Mauritius has a mainly tropical climate. Various microclimates exist on the island based on exposure, altitude, and distance from the sea. Mauritius is an island country in the Indian Ocean, 1200 miles southeast of Africa, and 700 miles east of Madagascar. Persistent trade winds and the island's topography create a broad climatic division into windward and leeward zones. The windward eastern and southern slopes have a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af) and show a marked increase in cloudiness and rainfall. The sheltered leeward side experiences a tropical savanna climate (Köppen Aw), with a significant decrease in cloud cover and rainfall. The central plateau has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cf variations), with no marked dry season. The proximity to large bodies of water, tropical latitudes, and the southeast trade winds chiefly influence the climate.
Mauritius is a tropical island of volcanic origin, 20°S of the equator. Several outlying islands, including Agalega, Rodrigues, and Saint Brandon, lie within the main island's distance. The pear-shaped island is 38 miles long and 28 miles wide and consists of a ring of peaks that enclose a central plateau. The landscape consists of a small coastal plain and a central plateau, which rises from 300 meters in the north to 600 meters in the southwest. The central plateau is cooler than the coast and receives almost twice the rainfall. The eastern part of the island is colder than the rest of the country due to prevailing southeast trade winds. Coral reefs surround the island to pose navigation hazards. Piton de la Petite Riviere Noire is the highest point in Mauritius at 828 meters above sea level.
Mauritius experiences warm and humid summers but relatively dry and cold winters. The seasons occur in the reverse cycle due to the archipelago's location in the Southern Hemisphere. The average temperature during the summer from November to April is 24.7°C (76.5°F). The average temperature during the winter from May to October is 20.4°C (68.7°F). Temperature differences between the seasons are low. January and February are the warmest months with average high temperatures of 29.2°C (84.6°F). July and August are the coldest months with average low temperatures of 16.4°C (61.5°F). There is no marked wet season, and much of the precipitation occurs in the summer. Port Louis, the capital on the leeward side, has a tropical climate and is dry in the winter. At an altitude of 700 meters in the south, Plaine Champagne has a sub-tropical climate, with rain throughout the year.
The average annual precipitation in Mauritius is an ample 2032mm (80"). The precipitation ranges from 889mm (35") on the coast to 1498.6mm (59") in the central plateau and over 2540mm (100") in the mountains. On the northwest coast, the leeward side gets 1193.8mm (47"), while the southeast coast on the windward side registers 1701.8mm (67") of rain. The wet peak period between January and March contributes to two-thirds of the annual precipitation. October is the driest month, and the period from June to October is relatively less rainy. Mauritius receives ample sunshine between 2500 hours to 2900 hours. The sunshine is right, even in the wettest months. The humidity is at the highest of the year during the wet period from January to March. February is the muggiest month of the year. Trade winds blow strongly from the southeast. The average wind speeds range from 20.9km/h (13mph) to 29km/h (18mph). The average seawater temperatures between 22.2°C (72°F) and 27.2°C (81°F) are comfortable for swimming throughout the year.
The highest temperature on record for Port Louis, Mauritius, is 38.9°C (102°F), while the record for the lowest temperature is 7.2°C (45°F).
The best time to visit Mauritius
The best times to visit Mauritius are from April to May and September to November. The second half of May and October are particularly pleasant. The temperatures are in the comfort zone, and humidity levels are acceptable. The sunshine is bearable compared to the summer months. The rainfall is relatively less, and cloud cover does not last for long periods. Port Louis is less windy and sunny, while the eastern beaches are windier to the delight of surfers. The outer islands are less rainy and more refreshing than the main island. June to August is cool and relatively dry, and is a good time for hiking in the mountains.
The worst time to visit Mauritius
The worst time to visit Mauritius is from January to March at the peak of the wet season. The high humidity makes the conditions oppressive. Most places receive between 203.2mm (8") to 254mm (10") of heavy rainfall. At least 15 days are wet and prone to thunderstorms and heavy downpours. Torrential rainfall of more than 101.6mm (4") in 12 hours is possible in the hilly regions. The island is prone to tropical storms during the cyclone season. The skies are cloudy during the rainy period. However, the sunshine is ample, even in the wet season.
Mauritius is susceptible to weather hazards, such as thunderstorms, torrential rain, cyclones, storm swells, and tsunamis. The central plateau and mountains are prone to heavy rainfall. Torrential rain results in flash floods due to the overflowing of rivulets, streams, and even rivers. Landslides and mudslides pose a threat in the hilly regions during the wet season. Tropical cyclones affect Mauritius between November and April. Anticyclones are active from May to September. Cyclones are responsible for storm swells and cause an abnormal rise in ocean tide levels. Hollanda in 1994, and Dina in 2002, were the worst last two cyclones to affect the country.
Weather in January
January is usually the warmest month of the year in Mauritius. The average temperatures in Port Louis are between 23.9°C (75°F) and 29.4°C (84.9°F), and the conditions are warm and humid. The average precipitation ranges from 132.1mm (5.2") in the west to 203.2mm (8") in the east and 241.3mm (9.5") in the east. In the west, Medine receives 8 hours of daily sunshine, while Fuel in the east gets 7 hours of sunlight every day. The north is the warmest, with average temperatures in the 22.2°C (72°F) and 31.1°C (88°F) range in Pamplemousses. The daylight lasts for 13 hours on the islands, and the mean monthly humidity is between 80% and 84%. The daily average wind speeds range from 22.9km/h (14.2mph) to 23.7km/h (14.7mph), and wind direction is mainly from the east. The average seawater temperatures are warm at 27.2°C (81°F). Wear light summer clothing along with a raincoat or carry an umbrella during outdoor visits. January is susceptible to tropical cyclones in Mauritius.
Weather in February
February is the wettest month of the year in Mauritius. Plaisance is hot and humid between 22.8°C (73°F) and 30°C (86°F) and receives 264.2mm (10.4") of heavy rainfall. Vacoas, on the central plateau, registers temperatures in the comfortable zone of 21.1°C (70°F) to 27.8°C (82°F) and 195.6mm (7.7") of rain. Rodrigues Island is warm with average temperatures in the range of 22.8°C (73°F) to 28.9°C (84°F) and receives only 134.6mm (5.3") of rain. The sunshine is adequate, with 6.5 hours, even in the wettest and cloudiest places. The days are muggy, with the average monthly humidity at the highest of the year at 85%. The daily average wind speeds range from 23.5km/h (14.6mph) to 24.1km/h (15mph) over the month. The average seawater temperatures at 27.8°C (82°F) are the warmest of the year. Keep an eye on the weather for tropical storms. The sheltered beaches on the northern and western coasts have calm waters. February is the cloudiest month of the year, with a 60% chance of overcast skies in Mauritius.
Weather in March
March is cloudy, humid, and wet in Mauritius. The average high temperatures are in the hot range of 27.8°C (82°F) to 29.4°C (84.9°F). The average low temperatures are in the warm zone of 21.7°C (71.1°F) to 23.9°C (75°F). The earliest sunrise occurs at 6.07 a.m., and the latest sunset is at 6.36 p.m. in Port Louis in March. The cloud cover decreases from 55% to 45%, and the rainfall is in the 127mm (5") to 203.2mm (8") range. The chance of a wet day in the month is between 25% and 30%. By the March equinox, daylight reduces to 12 hours, and sunlight lasts between 6.5 hours and 7 hours. The monthly humidity ranges between 80% and 84% on the islands, and the days remain sultry. Wind speeds are in the 23.3km/h (14.5mph) to 24.1km/h (15mph) range in most regions. The possibility of tropical storms reduces with each passing day. Surfers prefer the eastern shores with strong winds. The wet season wanes gradually by March-end in Mauritius.
Weather in April
April ends the relatively wet period in Mauritius. The skies begin to clear gradually and remain cloudy only 28% of the time by the month-end. The humidity is still high and ranges from 80% in the west to 85% in the east. The average temperatures in Grand Baie are in the warm 23.3°C (73.9°F) to 28.9°C (84°F), while Midlands registers between 20°C (68°F) and 26.1°C (79°F). The daylight reduces to 11.5 hours by April end, and the sunlight lasts between 6 hours and 7 hours. April registers 17 wet days in Plaisance in the south that bring 210.8mm (8.3") of rain. The west coast gets up to 127mm (5") of average precipitation, the north 152.4mm (6"), east 177.8mm (7"), and the central plateau 203.2mm (8"). The outer islands receive less rain between 101.6mm (4") to 127mm (5"). The average seawater temperatures are warm at 26.7°C (80.1°F) in Port Louis, slightly higher than the east coast. Expect the heat index to drop by the end of April in Mauritius.
Weather in May
May is a transitional month in Mauritius, with a significant drop in rainfall. The average rainfall is in the range of 63.5mm (2.5") to 152.4mm (6"), with the driest regions on the west coasts. Port Louis registers average temperatures in the warm zone of 21.1°C (70°F) to 27.8°C (82°F) zone. Port Mathurin is warm between 22.2°C (72°F) and 27.2°C (81°F) and registers 88.9mm (3.5") of precipitation. The days are warm, but nights are cozy. The sunlight lasts between 6.5 hours and 7.5 hours. From 11.5 hours at the beginning of the month, the sunlight reduces to 11 hours on May 31. The average monthly humidity registers between 78% and 83% and approaches comfortable levels. The southeast trade winds register daily average speeds in the 23.7km/h (14.7mph) to 24.9km/h (15.5mph) range. The average seawater temperatures register at 26.1°C (79°F) and are excellent for water activities. Evening breezes regularly occur on the white sandy beaches. Light clothes along with a rain jacket are suitable in the month. May offers pleasant weather in Mauritius.
Weather in June
June brings mild to warm weather in Mauritius, as the winter brings a reduction in the sunshine. The central, southern, and eastern regions are colder than the rest of the country. The average temperatures in the central plateau register between 16.1°C (61°F) to 22.2°C (72°F). The east and south are in the mild zone of 17.2°C (63°F) to 25°C (77°F). The north and west are in the range of 18.3°C (64.9°F) to 25.6°C (78.1°F). The average precipitation ranges between 25.4mm (1") in the west and 152.4mm (6") in the southeast. The outer islands receive 76.2mm (3") to 88.9mm (3.5") of rainfall. June 20 is the shortest day of the year, with 10 hours and 55 minutes of daylight in Port Louis. The daily sunshine lasts between 6 hours and 7 hours, and is the least in the east and south. The average seawater temperatures register at a mild 25°C (77°F) on the leeward side in the north and west and are colder in the east and south. June lies in the anticyclone season in Mauritius.
Weather in July
July is usually the coldest month of the year in Mauritius. The average temperatures in Medine in the west register between 16.7°C (62.1°F) to 26.1°C (79°F), while Fuel in the east records temperatures in the 17.2°C (63°F) to 23.3°C (73.9°F) range. Vacoas on the central plateau is cool between 15.6°C (60.1°F) to 21.7°C (71.1°F). The average precipitation ranges between 17.8mm (0.7") in the west to 114.3mm (4.5") in the central plateau. The daily sunshine lasts between 5.5 hours in the south to 7 hours in the west. The skies are clear up to 89% of the time. The conditions are comfortable with average monthly humidity between 77% and 81%. The daylight increases to 11 hours and 12 minutes by the end of the month. July is the windiest month of the year, with daily average wind speeds at 28.6km/h (17.8mph). The average seawater temperatures at a mild 23.9°C (75°F) are suitable for swimming. July is an excellent time to explore the mountains in Mauritius in relatively dry conditions.
Weather in August
August is cool and dry in Mauritius in the winter season. The average temperatures in Port Louis register in the comfortable range of 19.4°C (66.9°F) to 24.4°C (75.9°F). The outer islands are cool between 18.9°C (66°F) to 25°C (77°F) and receive less than 66mm (2.6") of precipitation. The average precipitation ranges between 12.7mm (0.5") to 101.6mm (4") on the main island. The west is notably dry with hardly 4 wet days in the month. The daily sunshine lasts between 6 hours and 7 hours, and the daylight increases to 11 hours and 42 minutes. August has clear skies up to 90% of the time, the highest of the year. The lowest monthly average humidity of 76% in the west and 81% in the east, registers in August. The southeast trade winds are moderate as daily average speeds slow down from 28.5km/h (17.7mph) to 27km/h (16.8mph). The average seawater temperatures register at 22.8°C (73°F), the coldest of the year. Expect dry days ahead. Budget travelers find the August weather agreeable in Mauritius.
Weather in September
September is a cool and dry month in Mauritius. The temperatures begin to rise at the end of the winter. The average temperatures in Plaisance in the south register between 17.8°C (64°F) and 25°C (77°F). The days are warm, and the nights are cozy. Pamplemousses in the north is warm between 16.7°C (62.1°F) and 27.2°C (81°F). The central plateau is fresh, in the 15.6°C (60.1°F) to 22.8°C (73°F) range. The average precipitation drops to less than 12.7mm (0.5") in the west and registers the highest of 73.7mm (2.9") in the central plateau. The daily sunshine is the lowest in the east at 6.5 hours and highest in the north at 7.7 hours. The daylight registers 12 hours by the spring equinox in the Southern Hemisphere on September 22. The northwestern shores are best for swimming and sunbathing, with average seawater temperatures register at a mild 22.8°C (73°F). The daily average wind speeds decrease from 26.6km/h (16.5mph) to 24.5km/h (15.2mph) over the month. Wind direction is predominantly from the east. Expect the precipitation to decrease further by the end of September in Mauritius.
Weather in October
October is the driest month of the year in Mauritius. The driest month brings up to 12.7mm (0.5") of precipitation in the west and 63.5mm (2.5") in the central, south, and eastern regions. The sunny days find the skies clear for 89% of the time. The average temperatures increase gradually to register in the 17.8°C (64°F) to 27.2°C (81°F). The warm days receive up to 8 hours of sunshine, and the daylight increases to 12 hours and 50 minutes. The average seawater temperatures register at a comfortable 23.9°C (75°F) in Port Louis and 22.8°C (73°F) in Plaisance. The average monthly humidity registers between 76% in the west and 83% in the east. The daily average speeds reduce further to register at 14.1 by the end of October. Surfers prefer the eastern shores due to higher wind speeds than the western coasts. Light summer clothing is best for the warm weather. The dry and sunny conditions of October make it an excellent time to visit Mauritius.
Weather in November
November is a relatively dry and warm month in Mauritius. The average temperatures register in the zone of between 17.8°C (64°F) to 30°C (86°F). The warmest days are in the north, and the coldest nights occur in the central plateau. The precipitation remains below 76.2mm (3") in the south, which is the wettest region. The western coast hardly gets 25.4mm (1") of rainfall. The sunlight is strong by November and registers 8 hours per day. The daylight increases from less than 13 hours in the beginning to 13 hours and 15 minutes by the end of November. The average seawater temperatures warm up to 25°C (77°F) and are suitable for sunbathing and swimming. The relative humidity sees a significant increase, and the chance of a muggy day in November increases from 71% to 94% over the month. The southeast trade winds register a dip in daily average speeds from 22.5km/h (14mph) to 20.8km/h (12.9mph). November begins the cyclone season in Mauritius.
Weather in December
December sees a significant rise in precipitation in Mauritius, with the arrival of the summer season. Port Louis has average temperatures in the 22.8°C (73°F) to 29.4°C (84.9°F) range, with clear skies up to 62% of the time. Plaisance registers average temperature in the 20°C (68°F) to 27.8°C (82°F) range. The precipitation picks up with the beginning of the wet period and ranges between 101.6mm (4") to 203.2mm (8"). Much of the island receives 8 hours of daily sunshine except for the eastern and central regions, which receive 7 hours. The days become muggy, as average monthly humidity registers between 79% and 84%. December is the calmest month of the year, with daily average wind speeds at 20.8km/h (12.9mph). The average seawater temperatures are warm at 27.2°C (81°F), and the beaches see much activity. December 21 is the longest day of the year in Port Louis, with 13 hours and 21 minutes of daylight. December offers fair weather in Mauritius.