weather in March »

Weather in April

April is a transitional month from the dry to wet season in Jamaica, with moderate rainfall. The precipitation is between 50.8mm (2") to 127mm (5"), with a significant rise after Easter, and the atmosphere is hot and muggy. Morant Point and Cinchona Gardens are wet and receive between 152.4mm (6") to 177.8mm (7") of rainfall. The average temperatures are in the range of 20°C (68°F) to 31.1°C (88°F), with the north coast slightly more refreshing than the south coast. Weather in April »

Weather in May

May brings the wet season to Jamaica, with hot and muggy conditions amid heavy rainfall. The skies are cloudy between 50 to 70% of the time, with relative humidity between 65 to 90%. The average temperatures in Negril and Black River are in the zone of 22.2°C (72°F) to 30°C (86°F), with hot days and warm nights. Weather in May »

Weather in June

June brings oppressive heat in Jamaica, along with a rise in muggy conditions in the summer. The longest days of the year last just above 13 hours and have 8 hours of bright sunshine. Temperatures are usually in the 21.1°C (70°F) to 90°, with Kingston between 24.4°C (75.9°F) to 90°, Falmouth between 23.3°C (73.9°F) to 88°, and Port Antonio between 21.7°C (71.1°F) to 30.6°C (87.1°F). The average rainfall is in the range of 152.4mm (6") to 203.2mm (8"), with Kingston at 76.2mm (3") and Morant Bay above 330.2mm (13"). Weather in June »

Weather in July

July is usually the hottest month in Jamaica, with the average temperatures in the 23.9°C (75°F) to 91°range. The precipitation encounters minima in the wet season, and the days are sticky. Kingston sees 9 to 10 hours of bright sunshine, with hardly 40.6mm (1.6") of rainfall in the month. Weather in July »

Weather in August

August is a hot month in the summer in Jamaica, with muggy days amid relative humidity between 70 to 95%. The precipitation picks up again, and much of the country registers at least 101.6mm (4") to 177.8mm (7") in the month. Afternoon showers are standard, and tourists should stay in the comfort of hotel rooms between 12 p.m. Weather in August »

Weather in September

September is hot and muggy in Jamaica, with cloudy skies 75% of the time. The chance of rain increases gradually with each passing day, along with a rise in humidity levels. The average precipitation is between 101.6mm (4") to 203.2mm (8"), with highs of 203.2mm (8") to 254mm (10") in Cinchona Gardens in the Blue Mountains and Morant Point. The average temperatures are in the range of 21.7°C (71.1°F) to 32.2°C (90°F), with Montego Bay between 23.3°C (73.9°F) to 31.1°C (88°F) and Port Antonio in the zone of 21.7°C (71.1°F) to 30.6°C (87.1°F). Weather in September »

Weather in October

October is hot and humid in Jamaica during the second peak of the wet season. The precipitation is in the average range of 152.4mm (6") to 254mm (10"), and even Kingston receives a high of 175.3mm (6.9") out of 812.8mm (32") annually. Weather in October »

Weather in November

November is a wet month in Jamaica, especially on the northern coasts. Ocho Rios registers 248.9mm (9.8"), its highest monthly precipitation of the year. The rainfall decreases in the rest of the island and is in the average range of 101.6mm (4") to 177.8mm (7"). Temperatures drop slightly to register in the range of 22.8°C (73°F) to 31.1°C (88°F), which is still warm, with 8 hours of daily sunshine. Weather in November »

Weather in December

December is the beginning of the dry season in Jamaica, with average rainfall in the range of 50.8mm (2") to 127mm (5"). The average temperatures across the country are in the warm range of 20.6°C (69.1°F) to 30.6°C (87.1°F), with humid days but comfortable nights. Weather in December »
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