Climate of Belize
Where is the country of Belize located? Belize is located in Central America, southeast of Mexico. Located on the Gulf of Honduras, Belize is on an important supply route for hurricanes, sadly making this devastating natural phenomenon a common thread through Belize’s history. According to the Köppen-Geiger climate system, Belize only has tropical climates, ranging from the tropical rainforest climate (type Af) to the tropical monsoon climate (type Am) and the tropical savanna climate (type Aw). The exact climate type is partly determined by the distance from the coast, the latitude, the altitude and the proximity of mountains. The highest places in Belize can be found in the Maya Mountains, where the heights rise to a fairly modest 1122 meters for Central America.
The temperature throughout Belize is around tropical values of about thirty degrees during the day and twenty to twenty-four degrees as a minimum temperature throughout the year. In the winter period, which refers to the dry period in Belize, it is slightly cooler (27-28 degrees), in the summer months the mercury averages around 31 degrees. Temperatures can rise a little further inland, with a maximum of 35-36 degrees in the hottest spots of Belize. On the other hand, in the highest parts of the Maya Mountains it is a bit cooler than in the rest of the country. The difference depends on the altitude and is on average a few degrees.
The amount of rainfall on an annual basis varies widely. The north and northwest of Belize are the driest, with about 1350 to 1600 millimeters of precipitation on average per year. In the extreme south of Belize, the amount of rain rises to more than 4500 millimeters on average per year. This is the area where the variations in the are the smallest and there is therefore a tropical rainforest climate. The rest of the country does have a clear dry and wet period, with the rainy season usually starting in mid-May and continuing until December. The rainy season lasts longer than in many other places in Central America. In the south, the rainy season even lasts until the beginning of February. Here the rainy season does have a small breather in July and August, if the intensity of the showers decreases slightly and there is a short dry period. With rainfall amounts still around two hundred millimeters, you really have to see the word ‘dry’ as relative. The hurricane
Belize is regularly hit by tropical storms and depressions. During the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June to December, there is a risk of heavy rain and storms from tropical depressions throughout Belize, but especially in the northeast coastal area. Every now and then a strong area of low pressure sees an opportunity to grow into a hurricane that then heads towards Belize. The hurricane risk is the reason that today the city of Belmopan is the capital of Belize. Until the disastrous Hurricane Hattie in 1961, the capital was Belize City, located on the coast. Its location on the coast and below sea level makes this still largest city in Belize too vulnerable to function as a capital. That is why Belmopan has been allowed to fulfill this role from 1970,
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|
Best time to visit Belize
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Belize? 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. The Latin American country of Belize is centrally located in Central America, on the Caribbean Sea. Belize has to do with the three tropical climate types within the Köppen-Geiger climate classification. In the north, the tropical savanna climate (Aw) predominates, in the central part there is the tropical monsoon climate (Am) and the southern regions have the tropical rainforest climate (Af). It is therefore not the temperatures in Belize, but the dry and wet seasons that determine the best travel time. For the whole of Belize, the period from February to April is the best travel period. Alternative months to travel to Belize are January and May. January is the most pleasant of these two months in terms of temperature. During both months there is more chance of precipitation than in the period February-April, which may be considered the driest period.
The rainy season starts in Belize from the end of May or the beginning of June. The is increasing considerably, as is the number of days on which it rains. The further south you go, the more precipitation falls. For example, there are areas in the south of Belize where four to five thousand millimeters of rain falls on an annual basis. The northern regions are a lot less wet with an average of 1300 to 2000 millimeters. The moment the wet season has arrived, you notice that it gets more stuffy. The combination of slightly higher temperatures in combination with a high relative humidity makes it stuffy. It’s not until December that you notice that it starts to get drier in Belize. If you are considering flying to Belize during the Christmas holidays, you should keep in mind that the wet season is not quite over yet.
Belize is located in a region where hurricanes can occur in the second half of the year. It is not the case that a hurricane strikes every year, but there is a chance that such a heavy tropical storm will occur. Fortunately, hurricanes can be predicted fairly well. The meteorological services quickly get their sights on the depressions that can develop into a hurricane. This means that measures can be taken in a timely manner, if necessary.