Climate of Bahamas
Where is the country of Bahamas located? The Commonwealth of the Bahamas is an archipelago of 700 islands southeast of the US state of Florida. The islands form an independent state, which is almost always referred to as the Bahamas or Bahamas. The Bahamas has a tropical savanna climate, type Aw according to the Köppen-Geiger climate classification. The climate is especially in the winter months under a strong warming influence of the Atlantic Ocean, which makes it a wonderful place to stay on these tropical islands in the winter months.
As a tourist destination, the Bahamas is one of the top destinations in the Caribbean. The country is very popular among Americans and is visited on many cruise itineraries, especially those departing from Miami or Fort Lauderdale. The Bahamas ranks 4th on the list of most visited countries in the Caribbean, after Puerto Rico, Mexico (Yucatán) and the Dominican Republic. More than eighty percent of the tourists come from the United States.
Summer in the Bahamas
The summer months in the Bahamas are warm, humid and quite sunny. The temperatures during the day are around thirty degrees and at night the mercury drops to values around 23 to 26 degrees. Summer is the wetter season in the Bahamas, but to speak of a real rainy season it is not wet enough in most places. Most precipitation falls in the form of showers, which can sometimes be very intense. If there is a tropical depression, storm or hurricane, the amounts of rain can quickly increase to what normally falls in an entire month. In some places, hundreds of millimeters of rain fall within 24 hours during hurricanes. The record is set by Hurricane Noel (all hurricanes in this area have names) in the year 2007. On Long Island, no less than 747.5 millimeters of rain fell during this hurricane. To give a small indication: this is what normally falls in a whole year in the Netherlands. Fortunately, this is a very extreme case and the rain gauges normally remain at fifty to one hundred and fifty millimeters once the hurricane has passed.
The Bahamas is located in an area of high hurricane activity. That doesn’t mean the islands will be hit by hurricanes on a daily basis, but there’s a chance that an active hurricane will sweep over part of the Bahamas during hurricane season, which runs from early June to early December. If there is a hurricane, tropical storm or tropical depression, one or more islands may be affected, while the other islands have bright sunny weather. Because the islands are spread over a zone of no less than a thousand by three hundred kilometres, large differences in weather conditions are very well possible at the same time. Most hurricanes come from the southeast, only in rare cases do they come from the south after the direction has changed. If you want to book a vacation to the Bahamas, you don’t have to worry too much about hurricanes. The hotels are built on it and there are also hotels that guarantee customers that they do not have to pay for the stay during a hurricane.
In 2019, a hurricane of destructive power swept the Bahamas. Hurricane Dorian reached the northern islands of the Bahamas on September 1, 2019 as a Category 5 hurricane. Wind gusts of more than 350 kilometers per hour had a disastrous effect on many buildings. The accompanying rain caused massive flooding, which largely submerged the islands. It wasn’t just the power of Hurricane Dorian that caused so much trouble: the catastrophic storm lingered over the Bahamas for hours.
The winters in the Bahamas are pleasantly warm, with it almost always being spring-like to downright summer. The temperature during the day is usually between 22 and 27 degrees, at night it cools down to an average of fifteen to twenty degrees. It is therefore not unwise to bring a sweater, cardigan or summer coat for the winter season. In the evenings it can feel cool, especially if you are right on the coast.
Because the winter months are also quite sunny and dry, the country is an excellent winter sun destination. There is no guarantee of good weather: under the influence of cooler air from the north, the weather can suddenly be cooler for a few days. It is then too cool to lie on the beach or by the pool. These usually quite short periods of relative coolness are an excellent excuse to take a trip to Miami. If you are on Grand Bahama or one of the other western islands, you can be in Miami in half an hour by plane.
Snow and frost
Freezing never works in the Bahamas, the necessary elements are not strong enough for it to come to frost. During arctic outbreaks, where a stream of very cold arctic air moves south in the winter months, temperatures may drop to several degrees above freezing. In January 1997, snowfall was even reported in Freeport. Snowflakes mixed with raindrops fell from the sky at a temperature of five degrees above freezing. A rarity, but possible.
The subtropical climate of the Bahamas provides reasonable amounts of precipitation, most of which falls between May and October. Depending on the exact location, the long-term averages are between one thousand and fifteen hundred millimeters. In wet years with a lot of hurricane activity, local measurements can even be made around two thousand millimeters, which comes down to two thousand liters of water per square metre.
The sun power is high in the Bahamas. For a large part of the year there is the highest solar power (UV index 11), whereby walking or lying unprotected in the sun is actually not justified, unless it concerns a very short period (10-15 minutes). The use of a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (minimum 30) is recommended all year round, even for people who do not burn so easily. In the winter months the sun is a lot more favorable. A UV index of up to 5 to 7 in the winter months is comparable to what is normal in our summer months. So still smearing, but a lot less dangerous than in the summer months, when the sun is at its strongest.
The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).
|Maximum temperature||Minimum temperature||Hours of sunshine per day||Days of rainfall per month||Water temperature|
Best time to visit the Bahamas
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to the Bahamas? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. Although the temperatures in the Bahamas are pleasant to very pleasant almost all year round, there is certainly a better travel season and a less suitable period to visit these beautiful islands. That is because there are differences in the amounts of precipitation and the number of hours of sunshine per month. In the winter months the weather is summery with a fairly low chance of rain or thunderstorms. The period from December to April is therefore the best travel period for the Bahamas. However, the Americans also know that and that is why this season is often a bit more expensive and busier than other periods. From May to November it is warmer, but the chance of precipitation also increases.
Anyone who has the misfortune that in the hurricane season (June to November) a major tropical depression or worse (a hurricane) is faced will have to deal with a number of days of bad to very bad weather. This chance is not great, but it is there. Sometimes a hurricane can grow into a severe hurricane with destructive power. In that case, there are only two options: evacuate or take shelter. Fortunately, a hurricane is never unexpected. People often know days in advance whether there is a chance that a severe tropical storm can move towards the Bahamas, so that the necessary measures can be taken in time.
Bahamas as a cruise destination
The Bahamas is a popular destination for various cruise itineraries that depart from, among others, Florida and Puerto Rico. If you want to cruise to the Bahamas, it is best to do so between December and mid-May. If calm waters are essential, plan your cruise vacation in the months of January, February or March. The chance of strong winds with higher waves is then the smallest.