Climate of Cuba
Where is the country of Cuba located? Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is an island country located in Caribbean. Cuba has a tropical savanna climate, type Aw according to the Köppen-Geiger classification. The extreme southeastern tip of Cuba has a warm steppe climate, type Bsh. This is due to the low rainfall in this area. With temperatures ranging between 25 and 34 degrees throughout the year during the day, it is a very good place for people who like warm weather. Because there is almost always a reasonable wind, usually from the northeast, the tropical weather feels somewhat tempered and it can even feel quite cool in the evenings from November to May, which is quite unusual for tropical climates. The climate is an important reason why Cuba used to be so popular with Americans as a holiday destination. At a reasonably short flight distance there was a large island where much more was allowed than in conservative America and the weather was wonderful all year round. Even during the rainy season, the sun shines for a large part of the day and 6 to 9 hours of sunshine are recorded daily. This has to do with the fact that the rain often falls in the form of showers, and due to the fairly strong current at high altitudes, the clouds often disappear just as quickly as they came. Sometimes you see a dark gray sky completely open within half an hour, after which a clear blue sky remains.
Summer in Cuba
The summer months in Cuba are warm and quite humid. In the interior and along the south coast you will feel the humidity increase considerably and it can feel very clammy and stuffy, especially in the period from June to September. Along the north coast this is a lot less, because the wind from the sea causes a tempering of the humidity there.
The summer period in Cuba means rainy season. Do not expect days full of clouds and precipitation, rather showers that occur mainly in the afternoon and evening. However, this period is also hurricane season and from early June to mid-November Cuba has the chance to be hit by hurricanes, tropical storms and depressions that form over the Atlantic Ocean.
Because Cuba is a large and elongated island, the chance that the island will be hit by a hurricane is relatively high. However, it is not the case that ten hurricanes rage over Cuba per year, but the opportunity is certainly present in Cuba. Of all the hurricanes that pass through the Caribbean in a season, Cuba has to deal with this natural disaster once or twice on average.
The supply route of the hurricanes is from the southeast, which means that the south coast and southeastern Cuba are relatively most affected. The north coast is not often fully hit, as hurricanes usually follow a path just north of Cuba, moving westward almost parallel to the Cuban coast.
Hurricanes that reach eastern Cuba usually do so through the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The chances of the hurricane having a magnitude of 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale are pretty slim there.
The best chance of dealing with a destructive hurricane is when it hits Cuba from the south, especially the western part of the south coast. Because the hurricane has not hit land hundreds of kilometers before reaching Cuba, it can gain full strength over the warm Caribbean Sea and grow into force 4 or 5. When it sets course towards Havana, the hurricane is somewhat tempered by the piece that he has to travel overland, but there will almost always be damage in the Cuban capital and possible (fatal) casualties.
Winters in Cuba are very mild to quite warm. Along the north coast, maximum temperatures can drop to around 25-26 degrees, along the south coast and in the southeast it remains almost tropical, with temperatures approaching or around 30 degrees during the day. With little precipitation and a lot of sun, it is an excellent place to stay in Cuba. Winds along the north coast can make it feel a bit cool, especially in places like Varadero and Cayo Coco.
The power of the sun is great in Cuba. For a large part of the year there is the highest solar power (UV index 11), where going 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. From our own experience it can be reported that even a walk in the morning in May with a completely cloudy sky can already cause burnt skin if it is not lubricated. In the winter months the UV index in Cuba is between 6 and 10. That is comparable to Southern Europe in the summer (!).
Except for the aforementioned hurricanes, there are few extremes in Cuba in terms of weather and climate. Winter weather such as snow, sleet or frost does not occur here. You will also rarely experience extremely hot weather with temperatures of forty degrees or higher in Cuba, because there is always enough influence of sea and wind to temper the temperatures.
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 Cuba
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Cuba? 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. Due to its location in the Caribbean, Cuba has to deal with tropical climate types, with the tropical monsoon climate being dominant. However, that does not mean that tropical weather conditions are always present. This is the case for most of the year, but in winter it can sometimes get considerably cooler for a short period of time. That’s because cold polar air penetrates far into the American mainland, affecting even the weather in Cuba. For example, the maximum temperatures on the north coast of the island of Cuba can sometimes remain around fifteen degrees with a mainly cloudy sky. These kinds of conditions never last long, but can manifest themselves in the months of January and February.
If you look at the temperatures and when there is the least rain, you can designate December to April as the best time to travel through Cuba. It is then not too hot and the chance of rain is considerably smaller in this drier period than in the wetter period. Another nice period to make a tour through Cuba is during our summer holidays, in the months of July and August. As mentioned, these months fall in the monsoon period. During these two months there is less rainfall than during the months of May, June, September and October.
In Cuba you can go for a beach holiday in different places. The peninsula near Varadero is Cuba’s most popular beach destination. On the north coast you will also find the island of Cayo Coco as a good travel destination for a relaxing beach holiday. The best months for a sun holiday on the north coast of Cuba are December, March, April and May. The summer months of July and August show a slight dip in precipitation, making these months reasonable for a beach holiday.
If you want to go to the south coast of Cuba for a sun holiday, the best time to travel is from the end of November to April. The chance of a winter dip is considerably smaller here than on the north coast, so January and February are also fine.
Cuba is located in an area where hurricanes can occur. Such heavy tropical depressions that cause a lot of rain and strong winds arise over the Atlantic Ocean. This mainly happens during the hurricane season, which starts around the end of June and lasts until the beginning of December. It is not the case that Cuba has to deal with a hurricane every year. Sometimes it is quiet for years. It is good to know that hurricanes often announce themselves in advance. This means that measures can be taken if necessary.
Best time to visit Havana
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Havana? 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 Cuban capital Havana is located on the north coast of Cuba. As a result, Havana is officially not Caribbean, because it is not located on the Caribbean Sea. Culturally, Havana definitely belongs to the Caribbean region, just like the rest of Cuba. Havana is one of the best preserved former colonial Spanish cities. Due to poverty, a large part of the city is continuously faced with overdue maintenance, but that does not make Havana any less beautiful. It is a unique and fantastic holiday destination that completely captivates you with its charms.
Best months for Havana
The savanna climate that applies in Havana ensures pleasantly warm and fairly dry winters and wetter, clammy summers. From May, the chance of rain increases and the wetter season starts. This will last until the end of November. That is why the best time to travel to Havana is from December to April. These are the months with predominantly pleasant temperatures (daytime 25 to 30 degrees) and the lower chances of precipitation. The sun shows itself quite a lot, but you can also have a mainly cloudy day. The tropical climate means rapid changes in the weather. One moment it can be almost cloudless, while half an hour later the sky is mainly occupied by clouds. They can disappear just as quickly not much later.
Possible cooler periods
Since Havana is fairly far north in the Caribbean, the weather in the winter months can be affected by cool currents from the north. In that case, cold arctic air descends to the south, affecting the weather as far as Florida and Cuba. In the case of Havana, this means that there may be days when the temperature barely reaches 20 degrees or even does not reach 20 degrees at all. This usually only occurs a few days in a year.
Havana is located in a region where hurricanes can occur during hurricane season. The chance that Havana will be hit by a hurricane is not very high. On average, it happens once every few years that such a severe tropical storm comes near Havana. The risk of hurricanes is greatest in the period from August to October. July, August and November are also officially hurricane season.
Best time to visit Varadero
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Varadero? 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. If you book a beach holiday to Cuba, there is a fairly good chance that you will end up in Varadero. Not in the town itself, but in one of the hotels on the elongated peninsula that lies on the Florida Strait from Varadero. The many kilometers of sandy beach make Varadero one of the most famous and most visited beach resorts in the Caribbean. Many of the hotels in Varadero have an all-inclusive formula. There are several bars and restaurants in the center of the hotel zone, but most tourists are supplied with food and drinks by the hotel.
The tropical savanna climate of Varadero ensures that you can spend many days of the year here on the beach or by the pool. The temperature rises to at least 25 degrees for about 330 to 340 days a year. The tropical limit of 30 degrees is reached more than half of the time. In addition to sun, a tropical climate also includes rain. On average, there is about 1400 millimeters of rain per year. That is almost twice as much as in the Netherlands. That rain often falls in the form of spicy tropical showers. If you look at how many hours a year it rains in Varadero, that does not exceed the Dutch statistics. The great thing about a tropical climate such as that prevails here, is that rain and clouds alternate with many hours of sunshine. In Varadero you can count on about 2700 to 3000 hours of sunshine.
Best months for Varadero
Varadero has a drier season with many warm days, without it quickly becoming too hot or stuffy. This is the period from December to April. Due to the more pleasant weather, this is the best time to travel to Varadero. This winter sun period sometimes has a few days when it is slightly cooler, especially in December, January or February. March and April are slightly more stable in terms of temperature.
The wetter season starts from May. This is also the slightly warmer period (maximums of 30-33 degrees on average). The risk of tropical storms also increases. Very sporadically, a hurricane can even come near Varadero. Fortunately, these can be predicted in time, so that the necessary safety measures can be taken if necessary.
Varadero during the school holidays
If you want or have to go on holiday to Varadero during an official school holiday, for example because you are traveling with school-age children, spring break is the best time to travel in terms of weather. The Christmas holidays are often pleasant, but that is a relatively expensive travel period. During the May holidays you can be unlucky to fall in a wetter period. The advantage is that you can go on holiday to Varadero for two weeks. The summer holidays are a fairly good time to travel. It is then hot and quite stuffy. In addition, you have to take into account the occasional rain shower and sometimes a downright unpredictable day. Fall break has the worst weather cards. It’s still a nice travel period, but you can be unlucky that your beach holiday in Varadero falls into the water.